When it comes to kitchen gear, I’m all about combining form and function. After all, who doesn’t love practical but pretty tea towels or adorable recipe cards? However, when it comes to kitchen workhorses—you know, the products you use every day—pretty doesn’t always pay. For those heavy rotation items, I turn to my local restaurant supply store.
I know what you’re thinking: those are for restaurants. You’re not wrong, but these suppliers are often open to the public, and they have a lot to offer home cooks.
According to Jamie Little, marketing director at Fein Brothers, a Milwaukee restaurant supplier, “The big advantage to shopping here is that everything is commercial grade. These products are made to be used over and over again—to really take a beating.”
With that in mind, here’s what you should be buying at your local restaurant supply store.
Taste of Home
I’m not sure there’s any baking tool that works harder than the classic cookie sheet—especially when it gets thumped against the oven rack. These sheets get used over and over and over again, so it’s worth investing in an industrial-grade product. That’s where your local restaurant store’s baking section comes in handy. These stores are packed with pans of all sizes (perfect for larger sheet pan dinners), and they’re all extremely affordable. A full-size sheet pan will likely run you under $10, and cookie sheet-sized trays under $4. Just be sure you aren’t making these baking mistakes next time you whip up a batch of cookies!