It’s no secret that Ina Garten rules the kitchen (and our hearts). So naturally, we had to find out what culinary secret weapons she uses to take her Barefoot Contessa recipes to the next level. Garten relies on these kitchen items so heavily, we’re pretty sure they’d make her desert island list—along with Jeffrey, of course. We did some digging to uncover the essential kitchen items she can’t live without.
1. KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer
Take a look at any shot of Garten’s kitchen and you’re bound to spot her white KitchenAid perched on the counter. We imagine the cookbook queen has tried a lot of mixers over the years, so it’s telling that she’s been a KitchenAid fan since at least 2009. This particular model boasts ten speeds (from a very fast whip to a very slow stir) and more than 15 attachment options to whip up just about anything you can imagine.
2. Le Creuset Signature 9 Qt. Round Dutch Oven
Taking a cue from Julia Child, this is the only Dutch oven Garten trusts to house her soups and stews. “Not only is it great for cooking, but it’s beautiful enough to go directly from the oven to the table,” she told House Beautiful. The durable enameled cast iron is resistant to chips and cracks, so you can rest easy knowing this guy will be around for the long haul.
3. WÜsthof Gourmet 16-Piece Knife Block Set
Garten has been quoted multiple times stressing the importance of a good, sharp set of knives. According to Katherine Gillen, our food editor and resident Ina Garten expert, Wüsthof is the chambray-loving chef’s favorite brand. This high-quality set contains the most common kitchen knives, as well as some specialty options for more advanced home cooks.
4. PepperMate Traditional Pepper Mill
If you’ve ever watched Garten season a dish, you’re probably familiar with her love for the PepperMate. “It’s the best,” she raved in an Instagram video last year. The unique refillable design makes it easy to grind up as much pepper and salt as you want—without making a mess or having your hand cramp up.
5. HeroFiber Half Sheet Pan (Set of 2)
Garten reportedly uses half sheet pans for everything from cooking vegetables to baking brownies to roasting her famous “engagement chicken,” which even worked for Meghan Markle. And according to enthusiastic Amazon buyers, you can’t go wrong with HeroFiber’s version. “They are very well made, have not warped, are easy to clean,” one woman writes. And you can’t beat the $20 price point.
6. Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor
Ever wonder how the Barefoot Contessa makes her legendary pie doughs, dips and sauces? Three words: Cuisinart food processor. A stainless-steel chopping blade, 720-watt motor and 14-cup capacity make this heavy-duty model the best of the best.
7. Microplane 46020 Premium Classic Series Zester
According to Gillen, “Ina loves brightening up dishes with citrus, and this gives a fine zest.” Perhaps even more impressive than Garten’s (and our) endorsement? This zester has racked up almost 2,000 five-star reviews on Amazon. “This is probably the last zester I’ll ever need to buy. It’s well made from surgical stainless steel, dishwasher safe and completely functional,” one cooking enthusiast writes.
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