For Haylie Duff, cooking is more than just a hobby—it’s a passion. In addition to running her popular food blog, The Real Girl’s Kitchen, the actress-turned-lifestyle guru hosts two series on the Cooking Channel, and she’s even penned her own cookbook. Duff is constantly sharing her recipes with the world, and in order to get each meal just right, the 31-year-old mom-of-one keeps a few key kitchen gadgets on hand. And the tools that she swears by aren’t all super pricey.
“The funny thing about gadgets is that they all tend to do the same things,” Duff told InStyle during a New York City Wine and Food Festival event this week. “You can dress them up or dress them down, but they really all tend to work in the same way, whether you go into Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma to buy a fancy one or choose one from a cheaper store. They don’t necessarily always have to be expensive to get the job done.”
In fact, when Duff does spring for a more expensive option, she tends to use it less. “I know it sounds silly, but if I do spend a lot of money on something, I end up feeling almost guilty using it in the kitchen all the time,” she said. “I recently bought a grater from this really beautiful home goods store in Northern California called Shed, and it’s so expensive that I feel guilty using it. It's been propped up in my kitchen for probably six months now, and I've never used it. But then I have a cheap grater that’s a little too small and has a slightly broken handle, and I use that one all the time.”
While her go-to grater might not be in its prime, Duff stressed the importance of properly caring for kitchen gadgets. “Sharpen your knives or cast irons,” she said. “Keep them seasoned, and don’t let them rust out or dry out from soaking them. I tend to think that just taking care of your tools in the kitchen will make them work better for you.”
VIDEO: Chef Marcela Valladolid Facebook Live
Scroll down to find out the three kitchen gadgets that Duff can’t live without.