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A chef is only as good as the tools they use. Latest Food Storage
The team over here at Esquire just loves The Bear, man. It's everything we want from television. Drama. Comedy. Storytelling. Italian family scenes. Other scenes dedicated entirely to pants. It's a great show. It's a stylish show from a stylish mind.
And there's a happy little consequence from our Italian beef obsession: We're now all becoming home chefs. (Maybe I'm only speaking for myself, but that's all that matters, in my honest opinion.) I'm on the line (my kitchen counters) using Japanese knives and chef's tweezers and squeeze bottles. I spend late nights awake thinking about plating, I'm simmering stocks for 24-plus hours, and I fucking love efficiency. That's why I'm telling you all the smart must-haves you should be stocking for your kitchen—the air fryer, the sous vide, the cast iron skillet, the works. Will it make you a better cook? Not immediately—but it's a step in the right direction.
As a gift to you, the people of the internet, I'm going to keep this as a running list of the best kitchen gadgets on the market, updated after I do the big testing for our Home Awards or Gadget Awards. These are the splurge-worthy appliances and easy accessories going in our carts, as well as the carts of better chefs than us and real restauranteur friends. Buy from this list, and you'll never be disappointed in your tools, only in your own cooking abilities.
I used to be skeptical of Vitamix, and I say that as a smoothie lover. Then, I got one. Now, I might through an onion in there if I'm too lazy to chop it. It can do so much more than smoothies and soups. I make salad dressings at home in under a minute. I make all my own salsas. I even started making my own mayo in it. If you like having control over everything that goes into your food, you need to have a Vitamix.
We awarded this kettle in our gadget awards because it's simply the most beautiful countertop gadget we have ever seen.
Do you need a $400 rice cooker? Not necessarily. That $50 one from Walmart will work. But! This thing makes the best rice—of any type and variety—ever. Plus, it'll last the rest of your life. In my mind, that makes it a solid investment.
Balmuda has such a beautifully Japanese approach to its products. This coffee pot looks fantastic, and it is programmed to precision to pour the perfect cup of coffee every single time. It's the ease of a drip coffee maker with all the precision of pour over. You might turn your nose up at the price, but it's worth every penny.
A sous vide is the gadget that makes precision cooked food possible, a staple tool in the highest caliber kitchens. You vacuum-seal your food—poultry, fish, vegetables, red meat, anything—put it in water and cook it to an exact temperature. This new Breville is the Rolls-Royce of sous vides, so you can get on your freaky foodie Noma shit.
But if $250 is a bit steep, how's $150 sound? This option on Amazon from Anova is a bit less accurate, and it might need replacing sooner, but it's a great way to dip your toe in to fine cooking.
If you haven't gotten an espresso machine yet, you're missing out. Every barista-made coffee is just some combo of espresso and frothed milk, and this SMEG espresso machine does both. Plus, it looks better than any other coffee machine on the market.
If you want something barista level, though, this Breville is the way to go. Fresh grinds for every drink, and every capability a real barista needs.
This oil dispenser set went viral for a reason: It's too good. The oil pump mister or sprayer helps even out the coverage and prevents you from over-pouring. Next, the dispenser bottle comes in clutch during those "one tsp of oil" or "two tbsp of oil" recipe moments. And both have a measuring reservoir at the top. Portion control, people.
But for dispensing olive oil, sauces, and condiments, real chefs use squeeze bottles. When we say real chefs, we mean the Noma types again, the ones that use tweezers to finish a dish. This is the first thing they tell you to buy when becoming a serious home chef. Bonus: This one has a nifty basting attachment.
The Esquire Endorsed Beast blender is the ultimate smoothie-making machine. Now with a new big-name collaboration with Marshawn Lynch (aka Beastmode) you wanna buy this thing before it sells out.
An indoor electric pizza oven is the cutting edge of kitchen gadgets. Like a real pizza oven, it heats up to 750+ degrees. Unlike a real pizza oven, no gas or wood fire is required. And unless your kitchen is horribly small, it won't even cause a temperature swing.
But if you're serious about pizza making, you want to be hitting 900°F. That can only really be done outdoors on a gas or wood stove. And what do you know, Ooni just made its best seller Karu 12 in a multi-fuel option. Use wood or charcoal for an authentic pie, or use gas for a quicker weeknight option.
For the gardeners, carbon neutral strivers, and tree huggers in general, Reencle has made a true apartment-sized compost. While an indoor compost might sound disgusting, the Reencle is actually quite pleasant. It blocks odors, turns quietly, and uses a bacteria/heat combo to break down food as quickly as possible. It works for apartments. It works for families with kids.
Batter mixer, egg beater, salad dressing maker: Pretty much anything that requires conventional whisking can be done in this blender bottle.
Nonstick is not a new invention, but HexClad's approach is definitely fresh. Instead of fully nonstick, there are hexagon shaped steel ridges. This allows you to get a proper sear on meats and veg, but you can still slide an omelette around, no problem.
For the grill master, this smart accessory sticks into your rotisserie chicken or lamp chop and probes the internal temperature, ensuring your every bite thereafter is utterly satisfying and Salmonella-free. And it's completely wireless—the first of its kind.
We love our alternative milks over here, but ask us what's in the carton and... honestly, we've got no clue. But with an Almond Cow, we know exactly what's going into that almond milk latte. Make alternative milks to your taste, store it in a cute old timey jar, and keep it clean with a specially designed brush.
But that Almond Cow is big, and it's a bit limited in the scope of what it can make. The Nutr is an apartment sized option, and it makes great creams, as well as milks. Perfect for someone whose only using alternative milks for coffee or baked goods.
The weirdest guys on the internet? The ones obsessed with kitchen knives. Give us this Ninja food processor, and you'd have to pay us to do our mise en place the old fashioned way.
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