From ergonomic vegetable peelers to multi-tasking microplanes, every chef has a few kitchen tools they simply can't do without. These tools of the trade are what help them keep razor sharp knives, produce velvety soups and prevent roasted chicken from burning in the oven. So what's in their kitchen that's not in yours? Here's a look at six must-have kitchen tools chefs can't live without:
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You probably already have a handy microplane in your kitchen. But are you using it to its full potential? Chefs know that a microplane is great for many more things than just zesting lemons. Use it to grate hard cheeses, nutmeg, garlic, fresh ginger and even blocks of chocolate. It’s a kitchen tool that's essential in any home.
2. Knife Sharpening Stone
Professional cooks take pride in keeping their knives sharp and doing it by hand. Thus, a whetstone (chef talk for knife sharpening stone) is indispensable in their kitchen. There are many different types of whetstones but the most popular are oil stones, water stones and diamond stones. They are great for sharpening other tools like kitchen shears.
3. Kitchen Thermometers
Meat thermometers are a basic tool every cook should have in there kitchen. How else would you know when your precious Thanksgiving turkey is ready to be taken out of the oven? Professional cooks know that roasts aren’t the only thing that need a temperature check. The refrigerator and oven do too. By using a refrigerator thermometer you can ensure the temperature stays below 40F to prevent bacteria growth. You can also ensure the fridge isn't running too cold and ruining your produce. On the other hand, oven thermometers shed light on whether the oven is running hot or too slow, which helps you avoid burnt food.
4. Whisks in various sizes
Do you just have one whisk in your kitchen? Chefs know that not all whisks are created equal. There’s the balloon whisk for whipping eggs, a French whisk with sturdier wires perfect for stirring thick sauces like bechamel, and a flat whisk ideal for mixing roux and prevent scorching, just to name a few. Of course, knowing how to use a whisk is even more important than owning one.
The trick to producing velvety restaurant-quality soups at home is passing them through a fine mesh sieve known to professional cooks as chinois. You can use it to strain custard, ice cream base and purees. It's the best tool to employ if you want to produce a clear stock and lump-free sauces.
6. Kuhn Rikon peeler
Hands down, this is every chef's favorite peeler. Its ergonomic Y shape allows for quick, effortless peeling of veggies while its blade is sharp enough to shave blocks of chocolate or hard cheeses like Parmesan. If you want to cook like a pro, it all starts with this humble peeler.