There are many companies that need to sell new stuff every year, whether you need it or not, so kitchen stores are filled with ridiculous gadgets. In my opinion, the best tools are simple, efficient, easy to clean, don't break, and aren't limited to a single narrow purpose. On these pages you'll find products that have stood the test of time in my kitchen.


The Best Salad Spinner – Because Wet Lettuce Is Terrible

Starfrit Salad Spinner

The worst thing you can do to a potentially great salad is try and dress it with the leaves still wet from washing. The dressing runs right off, leaving a watery, unappetizing mess.

I’ve owned a number of salad spinners over the years, and when my last one broke I asked my friends for recommendations. …

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The Best Way to Sharpen Your Knives at Home

Chefs Choice 130 Knife Sharpener

I’m kind of a freak about sharp knifes. When I cook in other folk’s kitchens I usually find their knives are as dull as a wiffle ball bat, and I can’t figure out how they stand it.

Few things make your life in the kitchen more enjoyable than truly sharp knives. They make your work faster, …

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The Dirt Candy Cookbook – Review

The Dirt Candy Cookbook

Amanda Cohen is a bad-ass chef. I had the terrific experience of staging (interning) with her for a few days last year. You should read about that first.

Short-version: Amanda owns and runs the tiny, edgy, imaginative and incredibly cool Dirt Candy in New York’s East Village. As far as I know, she’s the only vegetarian …

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A French Oven You Can Live In – My Favorite Pot – AKA Dutch Oven

Just as my cast iron skillet is my go-to pan for all kinds of frying and sautéeing, this Le Creuset 5.5 quart French Oven is the pot I turn to first for soups, stews, braises, chili, etc. It isn’t quite big enough for boiling a full pound of pasta, but for anything else that involves …

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Why You Need an Instant-Read Kitchen Thermometer

Digital Kitchen Thermometer

An instant-read thermometer might seem like one of those kitchen gadgets you don’t really need. Most of us cook by the seat of our pants anyhow, right? Maybe it seems a little too “cheffy?” But I think you’ll find that if you get one, even a basic $12 model like I have pictured above, you’ll …

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Silicone Pastry Brushes – A Huge Improvement

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Old-school pastry brushes always drove me crazy. They never seemed quite clean no matter how much I washed them, and you couldn’t put them in the dishwasher because the glue would loosen and the bristles would fall out. After awhile, the bristles would be all clumped together and even more frightening.

Silicone pastry brushes have changed …

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