Cooking is an art form, and like any artist, chefs need the right tools to create their masterpieces. From vegetable peelers to high-powered mixers, there are a variety of kitchen utensils that chefs use to make their recipes come to life. In this article, we'll explore the different cooking utensils that chefs use and why they are so important. Broth or stock is essential for making complex recipes because it provides the foundation of the meal.
Susan Feniger, co-chef and owner of Border Grill restaurants in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, will open a new restaurant in Santa Monica called Socalo this fall with longtime business partner Mary Sue Milliken. Your most beloved kitchen utensils when you cook at home are a vegetable peeler, a ginger grater and a mandolin. A high-powered mixer is perfect for making smoothies, mashing soups and sauces, grinding your own bread flour, and can work as a substitute for a food processor if you don't have space for both. My Blendtec 625 is used at least daily in our house, if not more, and it's a total workhorse.
He took my favorite time-saving appliance from the kitchen and eliminated the need to mess up a frying pan when you need to brown your meat. I use this Hamilton Beach Stove Safe slow cooker constantly. The time also works in 30-minute increments, so there are no more dinners ruined by overcooking. From sauce to pie crusts to crumbling cheese and chopping nuts, having a food processor is one of those things that simply makes life easier. Yes, you can also use a blender for some of those things, but not all, and there are some things where you just want additional real estate offered by a food processor.
Not to mention all the slicing capabilities of the additional add-ons provided by a food processor. This Cuisinart 14-cup food processor is fantastically large, but compact in size, so it doesn't take up as much cupboard or countertop space as some do. If I Could, I Would Seriously Marry This Staub 6 Quart Cocotte. It's beautiful, easy to clean, and seamlessly transitions from stove to oven to table in perfect style. Browning, simmering, roasting - you name it - this pot can do it.
The 6 quarts is enough for our family of 4 and a good size pork or veal roast. Mee McCormick, founder and chef of Pinewood Kitchen in Nunnelly, Tennessee believes there's no need to worry about several different appliances when one is enough. Most chefs measure with digital kitchen scales rather than measuring cups and spoons because it's a more reliable method and makes the process of weighing large quantities of ingredients much easier. It's ideal for simmering, grilling and even better for all the new sourdough bakers out there. For a better result - a little more like a pressure cooker - I close the lid of the pot with a mixture of flour and water. Angela Garbacz, owner and pastry chef at Goldenrod Pastries in Lincoln, Nebraska expects to use this kettle every day. You put a lot of work into cooking a perfect steak and supporting it with the right tool helps you finish the process with strength.
Kia Damon, chef and founder of the Kia Feeds the People Program tells SELF that while she doesn't own many small appliances she doesn't know what she would do without it. This is the tool I used almost 20 years ago when I started cooking and it's still strong at cutting and dicing the competition. Fortunately there are quality tools that do the job without breaking the bank and several of them are chef staples both at home and in restaurant kitchens. The extraordinary display on cooking shows like “Top Chef” and “Selena + Chef” (recently renewed for a fourth season) is enough for anyone to reconsider using their 40-year-old butter knives to chop broccoli - sorry broccolini! Jack Logue executive chef at Tribeca's Kitchen in New York tells SELF he loves it because it's precise and adaptable to Bluetooth. Le Creuset's famous Dutch ovens star in the final season of “Selena + Chef” when award-winning chef Kwame Onwauche introduces traditional Nigerian food to the star. The whole idea of grinding fresh herbs and spices for food preparations changed my perception of the way food is cooked. John Lechleidner chef de cuisine for Wolfgang Puck's WP24 at The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Los Angeles has spent nearly 20 years refining his art with Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group.