6 Kitchen Tools Worth the Splurge, According to Food Network Staffers
From chef's knives to tea kettles, these products are worth the money.
Prices for kitchen utensils, gadgets and appliances can vary greatly, making it difficult to know which products you should splurge on and which you definitely shouldn’t. While we love to guide our readers on the best kitchen products that fit their specific lifestyle, budget and space, there are some products that deserve a spot in everyone's kitchens — even if that means justifying a higher price point. Some of these products have stand-out features, others out-perform their less-expensive counterparts every time, and some are built to last a lifetime. In order to equip your kitchen with the right products, we talked to our staffers to find out the one product that they swear is worth the splurge.
A Boos block was my big kitchen purchase when I moved into my first New York City apartment, and I've treasured it ever since! Not only is it the best board for cutting and prep, but it also doubles as a serving board for charcuterie and appetizer spreads. I set calendar reminders to treat the wood with their recommended care routine (can you tell I'm type-A?!), but it's so worth the time and investment because I know it will last for years to come.
-Gabriela Rodiles, Social Media Manager
When it comes to items that are a priority in the kitchen, I think there are few that are more important than a great chef's knife. The average cook may reach for it several times a day, which is why it is crucial to invest. For starters, a bad chef's knife makes cooking more difficult, and therefore, less enjoyable. No one likes sawing through onions! More importantly, a sharp knife is safer. It gives you more control and accuracy, and allows you to put less pressure into each cut. A dull knife that is being used with a lot of pressure is a recipe for disaster! Finally, skip the knife block. How often are you really going to have people over for steak? I recommend investing in a chef's knife and a paring knife. When chosen correctly, these knives can tackle any task in the kitchen, stay sharp with basic upkeep, and last a lifetime.
-Larisa Alvarez, Executive Culinary Producer
It's not a popular opinion, but I find that good nonstick cookware can absolutely be worth spending money on, especially if you use it on a regular basis. I've used this GreenPan Premier set for years and it still looks and cooks good-as-new. The three-ply stainless steel means it holds heat and cooks more evenly than many other nonstick pans I have. Plus, the stainless steel exterior makes it more durable and the ceramic coating makes for a tougher nonstick surface. Admittedly, this set is pricey, but if you're looking for nonstick pans that stand up to daily cooking tasks, this set is a no-brainer.
-T.K. Brady, Senior Editor
I use this kettle everyday! And no regrets. I like to go through a variety of teas and methods of coffee brewing. Depending on the type of steep, different drinks call for different temperatures to get the best flavor. While the range to steep a hot caffeinated beverage is only about 20 degrees F, even a few degrees can make all the difference between brewing a delicate jasmine tea and a bold Earl Grey. I could get nerdy, but the time and temperature of a steep affects strength, flavor and the release of tannins (a.k.a. particles that too much of can make your tea taste bitter and make your tongue feel uncomfortably rough). The Stagg Kettle makes it super easy to adjust for whatever you're making and get the most of what you're brewing. And despite its sleek, minimal look, it comes equipped with a timer. You can also set it to keep it at a specific temperature for up to an hour (and it'll shut down on its own if you've left it on past that). I could go on — but it's a smart kettle that has honestly made making drinks and cooking easier. Features that feel like niceties have proven to be essentials in my kitchen!
-Maggie Wong, Editor
Having great knives makes such a difference in the kitchen and all of my favorites are from Shun because they're lighter weight and smaller than most Western-style knives, which is perfect for my child-size hands. They're not cheap, but I've had my oldest (the classic paring knife) since I was in culinary school 10 years ago and it's still in great shape. I've collected quite a few since then — in addition to the paring knife, I have a 7" cook's knife, a 6" chef's knife and a 5.5" nakiri (a Japanese-style vegetable knife) — but you could get away with just one of their all-purpose chef's knives for most of your cooking needs. Plus, Shun offers free lifetime sharpening services for your knives (just pay for shipping), which I do about once a year to buff out any nicks and keep them in working order.
-Julie Hines, Managing Editor
Living in a small city apartment, I have to be mindful of what products I am allotting precious storage space to. And a good Dutch oven can be bulky and pricey, they earn their keep time and time again. Whether I'm simmering sauce for pasta night, making a big batch of soup or searing meat on high heat, this one pan comes in handy for more kitchen needs than I can name.
-Rachel Trujillo, Associate Content Editor