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15 Cheap Essentials Items Needed In Every Kitchen

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Living the life of a home chef doesn’t require a fancy kitchen full of expensive gadgets. With a few smart picks under $20, you can whip up delicious meals and conquer even the trickiest recipes. Here’s a look at eight essential kitchen tools that won’t break the bank:

1. Knife

Knife weapon cook stainless blade
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This isn’t just any knife – it’s your right-hand man in the kitchen. A good chef’s knife can tackle anything from finely dicing onions to slicing thick cuts of meat. Look for one around 8 inches long – easy to maneuver and sharp enough to make clean cuts, preventing ingredient tears and frustration.

2. Whisk

Stainless steel whisk
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Forget about lumpy gravy or unevenly mixed batter. A whisk is your secret weapon for smooth sauces, fluffy scrambled eggs, and perfectly aerated whipped cream. The wire loops incorporate air and combine ingredients effortlessly, making those restaurant-worthy textures a breeze.

3. Measuring Spoons

Metal Measuring Spoons
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Don’t risk a flavor explosion (or a bland disaster) by eyeballing ingredients. A set of measuring spoons ensures precise amounts for perfect results every time. 

4. Multitasking Strainer

Stainless steel mesh strainer
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This unsung hero is more than just a pasta drainer. A good strainer helps you rinse quinoa, sift flour for lighter pastries, and even fish out perfectly steamed vegetables.  Plus, it saves you from the messy process of using a colander and a spoon.

5. Grater

Grater
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Freshly grated cheese elevates any dish, but using a box grater can be a hand-cramping ordeal. A microplane grater, with its razor-sharp teeth, makes grating cheese, citrus zest, ginger, and even garlic a joy. 

6. Spatula

Steel kitchen spatula
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Whether you’re delicately flipping pancakes or scraping stubborn bits from the pan, a sturdy spatula is a must-have. Look for one with a flexible head that can slide under delicate foods and a long handle to keep your hands safely away from the heat.

7. Knife Sharpener

Sharpening the knife
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A dull knife is a safety hazard and a frustration in the kitchen. A good knife sharpener keeps your blades honed and ready to tackle any ingredient with ease. Plus, sharp knives make food prep quicker and more enjoyable.

8. Silicone Spatulas and Spoons

Silicone Spatulas and Spoons in various colors
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Silicone spatulas and spoons are lifesavers in the kitchen. They’re heat-resistant, so you can stir hot sauces without worry, and flexible enough to reach every corner of a pot or pan.

9. Colander

Colander
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Sure, a strainer can handle some jobs, but a colander is your best friend for rinsing large quantities of fruits, vegetables, or pasta.  They come in various sizes and bright colors, adding a pop of fun to your kitchen.

10. Vegetable Peeler

Vegetable Peeler
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Don’t waste precious food or time with a dull knife. A good vegetable peeler removes just the skin, leaving you with perfectly prepped veggies for salads, stir-fries, or roasting.

11. Tongs

Kitchen Tong
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From flipping delicate fish to grabbing hot sausages, a pair of tongs offers control and keeps your hands safely away from the heat. Look for ones with a long handle and easy-grip silicone tips.

12. Citrus Zester

Stainless steel grate zester
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Love the bright flavor of citrus zest?  A citrus zester, often paired with a microplane grater, grabs only the zest (the flavorful outer layer) and leaves the bitter white pith behind. 

13. Oven Mitts

Oven gloves mittens
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Safety first! A good pair of oven mitts protects your hands from burns while grabbing hot dishes. For confident handling, prioritize ones that are gripping, thick, and resistant to heat.

14. Cutting Board

Cutting Board
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A good cutting board protects your countertops and keeps your knives sharp. Opt for a wooden or thick plastic board that won’t slip and slide while you’re chopping.

15. Measuring Cup

Marked Measuring Cup
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While measuring spoons are great for dry ingredients, a liquid measuring cup is essential for accurate measurements of water, milk, or broth. Look for one with clear markings and a spout for easy pouring.

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