Food & Wine Photo Credit: Western Living

4 Kitchen Tools You Need to Have (and One You Don’t)

The West’s best chefs weigh in on the latest kitchen gadgets.

Buy This…


Smooth Operator

Breville BSB510XL control grip hand blender ($119), thebay.com

One of the best low-cost tools many chefs love is the stick or immersion blender. A good stick blender is awesome. A great one can be found for around $100 and a serviceable one for half that. “You can use it for soups, dressings, smoothies, hummus…the list goes on,” says Colleen McClean of the Art Institute of Vancouver


Suck It

Bridgade 36-inch chimney mount ($2,500), trailappliances.com

“The commercial tool that I think every home should have is a way better hood fan. I don’t know about you, but my smoke detector goes off if I make toast at home.”—C.M.


Spin Control

Vitamix blender (from $349), cookculture.com

On the higher end of the scale is the beloved—but pricey—Vitamix. And while it’s tempting to buy a cheaper brand, most chefs caution agains it. “Vitamix blenders are the best! Great for smoothies, soups, sauces and grinding grains. Very durable and versatile, and worth the money,” says Michael Allemeier of Southern AlbertaInstitute of Technology—a view supported by David Gunawan of Farmer’s Apprentice, Bobby Milheron on Boulevard and Josh Gale of Juniper.


Smoke Show

Kamado ceramic grill smoker (from $1,299), kerrisdalelumber.ca

A classic Weber charcoal grill is $150, so why do so many chefs (like Jason Sussman from Tacofino and Tobias MacDonald from Vancouver Community College) rave about the $1,000 Japanese-style Kamado cooker known as the Big Green Egg? For starters, you can use it to grill or smoke, or use it just like a regular oven—and it’s ceramic, so it’s far more efficient and durable than steel. “People spend over $10,000 on their stoves or over $3,000 on a gas barbecue. I personally have had many barbecue units in my life. None have I used as much as the Green Egg. None have I enjoyed as much as the Green Egg. I think it’s the best investment a foodie or chef can make for their backyard,” says Angus An of Maenam, who features his Big Green Egg a lot on his Instagram feed.

Not This…


Slow Ride

The Anova precision cooker ($270), amazon.ca

“Home kitchens have no need for sous-vide machines. They can be dangerous from a food poisoning perspective if not used correctly.”—C.M.

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