Although I don’t recommend buying every tool under the sun for your kitchen, especially if you’re short on space, I do have a few favorite items that I would recommend very strongly if you want to start getting serious about having fun in the kitchen!
Kitchen Thermometer and Timer
I know I’ve mentioned the importance of a good kitchen thermometer before- and I strongly suggest you get one with a temperature alert functionality. These babies are great for grilling, frying, roasting, or even melting chocolate. Not to mention, there’s a timer included to boot! This link takes you to the one I have, but I’ve also heard Thermoworks makes good ones, too.
9-Inch Springform Pan
This is a more recent addition to my kitchen arsenal, but I’m pretty excited about it. It’s perfect for cheesecakes, key lime pies, and a lot of other fun desserts.
Non-Stick Saute Pan with Lid
This is my most favorite pan of all time. It’s pricey, but gives me a perfect sear on meats every time I use it. It’s oven-safe, dishwasher-safe, and comes with a lid. It’s big enough that you can braise meat, but manageable enough for a simple vegetable stirfry. I use it for everything from risotto, pork chops, chicken, and fish. Also, the handle rarely ever gets hot on the stove, in some miracle of science I have yet to figure out.
I don’t really know if this needs any introduction, because if you’re a baker you know how useful and bicep-saving a stand mixer is. Consider this bad boy an investment, and a worthy one. Unless you’re getting married anytime soon (hello, registry), I’d start a separate savings account to put your spare change towards one! My particular mixer is white with pink trim, and I love it and use it often. I make everything from cookie dough, cake batter, buttercream frosting, meringues, cheesecake batter, pizza dough, and more with mine, and am still finding more uses for it all the time.
7-Inch Santoku Knife
If you really want to take your cooking to the next level, a sharp, quality knife is a home chef’s best friend. Now, I cheated a little here because my mom gave me this knife as a hand-me-down when she upgraded in her own kitchen, but it’s well worth the investment. I also have a “Knife Life guard” that keeps the knife sheathed while its in the drawer, to keep it from dulling. Wusthof makes great quality knives, and I’d recommend this one in a heartbeat.
As you probably know, I love soup, and having an immersion blender makes it so easy to turn delicious concoctions into rich, creamy soups in a minute. It’s perfect for any sort of roasted vegetable soup, including carrots, cauliflower, potato leek, and more.