Best kitchen tools according to a chef

ByNishka Dhawan KFSN logo
Tuesday, April 2, 2024
best kitchen essentials
Here's everything you need in your kitchen, according to a chef.

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Stocking up your kitchen with the right products is not an easy task - especially if you're unsure about what kinds of knives to buy or which non-stick pan will pass the test of time. To make upgrading your kitchen easier, we spoke to Paul Farmer, an executive chef with more than 15 years of experience working in a professional kitchen.

Here are the best kitchen tools and essentials he recommended for both beginner and expert cooks.

Best kitchen knife


Global 3 Piece Starter Set

  • $179.95

    A chef knife, utility knife, pairing knife and serrated knife are all you need, according to Framer. He recommends this three-piece knife set to get you started. "Personally I have been using this three-piece Global set at home for over 10 years for everything imaginable and they still have a lot of life in them," says Farmer. "They hold their edge for quite a while and require minimal sharpening." They also have molded stainless steel handles for a better grip, and are lightweight to reduce hand fatigue, according to the brand.

    Best peeler


    Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler 3-Pack

    • $18.95

      Farmer likes y-shaped peelers as they're easier to hold and grip when peeling 50 pounds of potatoes - yes, you read that right. This pack of three is ideal for both fruits and vegetables and is dishwasher-safe, making them easy to clean.

      Best non-stick pan

      37% off

      Tramontina Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan

      • $28.04
      • $45

        A good nonstick pan can last you around four to five years, according to Farmer. "What matters is how you treat them and what you use them for," he says. "They don't handle high heat well, so no searing steaks or chicken, as it will only lessen the life of the pan. Non-stick pans should mostly be used for gentle cooking, like making eggs or sometimes even fish." You also don't want to stack them on top of each other, as this can cause scratches. This option is dishwasher-safe and oven-safe - up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a grippy removable silicone handle and weighs under three pounds.

        Best tongs

        18% off

        Rösle Stainless Steel Fine Tongs

        • $30.86
        • $38

          "These tongs are long enough to keep your hands from burning," says Farmer. They're also great for both cooking and serving meat or veggies. They're a little pricey, but they're extremely durable, according to Farmer. Plus, they're dishwasher safe.

          Best cast iron pan

          41% off

          Lodge 10.25 Inch Cast Iron

          • $19.90
          • $34.25

            Farmer owns and loves this pan, saying it's "built to last a lifetime." This Lodge pan is great for cooking on a stove or oven and comes pre-seasoned with oil. It is designed to retain heat longer, making it an ideal choice for pan searing or roasting.

            Best carbon steel pan

            20% off

            Merten & Storck Pre-Seasoned Carbon Steel Skillet

            • $39.99
            • $49.99

              "These pans don't do well in baking situations like cast irons but in my opinion, they sear steaks, chicken and seafood much better," says Farmer. "These pans can get extremely hot, quickly, without warping and they can hold up to years of daily abuse in professional kitchens." This pre-seasoned pan is lightweight and oven-safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It heats evenly and quickly and works well on both table tops and grills, according to the brand.

              Best spatula


              New Star Foodservice Wood Handle Fish Spatula

              • $9.97

                "Fish spatulas are thin, metal, slightly curved, slotted spatulas that will make all of your flipping incredibly easy," says Farmer. "If something is stuck to the pan, the fish spatula is thin and strong enough to get under it and break it free without tearing it apart." Despite its name, it's good for more than just flipping fish, and this option is both inexpensive and easy to clean.

                Best cheesecloth


                Cotton Farm Grade Cheese Cloths

                • $4.49

                  "You can use cheesecloths to make a little pouch filled with aromatics and tie it closed with butcher twine (called a sache) and add it to braises, stocks or anything you are simmering," says Farmer. This pick is reusable and washable and can strain everything from liquids to foods.

                  Best cooking spoons

                  7% off

                  JB Prince Perforated Spoon

                  • $21.98
                  • $23.84

                    "Cooking spoons will generally have a longer handle and larger wider bowl than dining spoons," says Farmer. "Stirring, flipping, plating, adding and removing from the pan, they do it all." Farmer describes Chef Gray Kunz products as top-of-the-line. This pick is great for portioning, mixing and even tasting.

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