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What neat kitchen item do you love? (Making my Christmas list :o))


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I've never had any nice, neat kitchen items. So I think I'm putting some on my Chrismtas list this year. I've got nice, silicone oven mitts (I've always just had the two dollar WalMart ones LOL). Also, some collapsible measuring spoons. What else should I put on my list? I thought about a collapsible colander but I just recently bought a non-collapsible one that sits over the sink....so I think I'm good there. Anything to add? Neat storage? Something really helpful? Etc?

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My kitchen Hall of Fame:

A set of microplane graters (coarse, zest, and whatever else you think you'd need)

Salad spinner - the Oxo ones are good

Sets of small nesting bowls for measured spices, garlic, etc.
http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B00080FPZM/ (I love these)

Multiple small liquid measures, including apothecary style and 4oz nesting measures
http://www.amazon.co.../dp/B004VLYQEK/ (I guess they don't make stainless steel ones anymore)
http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/B008X5HRZU (I can't find a set of glass ones like I have)

"Perfect" beaker (this gets use every day)

Adjustable measuring tool for liquid and sticky ingredients (some people hate these... if you hand wash and oil the plunger rim before use, these are great)

ETA: I don't use this anymore... started using the kitchen scale for adding wet and sticky ingredients and haven't looked back.


More towels than you'd think is reasonable

Silicon basting brushes (they may not do the best job, but they are sanitary)

Good cookie sheets, bakings pans, cake tins (assorted, in pairs), muffin pans

Nordic Ware Anniversary bundt pan from Williams Sonoma - it holds two loaves worth of batter, so is ideal for quick breads

Thermapen instant read thermometer (worth every penny)

Oh, and a kitchen scale. I use a +/- 1g postal scale that measures to 5kg

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Little things: measuring spoons for spices (rectangular, so they fit into the containers) and heavy measuring cups, both from the Container Store. And Container Store has wonderful food storage containers.


Big thing: Le Creuset


If I were in your position, I think I would upgrade what I have and use before getting a lot of gadgets. For example, heavy (expensive) bakeware is a joy to use. II speak as someone who has asparagus pots, fish poachers, unlined copper for boiling sugar, etc -- I love all this stuff, but I get much more pleasure from having good quality the things I use everyday.


Here is a nice place if you like French cooking;




ETA pp mentioned microplane -- a must, IMO too.


Oh, the Bridge site reminded me of my Mauviel roasting pans. I have the aluminum ones. They are SO heavy that nothing ever sticks to them. Love these!

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I do not like a lot of kitchen gadgetry or appliances. I am more in the quality vs quantity camp. I don't like random specialized appliances or tons of tools that only do one thing. (well...unless they are necessary obviously :lol:)


I love the Le Creuset items that I own and use them nearly everyday. I have a Le Creuset baking pan (a square 9x9 one) my sister bought me several years ago. Since she bought me that I have been through two large lasagna pans (a cheaper brand but the same enameled stone ware type) Both cracked. I use the 9X9 twice as much as the huge pan. So...I would shell out for the Le Creuset rather than get a cheaper enameled baking pan. It seems to hold up so much better.


I do like


Microplane grater

Small digital scale

1-2 very nice knives (if a whole set is too expensive I would get a french chef knife and a paring knife to start or just a french chef knife )

a few tongs

Silicone spatulas/spoons

Stoneware for bread

Massively huge stockpot (I have a twenty pound turkey carcass in mine right now)

a skimmer

some mesh strainers

Cast iron dutch oven. Enameled cast iron is also nice.

My muffin tin takes a real beating between muffins and those ham egg things one cooks in muffin tins. I would want a better one.

Digital probe thermometer (the kind where there is a long cord)

Kitchen shears

Edited by Sis
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My favorite kitchen item is a little ladle. It hold just enough batter for individual muffin tins. Makes scooping cupcakes and muffins super easy.

I love my clear glass measuring bowls, too (Pampered Chef). The big one gets used every day. I think it holds 8 cups.


I have a large clear glass measuring bowl as well. I like that I can heat things up in it, use it as a mixing bowl and everything.


I use an ice cream scoop for muffins but I like your idea better. :lol:

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I first bought one of these happy spoons because they were quirky and fun. Now I have a number of them because they're a nice shape and size:



Pampered Chef can opener



I absolutely love my Doughmakers pans but I will caution anyone interested that you can't use non-stick with these. I usually use parchment:



I have three small bar size cutting boards that are constantly being rotated through use and the dishwasher. I use these far more than my large cutting board.



One thermometer to rule them all! There are pricier thermometers on the market but this has worked as a good all-purpose thermometer for me and has held up (unlike the glass candy thermometers).




I have one of these elevated spatulas and it's really nice to be able to set down on the counter without concern for contamination or a messy counter. Wish I'd seen the colors, though!



One of my most used items in my kitchen is a heavy duty stainless steal liquid measuring cup with a handle (think tin cup). I think I must have got it at a garage sale because I'm not coming up with anything comprable.

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Not a gadget girl here, and not sure of your price range... My hands down favorite kitchen item is our Jura. We bought ours refurbished, and have had it for several years. It's a one touch, though I'm not sure of the model. Self-cleaning, and we have the little side refrigerator, too. It is the only kitchen item I truly love!

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I use my Magic Dough pastry mat all the time. It is great for rolling out pie/tart crusts, scone making, any kind of cookie or pastry that requires manipulation of some sort.


Do you have a pizza stone and a peel? (The latter is the paddle like tool that is used to transfer your pizza or bread to the hot stone.


I agree with the choice of a micro planer as a great tool.


Two of my favorite new kitchen things come from the Preserve company. BPA free and USA made! I love the small colander and their cutting boards. The bright colors are fun, too.

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My Le Crueset is my favorite standard kitchen thing. My KitchenAid standing mixer is next. Nearly everything else (pots, pans, graters, measuring cups, etc.) is standard and fine, but I don't actually love any of it. I love those two things.


One gadgety thing I have that many people may not and which I really like is my immersion blender. SO useful for soups and salsas and things. I really like it.

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I have sticky spice jar holders that fit inside my cupboard doors. I love them, as they don't take up much space and they come in rectangle or round and can be tailored to the cupboard and type of spice containers. I bought them at linen and things.

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Micro-plane grater


tongs - great for turning meat in a pan, on a broiler or on a grill

ice cream spade - so much easier than a scoop

glass mixing bowl set

silocone basting brush - I love this - it doesn't fall apart and washes up easily in the dish washer

jar opener shapes - I love these! So easy to use & store

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Small things:

~chef's knife

~microplane grater, zester

~silicone pastry brush

~sturdy whisks of all sizes, including ones with silicone coating for our good pans

~Oxo vegetable peeler

~apple corer (not the type that also slices) from Williams-Sonoma, our latest favorite kitchen toy

~marble rolling pin and board


Large things:

~Kitchen Aid stand mixer (Christmas gift from 1991)

~Kitchen Aid burr coffee grinder

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Silpats, potato ricer, juicer (Breville), Vitamix, Nutrimill, Bosch mixer, nordic ware bakeware in shapes (little acorns, loaf shapes for banana bread, etc, turkey cake mold, etc, etc), ceramic pie birds to vent steam, Æbleskiver pan, batter mixer that has a spout for pouring, pressure canner, pattern press sets for the icing on cakes, pie crust bags.

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Kitchen Aid pro mixer, this ridiculous little spatulahttp://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product.jsp?productId=16763&categoryCode=KW , tongs, and the splatter shield for when I make bacon(and my apron).


My mom has two of those, and the get used constantly. I should order one for myself!


On a similar note, I have an older version of this flexible stainless spatula, and I absolutely love it:



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Kitchen Aid pro mixer, this ridiculous little spatulahttp://www.pamperedc...categoryCode=KW , tongs, and the splatter shield for when I make bacon(and my apron).


I have that little Pampered Chef spatula, and use it often - it's great! For non-stick needs, I like their small nylon turner, which I probably use even more. My other favorite PC items include their Mix N Scraper, their Microplaner Adjustable Grater - Fine, and their garlic press. I was at a PC party with a professional chef and self-described knife snob, who told us that she'd once spent over $1K for a hand-crafted Santoku knife in Japan, and who, after examining and using the PC knives at the party, told us that they were very good quality and if she needed knives, she'd order any of them - they appeared to be that good. I'm curious if anyone here has them and uses them.


Big items:


We love our Vitamix and use it all the time. I also have a Breville juicer and a Kitchen-Aid mixer (bought refurbished), but I don't use them often. I'm getting a Costco/Kirkland-brand 8 quart enameled dutch oven and enameled cast iron French grill for Christmas. I already use my cast iron pans nearly daily; they complement my stainless cookware from Costco very well. For non-stick cooking (like eggs), I love my Pampered chef 8" saute pan. Other than those, I use my Zojirushi rice cooker (gift from MIL), my crockpot, my Cuisinart food processor, and my electric kettle quite often.


Small things:


I echo the OXO vegetable peeler; we have two! I also have their can opener. Oven mitts with silicone (or neoprene?) grips (mine are by Kitchenaid, but there are several similar items out there). Stainless steel measuring cups and spoons. Pampered chef batter bowls (both sizes - classic and small) and the PC stackable cooling racks (I have 3). Glass (pyrex and snaplock) storage bowls/containers for leftovers and such. I use these glass 1-cup prep bowls all the time (snacks for the kids, cooking/prep, small item storage, etc.); I don't think mine are PC, though - maybe pyrex? I also frequently use small pinch bowls made out of silicone, like these (according to amazon, I bought them in 2008; my kids love them, too...which is why I only have one remaining, so I guess it's time to buy another set). Stainless steel mixing bowl set, cloth napkins, silicone pastry brush, and an immersion blender round out my list. :)

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I really liked our Alligator Chopper, but the plastic cracked after a year or two and then the blade section fell out and then the blades came out all over the inside of the dishwasher. What a pain. I finally threw it away a month ago after using it quite frequently for about 5 years. I was looking at something to replace it and came across a stainless steel Alligator Chopper with interchangeable blade sets, but alas! it is discontinued.


Now I am thinking about a mandoline instead, but I don't know anything about brands and I'm not sure if any of them allow you to dice. Maybe I should start a new thread...

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