From tiny mandolins with mirrors to mushroom-shaped mushroom brushes, these cooking tools are essential to chefs.
Forget immersion circulators and tweezers. As much as they love the fancy, tech-y kitchen gear, chefs across the country still love their silly, one-function tools. Here they share their guilty pleasures, from salad spinners to fun-size kitchen appliances.
“When my daughter was young, I made all her baby food in this small blender. She's older now, but I still use it today. It's perfect for making small portions of purees, smoothies, rough chopping herbs for gremolatas.” —Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia and MilkWood, Louisville, Kentucky
“I really can't live without this. They are so useful for shredding braised or roasted pork shoulder or picking up a really hot chunk of meat. And the best part is that you feel like you're Wolverine.” —Brian O’Connor, Bok A Bok Chicken, Seattle
“It is advertised in Korea, I think, to slice cucumbers to place over your eyes for a spa treatment, but for me, it is the perfect tool for slicing garlic.” —Bryan Lee Weaver, Butcher & Bee, Nashville
“I love my mini salad spinner. It's perfect for herbs and other small greens that we get from our partner farm.” —John Shields, Smyth and The Loyalist, Chicago
“I like to minimize kitchen clutter, but there are some tools even professional chefs can't emulate with a standard knife kit. I'm a big fan of OXO products; they're designed well and last. It's nearly impossible to slice or dice an egg evenly without this egg slicer.” —Julia Sullivan, Henrietta Red, Nashville
Ateco Cake Testers ($8)
“I constantly have a cake tester on me. I use it to check the texture on all kinds of things and internal temps on meat. One thing I don't really use it for is testing cakes though!” —Travis Milton, Shovel & Pick and Simply Grand, Bristol, Virginia