Basic and Inexpensive Cooking Tools You Probably Didn’t Know You Needed

Every home cook should have a few basic tools: knives, wooden spatulas, large spoons. But there are less common tools that can make cooking at home that much better. Mackenzie Lunsford, a chef turned food writer, and Todd Price, an untrained but passionate home cook, can’t live without these products in their kitchens. Most of the tools cost around $10, so there’s no reason not to add them to your kitchen toolbox.

Offset bread knife: Not everyone likes the feel of an offset bread knife, but I like the way it handles. The offset means the blade is lower than the handle, which I find gives me better leverage and keeps my knuckles free and away from the cutting board. Not only is this serrated knife great for slicing baguettes without breaking the insides, it’s perfect for slicing sandwiches, overripe tomatoes and shortbread. Mackenzie Lunsford

The thin fish spatula can be used for any type of food.

Fish Shovel: I generally avoid disposable tools, which is part of the reason it took me years to buy a fish spatula. And besides, I thought my regular spatula was good for flipping fish. First, my regular spatulas weren’t good for fish—I just didn’t know it. And secondly, a fish spatula has so many uses. Long, triangular and slotted, the fish spatula slides easily under anything flat, like a pork chop, pancake or even a chocolate chip cookie. I use mine almost every day. Todd Price

A cheese knife is the perfect tool for cutting a soft cheese like brie.

Cheese knife: I have quite a few knives, including a big bad Japanese cleaver, a paring knife, a boning knife, and other assorted blades. My cheese knife is probably my most frivolous disposable knife. No other use except for slicing soft cheeses. But if you’re a cheese lover like me, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this knife to effortlessly slice creamy brites and other soft cheeses without ending up with all that precious stuff stuck to the blade. Lunsford

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