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FC Editors’ Favorite Kitchen Tools

Last month we asked some of our favorite chefs to name their most beloved kitchen tools. Now we posed the question to our own staff: if you were stuck on a desert island (OK, one with electric power and a kitchen), what tool would you want most by your side? Not surprisingly, the top picks were multitaskers and fairly inexpensive items that make us more efficient in the kitchen.

  • Product

    A Condiment Holder for an Organized Mise en Place

    Senior editor Joanne Smart borrows a page from pro chefs to keep a mise en place of frequently used ingredients close by. “I keep this bar condiment holder near my stove filled with a couple different kinds of salt, flour, and granulated sugar so when I need just a bit it’s on hand.”

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    Global Vegetable Knife

    “Inevitably the first thing I reach for when cooking is this knife,” says food editor Lisa Lahey. “It’s much more lightweight than my other chef’s knives.” This is thanks to a hollow handle, which is injected with sand to achieve ideal balance.” And with its relatively short 5-1/2-inch blade, “It fits in my hand oh-so-comfortably and allows for me to work faster.”

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    A Thin and Strong Silicone Spatula

    “I love silicone sptulas,” says senior web producer Sarah Breckenridge. “But a lot of them are either too chunky to effectively scrape the bottom of a pot, or too flimsy. This spatula/scraper from Orblue has a very thin angled blade, but it’s also rigid enough that it can flip omelets and scrape a bowl or pot clean. I use it for just about everything: folding beaten egg whites and batters, sauteing, spreading frostings on cakes. It’s the tool I wouldn’t be caught without.”

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    Ove Glove

    “Don’t laugh. It’s one of those as-seen-on-TV things,” confesses senior copy/production editor Chris Hoelck: “That said, I love the Ove Glove.” The stretchy kevlar glove is heat-resistant up to 540°F, and is especially handy for lifting heavy pans that get awkward with potholders. “It lets me handle hot pans with more tactile ability than a potholder or oven mitt does.”

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    T-Fal Excite Hand-Powered Food Chopper

    "I got this hand-powered food choppper as a promotional item and LOVE it,” says senior food editor and stylist Ronne Day. Instead of pressing a button, you pull a handle to power the blades, but the motion is quick and effortless. It’s great when you want to quickly chop something and don’t want to fuss with a food processor. Finely chopping mushrooms has never been so easy!”

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    Shun Kitchen Shears

    “I’ve purchased many kitchen shears that I just haven’t been happy with because they’re not strong enough or rust easily,” says editorial director Kathy Kingsley. “But once I used the Shun shears I stopped looking any further. They are heavy-duty, very sharp (be careful), and have large handles with good grips. Plus they come apart for easy cleaning. They’re more pricey than others, but worth it because they last a long time.”

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    Oxo Bench Scraper

    "I keep it near me at all times at work," says test kitchen director Diana Andrews. "Aside from its traditional role in baking, it’s absolutely great for cleaning off work surfaces in a flash, picking up large amounts of chopped items to transfer into bowls and pans, evenly dividing dough, cutting fat into flour, and cutting gnocchi. I particularly like bench scrapers with rulers etched into the blade (like this Oxo one) because it’s very easy to measure your knife cuts."

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    Braun Multiquick Hand Blender

    “My Braun immersion blender makes it easy to puree soup right in the pot,” says senior editor Joanne Smart. “But the attachments that come with it are what really earn it its place in my kitchen. The mini chopper means I rarely lug out my food processor anymore. The beaker makes neat work of making pesto or smoothies. And pairing the beaker with the whisk attachment lets you whip up cream in just a few seconds.”

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    Fish Spatula

    Don’t let the name fool you: a fish spatula is good for WAY more than fish. “I use mine for just about everything, says senior food editor and stylist Ronne Day. “Its thinness make it ideal to get underneath anything in need of release from the bottom of a skillet.” The widely spaced but thin tines help support delicate foods when lifting or turning them.

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    Serrated Grapefruit Spoon

    If you love grapefruit for breakfast, you probably have some of these serrated spoons in your flatware drawer, but you may never have considered their versatility as a kitchen tool. “I use them to scoop seeds out of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, or cucumbers; peel ginger; clean out the cavities of butternut squash, and of course to remove wedges of grapefruit from their membranes,” says test kitchen director Diana Edwards.

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Season 4 Extras

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