Our Dream Kitchen Gear Wish List

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Let’s say money is no object, and we can all have whatever we want. We polled a swath of our regular contributors to Paste Food about what’s they’d consider the ne plus ultra of personal kitchen gear, and their answers were surprisingly modest, given the lack of limitations in the scenario. No one said “a 79-cent vegetable peeler!”, yet it turns out no one is dreaming of firing up a $50,000 grill-in-a-boat or owning Ian Curtis’ onetime kitchen table.

Nope, we just want things that will make our cooking lives a little easier—and, in some cases, a little foxier.

An Iron Pot Stand enclumeINLINE2.jpg
Last year, I splurged on a serious set of Mauiel copper. I can’t bring myself to hide it in the cupboards, but right now, sitting in a fleet on the butcher block isn’t doing my counter space any favors. One of these made-in-America iron pot stands by Enclume is definitely a must-have. (JoAnna Novak)


A HiCoup Oyster Knife hicoup_oysterINLINE.jpg
Gourmet meals at home are great. No need to beg for a hot reservation, no servers to tip, no mess to clean up in the kitchen…Oh wait. That pile of dirty dishes is completely yours to clean up. Skip the cooking and dishwashing and head straight to the oyster, the ocean’s answer to attainable luxury. Grab the gently curved pakka wood handle of the HiCoup oyster knife, and get to liberating the glistening flesh inside those rough bumpy shells. If you’re not lost admiring your own reflection on the blade’s mirror finish. If you’re not cooking, you better look real good for your hot dinner date. The less cooking involved in making food, the nicer the tool should be. (Minerva Orduno Rincon)


A Paella Pan
We had a ridiculous paella at our wedding reception in 2014—but it was definitely a risky move in the sense that neither of our families had any clue what paella was. Could we make a hamburger for Uncle Roy? Could Grandma Aggie handle the level of spice? Forget dress drama, I basically tore my hair out explaining to people that it’s just a simple rice dish. But of course, great paella is so much more than a simple rice dish, and I’m a sucker for traditions, so in order to honor our wedding anniversary and turn more people on to paella, I’d love to have a paella pan of my own. (Jackie Varriano)


The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker instant potINLINE.jpg
Counter and cabinet space is always at a premium in my apartment, and even though an Instant Pot isn’t exactly small, it does do the work of a few different over-sized machines, and it does it well. Pressure cooking is the solution to many of life’s problems, and you can use the Instant Pot as a rice cooker, slow cooker, and yogurt making as well. It’s basically magic. (Laurel Randolph)


A Large Island for Prep
There’s something cozy about working in a spatially challenged apartment kitchen; it reminds me of the time I worked pastry and salad at the same, 2’ cutting board in an upstate New York restaurant. Still, I’d love to be able to turn around and set hot sheet trays on a cooling rack on an island behind me—and not on the stove! (JoAnna Novak)


in ferment crockINLINE.jpg A Ceramic Fermenting Crock
For those of us who are obsessed with fermenting, these are as beautiful as they are practical. Far from a gadget, its beauty lies in its simplicity, helping you to harvest wild yeasts to make sauerkraut and kimchi. The one I really have my eyes set on is from the In Ferment line from Hadar Iron in Seattle; I spotted one last time I was at the lovely restaurant and food store London Plane and knew I was going to eventually need to get my hands on one. (Anna Brones)


A Blazing-Hot Burner for Stir-Fries
I have an electric range with coil burners. And as far as their heating power, those coil burners are major wusses. All things considered, there are worse fates. I’ve developed workarounds—even for making acceptable stir-fries using my flat-bottom carbon steel wok (which I love). But for a stir-fry that achieves the elusive balance of fresh-crisp-tender-smoky in under 120 seconds of cooking time, it takes some serious BTUs. Instead of making concessions, I just want the real deal: a restaurant-grade wok range. Look out, dinner: no more middling stir-fries. (Sara Bir)


The KitchenAid Spiralizer Attachment spiralizerINLINE.jpg
The KitchenAid Spiralizer stand mixer attachment looks amazing (if a little intimidating), especially in cherry red. It’s like the Cadillac of countertop appliances. No vegetable would be safe, with this in my kitchen—I’d core, peel, slice and spiralize my way through the year, probably greatly increasing my intake of raw foods. (Shawna Kenney)


A Scotsman Nugget Ice Machine
I’ve seen many a bar back be sent on an errand to the neighborhood Sonic Drive-In for a bag of ice, and there is a reason why. Pellet or “nugget” ice is moldable, coated for slower melting, and even makes that store-brand seltzer look good. That’s right, Santa Baby, this woman wants an under-the-counter pellet ice maker, not the paltry amount you might get from the door of a high-end fridge. I love iced herbal tea, unusual sodas of all kinds, cocktails for back porch sipping, and easy slushies, and this ice is perfect for all. This model delivers a restaurant size supply (up to 80 pounds a day production) for all these beverages, and my favorite ice is always at the ready. I love ice. I really love ice. (Stephanie Burt)


An Anova Precision Cooker anovaINLINE.jpg
It wasn’t long ago that sous vide at home was strictly the territory of the fanatical foodie, the technically inclined, or those with wads cash to spare. Not anymore. At less than $200, Anova’s Precision Cooker immersion circulator lets you connect your kitchen to your smartphone via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, proving that yes, that fancy phone in your pocket can help cook your dinner. Want to nap while your free-range grass-fed rib eye gently cooks into a perfect medium rare? Set a cooking program from the app’s preloaded recipes, get some worry-free shut eye, and wake up to perfect ready-to-sear steak. No worries, no overcooking, no breaking the bank. (Minerva Orduno Rincon)

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