14 cooking tools everyone should have in their kitchen by age 30

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Lodge Dutch ovens.
source
Amazon

Turning 30 means you’ve survived the beginning of adulthood. You might even want a kitchen that matches your level of maturity.

To figure out what every adult kitchen needs (besides the basics, like silverware, cups, and plates), Business Insider consulted America’s Test Kitchen, which is home to 50 food experts and the popular cooking show of the same name.

Bridget Lancaster and Julia Collin Davison, two culinary scientists at America’s Test Kitchen and hosts of the TV show’s 2017 season, told me the tools everyone needs in their kitchen by age 30.

“If I only knew then what I know now … I would have bought more core kitchen equipment and fewer single-use gadgets,” Lancaster says.

Check them out below.


A slow cooker.

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Amazon

A slow cooker is an easy way to make gourmet-tasting meals that are full of flavor, Lancaster says. Just throw all the ingredients in the pot, and let them roast.

Lancaster recommends: The KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker With Solid Glass Lid ($68.99)


An 8-inch chef’s knife.

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America’s Test Kitchen

A quality knife that’s easy to hold and keeps a sharp blade will make kitchen work fast and easy, Lancaster says.

Lancaster recommends: The Victorinox Fibrox 8-inch chef’s knife ($44.99)


A manual or electric knife sharpener.

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The Kitchen Collection/YouTube

Whether you choose to invest in a manual or electric knife sharpener, you need one to keep your knives working properly, Lancaster says.

We recommend: The Presto EverSharp Electric Knife Sharpener ($22.35)


A quality cutting board.

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Amazon

Wood – not granite – is the best material for a cutting board, because it won’t dull your knives, Lancaster says. Plastic is also a good option, though a University of Michigan study found it’s harder to fully sanitize a plastic board.

We recommend: Michigan Maple Block Cutting Board ($39.50)


A thermal French press.

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Amazon

“It’s a good idea to save your money and make coffee at home, and it’s hard to beat the flavor of coffee made in a French press,” Lancaster says. A thermal machine will keep coffee hot for longer than a normal glass one, she adds.

Lancaster recommends: Bodum Columbia French Press Coffee Maker ($42.94)


A digital scale.

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Amazon

Digital scales don’t take up a lot of space, and they’re essential for accurately measuring ingredients for recipes, Lancaster says.

Lancaster recommends: The OXO Good Grips 11 LB Food Scale ($49.95)


A digital thermometer.

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Thermoworks

An instant read thermometer ensures meat is cooked exactly right, Lancaster says.

Lancaster recommends: The Thermoworks Thermopop ($29)


An enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

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Amazon

Davison says you can use this crucial pot to cook pasta, make a soup or stew, braise chicken, steam vegetables, make rice, and deep fry anything.

Davison recommends (depending on your budget): The Le Creuset 5.5-quart oven ($319.95) or Lodge 6-quart oven ($59.99)


A 12-inch cast iron skillet.

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Amazon

“Not only can they be used for a million different things, but they are nearly impossible to ruin,” Davison says. “They are, in fact, the original metal cooking pan that date back to China in the 6th century BCE.”

Davison recommends: The Lodge 12-inch cast iron skillet ($26.80)


A 12-quart stainless-steel bowl.

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Walmart

A large prep bowl can be difficult to store in a small kitchen, but Davison says it’s worth it. A metal bowl will never chip or break and is useful for mixing large-quantity ingredients.

We recommend: The RSVP Endurance 12-quart stainless-steel bowl ($29.16)


A killer blender.

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The VitaMix 5200 Series Blender.
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Amazon

The majority of cheap blenders out there are a waste of money, Davison says. A quality one will last longer and can blend cocktails, smoothies, soups, sauces, and even make fresh bread crumbs.

Davison recommends (depending on your budget): The VitaMix 5200 Series Blender ($449.98) or Breville Hemisphere Control Blender ($196.99)


A salad spinner.

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Amazon

A salad spinner is essential for getting greens, other vegetables, and fruits clean, Davison says.

Davison recommends: The OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner ($24.99)


A pair of locking tongs.

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Amazon

“You’ll use them for flipping food over in the skillet, stirring pots, grabbing things off the top shelf, and pulling hot pans out of the oven,” Davison says. “Also, learning how to open a beer bottle with tongs is pure ninja.”

Davison recommends: The OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Locking Tongs ($12.95)


A food mill.

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Cook’s Illustrated

A food mill simultaneously grinds and strains fruits and vegetables. Davison says that since you don’t need to peel or seed produce before milling, this device can save a lot of time and effort when preparing a recipe.

Davison recommends: The RSVP Classic Rotary Food Mill ($24.95)