Top Ten Buy It for Life Kitchenware Items
American made goods you'll use everyday in the kitchen
Indispensable kitchenware that's made in the USA and built to last a lifetime. From dinnerware to blenders to knives, these items will be fixtures in your kitchen for years.
Fiestaware is an American classic, dating back to its introduction in 1936. Fiesta is perhaps most famous for its orange-red glazed ceramic dinnerware, which was originally made with a uranium based paint was eventually discontinued when people realized that uranium wasn't exactly FDA approved. Today's Fiesta products don't contain uranium, but they do still have their classic Art Deco look and continue to be made in West Virginia.
2. KitchenAid Stand Mixer
Another American classic, KitchenAid has been making their stand mixers in Greeneville, OH, since 1946. If you do any sort of baking, and you don't already own one of these, you should realllly consider getting one. Excellent for any sort of whisking, mixing, or kneading. Your hands will thank you!
3. Lamson Chef's Knife
A good knife can make all the difference in the world in the kitchen. As someone that used dull, cheap knives for years before buying a quality chef's knife, I can attest that while you may be able to get by without a good knife, you're really missing out. It's analogous having terrible eyesight and not wearing glasses -- sure, you'll manage, but you're making life much harder than it needs to be and missing the fine details. Lamson makes great knives, and I highly recommend the above model.
4. Imperial Pepper Mill
This one is simple and cheap. Get a pepper mill. There's a reason restaurants go out of their way to have someone crank it for you, and that reason is that fresh ground pepper tastes much, much better than pre-ground pepper. You can also get a little more gourmet by mixing up the variety of peppercorns you use.
5. Vitamix Blender
This one is simple and not cheap. While a Vitamix will cost you a pretty penny, they really are "buy it once" items (ie, this blender will likely outlive you). You may be aware of the Vitamix rivalry with Blendtec and wonder which is better, and I'm going to go out on a limb and hand it to Vitamix due largely to the Blendtec sounding like a plane taking off. They're both great machines though.
6. Excalibur Dehydrator
Excalibur makes the best dehydrators, period. If you have any affinity for jerky or dried fruit or an interest in making some of your own spices, you should consider purchasing one of these bad boys. You can make beef jerky in as little as 4 hours with one of these AND they come with a 5 year warranty. 4 HOURS!
7. End Grain Butchers Block
End grain butchers blocks look cool, but their real utility lies in their durability. Arranging the wood end grain up gives the board far greater resistance to cuts and warping. If you cook often and want a chopping block that will hold up for years, this is a great option.
8. Carbon Steel Wok
Admittedly, a wok is not a traditionally American cooking implement. However, as members of the world's "melting pot," we can surely find the utility in a good mixing pot (aka, a wok). This particular model is made in the US, and is awesome for stir-frys, fried rice, pad thai, or really any big mess of food you're making.
10. Lodge Cast Iron Skillet
Some people are intimidated by cast iron skillets. And to be fair, cast iron does require a bit of maintenance and is quite heavy. But those are dumb reasons to miss out on perhaps the single most useful and also quite literally indestructable item in any cooks toolkit. Oh and they're cheap! I'll leave it to this article to explain all the benefits, but just know that if you do decide to get a skillet, Lodge has been doing it for a long time and the above model is a tried and true classic.