Cooks in the Williams Sonoma kitchen have access to an amazing selection of tools—some more useful than others. We asked Devon Francis, WS Test Kitchen Associate Manager, for the DL on her top picks. (Many of them are the very same ones she and Belle English have raved about over on our TikTok!) These are the top-drawer gadgets that never make it into deep storage, because they’re in daily (or near-daily!) use. Why not save yourself some time today? Check out these fabulous kitchen tools.
Who else here has ever made a disastrous mess while pressing limes for a margarita? (Guilty!) There are many reasons to love this lime press (as seen on TikTok) but Devon particularly loves that “it keeps everything really clean and put together since citrus can be especially messy when you’re cutting it.” Thanks to that little twist-on juice catcher, “you get the most out of your citrus without wasting a drop.”
Likewise, our pantries and under-sink areas can get busy with a mess of things in (unnecessary) plastic packaging, tumbling here and there. This Pop-Up Sponge as seen on TikTok is “definitely a must in the kitchen,” says Devon. “For small spaces, it’s useful, and for anyone who really values a clean, organized space.” Just add water to make it pop!
“A tool that you don’t expect to need,” Devon assures us, is this Channel Knife. (Check out how to use it on TikTok!) “It’s important for making fabulous cocktails,” says Devon, and “it’s how you get gorgeous citrus zest” for garnishes of drinks and baked goods alike.
We’ve told you before and we’ll tell you again: Don’t soak your mushrooms in water! “To have a beautiful mushroom,” says Devon, “you really can’t wash it.” It affects the flavor profile of your finished dish. She’s “obsessed” with the “awesome” Shroom Broom (as spied on TikTok). “It’s another tool you didn’t know you needed,” she says, “and it’s really fun to use.”
Ever end up with sticky garlic peels all over your fingers and in your food? Enter: the Garlic Peeler as showcased on TikTok. “A must,” Devon declares. “It’s such a simple tool to have in the kitchen, and so easy to clean. Plus, it keeps your hands and cutting board from smelling.” Simply separate bulbs, then roll them in here. The peels slip off right away. “Peeling garlic never bothered me before, but now I know a better way,” says Devon.
Truth: You’ll eat more vegetables if they’re easier to make delicious, fast. And yes, you need a salad spinner, says Devon, because your greens need to be dry in order for dressing to coat them properly. (Also: wet leaves, yuck.) So consider a cool in-sink or in-bowl option (and see them in-action!) “Every time I make a big salad for friends,” says Devon, “I’m so thankful I have one. Definitely an underrated tool and a time saver.”
Be like a fancy Italian restaurant and bust out your microplane with Parmigiano-Reggiano, walking it to the table and grating cheese to order. “It’s a needed tool for the kitchen,” says Devon. “So many recipes call for zest or cheese! Garnish your food with either and it will level up your food.”
“A good recipe will provide weight, which is a much more precise form of measurement,” says Devon. That’s one reason she loves her Kitchen Scale. Measuring by weight instead of volume, particularly in baking, “will give you a more accurate amount of ingredients, which will majorly impact the outcome of your food.” Also: It’s cleaner! You can just tare out your scale and add sugar on to flour without dirtying hard-to-wash measuring cups.
Stainless-Steel Tongs “are like your extra hands in the kitchen,” says Devon. Use them for more than just salads, she insists. (Think: flipping steaks on the grill; turning dumplings; fetching pasta.) “Using a slotted spoon for spaghetti? No. You should be using tongs.”
Think beyond the salmon for your Fish Spatula. “I use one for anything that requires flipping,” says Devon. “Pancakes; burger patties; eggs; quesadillas. Because this spat is so light, it’s really controllable.” (We sometimes like using these to press down burger patties to create a crust when they’re cooking in a skillet.)
Why guess? “In the Test Kitchen, we’ve developed a fairly good sense of knowing when food is done but nothing, I mean NOTHING, is as accurate as a good kitchen thermometer,” says Devon. Enough said!
Another mess-preventer is the bench scraper, which you’ll often see in pro kitchens. Consider plastic or metal, depending on your needs. “You’ll know why it’s essential once you use it,” Devon says. “It’s like an extension of your hand—except better at scooping things up.” She uses “a metal one for baking, bread, pasta, and a silicone one for just about everything else.”