4 Kitchen Essentials Every Cook Needs, According to Chef Anne Burrell
As the host of Worst Cooks in America, Anne Burrell has seen it all when it comes to kitchen catastrophes. But while her show may focus on contestants presenting her with some less-than-stellar meals, Burrell has a few tips for anyone trying to step up their recipe game at home—and it all starts with one simple rule.
“You have to taste your food as you're cooking,” Burrell told InStyle during the New York City Wine and Food Festival this weekend. “Food should taste good, and if it doesn’t, then something is wrong and you need to fix it. I’m always for the low-tech solution, and if your method is just hoping it comes out all right, then it probably won’t.” Burell’s key ingredient in the kitchen is a quick-fix for giving any dish some kick. “I put salt in everything,” she said. “You’re not a good cook if you don’t cook with salt.”
Of course, to be an even better chef, you need the right gadgets. “Even after all the years that I’ve been a cook or working in the restaurant industry, I still get excited about kitchen equipment,” said Burrell. “I love bowls and rubber spatulas and spoons and pretty pans. I like to have plenty of things to use to cook with—but I live in a New York City apartment, so there's a moratorium in my house that I've imposed on myself. But I can’t buy any more kitchen equipment, because I just don't have any more room for it.”
Still, there are a few key kitchen essentials that every cook should have—and if you don’t think you have room to store them, think again. “It’s all about getting creative with space,” said Burrell.
Scroll down to find out the four must-haves that she believes are worth making room for.
A Wooden Spoon
“I love a wooden spoon,” said Burrell. “Everyone from a grandma to a four-Michelin-star chef uses a wooden spoon, and when they get warm and brown and used, there's some miles and love on that spoon—and it really just makes me feel sweet and homey.”
A Sharp Knife
“You need a really good knife that you know how to sharpen and how to put an edge on,” said Burrell. “I'm a fan of a Wusthof knife, which is an investment, but for the home cook it's probably a once in a lifetime thing that you have to do.”
A Good Set of Pans
“A good set of pans is important,” said Burrell. “With knives and pans, I always say to start with the basics of what you can afford. You can always add on to your set later for your birthday or for Christmas or something, and it's a built-in present.”
A Food Processor
“I definitely love my food processor so very much,” said Burrell. “For the home cook, a food processor is a godsend. It's my favorite piece of equipment that you have to plug in.”