Here are my ten favorites, the tools that make my life in the kitchen easier and more efficient.  I’ve got many more, which I will share with you here, and in my brand new book (out next spring!).  These, though, will get you started towards an organized, efficient and esthetic kitchen!

1.  Multiple mise-en-place dishes for holding measured ingredients.  Some have covers for ingredients that might evaporate or dry out, like mustard or vinegars.

Containers for mise-en-place (holding ingredients), in their drawer, with string


mise en place

2.  Kitchen twine, for trussing and just about everything else.

Kitchen string (in its drawer)

Trussed rabbit

Trussed rabbit

3. Wide vegetable peeler that fits well in the hand.

Simple, and perfect, vegetable peeler (with multi-hued carrots)

4.  Silicon spatulas of every size.

Silicon spatulas of all sizes...the very best!

Getting jelly out of the jar.

5.  Whisks…mostly balloon.


Whisking mayonnaise

Whisking mayonnaise

6.  Oval measuring cups that fit in almost all containers.

Oval measuring cups (fit into all containers)

7.  Tiny copper casserole for melting small amounts of butter, chocolate, heating milk or cream.

tiny copper casserole

8.  Bird beak paring knife.

Bird beak paring knife, the very best!

9.  Lemon squeezer.

Lemon squeezer


10.  Plastic and metal scrapers that are useful for transporting ingredients, cleaning work surfaces, blending and mixing….

Couldn't cook with the scrapers (cornes)

Couldn’t cook without the scrapers (cornes)

scraper cuke

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24 Responses to Top Ten Kitchen Tools

  1. bc says:

    Dear Susan,
    Love your old time and nicely used collection.
    The vegetable peeler is my best friend in the kitchen. You should try the Ikea one, great to work with and does not get rusty.
    The lemon squeezer is the same my mom used to squeeze orange juice in my childhood, many many years ago. I use it too.
    In this newsletter, your tools are the story tellers.

    • Susan says:

      Funny to hear my collection referred to as “old time” but I suppose it is. It’s simply what I use to make life easy! the lemon squeezer is a great one – I much prefer it to electric (but then again, I don’t like so much noise every time I squeeze a lemon!). Thank you for the comment! I love the idea of the tools telling the story.

  2. carole Hayden says:

    Probably would agree with you on these but your potato peeler doesn’t look comfortable in the hand. I use a couple different sized ones and prefer an electric lemon squeezer. Oval cups seem to be a good idea, have not seen those for sale, but have not been looking either. The photography is great! Keep up the blog.

    • Susan says:


      You’d be amazed at how something so sharp is comfortable. It simply works, but tools are always very personal. Thank you for the compliment! Oval cups are great, and I believe they’re available from William Sonoma.

  3. Kathy says:

    A good list! You have peaked my interest in a bird beak paring knife. I assume it aids in peeling thin skinned fruits. The tiny copper pot is wonderful. Your drawer of tiny bowls is delightful. I use a wooden lemon reamer. My sister inherited my grandmother’s that is similar to yours.

    • Susan says:

      Kathy! Bird beak knife is for every small task. It’s just the easiest, most comfortable knife. The lemon squeezer is typically used here, funny it’s an old-fashioned thing for us in America!

  4. Re: lemon squeezers — here in the States they now make them with a rounded tip, which is useless. Scour antique and second hand stores for the good pointy ones.

  5. Susan, your talented hands are the best tool of all! Great list, I use the old fashioned lemon juicer as well.

  6. Barbara Wetzel says:

    Terrific list and photos,. thank you. I was pleased that I have favorites in my kitchen that you included in the list, particularly scrapers. I use mine when baking bread. Now to find oval measure cups…..

  7. Grier says:

    Love the photos! Is there an advantage to oval measuring cups? I have a similar small knife and love it.

  8. hope567 says:

    So excited to hear about your new cookbook! Happy Summer!

  9. jill jansen says:

    I love this post and great ideas. I am going to check my kitchen drawers right now. Susan you are the true expert on French cooking and I can’t wait for our class this fall.

  10. Lee Shuman says:

    Love the list Susan! Those oval measuring cups are on my next wish list.

  11. Every since I used your oval measuring cups I knew I couldn’t live without them. It is one of my favorite tools in the kitchen. Great list. I will forever be envious of your amazing mise-en-place drawer.

  12. Susan, had a lovely week with you in 2007 but was surprised only the little paring knife was on the list. The things I use the most are small knife, larger wide knife, garlic press, wooden spoon, spatula, deep strainer for quinoa, mandolin, scissors, agree re little useful dishes and LOVE French saucepans w detachable handles for easy storing and love a kitchen rail for hanging everything!!!

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