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which is your #1 kitchen accessory?

I'm toying with buying one of these super sexy vita mix or blendtec machines which seem to "replace up to 9 accessories" but cost about $500 (yikes)
I certainly love my blender, but it's a little gutless, and I run between it and my immersion blender all the time-not to mention the food processor and juicer which rarely get used due to heinous cleaning pain afterwards.
I must admit to being overly involved with my George Forman grill which was a real game changer in that it does just about everything my bbq did but inside and NOT in the rain.
Then, of course, the purist in me says that that big chef's knife I bought replaces all that other stuff.
What about you? What appliance/accessory MUST you have in the kitchen.

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  1. I fear this topic may quickly get moved from the BC board. Anyway, there are many kitchen accessories that I love, but one of my favourites is a large cutting board with a "gutter" so that meat juices do not run off the board onto the counter when I am carving a bird or a roast.

    1 Reply
    1. re: anewton

      +1 on the carving cutting board.

      Also - for a "non-standard" kitchen thingee - I love my Bernriner mandoline.

      1. kitchen scale.

        serious cal tracking always happens in my kitchen. everything gets weighed.

        1. Well, I don't have real stringent requirements for a cutting board, I don't have a Vita Mix or anything like, and I haven't yet decided to buy an immersion blender. So, to be honest, even though I own a food processor, a blender, a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker and various assorted kitchen gear, what I really must have is a good chef's knife and some sort of cutting board. I can't use any of the appliances, except perhaps the processor, without the knife.

          1. I am slightly confused about the question. Do you mean any kitchen tool? Or unnecessary but helpful tool? If it is just anything in my kitchen, then my most important tool are (1) a carbon steel wok and (2) a CCK Chinese knife because I cannot cook a meal without them, and I am sure this is the same for most people that they need a pan and a knife. My cutting block is very important, but worse come to worse, I can cut my food on the counter.

            I have a feel this is not really what you are asking us...

            If you mean something nice to have, but not necessary to have, then I will say my microwave. It is not a great microwave, and it is not absolutely necessary, but it certainly is helpful and I use it a lot.

            1. Going with Chem's criteria, the nod goes to the Russell Hobbs kettle or the 35 year old KA. I can boil water in any pan on the stove but the electric kettle is quick and needs no minding. The KA assures me there will be home made bread when my arthritic wrists are too shot to knead, and there are so many other things it does, like grind meat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tim irvine

                Wusthoff Santoku

                Blender-just exploded my $40 unit from Canadian Tire so threw down large for a Black & Decker on sale for $20 (!)

              2. Coffee / spice grinder.

                1. A foot pedal for the kitchen sink. You can buy this at any medical office supply place. You will be so addicted that you will wonder why no one else has one, except your doctor.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: shoes

                    Hi, shoes:

                    Ooooooooooooooooooooooohhh. I am starting looking today. Fabulous idea.


                  2. wooden spoons.

                    (and dishwasher!!!)

                    1. my very good and very sharp chef's knife

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Candy

                        Beyond that? The OP isn't completely clear, but I don't think the chef's knife qualifies as an accessory. I ask because you're surrounded by equipment...

                      2. My husband. I'll prep and cook, and he washes up. Every meal that is home made starts with a set table and a clean kitchen. He does the post-meal dishwasher load too. Oh, and he matches the cabinets and floors and as such is also highly decorative. I strongly recommend getting an awesome spouse for your kitchen...LOLOLOL!

                        1. I assume when talking an accessory, you're speaking of something non-necessary.

                          This is tough because what I consider necessary, isn't nearly close to what many people consider necessary (yes, I'm looking at you, Mr. Bittman)! I've been recently smitten with my pressure-cooker (chili in 50mins, dry to cooked beans in 30, yes please!) -- it's by no means necessary, but a wonderful accessory to a kitchen.

                          I do, however, love my Vita-Mix...

                          Oh... and don't take this the wrong way... but if your George Foreman grill does everything your "bbq" (by that I assume you have a grill) did, you're doing something very wrong.

                          1. I love my Global knives. I've had Henkel"s and Wusthof's, but really like these. I always thought knives are a personal thing, and I like the balance and "feel" of these.