January 2022

· 4 min read

“Top Chef” Inspired Kitchen Tools for Home Cooking

These are the tools of the trade for top chefs ⁠— now you can use them for your cooking too!
Close up of male hand cutting bell pepper on cutting board - Must-Have Culinary Kitchen Tools for Chefs | NSF International

Like many of you, I found myself getting into the whole “good food for hard times” mode during the days of COVID-19 isolation. I must say, my family loved seeing me in the kitchen preparing delicious meals. I also discovered that you need great culinary tools at your fingertips to make sure every dish is a treat.

Now I can’t live without my 14-inch skillet and saucepan. For starters, it allows me to easily cook up to four pork chops without having to brown them in batches, and it’s perfect for my daughter’s eggs and for sautéing vegetables. It’s the kind of heavy-duty cooking pan a chef might use in a restaurant kitchen that heats up quickly without the hot spots. And it’s a breeze to wash.

If you’re determined to become a culinary superstar in your own kitchen, top chefs say the success lies in the right tools, knives and cookware. Thanks to NSF, you can use the same tools they’re using on TV and in their four-star eateries every day. We’ve facilitated the development of standards for commercial food equipment and certified thousands of products for use in restaurant and commercial kitchen settings. Our experts have tested the quality, cleanability and durability of every kitchen tool they’ve certified.

Top chefs say the success lies in the right tools, knives and cookware.

Here are some of the top tools our experts (and top chefs) deem essential must-haves for your kitchen:

  • Knives
  • Cookware
  • Bakeware
  • Flatware
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Small appliances, including coffee makers, microwaves and blenders
  • Gadgets and utensils

Our history in restaurants and commercial kitchens goes back to the 1940s, when NSF developed the first standards for restaurant equipment sanitation. Public health inspectors then started requiring product certification to NSF standards. Today, these standards are so widespread that it’s almost impossible to open a new restaurant or commercial kitchen without NSF certification, the industry’s most recognized mark of approval. National and international organizations, health codes, and other rules and regulations hold restaurants to high standards of cleanliness to prevent foodborne illnesses and cross-contamination during food prep and delivery.

These NSF-certified kitchen tools can now be found in big-box retailers, online, and at restaurant and kitchen wholesale stores.

If you’re interested in learning more about whether the products and tools you’re using pass the test, check out our food equipment database.

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