Chef JoAnna Minneci
Chef 's Favorite Cooking Equipment
Chef 's Favorite Cooking UtensilsBest Cheap Cutting Boards Best Cheap Cutting Board
Best affordable cutting board Best affordable cutting boards
Knives Basic Utensils Other Essentials Measuring Tools
Pots, Pans & Bakeware Small Appliances Pasta Tools Specialty Ingredients
Cookie & Cake Decoration JoAnna's Favorite Books Meal PrepMolecular Gastronomy

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Other Essentials

These aren't exactly utensils, but these are ESSENTIAL kitchen equipment. You don't have to buy my exact suggestions, but I hope you'll read the reasons why I selected the items listed.

A few notes about these selections:

· Cutting Boards are the 2nd most important tool in the kitchen! They protect your knives, your counters, and your health. These are closest to what I use at home: a good size that's large enough to work on, but small enough to fit in your dishwasher. They'll also survive a daily spray with a bleach-based cleaner, and a hearty scrubbing with a stiff brush. Get at least two, and you'll see what a difference it makes to have a good board.

· Your veg/pasta colander will be a nightmare to clean unless you get one a) made of a single piece of material with punched-out holes, and b) with BIG enough holes, at least 1/4 inch.

· You might think that getting 2 of each kind of sieve is overkill, but if you weren't paying attention to your recipes, and you used one to strain lumps out of your egg batter, you'd need to wash it and thoroughly dry it before you could sift the dry ingredients for the cake icing.
Cutting Board #1
Cutting Board #2
Cutting Board #3
Mixing Bowl Set

Metal wont break or chip, and can be used to make a double boiler or bain marie. These are kind of thin, so if you want to splurge, get one good, heavy bowl to use with a hand-mixer. TIPS: Avoid bowls with a non-slip base, or handles. Don't bother with any set that includes lids.
Heavy Duty Bowl

8 quarts! If you bake bread, this is great, because you can mix a double-batch of dough and it will stay in the bowl. Also great for mixing huge batches of greens, or an impromptu cake dome!
Stainless Steel Mise-En-Place

I specifically chose these because 1) they're a good size for prep-work AND for serving on-the-side sauces at the table. You can use these as molds for gelatin, rice, or portioning out 1/2 a cup of food at a time.
Vegetable/Pasta Colander

This one is perfect: good size, stainless steel, nice handles, large holes, (never get mesh or small holes in this size!). Or, go to the dollar store and get 3 identical plastic ones. You will use them for EvErYtHinG!
6" Steel-Mesh Strainer

I specifically chose the UPDATE brand because the handle is integrated into the whole sieve, is not merely welded on. Good pro equipment! This is the 6" medium size, good for most tasks, or go for the BIG one: Large: 10". Get 2: one for wet, one for dry ingredients. option: Cuisinart set of 3: These are welded handles, which break off, but they're cheap! Not bad to have as a spare set for or dry-only use.
3" Steel-Mesh Sieve

NORPRO is also a great reliable brand. You may be thinking you don't need a teensy little sieve like this, but ask me to show you how to fit this into a can or a jar 'backwards' and it will blow your mind. Get 2: one for wet, one for dry ingredients. option: Cuisinart set of 3: These are welded handles, which break off, but they're cheap! Not bad to have as a spare set, or for dry-only use.
Rolling Pin

If you're buying a rolling pin, the wood style is my preference. Not only is it the classic, it doesn't get warm, it's not too heavy, and it won't come apart on you. P. S. NEVER EVER wash a rolling pin. Wipe it clean with a lightly-oiled paper towel, then wipe off any excess oil.
Splatter Screen

Those tiny little pops of hot oil really hurt! I chose this one because it is STURDY, has little feet for resting, an open handle for hanging, and a VERY fine mesh that keeps spatter down to a minimum. Avoid a center-knob style, it will be too hot to touch when it's time to remove it.
Backsplash Protector

You spent a lot of time picking out the intracate tile backsplash for behind your cooktop, but you don't have to spend hours cleaning it. This folds up flat, takes up no space at all, and it's cheap, too! Its much easier to clean this tool than to remove oil spatter and tomato stains from your walls! For a larger, cheaper, but somewhat unattractive style, this Splatter Screen is also available.
Oval Quiche or Crème Brûlée

Brunch is even more special with tiny individiual quiches! Also these are perfect for Crème Brûlée. I've even used them to bake single-serving sized cakes, or personal brownies.
4-oz Soufflé Dishes

Just the right size for a savory 1st course, soufflées, or individual desserts like chocolate lava cake. I'd suggest getting 2 sets if you entertain. Even though they're sturdy, they can chip or break if dropped.
8-oz Soufflé Dishes

Not just for French Onion Soup! This 8-oz size is ideal for crumbles, cobblers, chicken pot pie, baked mac & cheese, and can hold a nice serving of chili. Get 2 or 3 sets for entertaining.
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