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6 Must-Have Kitchen Tools

Once you have the basics covered, take your home kitchen up a notch - and save time and money - with these kitchen gadgets.

6 Must-Have Kitchen Tools

We're always looking for ways to save time and money in the kitchen, whether an ingredient swap, a prep hack, or a must-have kitchen gadget. Here are six of the best kitchen tools for any home cook, from cookware to cutlery to countertop appliances.

1. Stay sharp with a dynamic knife duo

You likely have butter knives, serrated knives, and steak knives at home. But if you want to step up your chopping game, there's no need to spring for a multi-knife block for your countertop. Instead, invest in a high-quality chef's knife and paring knife. A chef's knife is great for just about anything from prepping veggies to slicing meat. Paring knives come in handy for more precise work, like filleting fish or peeling fruit. 

2. Keep your cutlery in tip-top shape

If you're investing in professional knives, it's worth adding a knife sharpener to your kitchen gadget collection. For knives you use daily (like a chef's knife!), you should be sharpening every few weeks to keep your blades at their best.

3. Place your trust in an instant-read thermometer

Tired of guessing when your chicken is done? Not sure how to get that big cut of meat to the perfect temperature? Take the guesswork out of cooking and buy an instant-read thermometer. You'll get a read on whether your meat is cooked enough in a matter of moments. The peace of mind is well worth spending $20.

4. Cook with a cast-iron skillet

You probably have a trusted nonstick skillet that you use for everyday cooking, but all kitchen pros have at least one cast-iron pan. Use it to add a grill-worthy sear to steaks, chicken breast, or seafood, or as a pan to bake cornbread, crisps, or even pizza. You can get a decent cast-iron pan for around $25, so it's a budget-friendly addition to any kitchen. Plus, they last a lifetime (seriously!). 

5. Go handheld with an immersion blender

If you love creamy soups and sauces, an immersion blender can make food prep instantly more manageable. Instead of transferring a simmering pot of soup to your countertop blender, keep it in the same pot and use a handheld immersion blender to get the perfect consistency. You'll protect your precious hands from hot liquids, and cleanup is much easier.

6. Make your own oil spritzer

Instead of stocking up on cans of nonstick cooking spray whenever you go to the grocery store, buy an oil sprayer and keep it filled with your favorite (budget-friendly) olive oil, vegetable oil, or any other oil you like. You'll spend a little more upfront on the sprayer and the oil, but over time, it'll be better for your wallet and the environment. 

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