More Essential Kitchen Equipment

Published July 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

We rounded up equipment review winners and made a list of kitchen tools that every well-stocked kitchen should have.

Overview:

12-Inch Slicing Knife

Ensures supremely thin, even slices of roast beef, turkey, and smoked salmon. Our winner has a tapered, razor-sharp blade that is long and wide enough to draw through a large roast in one stroke.

Salad Spinner

We prefer the one-handed pump action of the OXO spinner to models with cords or levers.

Microplane Rasp Grater

Useful for foods with round or irregular shapes, which don’t grate as easily on a box grater—think Parmesan cheese, citrus, chocolate, and ginger. Our favorite is exceptionally sharp for quick, ultra-fine grating.

Wooden Spoon

We want our wooden spoons to be lightweight yet durable, with a comfortable handle, a broad bowl, and thin edges to stir and scrape effectively.

Slotted Spoon

Indispensable for scooping food out of pots of boiling water. Choose one with a deep bowl, plenty of holes, and a lightweight design.

Ladle

Look for stainless steel (plastic stains and can melt on the stovetop) and make sure the handle is long enough to reach deep into pots—at least 9 inches. Our top choice has a… read more

12-Inch Slicing Knife

Ensures supremely thin, even slices of roast beef, turkey, and smoked salmon. Our winner has a tapered, razor-sharp blade that is long and wide enough to draw through a large roast in one stroke.

Salad Spinner

We prefer the one-handed pump action of the OXO spinner to models with cords or levers.

Microplane Rasp Grater

Useful for foods with round or irregular shapes, which don’t grate as easily on a box grater—think Parmesan cheese, citrus, chocolate, and ginger. Our favorite is exceptionally sharp for quick, ultra-fine grating.

Wooden Spoon

We want our wooden spoons to be lightweight yet durable, with a comfortable handle, a broad bowl, and thin edges to stir and scrape effectively.

Slotted Spoon

Indispensable for scooping food out of pots of boiling water. Choose one with a deep bowl, plenty of holes, and a lightweight design.

Ladle

Look for stainless steel (plastic stains and can melt on the stovetop) and make sure the handle is long enough to reach deep into pots—at least 9 inches. Our top choice has a drip-preventing pouring rim.

Fine-Mesh Strainer

Comes in handy for dusting a tart with powdered sugar or turning cooked raspberries into a seedless sauce. Also makes an excellent stand-in for a sifter. We prefer an ergonomic handle and deep bowl.

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  • Product Tested

  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended

    SCI Bamboo Wood Cooking Spoon

    This light, smooth bamboo spoon was broad enough to churn bulky stews, yet small enough to rotate a single chunk of beef without disturbing surrounding pieces. Its rectangular handle was comfortable to grip; its head had the most surface area in contact with the pan, so it excelled at scraping fond. Stain-resistant, it emerged after testing looking closest to new.

    • Comfort ★★★
    • Durability ★★★
    • Performance ★★★

    $2.40

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  • Highly Recommended

    OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner

    Oxo's hand pump model of salad spinner was the easiest to use, and what most test cooks reach for first. Said one cook, “It’s the only spinner I know that you can walk away from in mid-spin.”

    $29.95

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  • Highly Recommended

    Victorinox Fibrox 12-Inch Granton Edge Slicing Knife

    This “basic, but well-made” knife was our favorite for a number of reasons: Moderately heavy, it had enough heft and rigidity to make straight cuts, while a slight flexibility gave a feeling of control. The thin, tapered, razor-sharp blade was long and wide enough to draw through a large roast in one stroke.

    • Comfort ★★★
    • Slicing ★★★
    • Sharpness ★★★

    $49.95

    BUY NOW Amazon
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