This list isn’t about the sous vides or the 101 essentials such as a chef knife or a wooden spoon. This list covers the tools chefs frequently use in their kitchens that are easy enough for the non-culinary alum to conquer.* These are the gadgets that will transcend your dishes from ordinary to extraordinary. They range from $12 to $180, so there’s something for every budget. Go on, elevate your cooking!
1. Good Grips Food Mill (OXO- $49.99)
Haven’t you always wanted to make your own applesauce, grape jelly, blueberry jam, and fruit butter? The perfect tool for preparing fresh purees, sauces, soups and more. There are multiple grinding discs for fine, medium and coarse textures. And all parts are dishwasher safe!
2. Electric Spice, Herb and Coffee Grinder (Krups GX4100- $30)
Combine spices and herbs with ease and freshly ground coffee in seconds. This tool will make take your marinades over the top. Now you can add any spice into baked goods and add delicious flavors to soups without the residue! It also has a safety-lock lid and isn’t as noisy as most grinders.
3. Mandolin (Cuisinart- $79.99)
Always wonder how that thinly sliced squash are all uniform and precise? That can definitely be the handy work of a mandolin. Slice, mince and julienne like a professional. It speeds up the work like no other kitchen tool.
4. Pasta Roller Attachment (KitchenAid- $179.00)
Owning the stand mixer is the first step, but when you’re ready, go ahead and purchase the pasta roller attachment (includes 3 rollers for different cuts of pasta). Handmade pasta is what separates a good cook to a great one. Beet ravioli anyone?
5. Immersion Blender (KitchenAid- $99.95)
This specific immersion blender isn’t your average immersion blender. It has 5 speeds, 3 interchangable bell blades for task-specific precision. Puree, blend, shred and crush ice with this one tool. It’s such a multi-tasker, perfect for vinaigrettes, smoothies, pesto and even whipped cream, that’s right- this one comes with a whisk attachment.
6. Microplane Zester/Grater (Microplane- $12)
The classic gadget that zests and grates everything from cheese to citrus to chocolate to nutmeg. It will put your dishes over the edge and you’ll never buy another grater again.
*The numbers coordinate with the picture, not with a preference of the tools.