When I first started cooking seriously, I knew I was on to a good thing because there was a whole new set of tools to learn about, buy, and use. Good tools is really important to kitchen efficiency and effectiveness. It’s a guy thing, right?

Dad’s Top 10 Kitchen Tools (under construction)

  1. the whisk
  2. the iron skillet
  3. the chef’s knife
  4. the paring knife
  5. the immersion blender
  6. the digital thermometer
  7. the microplane
  8. the enameled Dutch oven
  9. the sheet pan
  10. the lemon squeezer

Dad’s Favorite Sources

We like great tools, but we like a great deal, too. You don’t need to spend a lot to get a few tools that will make a huge difference and last a lifetime. Here are some places we like to shop.

Restaurant supply stores

Wanted something heavier than the thin-skinned, small aluminum sauce pan from the 70s that we had since it was new. For about $15, got a heavy-duty, two quart model used in restaurants. It won’t win a beauty contest, but come on, we’re talking about a pot!

The neighborhood hardware store

Everyone ought have at least one cast iron skillet – for cornbread, or for a great ribeye steak recipe I found. The best place to get one (Lodge seems to be the most commonly found brand.) is in your hardware store. It will probably be cheaper than anywhere else.

Your discount warehouse of choice

A few years back, I bought one of those heavy-guage, cast aluminum, non-stick roasting pans, with handles and a V-shaped rack. Big enough for a 20-pound turkey. When I saw the ad, I couldn’t believe it was only $20! But it was. It was a factory-reject with some small knicks, but they’re barely noticeable. And, as you probably know, these pans can be more than $100.

The Pampered Chef

You or your wife or your mother probably know a local Pampered Chef consultant. Some of their products fall into the one-use tool category, and we prefer tools that can do multiple tasks. But there are a lot of high-quality gems in their product line that are reasonably priced and last forever. And, you’ll be helping support an independent business person.

Our favorites:

  • Scrapers—Pampered Chef was way ahead of the market with these. We’ve had ours forever, use them everyday, and they’re still going strong!
  • Stoneware—baking stones, casseroles, bakeware. Even heat distribution, oven-to-table ready, just great.
  • Salad spinners—these make the annoying job of producing dry salad greens easy and fast. Saves tons of paper towels.

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