Friday Finds: Spooky Season Kitchen Essentials
Making monochromatic beautiful.
You can’t have too many kitchen essentials. This is common knowledge. But nowhere does it say that all your tools have to have the same traditional look. In fact, owning a few signature pieces that stand out from your standard fare can make all the difference when it comes to exploring new dishes and techniques. Even though Halloween is looking a little different this year, we wanted to celebrate the season by highlighting some of our favorite kitchen finds that summon our inner spookiness.
Probably the most essential item is your standard 8-inch kitchen knife. Most people have a chef’s knife in their block, which is perfect for thicker meats and cutting through dense ingredients like root vegetables and melons. But we like having a light-weight Santoku knife on hand as well, which is the go-to tool for slicing, dicing and mincing things that need a finer, more delicate touch. This S1 Gyuto Chef’s Knife is made of hand-forged tamahagane carbon steel, and finished with a forging process that creates unmatched edge retention. While Hinoki offers a walnut handle, we prefer the obsidian ebony option to match the black steel blade. You can even get your initials engraved on the blade near the handle for no extra charge.
Sticking with sharp objects, our next find is the Gerber Tri-Tip Knife. While it’s advertised as more of an outdoor tool on the Gerber website, we’ve found this tool incredibly useful for cutting and preparing chicken. The cleaver-style blade has two functions: a beveled edge for scraping and a more traditional fine edge for cutting. It’s only 5 ounces and fits in the palm of your hand, and if you do any outdoor cooking and grilling, it comes with its own sheath for extra portability and safety. It’s an unorthodox item for sure, but its versatility is great for chefs with a more adventurous technique.
Next up is something for the pasta and pastry makers. The Blackcreek Mercantile & Trading Co Rolling Pin comes in two sizes, and they also offer a French rolling pin for those who want more of that mattarello feel. Each piece is made from white oak, but employs a natural reactive process to give it its black color. The unique technique makes use of the tannic acid inherent in white oak to develop a deep, durable, food-safe dye. If you’re a baker, the rolling pin is an essential piece of gear, but this option is sure to be a conversation piece next time you break it out.
We’re going to close out this week’s Finds with two very different twists on probably the most-often used items in your kitchen: the fry pan and the skillet. And if you don’t have a cast iron skillet in your arsenal, it’s about time you got one. The Matheson 10” Cast Iron Frying Pan is a solid place to start. It’s got a distinctive lip on the pan edge, which makes basting and stirring much easier. It’s also got a knurled handle for easy gripping and a fashionable lid, which your standard Lodge skillet won’t have. Super quality for everything from steaks to fish to French fries. The Our Place Always Pan isn’t as beefy but its versatility might make it the last fry pan you’ll ever want to own. It includes a stainless steel steamer basket for veggies, pour spouts on both sides, a modular lid to let steam out when you need it, and our favorite feature—a nesting spatula with an integrated rest so you don’t have to keep using that ceramic spoon holder your kid made for you at Color-Me-Mine 10 years ago. If you aren’t into the “char” finish, Our Place offers up five additional colors including lavender, sage, and blue salt. Because not everyone wants to channel their inner goth while steaming kale.
Crystals, canoes and Big Bear … oh my.