Plus, other tool and appliance recommendations from the “Chopped” host.
As the host of the Food Network’s Chopped, Ted Allen has spent a lot of time in the kitchen—watching contestants battle over the ice cream machine, grapple with minimal counter space, and execute countless sautées, reductions, and sears. The cookbook author and TV personality recently teamed up with Build.com (an online home improvement retailer) to offer his tips on all things kitchen design, organization, and more—over e-mail, he also gave us a few recommendations for appliances and kitchen tools, including the one he can’t live without and which one he uses the most to entertain. Check them out below:
We asked Allen if there was a new appliance he’d bought recently that has changed the way he cooked—his answer? A Breville stick blender.
“If I’m cooking beans and want some of them pureed to produce a silky soup, this tool allows me to pull that off without dirtying up my Vita-Mix,” he said. “The blade attachment pops off smartly and goes right into the dishwasher. My favorite thing about Breville products is the brilliant loop in the electrical plug, you can unplug it with one finger. Great design!”
Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender, $100 (suggested $150) at surlatable.com
Beverage center/wine fridge
Allen has separate 30-inch fridges and freezers at home, for more storage—he also mentioned that he has a small, dedicated fridge for wine, beer, soda, and more. This wine fridge from Sur La Table can definitely help with space, since it’s designed to fit 32 bottles.
“Think ahead when designing the room,” he says. “A kitchen is a workshop; consider what tasks happen in each area.”
Cuisinart Private Reserve Wine Cellar, 32 Bottle, $440 (suggested $790) at surlatable.com
“The heart of the kitchen is this stainless steel six-burner Viking gas stove and double oven from Build.com,” Allen says. “It’s a workhorse, a powerhouse, and it’s indestructible. I like the stainless finish, but you can also get it with an enameled front in a wide range of colors.”
Viking VGR5486GSS 48 Inch Wide 5.07 Cu. Ft. Free Standing Natural Gas Range, $11,029.00 at build.com
“I don’t cook much of anything without firing up my Robot Coupe food processor,” Allen says. “Usually I’m just using the blade attachment, but the slicing and grating attachments are also great for carrot coins, potato chips, and slaw.”
Robot Coupe R2N Continuous Feed Combination Food Processor, $1,010 at amazon.com
Allen also mentioned he uses a pot rack, so all his pots and pans are at his fingertips; if you’re in the market, check out this one from Sur La Table, which got top reviews.
Enclume Hammered Steel Modern Wall Rack, $140 at surlatable.com
A sturdy cutting board is integral to any kitchen—the one Allen recommends is crafted from American walnut, and is just over one square foot.
Kohler K-6232-NA Stages Collection American Walnut Hardwood Cutting Board, $149 at build.com