Ina Garten certainly knows her way around the kitchen, and there are a few gadgets she likes to keep on hand while whipping up all those tasty creations.
But you might be surprised to hear that the Barefoot Contessa likes to keep things pretty simple in the kitchen.
“I don’t have a lot of fancy equipment; I have just things that anybody else would have in their kitchen. Maybe a few more, but not a lot, nothing that anybody can’t have themselves,” she revealed to NYT Cooking in a video tour of her kitchen in East Hampton, New York.
Ina’s favorite kitchen gadgets
In the clip, the Food Network star breaks down her top 10 kitchen essentials, including the four cooking gadgets she simply can’t live without.
1. Kitchen timers
The 72-year-old cookbook author, who recently admitted that she grew tired of cooking like most of us in quarantine, says she always has several kitchen timers on hand.
“I have lots of timers. I don’t wanna put something into the oven and then forget about it, which I can do,” she explains.
2. Oven thermometer
Garten also tends to keep an oven thermometer on hand to make sure she’s cooking her dishes at the optimal temperature.
“No matter what it says on the dial, the oven itself could be totally different,” she says.
3. Kitchen scale
Garten, who also recently gave TODAY’s Hoda and Jenna a tour of her kitchen, likes to keep a kitchen scale handy to help measure out her ingredients.
“I use it all the time. If something says 5 ounces and you want it to be really 5 ounces, it’s really helpful to have a kitchen scale. So that’s a good one (and it’s) not very expensive; you can buy them everywhere,” she says.
4. Food mill
The chef expressed her love for food mills, an item she acknowledged that everyone doesn’t necessarily use on a regular basis — unlike the three kitchen essentials she’s previously recommended on TODAY.
“What I like is when something ends up with texture, so it’s not just like baby food,” she says. “I just adore (my food mill).”
More of Ina’s favorite tools
The Food Network star, who recommends replacing vegetable peelers annually, has a few other favorite kitchen staples, including a Dutch oven, butcher blocks, three types of salt, homemade vanilla extract (that she’s been making consistently for 35 years!), a Wrap’N Snap for easy plastic wrap-tearing and parchment paper.
“I love to line sheet pans with parchment paper so that all you have to do is throw the paper out and you’ve got a nice clean pan. Well, you have to put it in the dishwasher but it’s not crusty,” she says. (And, in case you didn’t already know, she loves to put things in her dishwasher. Everything goes in the dishwasher.)
What Ina keeps out on the counter
There are a few ingredients that Garten likes to keep out of the fridge when she’s cooking or baking: garlic, oranges, eggs and lemons.
“They’re better at room temperature,” she explains. “Eggs are better at room temperature for baking and lemons are better at room temperature because they have more juice.”
Another item she has out at all times is her handy jar of tasting spoons.
“I’m always picking up something and stirring or tasting something, and I just buy antique silver spoons — they’re really inexpensive — and I just put them in a jar and leave them on the counter,” Garten explains.
Ina’s Thanksgiving plans
With Thanksgiving only a week away, the Barefoot Contessa reveals her plans, admitting that this year’s celebration will look very different amid the pandemic.
“Thanksgiving is actually usually in the barn at this big long table, but this year’s gonna be really different,” she says. “It’s gonna be Jeffrey and me in quarantine. I’ll probably make a very small turkey and I think we’re gonna have a very good time.”
Although she can’t have a big group at her house this year, Garten is still excited to mark the big day and celebrate with delicious food — and she encouraged others to do the same.
“I know it’s going to be an unusual Thanksgiving but I think it’s important to find joy in the small things, the simple things and to make it a real celebration,” she said. “The holidays really kind of mark important dates and if we lose that, we lose the whole thing. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, cook a lot share with everybody and have a very good time.”