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Kitchen Must Haves

The Girl in the Green Apron’s Top 10 Kitchen Essentials

After navigating dozens of different kitchens over the years while cooking for my clients, I've learned a thing or two about the tools and gadgets that make the sometimes-daunting task of cooking feel like second nature. So here are my picks for the best kitchen items ranging from affordable to extravagant.

1) Taylor Kitchen Thermometer ($11.66)

I can't begin to count how many steaks, tenderloins, roast chickens, cakes, and breads that have been saved by this tool. Using a thermometer takes all of the guesswork out of cooking. I particularly like this brand because of its compact design and lack of tangle-prone wires.

2) Microplane Classic Zester Grater ($15.50)

This sleek tool may appear to be your run-of-the-mill citrus zester, but it is so much more. Elevate your recipes by grating garlic into a smooth paste rather than the sharp angular bits you get from a rough mince. Impress your dining companion with gorgeous curly strands of fresh parmesan cheese atop their pasta. And with the proper technique, get every bit of zest from your citrus of choice—no more patchy lemons with chunks of bitter pith missing.

3) Wire Racks ($15.99)

Foolproof for making mess-free bacon, cooling cookies, and evenly cooking beef tenderloin. Racks ensure even distribution of heat around food in the oven, as well as even airflow for cooling.

4) Lodge 10" Cast Iron Skillet (19.90)

A New York Strip's best friend, cornbread's companion, and the proper home of chicken pot pie, this pan is a favorite among cooking enthusiasts for good reason. So take care of it, and it will last you a lifetime.

5) Williams-Sonoma Prep Tools Straight Swivel Peeler ($19.95)

Every cook's nightmare is a 10-pound bag of unpeeled potatoes. This gadget makes the peeling process a little less scary and certainly saves you from a bout of carpal tunnel with its curved vegetable-contouring design.

6) Lazy Susan Spice Organizer ($19.99)

Consider these turntables a permanent part of your mise en place. Cooking is exorbitantly difficult without easy access to ingredients, and knowing what you have and where it is, is crucial to being successful in the kitchen. Plus, your inner child will get a kick out of all that spinning.

7) Aprons ($19.99)

I can't overstate the importance of a clean apron in the kitchen. I dedicated the name of my business to mine, after all! Pockets for small important things (like a thermometer), a place to keep your kitchen towel close to your body, plus your wardrobe will thank you greatly. Choose a color, pattern, or fabric you like and grab a set of two, so while one is in the washer, you have a backup.

8) Whysko Stainless Steel Bowls with Lids ($28.97)

These wide-bottom bowls with lids are essential for food safety and efficiency. Neatly seal marinating meat, store sauces and dressings away for later, vigorously whisk brownie mix without fear of spillage, and even proof sourdough. And let's not forget about their stackability for saving precious cabinet space.

9) Wusthof Classic 6" Chef's Knife ($135.00)

While this is a pricier item, I consider it to be one of the best purchases I've ever made. You don't necessarily need an entire block of high-end chef's knives to increase efficiency in the kitchen. One quality knife will do just fine if you keep it clean and sharp. I recommend a 6" for beginners as it's less cumbersome than the 8".

10) Instant Pot Ultra 8QT 10-in-1 ($143.99)

While crockpots have never appealed to me, this pressure cooker has revolutionized my cooking game. After a busy day of work, you can come home, toss in some beef short ribs and a few veggies, and in an hour, you'll have the most tender, delicious meat that tastes like it's been braising in a Dutch oven all day. I even use it on special occasions and holidays when cooking for a crowd because of its huge capacity and foolproof efficiency.

Head over to my page, GirlInTheGreenApron.com, or visit me on Instagram at @GirlInTheGreenApron_ (don't forget the underscore at the end) for more recipes, tips, and tricks!