5 kitchen tools that Ina Garten says are must haves


Do you have these five kitchen tools? Culinary legend Ina Garten says that everyone needs these cooking essentials.

Five kitchen tools don’t seem like a lot. For Ina Garten, these particular kitchen items are her must haves. Even though many home cooks will have numerous other kitchen gadgets filling the cabinets, these items might be some of the most used and versatile items in any kitchen.

In a recent segment on the Today show, Garten said that these items are her five must have kitchen items.

Good knives

Knives are used in every part of cooking. Still, choosing a knife is very personal. The feel in your hand, the angle of the blade or even the material of the knife varies across brands and styles. While good knives are kitchen essentials, the breadth of options can be overwhelming.

I would recommend starting with a good chef knife. Truthfully, a good knife will be an investment, but that knife, when properly cared for, will last a long time.

To find a knife that is good for you, visit a kitchen store and hold the knives in your hand. While you might not get to practically use the knife, you do need to pick it up, hold it and even “fake” chop.

Although ordering online is convenient, it doesn’t allow you to feel, hold and use a knife. Sure, a celebrity chef endorsement is great, but that chef isn’t cooking in your kitchen. Your opinion is the one that matters.

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  • Half sheet pan

    A half sheet pan isn’t just for baking a cake. This versatile kitchen essential works in so many different situations. Kitchen prep, cooking in an oven or a variety of other uses.

    Personally, I prefer a sheet pan with a side. This style is more versatile in my kitchen. I pile ingredients on the pan for a recipe. It keeps everything organized in my kitchen.

    Sauté pan

    While many home cooks have numerous pans, in various styles and sizes, a good sauté is a must have kitchen tool. You can cook anything and everything in a sauté pan.

    Again, the kitchen aisle is packed with all types of brands, styles and even colors of pans. Truthfully, personal preference does come into play when choosing a pan. The weight, angle of the handle and even the lip can make one pan better than another for each person.

    Also, price can be a factor. Unfortunately, there is a difference between a $25 pan and a $200 pan. I would suggest that you purchase the best possible pan for your budget. It is an investment, but if cared for well, that pan will last a long time.

    Dutch oven

    Again, a Dutch oven is a wonderful kitchen essential. From cooking a slow roasted stew to even making risotto, a Dutch oven can do it all. This item can definitely last years and years.

    Proper care for your Dutch oven is key. Remember cast iron shouldn’t be soaked in water. The pan needs to be seasoned, too. If you’re making an investment in this pan, take good care of it.


    A good zester can do so many things in a kitchen. From citrus to garlic to even chocolate, this simple kitchen tool can do it all. Plus, a good zester isn’t too expensive.

    My favorite zester is the Microplane. This super sharp, zester/grater does it all. From making quick work of garlic to zesting a lemon, there are so many different uses for this kitchen essential. Plus, at under $20, you could even have two in the house (I might have more than two). And, with all the different handle colors, every home cook can have her own color.

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    While Ina Garten recommends these five kitchen tools, do you agree with her recommendations? Do you have some kitchen essentials that are your must haves? Share your ideas in the comments section.