Kitchen Equipment Tools, Utensils, Smallwares

This is where we look at major things and major brands and just as often, minor things (like neat tools and utencils) unique things, new brands - everything from the best kettles and teapots, to mortar and pestles, maple wood carved oatmeal spurtles, ceramic salt pigs, rolling pins, French butter dishes, and a perfect cheesecake pan. Always being updated - always looking for the best.


I recently discovered a totally unique company with artisanal baking products. Beautiful, hand carved dough whisks, spoons, cutting boards and a lame, that French cutting blade for French and European style sourdoughs, are just some of the products Zatoba is making its mark with.

Zatoba pursues excellence with youthful passion and vibrance. In their own words: “they perceive with fresh perspective; looking for new solutions to solve old problems”

Zatoba asks the questions like "why use plastic when you can use heirloom quality hardwood? Why use chemical sealants when you can use organic Bees Wax? Why use offshore production when we can craft things ourselves locally? Why not just do things better? Why not do things right!" 

 Why not, indeed? What I love about this product line is that each item is both utilitarian and aesthetic. It’s an extra way to enjoy baking by celebrating the vary tools you use. A company that takes the time to make artware of everyday items is remarkable, especially in this day and age.

But there’s more: how do the actions of Zatoba effect others and how can we make that influence positive? Zatoba answers these questions with Action! Following the motto "Don't just say it, do it; believe in better and be better" This is why they included seeds and organic soil directly into their packaging, allowing customers to grow herbs and flowers to accompany their products. This company does not just use renewable lumber, they actually Renew it. For every Black walnut spoon purchased this business plants a tree in partnership with One Tree Planted. Over the lifetime of this tree, it is calculated to replace Hundreds of times more material than thee amounts used, and filter 40 tons of Co2 from the air. 


Dough Whisk, Product Features:



Zatoba handcrafts your dough whisk from premium black walnut and stainless steel. The whisks top is carefully sealed in place to ensure maximum durability and easy cleaning. The design is specifically catered to the need of the discerning baking enthusiasts. Zatoba's elegantly formed whisk top was inspired by the functional beauty of spirals found throughout nature. The top  gradients from large to small spirals, breaking up bubbles and crumbs, creating an exceptionally smooth baking experience. Many professional bakers rave about the whisk dynamic design and the fact it prevents cross contamination when working with sourdough yeast. Making this ta go to product.

 Black Walnut Bread Lame, Product Features

 Zatoba strives to make a superior baking experience which is why they revolutionized the bread lame (pronounced Lahm) in France. Often referred to as a bread slasher, this lame is lovingly designed from a seasoned slab of American Black Walnut. Every slasher is unique and represents the character and passion of the artisan at Zatoba. The crisp smell of walnut shavings compliment the organic beeswax polish, and the sturdy brass shield glows against the dark grain. When your lame arrives in a 100% recycled box you'll know that it is ready for a lifetime of dough slashing. The packaging includes the bread lame along with a pack of adjustable, razor sharp blades; assisting with the deepest dough slash patterns and designs. Once your bread bakes, these patters will expand showcasing your beautiful works of art each and every time. 


Visit soon and make sure you register so you don’t miss any of their frequent specials.

The All Clad All Stainless 12 Quart Stockpot.

  The All-Clad Stainless Collander
I don’t know anyone making salad bowls of this quality anymore. Beautiful salad bowls in cherry, maple and beech in so many styles, shapes and sizes – each bowl (signed with the Vermont Bowl signature) is an instant heirloom. A perfect occasion of form and function and ….art. Stop searching the web and local housewares store for a perfect salad bowl - this company offers a variety of choices and matching quality that suits every and anyone.

Pretty Little Cake Tester from

The perfect cake tester not only works (stick it in the cake - if it comes out free of crumbs and cake batter glop, the cake is done) it's pretty enough to give as a gift. Check it out (along with the other great Mum's Creation inventions) at


Free (dry) Sourdough Starters from

From a selection of paper molds to bake and serve in from gourmet muffin and mini-loaf shapes to cakes and little loaves. Now you can bake the best and package it like the pros. 


Giant Cupcake Pans! Classic Cupcake and Layer Cake Pans and More!
Wilton is the place for celebrations in baking.

The giant cupcake pan from Wilton - What is hotter than cupcakes? The mega cupcake. This specially designed Wilton pan helps you create a showpiece cupcake or a birthday cake like no other. Comes with an easy recipe or dump in your own batter or a few boxed mixes (shhh - sometimes you can cheat).  Not only does Wilton have this incredible cupcake pan (it must serve 12-20 people) but they have a ton of amazing regular (or more standard) cupcake pans. Plus cupcake display stands which are great for cupcake parties or showers or birthdays or simply better than stacking cupcakes in a plastic cake box. Yuck!

Rycraft Cookie Stamps

Bake a cookie a conversation piece by investing in a baker's dozen of Rycraft ceramic cookie stamps. Each circular glazed terracotta stamp is an original design. Robin Rycraft spends as much time researching traditionial designs as he does preparing originals. Each Rycraft stamp is work of art. The company insists on a special clay and the design of each stamp is executed with great precision. Look-alikes often feature shallow grooves which result in reduced definition in the finished cookie. The Rycraft line is extensive (more than 140 designs) and new models are being introduced all the time.

  Clay Pie Plates for Rustic Pies and Great Pizzas

For the best and only terra cotta pie plate we know, Hess is da place. Nothing makes a better crust on a pie or on a deep dish pizza. Durable and rustic, these pie plates are as nice to serve food in as they are to bake in. The Missouri based company also offers beautiful crafted, pine needle baskets. Buy at least two pie plates - you will be using them often and they get better with age. 

Doughmakers Bakeware Great Cheesecake Pan
Doughmaker's 9 by 13 Inch Rectangular Baking Pan for Canadians for United States visitors

Their new cheesecake pan is one of the most solid cheesecake pans ever. A great addition to your springform pan collection. Many springform pans get wobbly with wear or their spring clip is the first thing to go but this one is a winner.We also cannot recommend their 9 by 13 inch baking pan. It is the best of this basic pan, hefty, with great release, even baking, well designed sides and weight. We recommend at least two of each pan for your baking pan repertoire. Many other brands wear out, get dented or have terrible baking performance. Dough Maker's bakeware is consistently high performing but these two pans in particular are treasures. 

Silpats from 

The original Silpats are great for nonstick baking and rolling surfaces. They have a commercial, as well as a domestic line, and a full range of silicone bakeware.High performance if you want what the French chefs themselves uses. 

Grandma's Touch Pastry Blender - From Doughmakers

HearthKit Ceramic Oven Insert -





Salton Ice Maker 
It's a dream come true - fresh ice, clean, convenient and fast - just keeps flowing.

The Salton Ice Maker is the party maker - it's just the thing you want for company, cold drink fanatics, frosties and home smoothies. 

Demy Recipe Reader

It's an electronic recipe box, a calorie counter, nutrition advisor and tv for recipes.
My Demy is all your recipes and whichever ones you've collected or dumped into, all available in one neat place. You touch the screen to see recipes, change categories, yields, measuring systems and voila -you are on a new page. It sits up on a counter and the screen washes clean and it can be tucked away when not in use or being recharged.

Bread Box  

 This is the most amazing bread box in the world. It belongs in a modern art museum. It is rugged and durable, offers a frosted glass window to remind you there is bread in there and tucks out of way, in its compact design. The WMF Bread Box you received retails for $149.90.  Consumers can purchase it at  See this amazing bread box at WMFAmericas website at, a bread box that not only does the job. It doesn't break off its hinges, houses plenty of bread, keeps it fresh, prevents mold, fits in any corner you find (it is that snug),stays beautiful and shiny, and literraly adds to the decor of your kitchen. This is art - and at the same time, a hierloom bread box. I've tested tons and thrown out tons and this one is here to stay.

Kuddable Kakes offers unique baking molds that are party-making events.
Johnson Bros. Bakery Supply Inc.
10731 IH-35 North
San Antonio, Texas 78233
Direct Line: 210-564-1318


A Nifty Baker's Scale from Polder
Polder makes great scales of all sorts and sizes. This Baker's Scale is perfect for all your baking needs.
Mavea Water Filtration

We all know the other brand when it comes to water filter pitchers but there’s another amazing choice that offers incredible high style together with simplicity of function and design. Mavea offers a slew of great water purification pitchers such as the Mavea’s Elemaris XL which filters 9 glasses of water in minutes. Sporting a soft rubber base that doesn’t damage wood surfaces nor slife about, the clear pitcher comes with a choice of black or white lid and features a sturdy, safe grip.  
grip. The filter removes high levels of dangerous chemicals often found in tap water such as Cadmium, Mercury, and Benzene, leaving a refreshing pure drinking water that is chlorine free. A built-in indicator conveniently indicates when to change the filter. Replacements are  Sold widely in most retail stores or check

 Krups makes everything as sleek as possible in design and function and their 7000 blender series is no different. It sits solid and in stainless steel, offers a certain home-restaurant feel that is aesthetic as it is high performance. Easy to clean and with a tempered glass pitcher, it is also notable quiet. It easily beavers through soups, sauces, smoothies and whatever you throw at it and comes up shining. It also sits especially stable on a counter - and no matter what speed it is on or what it is churning, this thing doesn't and Krups

Best Scissors by Cutco at
Best steak knives, apple paring knife and bread slicers!
What can I say about the best scissors imaginable? This tool can cut through a penny although I personally have never found it necessary to use it for that sort of task. I do however utilize these amazing cutters for all kinds of household tasks. From cutting pizza to cutting any art project, these scissors perform magic. They come apart for quick clean up and are fully guaranteed forever. If you should misuse your product, then it will be replaced for half the cost but if it is otherwise damaged, it will be fully replaced. These are truly the only pair of scissors that you will ever need to buy. Ditto for the Cutco knives - nothing beats their bird's beak apple parer, their steak knives and for all your bread slicing and cake layer slicing - invest in a couple of Cutco serrated knives. They are truly unbeatable and never seem to need sharpening.



The Breville Steamer is a state of the art, three tiered steamer that makes vegetables, seafood, fish and dumplings to perfection.

The Smart Oven from Breville is about the best counter top all-purpose oven around. It is simple to use, features traditional and convection oven properties, has easy settings and a built in timer. It heats up unbelievably fast and is perfect for small or large size portions, leftovers, garlic bread and pizzas and other snacks.

The Breville Ikon Scale is a great design in that it has a nice large surface to put ingredients on (bunches of carrots, blocks of butter or chocolate) or a weigh bowl. It also comes with a temperature gage which is helpful when tempering chocolate or testing if a sugar mixture is at soft or hard ball stage. The easy read-out stops chefs from squinting and the accuracy is unrivaled. No one makes sleeker, high performance kitchen electrics than Breville. 


Hand Crafted Honey Pots from  Peter Hamilton

I have a new friend, Peter the Potter, aka Peter Hamilton who makes pottery like no one else in the world.. Hamilton makes the most outstanding mugs, honey pots, salt pigs, sometimes (when he does a special run) teapots, and gorgeous, museum-worth pasta, salad or fruit bowls. I will be showcasing more of his work soon. But for now, this honey pot is doing Rosh Hashanah honors. If you want one, contact Peter directly at Peter will advise you on price and shipping. The pot comes with a honey stick. I have mine filled with churned honey and it is ready for tea or alongside a plate of apple slices.

Custom Spice Racks
Spice shelves and Custom Spice Cabinets
So, you have a ton of spices, all different shapes, containers, jars, bottles, extracts and no space? This is the ideal solution. A company that specializes in custom made, affordable, wood spice cabinets and shelves for every possible kitchen spot, need, and chef. Zipcabs are easy to install, made to measure and have a solution for the tiniest kitchen to most picky chef. The BB Test kitchen has a monsterous ZipCab that houses 20 extracts, baking powder, soda, malt, specialty spices and herbs, bakeware sprays - you name it. It is all within reach, neatly stored but instantly available and no plastic shelves or cold stainless but oak which comes clear stained or you can, as I did, distress your shelves (mine are white and wood distress for a vintage look).

Holiday Maple Wood Oatmeal Spurtles?
Order Now for the Holidays!
What better or more beautiful a gift than something real?
Seafoam Woodturning Studio makes about the most lovely oatmeal stirrers, called a spurtle on this side of the Atlantic. An instant heirloom piece, these gorgeous maple spurtles are lightly finished with mineral oil. They are just the thing for stirring a bowl of hearty, steel cut oats. And BB has just the recipe, Old Fashioned Irish Oatmeal
There are rice cookers and there are rice cookers and you also ask: why do I need one and is it better? Yes. It is. But first, invest in the best ones and for our testing, those are, hands down, from Zojirushi. RIZO, blending the word “rice” in Italian (riso) with Zojirushi’s ZO, trumpets aesthetic appeal with its minimalist design and one-touch functionality, without losing any of the versatility and consistent quality that is the Zojirushi hallmark.Designed by the internationally celebrated Toshiyuki Kita and engineered by Japan’s most respected name in kitchen electrics, the RIZO brings style and science together to make rice cooking effortless and enjoyable. What we liked about the Rizo is that it is compact and yet the perfect size for 2-5 people (depending on appetites) and made rice, risotta, and even old fashioned Irish oatmeal with perfection. 

The Induction Heating System Rice Cooker & Warmer uses high-tech Induction Heating (IH) method to heat the inner cooking pan. Because of this new heating method, rice cooks exceptionally well. This IH Rice Cooker also features easy-to-clean clear coated stainless steel exterior, healthy cooking options such as brown rice, wild rice, and ancient rice varieties. It features a cute interchangeable melody and beep signal. Other features include automatic keep warm, extra large LCD display for Clock and Timer functions and detachable inner lid. Available in 5.5 and 10 cup sizes.What we liked about this is that without even reading the directions, recipes or handy booklet, we made perfect rice the first time and each time after that. 

 Cuisinart 5 and 7 quart Stand Mixers

Everyone wants in the spin. The mixer market is expanding. Cuisinart’s big bad mixers look, as you would expect, gorgeous. 800 watt motor, professional motor delivers ultimate power to handle the heaviest mixing tasks and the 7 quart model gives you power plus hefty capacity – great for double batch cookie doughs.
There are issues in other mixers (insufficient power, bowl shape invites spilling or more often, flour wafts over the top and lack of speed choices) but the new stand mixers from Cuisinart (at a competitive price, by the way) seems to have responded to these basic and chronic concerns bakers have always has. We found the stronger motor a boon, and liked the extra speeds as well the timer gizmo which ensures a bit more perfect baking – especially when doing bread and other yeast doughs. Or simply, if you are called away and left the mixer on a minute or two, too long. Accessories includes; stainless steel bowl, flat mixing paddle, chef's whisk, dough hook (all dishwasher safe) a  splashguard, instruction book and recipe book. The tilt back head makes it easy to attach accessories. My favorite speed is that first, or really slow lst speed. Bravo.

Bamboo Bread Bags - A neat tote for country breads or a baguette 'quiver'. 


Bamboo Bread Bag


Shown here the bread tote for a round country bread and a sketch of 
a bamboo bread quiver - an suitable artisinal bag-tote for a fresh baguette (or bake your own and package it as a gift in this bag/bread keeper)

Bamboo Bread Bags

The Baguette Quiver or Loaf Pouch are two ingenious products from Ann Arnold and Linda Elvira in California. We bread bakers know the best way to keep bread is not in the fridge and paper bags and plastic ones are neither great for artisanal bread conservation nor the environment. Enter the Bamboo Bread Bag. Made of naturally anti-microbial bamboo fabric, these fetching bags store (and are carrying bags) of either a round country bread or a classic baguette or Parisienne. The secret of the antic-bacterial agent is in bamboo ‘kun’ – it is a anti-fungal protein that is in the bamboo shoot but also holds onto the bamboo fabric – from which these bags are made. Not only does it store bread perfectly, it is aesthetic and is good to the environment. Use them over and over again –  they are washing machine items or just shake out the bread crumbs in-between washes. Buy one of each style (The Loaf Pouch or the Baguette Quiver)  On our continued search for the best stainless steel omelet pans we were delighted to find a treasure of a 10-inch pan, from This pan featured a slight upwards sloping handle, making it ideal for both regular cooktop and gas stoves. The pan heated quickly but we noticed it did not promote scorching and we were able to work on many heat settings without sticking, scorching and other issues sometimes associated in stainless steel cookware. We attribute this to the thick and conductive aluminum core, sandwiched between the stainless steel layers. Dishwasher and broiler/oven safe, as well as featuring a lifetime guarantee, this pan is gorgeous but unbeatable – in all ways. The best thing about it is the stay-cool handle – which allows you to use the pan, without a pan handler or oven mitts. This is for the gourmet chef or starter kitchen and the size is perfect for a variety of omelets, egg dishes and even steak au poivre.  Calphalon also offers an extensive line of anodized, nonstick, and enamel cookware. Look for some great omelet ideas for this pan in my Complete Recipe Archives. 

Wood Dough Bowls and Leon Neal
I lucked into Leon Neal, a wood bowl crafter who carves old-fashioned, truly Americana wood bowls, used to rise bread and make biscuits while on the Google trail for wood bowls. For years, I had wanted such a bowl all my baking life and somehow, never come across one. The closest I had was a cheap, pine bowl gotten from a souvenir shop in Phoenix. But Leon Neal makes the real thing. I now have my bowl, thanks to Leon Neal, and am making wonderful biscuits in it, and watching bread rise perfectly in the ambient cradle of my wood bowl – which is even inscribed for me, with my name and the word Wheatland, the nickname of my test kitchen. I could say more but frankly, no one ‘does’ Neal, better than himself. He is a fine writer, a distinguished individualist, and a wood bowl carver par excellence. His bowls are on view at or email him directly for more information.

Leon Neal
3506 Carriage Drive
Raleigh, NC 27612

Tel & fax: 919.789.4338
Bread Baking Stones
Great baking stones - to fit your oven. No more little stoneware circles for a 9 inch pizza. Pual's Finest has a selection of stones for the pro and most discerning home baker. To quote Paul Schwartz himself, "These are 14"x18"x3/4" (just the right size for most home ovens) and weigh about 6.4kg each, so they hold lots of heat (much more thermal mass than "pizza stones"). Killer for bread and pizza (high alumina ceramic material...
same as is used to line many commercial deck ovens; stable and

Triquad Gift Boxes
For neat boxes to pack all your home baked goodies -by theme (coffee, tea), or holidays (Christmas or Valentine's Day) or just some pretty all-purpose gift basket boxes -this is the place to go. Great for Purim gift baskets especially.
Choose from a wide assortment of styles, sizes, and motifs.

Mortars and Pestles

Ateliers Orange
Mason and Cash Wade Products (coming soon, another amazing Mortar and Pestle, and the Ovation Aromatherapy Stone, and a nifty salt pig Wade Ceramics of England, represented by The BB test kitchen doesn’t much believe in garlic crushers. Instead, I am devoted to classic mortar and pestles . Nothing mashed up garlic (or pesto, or spices) better than a superior mortar and pestle. Old-fashioned as all heck, nothing is more satisfying to use or hold. Mortar and pestles come in ceramic, bronze, marble, wood, steel, cast iron, and vetrified porcelain. I have tried and tested them all. When you use a mortar and pestle, you are bruising, (versus crushing), extracting more juice or flavor out of whatever food item you are pulverizing or mashing in it. For great flavor, nothing beats this foundation tool. Some are made of great materials (my preference is vitrified stuff) but the design is too shallow, too small, or the pestle is not well crafted. (And btw, you need one mortar set for savory things like garlic and salt, and one for sweet spices like whole cinnamon and star anise). You can find cheaper units, made in the Orient at most housewares stores, many others hail from Italy or Portugal, and medical supply or lab supply places online, offer great prices on small, but sturdy white, mortar and pestles (they use them in labs of course, but they are perfect for small jobs in the kitchen too. Just Google mortar and pestles, medical or lab supplies). For gourmet, high performance mortar and pestles, I scoured the globe, in cyber terms, for the best of the lot. Here are my picks.

Designer Kitchen Wear, De Winter Mortar and Pestle from Atelier Orange is a Sumptuous Addition to any Kitchen – It is the gift to beat for the chef who has it all. And nothing beats anything in a De Winter design. Belgium born designer has the most aesthetic designs in functional kitchenware. Hippo Designs offers the De Winter mortar in pestle in two sizes as well as a garlic keeper and the most ingenious lemon squeezer. The full story is at the site and to order, contact There you can learn about the talents that have made award winning De Winter’s famed designs travel from Volvo, the New York Museum of Modern Art. You never even have to use the products – they are pure art sitting on a table! But do use them because they are designed to be beautiful workhorses and do exactly that. It is pure joy to hold the product in your hands and start your next kitchen adventure.
Check out the mortar here . Once the word is out, chances are there will be a waiting list on the mortar and pestles and any other of the De Winter, Ateliers Orange Designs. You heard it here first!
Mason and Cash Mortar and Pestles
Gorgeous Cornish Wear Striped Spice Jars, Serving Ware and Mugs, Dinnerware

From Mason and Cash, part of the T.C. Green Tabletop
group, comes one of the all-time favorite mortar and pestles. Sometimes hard to find (you can scour Ebay but given their weight, it is best to find a nice, new Mason and Cash mortar and pestle from a reputable retailer). The deep, wide design and hefty, wood-and-vitrified porcelain make this a requisite mortar and pestle for and kitchen – and you can keep a few in stock: large for garlic and pesto, medium for parsley and herb grinding and a small one for peppercorns or sweet spices.  While you are visiting, you absolutely must check out the Cornish blue (but also pink or sage) striped spice jars, utensil jar or oversized mugs, dinnerware and more. The Green company still makes these classics, which you can find in an antique store if you are lucky or bid crazy prices for cracked versions – so why not check out the new versions of the originals at the Table Top group who will also guide you to wear to purchase if you are in the States or Canada. Another perfect holiday gift for the chef who seems to have everything. Collector’s pieces – each and every one. And yes, of course! Do check out the Cornish blue striped mortar and pestle also from The Tabletop Group. The Mason and Cash one is a sturdy clay colored classic whereas this spiffy Cornish Blue striped one is a statement maker. Stunning.   Totally Bamboo is a total surprise, offering the lightness of plastic, the ease of clean up in stainless steel and the gorgeous finish of real wood. Finally, salad bowls of wood that clean easily, keep their looks and yet are not synthetic. This is the quintessential salad bowl but the company also has fine wood products such as cheese and breadboards.

Emile Henry

In Canada, please contact for where to order. We always rave about this fine line from France for its performance, looks, and broad range of products. We like their lasagna dishes, their Dutch ovens, butter dishes (or mini terrain molds) but lately, we are touting their ceramic roasting pans. Why? Because they house a huge turkey, chicken or roast beef as well as any metal pan roaster BUT they clean up like a dream. A slight soak in warm water, soap and a touch of bleach and these roasting pans are new again. They are also fine in the dishwasher. If you never consider a ceramic roaster, I would definitely invest in one of these ASAP. They roast like a charm and take the nightmare quality out of holiday roasting pan clean up.

Doughmakers Bakeware
 Great Cheesecake Pan
Doughmaker's 9 by 13 Inch Rectangular Baking Pan for Canadians for United States visitors

Their new cheesecake pan is one of the most solid cheesecake pans ever. A great addition to your springform pan collection. Many springform pans get wobbly with wear or their spring clip is the first thing to go but this one is a winner.We also cannot recommend their 9 by 13 inch baking pan. It is the best of this basic pan, hefty, with great release, even baking, well designed sides and weight. We recommend at least two of each pan for your baking pan repertoire. Many other brands wear out, get dented or have terrible baking performance. Dough Maker's bakeware is consistently high performing but these two pans in particular are treasures. 

Handy Kitchen Timers and Thermometers - From Cooper and CDN, some great timers 


More Kitchen Stuff Emile Henry 
We have a ton of stuff in the BB Kitchens from Emile Henry - from French bakers to pie plates. Their butter dishes are the best. Perfect size, durable, gorgeous, elegant. We like soft butter sometimes but nothing beats this very French, terrain style butter dish. We tried many others, from all around the world but nothing comes close to the design and performance of an Emile Henry butter dish. For classic lasagna, they offer a collection of perfection dishes in all sizes. But the latest must-have Emile Henry is their ceramic roa