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I know epi's doing it, but what are your 5 favorite kitchen things?

This is to hard, but mine are:

1. Well-seasoned cast iron skillet (s)
2. Huge cast-iron Dutch oven
3. KitchenAid food processor
4. Electric griddle.
5. Microplane and other graters.

Epicurious has very few posts on this - figure Chowhounds will do better!

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  1. My favorite kitchen things are: a good sharp chef's knife, my big Cuisinart food processor, a coffee grinder, another one for spices, kitchen shears. In fact, I love everything in my kitchen!

    1. 1. KitchenAid stand mixer (cobalt blue!)
      2. Oxo Good Grips peeler (I used to hate to peel vegetables before I had this!)
      3. salad mister (for olive oil)
      4. Wusthof knife block
      5. Gaggia espresso machine

      I love everything in my kitchen, too...and what "lives" in the sunroom right off of the kitchen since not everything fits. ;)

      1. My chefs knives( I have 3 chefs knives with a equally outrageous number of secondary and paring knives)
        My MC2 12" fry pan
        My bench knife
        My coffee pot( I pray to Juan Valdez)
        My Kitchen-aid mixer

        PS, This thread might be better suited for cookware forum.

        1. Not including a good chef's knife and a good paring knife, which I assume are essential in any kitchen, here are mine, not necessarily in this order:
          1. Heatproof rubber scraper/spatula with a slightly concave surface
          2. Microplane graters
          3. Immersion blender-don't use it often, but am sure glad I have it when I need it
          4. A wooden spatula I use for practically any sauteing, frying
          5. Tie between my big Le Creuset dutch oven and my large AllClad skillet--use both all the time

          Honorable mention: Silpat or other stickproof baking sheets, blender, Cuisinart food processor, a gigantic stainless steel mixing bowl, a small cast iron fry pan for toasting nuts, garlic, chiles, spices, etc.

          1. immersion blender
            8" chef's knife
            12" cast iron skillet
            8-qt. dutch oven
            microplane rasp grater

            1. 1. Enameled Cast Dutch Oven
              2. Chef's Knife
              3. Salad Spinner
              4. Food Processor
              5. Big Wood Spoon

              1. 1) a wall of floor to ceiling windows looking over my rose garden and with the Smokey Mountains in the distance. (It is the most important part of the kitchen)
                2) KitchenAid Mixer
                3) Double oven
                4) Spoons, etc. hanging in back of the cooktop so I can always find what I need
                5) Immersion Blender (thanks to Chowhound)
                6) Bread Machine for controlled rising/tie with Exopat

                5 Replies
                1. re: shallots

                  Your number 1 item trumps everything I've read (not that it was a contest)--it just sounds gorgeous. :) Mine only overlooks the driveway! But I've seen wild turkeys walk by on occasion!

                  1. re: kattyeyes

                    heh my kitchen overlooks the backyard where you can spot the occasional hare. Past the yard is the main road and a big box shopping centre, and the airport on the horizon.

                  2. re: shallots

                    Wow! That sounds amazing! (And very inspiring.)

                    My kitchen windows overlook the backyard, which does have a lot of critters running through it, including the occasional red fox and coyote. Beyond that used to be a horse farm with rolling hills - and is now a development of $1M homes on rolling hills. Nearly killed me when it first happened - now I'm used to it.

                      1. re: shallots

                        i am so jealous of your #1. not fair.

                      2. Chef's knife


                        Cast iron skillet


                        Cutting board

                        1. 1. VitaMix blender that cost more than we thought a blender could possibly be worth and has lasted for over 10 years of heavy heavy use.

                          2. Heavy duty lemon squeezer -- also gets nearly daily use especially during citrus season.

                          3. Immersion blender. It's not even a very good one, but I'm sure glad it's there when I need it.

                          4. Coffee maker and the husband who ensures that it is full of coffee when I stumble down the stairs.

                          5. The two teenage boys who love to cook.

                          1. Five Faves:
                            my espresso maker (there are days this Mom is powered by caffeine)
                            KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer
                            my laptop :)

                            1. These kinds of questions are so tough for me - I love everything in my kitchen, from my knives, spoons, spatulas, spiders and bench scrapers to my stand mixer and food processor, from my very cool collection of vintage flat-back cookie cutters made by Karen Dunwoody to my vintage seashell chocolate molds hanging on the wall, my collection of functional hand thrown pottery, the enormous maple wood bowl I use for bread dough, (and gigantic tossed salads for a crowd), the perfect little set of nesting lab-type blown glass bowls with pouring spouts that I use for dippers, salad dressing, gravy etc., the awesome lab-type glass beaker/pitcher/measuring cup I found at Marshall's for $4 that I use for everything from OJ to frothing my coffee milk in, my cast iron pans, my all-clad pans, etc. etc. etc.

                              I've collected my stuff over the last 17 years, very slowly and carefully, in terms of price/quality/functionality and aesthetics and the result is a kitchen that I get an enormous amount of pleasure and utility from. We're not rich people and we have a very modest home by US standards, but I think we've done a great job making our home a charming, comfortable place to live in and raise our son in, and our kitchen is both physically and metaphorically the center of our home and we love it.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: flourgirl

                                Nicely stated, flourgirl. It was fun to visit your kitchen through your description! Please do tell, though--what are spiders? :) It sounds like an accessory rather than something one whacks with a shoe, as I did when I opened the blinds yesterday morning.

                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                  Hee hee, yes, it's an accessory. They're basically strainers, woven out of metal. Kind of like a small wire basket with a handle. They're great for pulling stuff out of hot liquid, like fried food, dumplings, pasta, veggies, etc.


                                  1. re: flourgirl

                                    AHA, yes, I know what you mean now. Those would be handy to have. I didn't know of them as spiders, but it's a pretty accurate description--it looks like one of their webs! Thanks for clarifying.

                                    1. re: kattyeyes

                                      I have real spiders, which keep the meal moths at bay.

                              2. Big knife
                                Small knife
                                Speed peeler
                                Salad spinner (or maybe the big grater, not the microplane)

                                1. 1) Chef's knife
                                  2) Le Creuset dutch oven
                                  3) Tongs
                                  4) Tea towels
                                  5) Glass of wine or beer

                                  1. 1. Dutch oven
                                    2. Panini Maker
                                    3. Electric Pepper Grinder
                                    4. All Clad measuring cups and spoons
                                    5. Chef's knives

                                    1. this is pretty hard, since everything in my kitchen is functional...

                                      1. WMF De Luxe ceramic pepper mill
                                      2. Shun 8" chef's knife
                                      3. Faberware vegetable peeler
                                      4. Kaiser "La Forme" 9" springform pan. Really high quality, good nonstick that doesn't scratch, cut, or peel after almost 10 years.
                                      5. Calphalon "Simply Calphalon" 5 qt chili pot and 10" skillet

                                      1. My mini food processor
                                        My cast iron pans for sure
                                        my stove top grill pan
                                        my hand chopper for the counter, great for quick chops
                                        My atomizer for olive oil

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: kchurchill5

                                          What do you use your mini processor for? I have one but never got into the habit of using it. Maybe I need to pull it out again.

                                          1. re: karykat

                                            I use both that and my hand counter chopper. When I need just some chopped garlic or a few nuts or just basil etc I use the counter chopper. Nearly not as good but convenient and quick. My mini chopper I use for 4 or 5 herbs, lots of garlic, nuts, peppercorns, allspice, lots of different things. Sometimes onions, herbs and a little olive oil when I didn't need a tons. Great for a quick dressing. Mix the herbs, onions and nuts then just mix with some olive oil and vinegar in a bowl. I saves alot of chopping in you have a lot to do. Dried fruit is good, many uses. I just don't always need the whole big processor. I was making chopped cranberries for a port wine sauce. Well a pain to chop so ... nuts and cranberries in a small foodprocessor and just blend. Easy and quick. Ive used it for much more. A quick blended 2 eggs for a froth and many many others.

                                            1. re: karykat

                                              Parsley, all herbs, compound butter, salad dressing, small amounts of anything that you don't want to hand chop!! I could go on and on!! If you leave it out on the counter you will use it, along with the larger Cuisinart food processor. On counter always is the only way they will be used!!
                                              my five favorite are (very hard to choose five)
                                              MAC 85 chef knife
                                              Cuisinart food processor
                                              Kitchen Aid mixer
                                              After making the list I realized that the two most important, really, are the knife and my wonderful Boos cutting board!!

                                          2. Do I have to use something often for it to be a favorite?

                                            Pressure cooker
                                            Electric kettle
                                            Immersion blender
                                            Poultry shears
                                            Lots of small bowls

                                            I would love to have a good knife, but I'm afraid I'll ruin it.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: harukiri

                                              Buy yourself a good knife. Trust me. You deserve it and you won't ruin it.

                                              1. re: harukiri

                                                Buy a Forschner 8-inch chef's, they're not very expensive, lightweight but are very functional

                                              2. I live in acloset nyc studio so myy current favorites reflect things that make my life easier
                                                1. Hammacher Schlemmer bookcase that I use to pots, wine glasses, dried beans, baskets of dried goods and all sorts of things. I could not live without it since I have 16 inches of counterspace which is one cabinet
                                                2. My antique tea cart. The wheels still work and i use it for dessets during Thanksgiving and to hold more stuff on an everyday basis plus it keeps my spirtis up because it reminds me I won't be living like this forever
                                                3. Measuring cups and mason jars I use them to hold all my silverware and cooking utensils
                                                4. My stainless steel pots
                                                5. All my Silicon spatulas for the way they fold egg whites but can go straight into a hot pot.

                                                1. I have to agree with flourgirl, I do love everything in my kitchen and it is also the heart of our home.

                                                  So let's see. I'm going to split this up into aesthetics and function, since it is such a beautiful room, that feeds my soul and that we spend so much time in.

                                                  1. My Lacanche range!!!
                                                  2. My 8" Kramer Chef's knife
                                                  3. immersion blender.
                                                  4. Le Crueset dutch oven (I use them ALL the time!)

                                                  1. My Lacanche range!
                                                  2. The view of our wooded back yard through the wall of windows.
                                                  3. The Blue Ridge and Jerusalem pottery I have hanging on the walls.
                                                  4. The shelves for all our cookbooks (it's an addiction).
                                                  5. Our beautiful cherry counters (which could also go under functional because they are tough! Although I do not cut on them.)

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: VACluny

                                                    I have to do that too (actually architecture plus gear), because great gear in a bad space, or bad gear in a great space, would not be the same. There is some overlap:

                                                    The view of the pond and waterfall.
                                                    The high ceilings.
                                                    The many cabinets and all the counter space.
                                                    The slide-out shelves in lower cabinets.
                                                    The pot rack.

                                                    Gas stove (nothing fancy, but it's GAS)
                                                    Electric kettle (how did I ever live without this?)

                                                    1. re: avgolemona

                                                      are you guys purposely trying to make us closet dwellers jealous with your fantastic views.
                                                      *Goes off in huff to ponder where young life went so wrong*

                                                      1. re: kayEx

                                                        My original view was roughly 5,000 square feet of rocks and weeds on top of landfill. So I made my own better view by building a pond and landscaping.

                                                        Come to flyover country, young kay. Real estate is cheap (my mortgage is $700/mo). And we have real kitchens.

                                                        1. re: avgolemona

                                                          FL, rent 1,000 no view, just the parking lot. Kitchen barely no counter room to put a toaster. Work my but off but, reality is where we live. I would love a real kitchen.

                                                          My favorite items have to fit in drawers or in tupperware containers under the bed.

                                                        2. re: avgolemona

                                                          I forgot something that has nothing to do with cooking, really, but makes it more enjoyable anyway: the combination phone/radio that is mounted under the cabinet next to the stove. I can listen to NPR and answer the phone while cooking, without moving a single step.

                                                      2. Whoops! Forgot number 5 under functional!

                                                        5. My wonderful, old wooden spoons.....

                                                        1. 1. Kitchen tongs I got from IKEA
                                                          2. Silicon spatulas (got on sale from Crate & Barrel cuz they had seasonal decorations)
                                                          3. Bodum french press (it does one thing, but it does it well)
                                                          4. Cheapo chef's knife I got for free with some Omaha's Steaks (it's really light in a good way and as long as I hone it every time, works better than anything I tried)
                                                          5. My red devil oven mitts (reach up to the elbow: I haven't burned myself since I got them a year ago, and I used to burn myself A LOT)

                                                          1. Such well planned, well stocked kitchens!
                                                            My fast five for making menu prep a breeze:
                                                            Electric grinder for spices (buy em whole, grind em fresh!)
                                                            Whole Nutmeg mill
                                                            Stainless steel slicer (for eggs, beets, olives, u name it)
                                                            Electric juicer
                                                            Bamboo steamer

                                                            1. 1. My pot hanger over my kitchen peninsula that keeps everything within easy reach.
                                                              2. Stainless steel French press for great coffee that stays hot.
                                                              3. Le Creuset dutch oven for lots of wonderful comfort food.
                                                              4. Electric breadmaker for easy homemade bread
                                                              5. KitchenAid stand mixer for too many things to mention

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: BelleJo

                                                                My cast iron
                                                                Coffee maker I cannot live without, but I don't grind because I hate the noise
                                                                Nesting glass bowls--from huge to tiny
                                                                Wooden spoons
                                                                Silicon mitts, spatulas and brushes. Don't like the cutting "boards" or baking pans, though
                                                                Magnet knife holder. And I have some pretty good knives, too
                                                                Marble cutting board that I made from buying a tile and putting rubber feet on it.
                                                                My daughter's beautiful art work on my fridge

                                                                Pretty low tech.

                                                              2. Silicone utensils, mainly the spatula and the basting brush, especially the brush it was a real omg moment.
                                                                Coffee maker
                                                                Digital thermometer / timer, my Thanksgiving turkey was never this moist before I owned one.
                                                                Good knife and my knife sharpener.
                                                                My bf, we have a I cook he cleans arrangement, but I think he would then immediately point to our less than a year old dishwasher.

                                                                1. My knives, my pots, my pans, my hands, my cooktop.
                                                                  Did you mean Singular items? Good Lord...
                                                                  OK, this has nothing to do with how often I use something:
                                                                  1 My Flint icing spatula that I use for cookie removal (since I was a kid! My folks had one). I just like the flex in it.
                                                                  2 My scraper, the one with the rolled top and fits perfectly in my apron pocket, like it was a holster.
                                                                  3 My 8" Ed. Wusthof cooks knife; I've had it since '82, its had more time in my hand than any other. These days I use a 10" and I feel like I've abandoned the tool that made me. :-(
                                                                  4 My KitchenAid Mixer. Is it really a kitchen without one?
                                                                  5 My spiral bound Joy of Cooking. New in '82 I'm the only one who has worn out it's pages.
                                                                  There's over 300 things, er, 'tools' (ahem): calling out five favorites is almost mean.

                                                                  1. I hate my kitchen, alas, but haven't managed to come up with money to fix it. But when I do, I'll come to CH first for ideas.
                                                                    Ditto on most other posters' favorite things. Two things I can't do without are (1) My Solingen kitchen shears, for cutting everything, and going strong 15 years without a sharpening, and (2) my teakettle that has a mellow train-whistle sound instead of screaming at me!

                                                                    1. I'm a young guy just moving out, so I'm trying to get a lot of the basic type things. But, my favorites are:

                                                                      1) My knives (Shun Chef's knife and MAC Santoku, mainly) - I use one or both every day.
                                                                      2) Lodge cast iron skillet and enameled dutch oven - Love the dutch for stews, short ribs, etc...I'm still seasoning the skillet.
                                                                      3) Spice cabinet - Inspiration everywhere...also used every day.
                                                                      4) Book shelf - I have ~10 cookbooks and I like to try a new recipe every week.
                                                                      5) Mini-food processor - I need to get a big one...that's probably my next kitchen purchase.

                                                                      1. 1. Bertazzoni range
                                                                        2. Espresso machine (6yr old Le'lit)
                                                                        3. Rocky coffee grinder
                                                                        4. collection of well seasoned cast iron
                                                                        5. my dogs...patiently waiting for me to drop something good

                                                                        1. Seems to me that my answers are not what is being looked for....

                                                                          1) Indoor plumbing
                                                                          2) Refrigerator
                                                                          3) Freezer
                                                                          4) Oven with temp settings
                                                                          5) Burner's/Cooktop with temp settings

                                                                          My mother remembers when they replaced the icebox with a refrigerator, my grandmother talked about stoking a wood burning stove, and my great grandmother used to have to go to the backyard pump for water. Perhaps I am taking the question too literally.

                                                                          1. -Wusthoff 10" chefs knife
                                                                            -Boos Board
                                                                            -kitchen aid mixer
                                                                            -and either set of metal mixing bowls or my whisk

                                                                            1. 1. My wall of cookbooks (somewhere around 700, all cuisines, several languages, collected over almost 40 years of happy cooking and reading about same)
                                                                              2. My workhorse 1985 Cuisinart DLC7 "Super-pro" food processor, now on its 4th bowl and 3rd lid/feed tube
                                                                              3. The beat-up and homely Ecko kitchen spatula we bought so I could cook in my then-boyfriend and still husband's dorm room
                                                                              4. A pistol-handle mug my mom bought me in the supermarket when I first started drinking tea, a nice warm brown and beige pottery thing
                                                                              5. My big bad beautiful beige fur friend kitty Liam, himself, always underfoot or looking on from his perch on the table and appreciative of the odd scallop or bit of nice rare red meat.

                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                                Love it! (I especially like the cookbooks - I thought I had a lot - I'm at around 550 myself, and the kitty. But the whole list is great.)

                                                                                1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                  Yeah, that's impressive. I've got about 400 and already that's more than anyone I've ever met. So.....Wow!

                                                                                  1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                    Becky, I don't know about you, but I'm having a lot of trouble storing all of mine. Now we're looking at adding built-in bookcases around the fireplace, because I have stacks everywhere. My three huge bookcases devoted to my cookbook collection are already filled. We have other bookcases throughout the house, but they're stuffed with other kinds of books. And we have a fairly small house. I love our home, but I have to admit to having fantasies of owning an english manor with a HUGE library where I would never have to worry about running out of room for our all books! :)

                                                                                    1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                      Same here. The kind with the gallery and the ladder up to the top. There are also cookbooks in the living room and bedroom as well as in the kitchen - and my husband is a historian so he has a million books too. Need more walls to put bookcases up against!

                                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                                        Yes! that's it exactly. With those big comfortable chairs, a warm fire with a couple of dogs curled up by it, my cat in my lap - and me surrounded by all of my beloved books, all in one place. Heaven.

                                                                                      2. re: flourgirl

                                                                                        I have a perpetual BOOK PROBLEM in general, in fact. Since I homeschooled (Unschooled) my children, and since in My Former Life I was an Academic, and since I love the thrill of the library book sale, etc., I have books overflowing everywhere, and no $$$ to install decent, lovely bookcases. Instead, we have at least 15 saggy, baggy Walmart fiberboard jobs, looking ugly...and we have about five nice bookcases (including a glass-front old fashioned lawyer's model) AND I have--oh, ridiculous!--about 40 Rubbermaid boxes full in a storage shed, awaiting either total destruction via exposure to the elements, or my ship to come in and the financial wherewithal to build those floor-to-ceiling oak shelves I dream about.

                                                                                        1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                          Boy do I know what you're talking about. Last move we moved 172 !!! boxes of books, packed. We've found that the best cheap wooden bookcases are the ones Staples sells. They're more stable over time than the ones from Ikea.

                                                                                          1. re: buttertart

                                                                                            The last time we moved was 14 years ago - and my husband and I moved ourselves with the help of some friends. I remember how hard it was moving all the book-filled boxes THEN - and I hadn't even really started my cookbook collection at that time (or the pop-up book collection or the ...well you get the picture). I am NOT looking forward to the next one. But it's most likely at least 10 yrs down the road, so i'll worry about it then.

                                                                                            Becky, here's hoping your ship comes in sooner rather than later! :)

                                                                                            1. re: flourgirl

                                                                                              That move was 11 yrs ago and who knows how many books ago. The next move...yikes!

                                                                                2. #8 large logo smooth bottom Griswold skillet and matching lid
                                                                                  ALL my All-Clad stainless steel saucepans (cheating! ;-)
                                                                                  My Wusthof Ikon knives
                                                                                  My 12 or so pieces of Le Creuset, all in bright, contrasting colors
                                                                                  And even though it's not fancy, my newish Frigidaire gas oven with continuous cast iron grates and a true convection oven BECAUSE ITS FINALLY GAS! Yay! I'm 54 years old and never, ever got to buy my own stove, before, outright.

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: Beckyleach

                                                                                    Kuhn Rikon peeler; Fixwell serrated knives excellent for cutting veggies (and your fingers if not careful ; -); Cuisinart food processor,chefs knife, pressure cooker, dutch oven

                                                                                  2. 1. Global knives
                                                                                    2. AC stainless or my Tramontina tri-ply - either one would keep me happy for life
                                                                                    3. My cutting board
                                                                                    4. LC French ovens
                                                                                    5. French white porcelain

                                                                                    But it's hard to choose top five when I love everything in my kitchen

                                                                                    1. 10" chef's knife (old Sabatier carbon)
                                                                                      medium saucepan (ancient heavy Mauviel copper)
                                                                                      salt pig

                                                                                      1. 8" Wusthof chef's knife
                                                                                        end grain butcher block cutting board
                                                                                        Microplane grater
                                                                                        Amco lemon squeezer
                                                                                        KitchenAid blender (just replaced the coupling after about 5 years of use and it's good as new)

                                                                                        1. 1. I splurged on the trinity of Wusthof knives after I graduated college - 6 inch chef's, 8 inch bread, 3.5 inch parer - and I am happy with that decision on a daily basis.

                                                                                          2. A set of pretty ceramic mixing bowls my mom got me from a local shop. They're white with various styles of scalloped edges and come in 4 different sizes. They look ridiculously beautiful holding the most basic of foods, and they're great for making cakes!

                                                                                          3. KitchenAid hand mixer. I'll probably register for a stand mixer when I get married, but right now the hand version is my favorite electric!

                                                                                          4. Extra Ingredients Measuring Spoons from Anthropologie: http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/c... I can't get over how cute the painted flowers are!

                                                                                          5. My Silpat. Fits perfectly in my jelly roll pans and saves me money on parchment, while giving me perfect cookies every single time. My boyfriend says my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies taste better with the Silpat!

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: Diamond

                                                                                            1. MacKenzie Childs hand thrown pottery, service for 14, one with each of their patterns
                                                                                            2. Long handles tongs
                                                                                            3. Pink ceramic chef's knife
                                                                                            4.Le creuset 7 1/2 qt. dutch oven
                                                                                            5. Heirloom morter and pestle

                                                                                          2. If I HAD to pick just 5 (there are soooooo many!) they would be:

                                                                                            1. Huge granite mortar and pestle
                                                                                            2. Professional Series KitchenAid stand mixer
                                                                                            3. Global chef knives I won in a cooking contest
                                                                                            4. My 450 culinary books
                                                                                            5. All Clad pots and pans

                                                                                            1. KitchenAid Stand Mixer, Bread Machine, Oxo Measuring Cups, Knives, Circulon 7.5 Quart Stock Pot...I really do love all my pots and pans, too.

                                                                                              1. only 5? How will I choose? sigh........LOL

                                                                                                1. Griswold cast iron pans
                                                                                                2. Breville Smart Oven ( we use it multiple times a day )
                                                                                                3. Vitamix
                                                                                                4 meat grinder
                                                                                                5 pressure canner

                                                                                                honorable mention to the deep freezer, Cuisinart food processor, juice extractor, sheet pans, zojirushi rice cooker and my Le Creuset collection and clay pots.