It might look like what the world’s most famous chefs are capable of cooking up is basically magic, but the reality is that every cook needs help. Even if you’ve got all the talent in the world, trying to tackle food without the right tools is a recipe for disaster.
Go into any professional kitchen, and you’ll find chefs who swear that there are a few things that absolutely no cook should ever be without. These gadgets can be simple or complicated, but they are always critical in turning good food into something great. Straight from some of the biggest names in cooking, here are a few pieces of kitchenware that top chefs say they can’t live without.
1. Gordon Ramsay
When he’s taking a break from shouting at terrified wannabes and actually gets down to the business of cooking, Gordon Ramsay swears by a non-stick frying pan with a metal handle. Not only is a non-stick frying pan a must have for anyone who wants to avoid hours scrubbing burnt bits in a sink, but the metal handle allows you to easily finish cooking food in the oven.
2. Tom Colicchio
You don’t become a Top Chef if you don’t enjoy chopping things. Though there are plenty of pointy, sharp objects available on the market, Tom Colicchio insists that the most important thing for any cook to have is a really good knife. According to “Business Insider”, Colicchio himself recommends Japanese brands such as Korin.
3. Ina Garten
Home cooking queen Ina Garten doesn’t work with some of the fancier gadgets featured in many of the world’s most cutting edge kitchens. Instead of snazzy tech, Garten insisted to restaurateur Danny Meyer that the only thing she can’t do without is half-sized sheet pans, which she claims are ideal for dishes such as roast chicken and granola cookies.
4. Rachel Ray
Even if your kitchen at home is miniscule, you shouldn’t be tempted to downsize your kitchenware. That’s according to Rachel Ray, who’s personal preference for kitchen gadgetry comes in the form of a big cutting board. She revealed to “People” magazine that “a giant cutting board is a must. I put it over the sink and work next to the stove so I can chop and drop everything right into the pot.”
5. Bobby Flay
If there’s one thing that’s likely to ruin your food, it is temperature. This is why Bobby Flay never cooks anything without his trusty kitchen thermometer by his side. Essential for letting you know when your meat is properly cooked, using a thermometer can make the difference between a beautifully cooked chicken breast and a raw inedible disaster.
6. Nigella Lawson
Britain’s own member of home cooking royalty, Nigella has always done things a little differently, as anyone who remembers the furor over her avocado toast will attest. It shouldn’t really surprise anyone, therefore, that her kitchen essentials are slightly unorthodox. According to an interview with the New York Post, Nigella’s favourite saucepans come from a small Finnish brand called “Tools”, as they “are a cook’s dream: they conduct heat excellently and wash up easily”.
7. Giada de Laurentiis
If there’s one thing every kitchen is going to have a lot of, it’s spoons. Whether you’re eating cereal, sifting through the contents of a pan or stirring something on the hob, a spoon is an absolute must. But, for Giada de Laurentiis, not just any spoon will do. She advises that every chef ensure that their kitchen has at least one wooden spoon with easy reach, as they don’t heat up like their metal counterparts and won’t chemically react with your food.
It’s easy to think that the best cooks on the planet only ever rely on outlandish, completely impractical kitchen gadgets. As this list proves, it’s actually much easier than you might think to stock your cupboards like a pro.