Let’s be real- I have become a bit of a snob when it comes to kitchen items.
It’s not something I’m proud of- but it’s now my reality. Sigh. Cooking is just soooo much easier when you have the proper utensils!
This reality really hit me square in the face when I was home in Columbus for Thanksgiving doing massive amounts of cooking for my family, in my parents kitchen. Free of all of my must-haves. You make it work don’t get me wrong. You’re just not banging out dish after dish like a chef sniper. And I prefer to be a chef sniper.
I get asked all the time by friends and family that kind of knives I recommend, or what the best frying pan is. Or what kitchen items I use on the daily. Which is why, my friend, I have gathered up all of my absolute favorite kitchen items for you to get the cooking enthusiast in your life a chef-approved kitchen item.
Another perk about this gift guide round up, you ask? They’re all found on Amazon Prime! Chefs are all about efficiency and there’s nothing more efficient than Amazon Prime. Because let’s also be real- late Christmas shopping is also my reality, making Amazon Prime my very best friend.
For the Recipe follower in your life:
Alison Roman is my wanna-be alter ego. She is a bad-ass that creates delicious recipes that don’t involve a million and one steps. She worked under David Chang, one of my favorite chefs, and you can totally recognize his influence in the ingredients that she uses. I guarantee the home cook in your life will be introduced to new ingredients after cooking out of this cookbook, and they will be a better cook for it!
For the baker in your life:
In my humble opinion, a kitchen aid mixer is a must-have in everyone’s kitchen. Whether you are whipping up some cooking dough, or getting a little more chefy and making your own bread, this mixer will be your best friend. And what better way to say “Merry Christmas this is how much I love you” than with this beauty.
A bench scraper– another must-have item for a baker. If you aren’t familiar, a bench scraper is used to scrape off all of the dough or flour or whatever you are making from your “bench” or table. Clever name, huh? It can also be used for gathering things off your cutting board like onions or garlic or what have you, so that you don’t dull your knife.
A digital food scale– ever tried making bread without a food scale?? Yeah, really hard. Most “legit” baking recipes are in grams, making a digital food scale an essential when it comes to baking. Baking is so much more of a science, where precision is key, and you don’t mess around with measuring cups for a fancy baked good. Trust me, this will make their lives so much easier.
For the true chef in your life:
Okay this is probably the snobbiest thing about me, but I refuse to use pre-ground black pepper. I know, so annoying. But have you ever tasted freshly ground black pepper??? Once you have, you’ll never go back to the pre-ground stuff. A nice pepper mill like this not only look swanky on their kitchen counter, it will make all of their food taste that much better!
Meat thermometer– Even though as chefs we are trained to know when, say, a steak is a perfect medium rare just by touching it, we still use thermometers. ESPECIALLY with chicken. You don’t want to mess around with chicken, always make sure it is a solid 165 so you don’t poison the people you are feeding with salmonella. Save yourself, get your cooking enthusiast a meat thermometer.
A cute apron– You should see my apron when I leave work- covered in alllll the things, I rarely cook now without an apron on. And you can still look cayute while you’re cooking with this one!
For the “sharp” cook in your life:
A Bad ass chefs knife– I recently got this exact knife as a gift for graduating culinary school, and oh my lanta I am in love. I probably talked to six different chefs before choosing this knife. I knew I wanted a Japanese style knife, and Miyabi is a tried and true trusted brand. The birch wood handle is not necessary, but looks bad ass, which I’m all for in the kitchen! This is an 8 inch chefs knife- and you can do pretty much everything a home cook will need to do in the kitchen with a chefs knife. If you are going to invest in a good knife, definitely go for a chefs knife.
PS. I wouldn’t recommend anything longer than an 8 inches
A wet stone to sharpen knives– there is nothing more frustrating than a dull knife. Like seriously, a dull knife is my worst kitchen nightmare. And sharpening your own knives is really pretty easy! This particular wet stone has 2 different sides to it, and if you don’t think your cooking enthusiast knows how to sharpen their own knives, there is about a million and one youtube videos teaching people how to do it.
For the savory cook in your life:
These 3 pots/pans are my trifecta of must-haves.
Le creuset dutch oven- probably my favorite kithen item that I own. I use this thing ALL. THE. TIME. It is the perfect pot to braise meats in aka creating super tender and flavorful and delicious meat that just falls off the bone. You can also use it to make soup or stock or anything else you would use a pot for! Needless to say, it is super versatile and will definitely get its money’s worth.
All-Clad D3 12 inch frying pan– I know a lot of people are fans of non-stick pans, but if you know how to work with stainless steel pans properly, non-stick isn’t necessary. Except for eggs. Always use non-stick pans for eggs. But for everything else, this all-clad pan is my jam.
Cast Iron Skillet– all hail the cast iron skillet. Perfect for searing fish or meat, this pan is essential. Cast iron is awesome because it will hold heat for an extended period of time. It gets SUPER hot, and stays SUPER hot- the perfect condition for a proper sear. I use this pan for pretty much all of my protein cooking.
Happy shopping! As always, let me know what questions you have and I will be happy to answer them!!
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