How to Outfit Your Kitchen Like the Pros

Outfitting Your Kitchen for Performance. We’ll tell you what to pick up and what to pass by in this handy list of kitchen essentials.


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Pantry Raid

Hardware-Store Finds That Make Kitchen Sense
Taping knife—This drywalling tool does double duty as a bench scraper. Two swipes with one of these, and no more pasta or bread dough adhered to your counter. Fans also like plastic tape knives for moving chopped veggies from board to pan, and some even employ the stainless versions as cooking spatulas. (Workforce 6” metal-blade Flexible Joint Knife, $5.97, or Economy’s all-plastic 6” Putty Knife, $1.08 at Home Depot.)
Propane torch—Skip the tiny butane crème brûlée torches sold at specialty stores: they’re expensive, underpowered, and slow. Pick up a cheap propane torch at Home Depot instead—it’s efficient and empowering; armed with one of these, you’ll feel like a dragon. (Bernzomatic UL100, $14.97, and Home Depot Striker, $2.69 at Home Depot.)

Razor blades—We use ours for slashing patterns in loaves of bread, but they’re also great for scraping burnt-on messes off of our black enameled cook top—though, to prevent scratches, we lubricate the cooktop well with citrus oil cleaner or dish detergent. (American Line Razor Blades, box of 100, $6.97 at Home Depot.)

Spray bottles—Devi’s Chef Suvir Saran spritzes his salads with lemon juice, while others squirt olive oil or even melted butter. Bakers spray cakes with liqueurs, but we fill our Home Depot sprayers with heavily salted water. Sprayed on baking bread loaves, it makes for a crisp, finely salted crust. (Home Depot 32-Ounce All-Purpose Sprayer, $.96 at Home Depot.)

Wood rasp—This handy carpenter’s file is perfect for grating Parmesan cheese, making fluffy filaments out of even the hardest hunk. It’s also great for grating nutmeg and citrus zest, and for quickly mincing garlic and ginger. The secret’s out, so kitchen stores often carry Microplane’s ergonomically handled versions. (Microplane Grater/Zester, $11.99 at

Welding gloves—If you’re tired of inadequate patches of fabric, or mittens that lose their insulation in the dryer, then invest in a set of professional welder’s gloves. These suede gauntlets are perfect for high-heat grilling. Plus, they’ll keep your forearms protected when you’re reaching into a hot oven. (Lincoln Electric Welding Gloves, $13.89 at Home Depot.)




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