8 Essential Panini Tools…and Big OXO Giveaway!

by on June 17, 2013

Post image for 8 Essential Panini Tools…and Big OXO Giveaway!

Truth be told, you don’t need much more than a good pan to make panini. That said…I’ve found some simple, inexpensive tools that have made panini-making a whole lot easier (and tastier!) for me over the years. Today I’d like to share with you my 8 Essential Panini Tools – what they’re good for and why I use them.

Plus, one lucky reader will have the chance to win ALL 8 TOOLS, thanks to OXO (worth more than $100!). The giveaway details are at the end of this post!

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1312480_Electric Grill_Panini Press BrushSilicone Grill Brush

Many grills come equipped with their own grill scraper, but for those that don’t, you will probably find a silicone grill brush very helpful when it comes time to clean your panini press. The soft-yet-firm bristles make it easy to scrape up the cooked-on bits that can get trapped between the grates without damaging the nonstick coating.

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1158800_Digital Leave-In ThermometerMeat Thermometer

If you’re going to grill meats on your panini press, I highly recommend using a meat thermometer. It’s the easiest and most reliable way to ensure that meat is cooked to the desired temperature. With the OXO model I have, it’s easy for me to set the temperature (it comes with preset USDA and chef recommendations), insert the probe into the meat I’m grilling, place the meat on the panini press, close the lid, and wait until the thermometer beeps to tell me that the meat is done. It eliminates all of the guesswork, and I don’t lose any heat by having to open the lid repeatedly to check for doneness.

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26581_Cheese PlaneCheese Plane

You can, of course, buy pre-sliced cheese but it tends to melt and layer more easily when you slice it yourself. A basic cheese plane or slicer is relatively inexpensive (this one, from OXO, sells for $10). You want one that is comfortable to grip, and with a metal blade that can stand up to slicing firmer cheeses without bending itself out of shape.

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1122280_Container GraterCheese Grater

Yes, slicing your own cheese is usually best, but I do grate some cheeses, especially Parmesan and other harder cheeses that take longer to melt. Go for a good quality cheese grater with sharp blades and a non-slip grip. You can also use the grater for zesting lemons and limes as well as for finely grating garlic and onions.

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1071061_1132900_Silicone Basting BrushSilicone Basting Brush

For brushing olive oil onto bread, vegetables, black bean patties, and more, a silicone basting or pastry brush is a useful tool. It distributes oil evenly and goes right into the dishwasher for cleanup.

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1068558_Pro 8in Bread KnifeSerrated Knife

A sturdy serrated knife will allow you to slice through your panini cleanly without placing undue pressure on your ingredients. I alternate between using a bread knife, like the one pictured here, and an offset type which you’ll often see used in cafés and restaurants. An offset design allows you to bring the knife all the way down to the cutting board without your knuckles getting in the way.

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1054628_12in Tongs w Nylon Heads_blackSilicone Spatula and Tongs

Everything you place on the grill has to come off at some point. For this task, you’ll want a silicone spatula and silicone tongs. They easily lift your food without causing any damage to the nonstick surface of the panini press. These are probably the two cooking tools I use most often in my kitchen.

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** WIN ALL 8 ESSENTIAL PANINI TOOLS, FROM OXO!! **

OXO would like to send one lucky Panini Happy reader a set of all 8 of my Essential Panini Tools (valued at more than $100).

  • To enter: Leave a comment on this post, telling us your favorite go-to cooking tool.
  • For an optional bonus entry: Sign up for my Panini Happy e-mail list, and leave a comment to let me know. (Existing subscribers, just leave a comment letting me know you’ve already subscribed)

The giveaway will close on Monday, June 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM PDT. I will use random.org to select one winner and announce the winner in this post. I will contact the winner via e-mail – if I don’t receive a response within 5 days I will draw another name. My apologies to my international readers, the prize can only be shipped to U.S. addresses.

Many thanks to OXO for providing the prize for this giveaway. I was not compensated in any way, and my opinions are, as always my own. Panini Happy receives a portion of the purchases made via the Amazon affiliate links in this post – many thanks for your support!






>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 200 comments… read them below or add one }

1 sara June 17, 2013 at 3:35 pm

My fav go-to cooking tool would have to be my microplane grater!
sara´s last blog post ..Sweet Corn-Bacon-Goat Cheese Pizza with No-Rise Crust

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2 Ann June 17, 2013 at 4:38 pm

My melon baller – for making perfect cookies every time.

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3 Erica June 17, 2013 at 5:02 pm

I couldn’t live without my silicon spatula. I’d love to have all of these tools in my kitchen!

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4 Mom24_4evermom June 17, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I love tongs. Not sure I could cook without them anymore.
Mom24_4evermom´s last blog post ..Meal Plan Monday–June 3, 2013

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5 Erin June 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm

I love my dutch oven!

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6 Erin June 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm

My Grandma’s cast iron skillets! I cook everything in them.

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7 Mary Beth Elderton June 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

My favorite tool has to be my chef’s knife–I rarely even put it away.

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8 Mary Beth Elderton June 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I subscribed via email

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9 Kelly D June 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm

I like my hand mixer, I use it often to make pancakes.

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10 Kelly D June 17, 2013 at 6:49 pm

I subscribe to your email under kellywcuATyahooDOTcom

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11 Isa Blasio June 17, 2013 at 7:01 pm

My silicone spatula or my measuring cups are the tools I use nearly every day!

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12 Holly B June 17, 2013 at 7:07 pm

My fave tool is my mandolin; it makes slicing veggies so much faster!

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13 Carolsue June 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm

My digital meat thermometer — without it, I’d have no idea when my steaks (or chicken or pork) are done!

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14 Carolsue June 17, 2013 at 7:18 pm

I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

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15 kristin June 17, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I love my beautiful Global knives!

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16 Becca Entenberg June 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm

My favorite cooking tool is a wooden spoon!

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17 Margie Wolczak June 17, 2013 at 8:07 pm

My cutting boards and my sharp tomato knife.

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18 Kathy S June 17, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I love my food chopper.

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19 Annie H June 17, 2013 at 9:24 pm

My mini food processor. It just saves so much time on things like chopping onion, and yet it’s super small and easy to clean.

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20 Elisa B June 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

Definitely tongs. Great for cooking, grilling, juicing lemons, etc. etc. :)

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21 Irene June 17, 2013 at 9:53 pm

My fave tool is my mandolin; it makes slicing veggies so much faster!

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22 Vicky Mamieh June 17, 2013 at 11:08 pm

My favorite tool is the silicone garlic peeler. Need another one for my pro kitchen!!

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23 Vicky Mamieh June 17, 2013 at 11:09 pm

My favorite tool is the silicone garlic peeler. Can´t cook without it! Tips on buying another one, anyone?

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24 Marlene June 18, 2013 at 12:07 am

I hate to admit that my favorite took has been my mini food chopper (also by OXO) … makes me seem like I’m lazy, but that thing does wonders with onions and garlic!! Love it!

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25 Marlene June 18, 2013 at 12:08 am

I’m a subscriber … button_patch {at} hotmail {dot} com

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26 Coleen w June 18, 2013 at 12:47 am

My all time fav kitchen tool is my spatulas. Use them all time to get all the nibbles and never leave anything behind.

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27 Scott M June 18, 2013 at 2:41 am

My good knife is indispensable (picked it up in Italy awhile back, don’t know the brand)

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28 Scott M June 18, 2013 at 2:41 am

subscribed! Great resources!

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29 Annalise June 18, 2013 at 4:08 am

Having a basting brush definitely makes grilling easier and less messy!

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30 Jerri June 18, 2013 at 5:06 am

I love my kitchen scale.

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31 Jenny Hartin June 18, 2013 at 5:11 am

I want to win these! My favorite go to is my grater – I use it all the time.

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32 Jenny Hartin June 18, 2013 at 5:11 am

I subscribe by e-mail!

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33 Hildi Valenzano June 18, 2013 at 5:13 am

It would be a toss-up..my chef’s knife, my oversized spatula and tongs..always in reach.

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34 Deborah June 18, 2013 at 5:16 am

My everyday go to tool is called a clamata. It is used to attach as a handle to a sufaria ( a wide lipped aluminum pan) used here in Kenya!

It is like a tong that clips on to hold the pot in place when stirring or for transferring the pan from the fire.

I am already subscribed and LOVING Paninihappy!!!

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35 Shelly June 18, 2013 at 5:20 am

I love my Microplane zester!

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36 Shelly June 18, 2013 at 5:21 am

I’m an email subscriber.

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37 Lynne L June 18, 2013 at 5:22 am

I know this will sound crazy, but my Panini Press is my favorite! We have removable grates that flip over (Cuisinart) so it works as a griddle too – - it is awesome for everything!

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38 Lynne L June 18, 2013 at 5:23 am

I’m on this email/blog list – - Kathy does a great job with this!!!!

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39 Laura June 18, 2013 at 5:23 am

I love my sharp knife and cutting board

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40 Judi June 18, 2013 at 5:24 am

My favorite kitchen tool is my Kitchen Aid Mixer, I use it all the time – but especially for Homemade Bread to make my Husband’s sandwiches for lunch during the week. He would LOVE to take a Panini to work!

I follow you on Pinterest and am subscribed via e-mail-

Love your posts!

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41 MaryBeth June 18, 2013 at 5:25 am

My large cookie scoop! I use it for cookies, cupcake batter, portioning mashed potatoes, making uniform sized meatballs, the list goes on and on :-)

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42 MaryBeth June 18, 2013 at 5:26 am

I’m already an email subscriber – thanks!

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43 Gary Sutphin June 18, 2013 at 5:29 am

just now getting started with my new panini press. seeing this give me some ideas as to some of the items that I will need in the future that I have not thought of as yet. thanks as I really enjoy your website.Pplease make sure to enter me into your contest.

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44 Janet June 18, 2013 at 5:31 am

I have to say a good chef knife and cheese plane are some of my favorite tools in the kitchen!

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45 Paul Laincz June 18, 2013 at 5:47 am

My favorite go to is my Wusthof Santoku 7 Inch Knife.

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46 Veronica June 18, 2013 at 6:02 am

I am already a subscriber and my favorite cooking tool is my silicone spatula because it scrapes the bowl(s) nice and clean..

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47 Glenda June 18, 2013 at 6:09 am

My favourite kitchen tool is my lemon juicer. It measures, it keeps out the seeds and it’s cute!

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48 Deb June 18, 2013 at 6:11 am

My favorite go to cooking tool is the microplane grater, i use it for cheese, nutmeg, garlic, all kinds of things.

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49 barbara n June 18, 2013 at 6:13 am

My favorite cooking tool is my paring knife…I finally invested in a good one!

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50 barbara n June 18, 2013 at 6:13 am

I am an email subscriber to panini happy

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51 LeslieBee June 18, 2013 at 6:15 am

I have a big silicone “spoonula” that gets quite a workout.

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52 Simone June 18, 2013 at 6:21 am

I love my cheese grater, couldn’t live without it! A freshly grated parmesan is delicious and not in the same category as a store grated one. I’m already a subscriber.

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53 Christina June 18, 2013 at 6:31 am

Lately it’s been my blender for smoothies and agua frescas.

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54 Larissa June 18, 2013 at 6:32 am

My favorite tool is my cookie scoop. I use it for everything! Filling muffin tins, making meatballs, of course cookies…and so much more!

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55 Robbi June 18, 2013 at 6:42 am

I use my silicone spatula most.

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56 Robbi June 18, 2013 at 6:43 am

I am an email subscriber.

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57 Christina June 18, 2013 at 7:08 am

I also subscribe to your email.
Thanks!

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58 Melissa June 18, 2013 at 7:13 am

I love my pastry cutter for mixing butter into flour!

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59 Johnnie Whitford June 18, 2013 at 7:22 am

my go to would be my grater

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60 Jessie C. June 18, 2013 at 7:27 am

I like my iron skillet

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61 Jessie C. June 18, 2013 at 7:27 am

I am a subscriber

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62 Lois Reinke June 18, 2013 at 7:32 am

I am a subscriber to Panini Happy email.

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63 Melissa Layman June 18, 2013 at 7:36 am

My favorite tools are my knife set, I use it almost every time I cook, and my tongs. I never realized how useful they were until I had a set and wore them out. Now I have several pairs in various sizes for multiple uses!

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64 Jacqui June 18, 2013 at 7:44 am

My favorite cooking tool is my basic rubber spatula! I use it all the time whether I am baking, cooking, etc. It definitely gets the most use in my kitchen!

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65 Jacqui June 18, 2013 at 7:45 am

I am already subscribed to your emails!

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66 Nessa June 18, 2013 at 7:52 am

Flexible spatulas!

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67 Nessa June 18, 2013 at 7:54 am

I’m subscribed!

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68 Ericka June 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

I love my tongs. I use them all the time for everything!

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69 Judy Murphy June 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

I couldn’t survie without my kitchen aid mixer and food processer

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70 Ericka June 18, 2013 at 8:03 am

I am a long-time subscriber!

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71 Judy Murphy June 18, 2013 at 8:04 am

I am subscribed

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72 Mike B June 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

My tongs are the most utilized tools in my kitchen. Second place, my Chicago Cutlery.

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73 Mike B June 18, 2013 at 8:20 am

I’m a subscriber to your list and enjoy it immensely.

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74 Kathy Strahs June 18, 2013 at 8:38 am

I’m glad to hear it – thanks, Mike!

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75 Michele June 18, 2013 at 8:25 am

wooden spoon

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76 Michele June 18, 2013 at 8:27 am

signed up for the email list – thanks!

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77 Maria June 18, 2013 at 8:32 am

Favorite tool…probably the food processor because I can chop, slice, grate, mix doughs, etc. Very versatile.

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78 Nick June 18, 2013 at 8:35 am

Rubber coated 3 inch spatula. It’s invaluable, useful on every surface, and can do a variety of things like chopping and flipping.

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79 Dianne June 18, 2013 at 8:53 am

My favorite kitchen tool has to be my tongs. It seems like I am always reaching for them!

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80 Carole June 18, 2013 at 9:00 am

My kitchen would be incomplete without my wooden spoons.

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81 Carole June 18, 2013 at 9:01 am

I’m a subscriber.

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82 Amanda Christensen June 18, 2013 at 9:07 am

My favorite cooking tool is my set of Gerber knives. We got them as a wedding gift 22 years ago and they still look (and perform) like new.

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83 Jean June 18, 2013 at 9:11 am

My favorite kitchen tool used most often is my silicone spatula. I use it for making salads with mayo – gets a large amount out of the jar, mixes everything then scrapes every last bit out of the bowl.

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84 Jean June 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

I’m already a subscriber. Love your column. I print out most of your recipes and keep them in a notebook.

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85 Kathy Strahs June 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

Thank you so much, Jean – that’s really nice to hear. :-)

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86 Daphne June 18, 2013 at 9:12 am

Definitely a pair of chopsticks. They’re super versatile and how the heck do you pick up a swimming noodle with a fork anyways?!?

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87 jackie huvane June 18, 2013 at 9:16 am

A good chefs knife and s wine opener!

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88 jackie huvane June 18, 2013 at 9:17 am

I subscribe to the email list

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89 Rose S. June 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

My favorite kitchen tool is my good knife. I would be lost without it.

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90 Rose S. June 18, 2013 at 9:27 am

I am a subscriber and enjoy your newsletters.

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91 Kathy Strahs June 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

Thanks so much, Rose – I’m glad you enjoy them. :-)

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92 Erin R. June 18, 2013 at 9:46 am

Ooh, that grill brush looks neat! I always have trouble cleaning my grill plates really well.

Hmm, I think it’s a tie between my stick blender and my good santoku knife. It’s the very first good knife I’ve used in my life and it completely changed cooking for me.

Great list!

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93 Erin R. June 18, 2013 at 9:47 am

I also have an e-mail subscription.

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94 jenn b. June 18, 2013 at 9:51 am

my kitchen knives, they get the most use out of any tool that I have

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95 Wendy N June 18, 2013 at 9:52 am

Definitely my chef’s knife!

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96 Larry June 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

I have 3 g0-to tools: the basting brush, the tongs, and the spatula — all OXO. I can’t pick just one. Also, I am already signed up as an e-mail recipient from Panni Happy. That is how I learned about this “8 Esssential Panni Tools article.

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97 Larry June 18, 2013 at 10:02 am

I have 3 g0-to tools: the basting brush, the tongs, and the spatula — all OXO. I can’t pick just one. Also, I already receive Panni Happy e-mails.

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98 Teresa Young June 18, 2013 at 10:13 am

My go-to cooking tool is my thin egg turner spatula.

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99 Caddie T. June 18, 2013 at 10:14 am

I love my micro planer. I use it almost every day!

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100 Neena June 18, 2013 at 10:21 am

I can’t live without my Vitamix which I use just about every day for various dishes like smoothies, sauces and soups. Love your site and am already subscribed to e-mail. Thank you!

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101 Elizabeth June 18, 2013 at 10:37 am

My new favorite tool to use is my new garnishing set – melon baller, grater, channel knife, spiral cutter, etc…having fun just playing with my food!

other than that it’s my Cutco Knives – they are still as sharp as the day I got them 15 years ago.

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102 Elizabeth June 18, 2013 at 10:37 am

I have subscribed to the newsletter too.

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103 Sheilah C June 18, 2013 at 10:41 am

My favorite go to kitchen tool is probably my garlic press. You can’t beat it!

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104 Lynda Del June 18, 2013 at 11:00 am

Love my Ninja blender.

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105 Corisa June 18, 2013 at 11:16 am

spatula !

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106 Cecilia E June 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

My grill brush is by far my favorite. I love the easy no hassle clean up.

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107 Cecilia E June 18, 2013 at 11:43 am

I just subscribed!

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108 Evelyn R June 18, 2013 at 11:51 am

I have a silicon spoon that I use all the time

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109 Babs June 18, 2013 at 11:55 am

Tongs! I really hadn’t considered how many times a day, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, that I grab for tongs. Really the most useful tool in my drawer.

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110 Babs June 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

I all ready subscribe to panini happy by email.

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111 susie bowden June 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm

my oxo tongs

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112 Sue Simmons June 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Hi, I am new to the Panini business and can use all the help to be given. Plus I am a tool junky so don’t ask me to narrow it down! Sue S.

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113 Laura June 18, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I subscribe to your email newsletter.

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114 Laura June 18, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Oh gosh, I have to just pick one?? I guess I would say my wooden spoons. I think I use them every time I walk into the kitchen!

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115 Faye June 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Probably my LONG handle spatula for turning burgers…

I already subscribe to your newsletter…love your site!!

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116 Isla June 18, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Silicone spatulas!

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117 Isla June 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm

I love my silicone spatulas!

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118 Debby June 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm

Hard to pick, but I would have to say my favorite cooking tool is my rubber spatula.

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119 Mona June 18, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I subscribe to your email.

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120 Mona June 18, 2013 at 3:24 pm

My favorite cooking tools are my set of pampered chef knives

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121 Heather June 18, 2013 at 5:34 pm

My favorite cooking tools are my cast iron skillets and my slow cooker.

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122 zhezhe June 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Love my tongs and a good knife

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123 zhezhe June 18, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I subscribed too :-)

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124 Helene D'souza June 19, 2013 at 1:27 am

Oh I wish I could join the giveaway, but I am not in the Us. -_-
Oxo kitchen tools are available here but they are imported and not that commonly available yet. All foodies in India are waiting impatiently for oxo to enter the Indian market, I know everybody is looking for pretty and handy kitchen tools.

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125 Amy June 19, 2013 at 3:33 am

My grandmothers cast iron pan. Can’t cook withou it.

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126 debra lewis June 19, 2013 at 4:21 am

I am a newbie with my recent purchase of the panini press and am so excited to have found you and your panini~happy blog site!! You have been amazing with all the great recipes and tips for all your followers. I have just added this meat thermometer from OXO to my cart and expect it will be used often. Can’t wait to try out some of those delish-looking sandwiches you have concocted!! Thanks for all you do Kathy!!! <3

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127 Kathy Strahs June 19, 2013 at 6:38 am

That’s terrific, Debra – thanks so much! The meat thermometer is so helpful – have fun!

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128 debra lewis June 19, 2013 at 4:23 am

I am already a subscriber and have enjoyed your newsletters very much!!

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129 Gail June 19, 2013 at 6:17 am

My favorite cooking tool is my son who is just starting to love to cook!!

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130 Gail June 19, 2013 at 6:17 am

signed up for the email

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131 tara pittman June 19, 2013 at 8:56 am

My silicone brush
tara pittman´s last blog post ..Bob’s Red Mill Grains of Discovery

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132 erin June 19, 2013 at 10:05 am

the good ole wooden spoon!

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133 Laura R June 19, 2013 at 10:51 am

Definitely our Chef’s knife!

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134 Terrell June 19, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Silicone baking cups! So easy :)

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135 Terrell June 19, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Email Subscribed!

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136 Shewanna June 19, 2013 at 1:13 pm

For every recipe I pull out my silicon spatula, tongs and my wooden cutting board!

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137 sara June 19, 2013 at 2:47 pm

My favorite tool is an awesome spatula. It is better than any other one I own!

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138 sara June 19, 2013 at 2:48 pm

I am also an email subscriber

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139 puja June 19, 2013 at 2:57 pm

my hand blender & my oxo tongs!!

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140 Michelle June 19, 2013 at 5:56 pm

I’d say my mini spatula–we make a lot of cookies around here!

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141 Theresa J June 19, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I love my Joseph Joseph Uni-tool, 5-In-1 Utensil

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142 anne villeneuve June 20, 2013 at 3:07 am

My favorite tool is my 5 bladed herb scissor, slices up fresh herbs so quick and easy .Anyone that uses fresh herbs must get a pair!

I see your book is due to be released this fall, I expect to see one of those under my Xmas tree this year!

Of course I’m a subscriber!
Anne villeneuve
Ottawa Canada

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143 Amy S June 20, 2013 at 7:49 am

I love my wisk!

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144 Amy S June 20, 2013 at 7:49 am

I subscribe via email

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145 Lori June 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Digital scale. Once you start using one, you wonder how you ever cooked with out it!

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146 Lori June 20, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I subscribe via e-mail. Thanks so much.

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147 Margot C June 20, 2013 at 4:29 pm

I can’t cope in the kitchen without my silicone spatulas (I have about 6 of them, maybe more – all red!)

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148 Margot C June 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm

I’m on your email list now (let’s cook!)

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149 Meghan Finley June 20, 2013 at 9:40 pm

mandolin slicer

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150 Nicole June 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

Trying to decide on my favorite kitchen tool is a lot harder than one thinks. I have several favorites, but the one I reach for the most I believe would have to be my silicone spatulas. I use them for everything, and I use them in place of spoons a lot! haha
Nicole´s last blog post ..Garlic Tomato Butter Chicken #weekdaysupper

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151 Nicole June 21, 2013 at 8:16 am

I signed up for your newsletter! Thanks!
Nicole´s last blog post ..Garlic Tomato Butter Chicken #weekdaysupper

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152 sharon June 21, 2013 at 8:54 am

My microplane zester (love it for garlic)

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153 sharon June 21, 2013 at 8:55 am

I am a new email subscriber. Thank you!

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154 TaraUB June 21, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I guess my grill. I grill year round and live in Indiana, so it’s not always warm here. For me, it’s the ease of clean up. Plus, the house we lived in for 10 years had a tiny kitchen that was not conducive to cooking, so it was my outdoor kitchen.

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155 Gini June 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Actually, I think of my panini press as my favorite tool!

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156 Gini June 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm

I also subscribed to the newsletter …

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157 Robin June 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Outdoor Grill, use it almost every day…winter, spring, summer and fall

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158 Jeffrey June 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Not sure if its considered a tool but I love my baking stone!

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159 Cindy Dupin June 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I so enjoy cooking, but I’m intimidated when it comes to grilling… I LOVE this Panini grilling idea. I don’t own one YET !!! It’s on my list. My favorite “go to” tool are Tongs…

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160 Maralea June 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm

My favorite is my cookie dough scooper!

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161 Venessa Martin June 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm

My favorite go to tool is my pizza cutter. Not only does it cut pizzas but sandwiches, pancakes and waffles too saving me lots of time.

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162 Diana Funk June 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

My non-stick pan

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163 Denise M June 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm

locking tongs are my go to tool of choice

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164 kathy boyd June 21, 2013 at 3:42 pm

I use my silicone spatula daily.

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165 Marina June 21, 2013 at 3:49 pm

It is so hard to choose one tool since I love my whole kitchen! I have so many gadgets and use them all! but I must come to my microplane and a good set of sharp knives. I have a set that goes with me everywhere. Whenever I go to a friend’s house, somehow I always find my way to their kitchen helping around.

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166 shmidy June 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm

my fork and knife,i dont go to a BBQ without them both

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167 Kathy Eyre June 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I have these steak knives that I bought at the state fair 20 years ago and they are still as sharp as the day I bought them. I have no idea who makes them, but I love them.

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168 SharonF June 21, 2013 at 5:37 pm

For a go-to grilling tool, it would be my expandable grill basket. Vegetables, fish, sliders or hot dogs can all cook at once and they are easy to flip without losing anything through the grates. For an all purpose tool, it would be my iron skillets.

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169 Ken L June 21, 2013 at 8:56 pm

I love using silicone spatulas, great for cooking and cleaning out mixing bowls.

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170 Jen W. June 21, 2013 at 10:33 pm

My go-to cooking tool is my bamboo spoons and spatulas.

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171 Jen W. June 21, 2013 at 10:33 pm

I’m an email subscriber.

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172 Yelena June 22, 2013 at 5:17 am

My fave is my tongs. I do everything with them

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173 Stephanie June 22, 2013 at 7:45 am

I signed up for your newsletter. I just found this website today and I love it.

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174 Kathy Strahs June 22, 2013 at 7:51 am

Thanks so much, Stephanie – welcome!

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175 Calli June 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

I love my rubber stapula!

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176 Susan Christy June 22, 2013 at 7:24 pm

My garlic press – I don’t like mincing garlic.

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177 HilLesha June 23, 2013 at 2:10 pm

My favorite kitchen tool is the Chef’n VeggiChop Vegetable Chopper. :)
HilLesha´s last blog post ..Free Printable DIY TomKat Lemonade Stand

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178 Suzanne June 23, 2013 at 2:39 pm

My Silpat baking pan liner, nothing sticks and you can make everything from isomalt bubble sugar decor to crispy cheese discs… Easy to use easy to clean easy to store…love it

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179 Renee G June 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm

My favorite go-to tool is a small metal spatula. It’s great for serving cake, brownies, and other treats.

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180 Mindy June 24, 2013 at 7:27 am

My go-to cooking tool(s) are wooden spoons! I use them for everything and never have to worry about scratching my pots and pans. :-)

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181 Jessica W June 24, 2013 at 9:32 am

Amazingly that OXO silicon Spatula is the best one that I have yet to find

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182 Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe June 24, 2013 at 9:46 am

For things like the Panini Press, my favorite tool to have on hand is a toothbrush. They come in handy for brushing out anything missed in the curves and corners. They’re also great for when your electric can opener eventually gets gummed up, the little nooks and crannies in your food processor bowl, etc.
Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe´s last blog post ..Parmesan-Chipotle Crusted Pork Cutlets

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183 Debbie June 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

My favorite go-to cooking tool are tongs.

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184 Marie June 24, 2013 at 11:58 am

My favorite tool is my immersion blender. I make smoothies daily and the cleanup is quick.

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185 Berry June 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Oh goodness, that’s a hard question. I mean, my favorite chef’s knife (and honing/sharpening stuff) is THE essential kitchen tool. But if you mean besides the basics, my Zyliss avocado tool stays in the dish drainer, and I have 3 sizes of microplane graters that also rarely make it out of the drainer and into their assigned spots. For gadgets, my panini press/griddle and my electric water kettle would fight it out for supremacy.

Hmmm… Actually, after blathering, I think I’d nominate my largest dinner fork. After my knives, or possibly before, it is my most used kitchen tool. It mixes and stirs, lifts like a small spatula, makes impromptu tongs, spears stuff out of jars, and I can use it to eat dinner too.

the avocado thingie is this one
http://www.amazon.com/Zyliss-12550-Avocado-Tool/dp/B00421ATN6
knife/slotted spoon all in one

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186 Ashley June 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

My favorite tool (and my husband totally teases me for this) is a pair of super long tongs. It makes me less nervous to have a little room between me and things that are right on the fire :)
Ashley´s last blog post ..Brie, Tomato and Purple Basil Sandwich with Aged Balsamic

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187 Nutmeg Nanny July 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

A quality cheese grater is always in use in my house :)

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188 Katie Orr July 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm

Great contest!! My favorite go to kitchen tool would be my mini-kitchen utensils!! They are perfect size for me!!
Katie Orr´s last blog post ..Another giveaway!!

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189 Jean R July 18, 2013 at 7:39 am

My favorite tool or tools has to be my grater/zester and my tongs especially for grilling tongs do not pierce the meat or fish causing them to lose valuable juices and the zester grater tops all with cheese or a quick zest burst of flavor

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190 Mary F. Ellison July 24, 2013 at 11:30 am

I think my “go to” tool would have to be my tongs … they’re now like an extension of my arm!

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191 Brenda Gervaise July 31, 2013 at 9:42 am

I’m waiting for my first paninni maker to be delivered.
I didn’t realize that you can grill meat on them.
I look forward to getting your e-mails regarding paninni recipes.
Thanks,
Brenda

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192 Kathy Strahs July 31, 2013 at 11:23 am

Yes! As long as your press comes with a drip tray or other drainage mechanism you absolutely can. Happy grilling!

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193 Tracey August 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

My favorite go-to tool… Just one? Okay, the one tool I turn to repeatedly is my set of heavy-duty kitchen scissors that can be taken apart for easy cleaning. I put a heavy-duty magnet (I got it at Lowe’s) on my fridge, and that’s where those scissors stay. Except for the 15 times a day I used them for opening bags, cutting up chicken for teriyaki, slicing pizza, and any other big and small job I can find.

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194 Jacqueline Thompson August 29, 2013 at 7:15 am

Love all silicone gadgets, especially flattened silicone whisk.

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195 Janet September 10, 2013 at 10:08 am

I use my spatula for so many things – not just flipping burgers

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196 Kat F September 10, 2013 at 7:57 pm

My Oxo anything is my fav tool. Particularly my veggie pealer. But I love them all………cuz I don’t slip and I don’t drop them!!!

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197 Kat F September 10, 2013 at 7:58 pm

I meant “peeler”.

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198 SandyC January 9, 2014 at 10:57 pm

It’s a toss-up between my mini food processor & digital scale which both sit on the countertop ready for quick usage.

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199 Maria January 31, 2014 at 6:33 pm

I’m shopping for a sandwich/panini maker – looking for a bargain deal, not wanting to get too fancy, maybe $50 tops. Any recommendations? I have looked at the Cuisinart Sandwich maker, its on $20, but is it any good? will I be disappointed for not spending a bit more for a better appliance? Help!
Thank you!

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200 Kathy Strahs January 31, 2014 at 7:45 pm

Hi Maria — I’ve got a summary of my panini press buying advice here: http://paninihappy.com/panini-press-buying-advice-what-to-look-for/
Personally, I want appliances that I can use often and are decently versatile (or I’d just as soon use the stove or oven) so when it comes to panini presses I usually don’t recommend the $20 sandwich makers. The compact grills made by Cuisinart and Breville are usually around $50-$60 on Amazon. Hope this helps! ~Kathy

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