When I recently moved across the country, I knew I'd be without my full kitchen for an extended period of time. So I put together an emergency kitchen-in-a-box containing all the hand tools, small gadgets, knives, and pots I'd need to cook just about anything. Here are the contents of my Emergency Cooking Kit.
'Equipment' on Serious Eats
Cast iron frying pans are versatile, durable, and remarkably cheap. While pans that have passed down for generations might have a whole lot of sentimental value, you can buy a brand new cast iron frying pan without shelling out much cash. But do you think of using one when you're not frying up bacon?
Are ice balls better in cocktails than standard kitchen cubes? Does clear ice melt slower than cloudy ice? In order test out the fancy new Wintersmiths iceballer, I looked further into all of these questions.
A couple months ago I was approached by Glen Lee, an inventor who claimed to have an ingenious new device for cooking on a wok at home. If it works the way he promised it would, it's going to revolutionize home wok cooking in the same way that the Baking Steel revolutionized home pizza-making. I played around with it a lot, measuring, tinkering, and generally cooking up a storm. I'm happy to report that this thing solves a problem I've been trying to work around for over a decade.
The New Anova Precision Cooker Promises to Be the Best, Most Cost-Effective Sous-Vide Solution on the Market
Exciting news in the world of home sous-vide cooking: Anova Culinary has just announced the launch of the Anova Precision Cooker, the first major upgrade to the sous-vide cooker they introduced last year. I visited their studio in San Francisco last week to get an exclusive look at the product, which can be pre-ordered now for only $99 for the first 1,000 orders. I can confidently say that when it comes out in September, it will be the best, most cost-effective consumer-grade sous-vide solution on the market.
The new reversible Baking Steel with a baking surface on one side and a flat griddle on the other has fast become one of my favorite bits of kitchen gear, and it may well revolutionize your pizza, burger, steak, seafood, and, well, everything game.
Your coffeemaker's success relies, in large part, on your partnership. For all your fancy coffeemaker does for you each day, do you give back? Do you listen to its needs? Do you, in fact, descale?
These are my knives. There are many like them, but these ones are mine. Now I may take my love of knives to the extreme—I collect them like stamps—but every chef I've ever met who's worth his or her salt is proud of their knives. These are a mix of the ones I use the most often, the ones that have the most sentimental value for me, and the ones that I think are just plain cool.
The single biggest flaw in your everyday automatic drip coffeemaker is temperature control. The Behmor Brazen Coffee Brewer tackles that problem head-on, and also allows for a programmable pre-infusion period.
You won't catch us turning down chocolates and flowers, but in our book, nothing says "I love you" quite like a big sharp knife or a functional pot. Diamonds aren't the only thing that's forever—Le Creuset dutch ovens will last for generations and knife kits are many a cook's most treasured possession. Whether you're ready to drop the big bucks or just looking for something that says, "I care about you, and you care about food," we've got 13 top-of-the-line kitchen tools to help you find your way.
We asked professionals across the country about the most essential tools for a home bar. Here's what they recommended.
If you want to improve the coffee you're making at home, the best thing you can do is upgrade to a burr grinder.
Let's take a look at some of the newest trends and innovations in coffee equipment, and I'll share a few of my personal opinions on them.
This year, three new devices—the Sansaire, the Anova, and the Nomiku—designed for sous-vide cookery and targeted at the home cook have been released, all of them available for under $300. But how do the three stack up against each other? For the last few weeks I've been testing all three side by side, cooking with them in every type of situation a home cook is likely to run into (and some they aren't). Here's a feature-by-feature breakdown of the testing.
Sure, every wedding registry's got a food processor and stand mixer on the list, and both are invaluable tools in the kitchen, but there are other fancy-pants tools that help make preparing great food more fun. Easier, prettier, more foolproof. Your giftee might not require a $300 Dutch oven, but if they've been extra good this year, you should consider spoiling them. Every item on this list is something I use in my own kitchen at least once a week, if not every single day, and most I've had for years and plan on using for the rest of my life.
Essential doesn't have to mean expensive! This is my list of kitchen gear that you can buy for under $50 and will use not just occasionally, but all the time. You won't find any odd unitaskers here or overly specialized gadgetry, just solid tools for real cooks who cook a variety of foods every day. What's more, all of these tools should last you years and years down the line.
If there's one kitchen equipment question I get more than any other, it's this one: What is the best chef's knife? The honest answer? There is no such thing as a "best chef's knife." It'd be like asking a violinist to name the "best violin" or an architect to identify the "best material." There are many factors that come into play, and depending on what type of cook you are and how your hands, body, and wallet are shaped, you might opt for one over another. Here are some things to consider, and nine of my top recommendations for a variety of cooking styles.
My personal "essentials" lists evolve slowly over time based on not only minor refinements in selection or new product availability, but also on my own cooking style. It's impossible for me to tell you that the pots and pans that I use the most will be the same as the pots and pans you'll use the most. But I can tell you this: I cook a lot, and I cook a wide variety of things, and with these pots and pans in my arsenal, I never find myself saying, "man, I wish I just had [insert pan X here]. Nearly every recipe on this site can be cooked in a kitchen equipped with these bad boys, so if you or a loved one has been extra nice this year, listen up!
The items on this list are perfect for those friends and family who are just starting out with a new (or improved) kitchen. The absolute most essential gear with no frills, no extras, and nothing that won't get used over and over and over again for years to come.
Thanksgiving is inevitably going to involve a headache or two (totally worth it, of course), but there are ways to minimize stress. Coming prepared is one of them. Aside from putting together a handy list of expletives to be brought into service against family members and inanimate objects as necessary, you should also have your physical toolkit stocked and ready for deployment. Here are 11 essential tools for your kitchen that will help your Thanksgiving run as smoothly and deliciously as possible.