From tiny mandolins with mirrors to mushroom-shaped mushroom brushes, these cooking tools are essential to chefs.

By Elyse Inamine
Updated May 24, 2017

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.

Baby Bullet Food Processor

Courtesy of Amazon

“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

Baby Bullet Food Processor, $51 at

Bürstenhaus Redecker Mushroom Brush

Courtesy of Sur la Table

“It looks like a mushroom, so it’s a little silly, but the soft bristles work well for cleaning truffles.” —Craig Koketsu, Quality Eats, Quality Meats, Quality Italian, New York City

Bürstenhaus Redecker Mushroom Brush, $10 at 

Bear Paw Meat Handler Forks

Courtesy of Amazon

“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

Bear Paw Meat Handler Forks, $13 at

Vivoice Cucumber Slicer

Courtesy of Amazon

“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

Vivoice Cucumber Slicer, $10 at

Mini Salad Spinner

“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

OXO Good Grips Little Salad & Herb Spinner, $24 at

Egg Slicer

Courtesy of Amazon

“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

OXO Good Grips Egg Slicer, $10 at

Cake Testers

Courtesy of Amazon

“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

Ateco Cake Testers, $8 at