Pots, Pans, & Gadgets I Can’t Live Without
In my first book, Dinner: A Love Story, I wrote a letter to my former, newly engaged self, walking her through a wedding registry and advising on the items that would earn their keep and the ones that would end up selling for two bucks at a future garage sale. It was satisfying to read the round-up again a decade later because the pots, pans, and gear I stood by then, I still stand by today. So, since I get asked about gear more than almost anything else, I’ve finally assembled a list of all my favorites (plus a few extras) all in one place….
Le Creuset 7 1/4-quart Dutch Oven
For soups, stews, braises, and the kind of food that make a house smell like home.
Dansk 2-quart Kobenstyle Casserole
The classic pot never leaves the stovetop because I use it for rice, pasta, soups, but also because it’s so gorgeous to look at.
Lodge Cast 10 1/4-inch Iron Skillet
Hardest working skillet in my kitchen by far — and can’t beat the price.
Tramontina Nonstick 10-inch Fry Pan
This is a relatively recent discovery compared to the rest on this list, but it’s a true game-changer. I use for perfect eggs, pancakes, fried fish and chicken every time. And clean-up is a cinch.
Carbon Steel 14-inch Wok with Metal Side Handle
Recommend by Kenji himself, this one is just the right size for family stir-fries.
Duralex Mixing Bowl Set
Space-saving, durable, and classic.
Oxo Good Grips Stainless Steel 9-inch Locking Tongs
Pretty much the only two-in-one piece of kitchen gear I will reliably endorse — interchangeably stirs and grabs tofu, meat, vegetables, you name it.
Nakano Chef’s Knife Set
Miyabi 8-inch Chef’s Knife
The workhorse of the knife block. A comfortable handle, a thin, precise blade and just right amount of heft.
Victorinox 4-inch Serrated Paring Knife
Initially purchased for the kids when they were just learning how to chop and cook, I ended up buying a whole set and use them for fruit (especially grapefruits), tomatoes, and at the dinner table on nights when pork chops or steak are on the menu.
Oxo 11-Pound Stainless Food Scale
I use this all the time for recipe writing and testing, but it’s also invaluable for serious bakers.
Microplane Mini Zester
For all your zesting needs and for transforming Parm into pillowy clouds.
Microplane Cheese Grater
I love this for those nights when I don’t feel like breaking out the food processor — excellent for vegetables like zucchini, carrots, and onion. And yes, hard cheese.
Kuhn Rikon Vegetable Peeler
I learned the hard way that when it comes to this very basic tool, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on fancy grips and design. You can’t improve upon this classic. I own three of them because they are in constant use.
Cuisinart Mini-Prep Food Processor
Invaluable for emulsifying fresh sauces and dressings.
Cuisinart 60-Ounce 2.25 Horsepower Hurricane Blender
For smoothies, pureed soups, milkshakes — a high quality blender really takes certain foods from good to great.