Kuhn Rikon Original Swiss Peeler — I’ve used many peelers over the years, and this is the best one on the market. No need to spend a fortune. Under $4 at Amazon.com.
Microplane Grater/Zester — Originally used for carpentry work, the Microplane crossed over into the kitchen after a home cook discovered its remarkable ease with grating and zesting. We use it in our kitchen everyday. Under $9 at Amazon.com.
Kintrex Infrared Thermometer — This laser technology comes in very handy for checking temperatures when boiling water, deep frying, baking and grilling. Currently on sale for under $50 at Amazon.com.
Cadco Electric Cooktop Buffet Induction Range — With induction cooking, the cooktop does not generate heat: the friction between the iron pan and the cooktop magnet does. Cool to the touch while boiling water, it’s great for preparing sauces at precise temperatures and for operating a secondary burner while barbecuing. They’re also much safer for home cooks concerned about child safety. The Cadco model retails for around $330, but Max Burton makes a model that is currently on sale for under $70 at Amazon.com. The more expensive models tend to have better heat conductivity and consistency.
Vita-Mix Vita-Prep Professional Series Blender — Splurging on a professional-quality blender is highly recommended. You don’t need a food processor if you have one of these. It’s great for making purèes and soups. Under $500 at Amazon.com.