Just as a mechanic wouldn’t work on a car with nothing but a wrench, and a woodworker couldn’t make a bench with nothing but a table saw, a cook needs multiple tools at their disposal to be able to perform a wide variety of kitchen tasks.  When just starting out, choosing the right tools can be daunting.  Sets of cookware and knives can run hundreds of dollars, and if you don’t know what you need, the gadget wall at the kitchen store can be a bit overwhelming.

My rules of thumb when it comes to tools are simple: start with the basics and build up from there.  Buy the best quality tools that you can afford and also the best tools for you, because owning the most expensive chef knife in the world means nothing if it is uncomfortable for you to hold.  And keep your eyes open for useful tools to build on the basics.  I don’t recommend buying a bunch of tools that are only good for one purpose, but at the same time, I never met a kitchen tool that I didn’t like.



While it might save time to buy a matching set of pots and pans, take the time to make sure to buy the pieces that will work with how you cook, not how the manufacturers think you cook. Regardless of whether you buy a set or a piece here and there, here’s what you should look for in quality cookware.



There is a proliferation of knives out there designed to do very specific tasks, but what every cook really needs are basics that can do many chores. A well-balanced chef knife, a paring knife and a serrated bread knife are kitchen workhorses. Remember, no matter how good or expensive your knives, they are worthless if you don’t keep them honed and sharpened.

Grilling & BBQ

Grilling & BBQ

Although often considered the “man’s domain by us guys” barbecue and grilling tools are now available to satisfy all tool and gadget lovers. Here, you’ll find guidance on purchasing everything from grills and barbecues to chimney starters to tongs. As with any tools, do your research and buy the best quality that you can, and your barbecue “toys” will last you for years to come.

Large Appliances

stovetop oven

If you are thinking of purchasing a large appliance like a new refrigerator, oven or even a large screen tv for the kitchen, you’ll want to check out these articles I’ve written about the subject.

Small Appliances

small appliances

My wife and I own so many small appliances that we had to renovate our kitchen just to make room for them all! Not every cook will need every small appliance listed here, but do buy the ones that work for the way you cook. If you like pureed soups, buy an excellent blender. If you love braises, a slow cooker might be for you. And if you have a sweet tooth, consider investing in an ice cream maker.

Tools & Gadgets

z tools gadgets

This category covers everything from kitchen necessities like scales and instant read thermometers to admittedly gimmicky but useful one trick ponies like pineapple corers and cherry pitters. If you’re a cook like me, no matter how many gadgets you own, there’s always room for more. And if you’re shopping for a cook, they make the perfect stocking stuffer.

Culinary Schools

Ice Cream Sundays

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Chocolate with Almonds Gelato Recipe On a recent trip to State College, PA, my wife stopped at Tait Farms to pick up some local products including a Strawberry Dark Chocolate Sauce that my daughter thought would be a great ingredient to try in a new gelato or ice cream. I also had some Dark […]

August 13, 2014 0 Comments
Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

Chocolate Trail Mix Ice Cream

How About Some Chocolate Ice Cream with a Bit of Trail Mix While I was down in the basement working out, I heard my youngest daughter upstairs in the kitchen preparing something.  My daughter has cerebral palsy and uses a walker to get around so I could hear the wheels rolling back and forth as […]

July 25, 2014 5 Comments
Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

 We Used Starbucks Hot Chocolate Mix For This One Maddie and I were thinking about making some homemade ice cream and since chocolate is her favorite, we thought we would give that a try. I looked in the recipe book that came with my new Cuisinart Ice Cream Gelato Maker and found a basic recipe […]

July 10, 2014 0 Comments
Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Strawberry Gelato Recipe

Fresh Seasonal Strawberries Make For Great Gelato By now you know I am the proud owner of a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker given to me by my neighbors Bob and Barbara for my recent birthday and I’ve been experimenting with it to learn how to make great homemade ice cream and […]

June 29, 2014 0 Comments
Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

Difference Between Ice Cream and Gelato

What’s the Difference Between Ice Cream & Gelato I celebrated a big birthday at the beginning of the month and my wife invited some friends over including my neighbor who gave me a Cuisinart Commercial Quality Ice Cream & Gelato Maker (ICE-100) as a birthday present.  This past weekend, my youngest daughter and I put […]

June 20, 2014 5 Comments

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