Kitchen Tools Ina Garten Always Has Handy

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Until we can know her exact morning routine (what if Jeffrey's out of town and can't make the coffee?), the word-for-word contents of her memoir (please let there be old diary entries), and her deepest thoughts (something about... butter?), we'll settle for a detailed description of Ina Garten's massive collection of perfectly-appointed kitchen tools. Specifically, which ones she always keeps at the ready.

While no amount of mimicking the Barefoot Contessa could ever launch us anywhere near her goddess-like culinary status, there's nothing wrong with giving it the old college try. Of course, her tips and tricks for getting the most out of her favorite utensils and appliances are just as relatable as she is. Ugh, she's perfect.

From her number-one food storage device (it's not takeout containers!), to waffle irons, timers for everything, mixers, homemade extracts, and Band-Aids (gotta be ready for anything), these are the kitchen tools Ina Garten always has handy, whether she's cooking for a crowd, for her hubby, or just for herself. Let's take a peek inside Ina's envy-inducing kitchen.

Ina Garten uses her sheet pans for everything

Half sheet pans every day of the week. Ina handily taps her stack of eight sheet pans for everything from roasted broccolini and carrots, to chocolate chunk cookies, her Outrageous brownies, and more. (A surprising number of her recipes feature these pans.)

Ina's preferred sheet pan size is 13" x 18" with a rim all the way around that reaches 1" tall. While full-size sheet pans — usually 18" x 16" — are often used in commercial kitchens, the "half" size is best for home bakers and chefs since it's in perfect proportion to the typical home oven. She loves the pans so much, she sells a version on her website.

Wanna break in your new Ina-inspired half-sheet pan with something she might make? Her "Go-To Dinners" cookbook features her Hasselback Kielbasa recipe, which you can easily throw together with onions, fennel, peppers, and herbs, plus already-cooked kielbasa. You'll just slice it thinly, but not all the way through, and then low-key impress everyone with your sheet pan dinner, as you pat yourself on the back.

Ina Garten loves a great set of knives and a good set of Band-Aids

While we have a hard time believing it, Ina Garten swears she's just like us. At least when it comes to accidentally slicing off the tip of a finger.

Ina's well aware that a sharp knife is actually safer than a dull blade, which requires a whole lot more effort in order to cut. And because of that, she keeps a quality set of knives in her kitchen, in arm's reach. Reportedly, she loves the tried and true Wüsthof brand. But still, that didn't seem to help her carve a duck one time when she says she made quick use of her stash of Band-Aids.

As an added tip to keep those expensive chef's knives in their best condition, Ina revealed on Instagram that she stores them in their wood block upside-down. That way, the blade doesn't constantly come into contact with the wood on its way in and out of its slot. "I put it in upside-down and I think it saves the blade," she shared on Instagram. Ina thinks of everything.

Ina Garten keeps her cutlery in mint condition with a knife sharpener

Along with properly storing her knives in order to preserve their blades, Ina also keeps a knife sharpener on hand in case things are looking a little dull. A good knife set can be a serious investment (Ina's favorite 8" Wüsthof Chef's Kitchen Knife goes for roughly $170) and can last a long time with the right care.

Ina's trick is to sharpen her knives herself with the Chef's Choice Model 320 Flexhone/Strop Pro Knife Sharpener. This handy electric gadget gets to work on straight-edged as well as serrated blades. So you'll be back to cutting tomatoes and aluminum cans in no time, just like a late night shopping TV host. Even better, it's cheaper than her favorite knives.

In just 10 minutes, your knives will go from zero to hero — and feel like they're brand new. Other than suddenly smashing everything you try to cut, you can test your knives' sharpness by running the blade downward through a sheet of notebook paper, or a page from a magazine. If it does anything other than neatly slice through, sharpen it. Doctor's orders.

Ina Garten knows you can't make brunch without a waffle iron

Not only does Ina make a mean Overnight Belgian Waffle dish (ugh, toasted coconut, bananas, and maple syrup in all the waffle holes), she also cooks other brunch staples on her waffle iron. Feel like hash browns? Waffle 'em!

First things first, get your waffle maker sitch on lock. Ina outfits her kitchen with the All-Clad 4-Square Belgian Waffle Maker. With deep 1" pockets for each square waffle, All-Clad's legendary evenly heated cooking technology, and removable nonstick iron plates that clean up in the dishwasher, this one's a no-brainer.

Now, about those toasty Waffle Iron Hash Browns. Ina mixes grated russets and onions with flour, an egg, salt, and pepper, then presses them into the waffle maker after brushing the iron plates with melted butter. You might only be able to cook 4 hash browns or waffles at a time. But they're just as delicious after warming in the oven while you work on making more. We're not imagining a hash brown waffle sandwich with maple syrup — you are. (What time is breakfast?)

Ina Garten swears by her multiple kitchen timers

If you've watched a competitive baking show, you know the mania involved in having to set several timers at once — and the horror of forgetting to start one in the first place. It's no surprise that Ina stocks plenty of kitchen timers — so she's always on time.

While most of us might be using our phones, Ina's a fan of the Lux Minute Minder kitchen timer, which keeps up to 60 minutes on the clock with a ringer you won't miss — even if you're currently using the blender. She explained to NYT Cooking, "I have lots of timers. I don't wanna put something into the oven and then forget about it, which I can do."

Maybe she's a little old school when it comes to keeping the time. But if she built her estimated $60 million empire with a couple of $20 kitchen timers from Amazon? Ding! That's the sound of a good idea.

Even Ina Garten's appliances get a back-up thermometer

May it please you to know that even Ina's $15,000 French Lacanche oven — which probably maintains its temperature better than a NASA space shuttle — requires an oven thermometer. For backup. Which means whatever model you've got cooking in your kitchen probably needs one too.

"I have lots of oven thermometers," she told NYT Cooking. "No matter what it says on the dial, the oven itself could be totally different." Ina stocks up on Taylor brand thermometers with easy-to-read dials that sit pretty, or hang easily, from the oven racks.

While you're adding oven thermometers to the cart, why not throw in an instant-read meat thermometer, too? Then, bake her famously not-dry chicken as your first dish. Ina's trick is in pulling the chicken out of the oven when it hits 155 F or 160 F — which you can track with your nifty thermometer. Then, she covers it in foil and lets it continue cooking as it rests, soaking up its juices as it reaches the chicken-safe temp of 165°. How easy is that!

Ina Garten weighs in with her kitchen scale

If you're used to cozy measuring cup-style baking, get ready to step up your game with a kitchen scale. Since cookies are the purest form of science (e=mc2snickerdoodles), measuring out sugar and flour to the gram will effortlessly improve your dough. Once you try it, you'll never look back. And Ina uses hers for everything.

"If something says '5 ounces' and you want it to be really 5 ounces, it's really helpful to have a kitchen scale," she explained to NYT Cooking. Plus, they couldn't be easier to find. "[They're] not very expensive. You can buy them anywhere." Ina showed off an OXO brand scale with a pull-out display (for when you're working with a big ol' bowl or tray.)

Still, Ina crafts her recipes and cookbooks around measuring cups. In response to a fan's question about why Ina doesn't usually weigh ingredients on the show, Ina explained on her website, "Weighing ingredients is the most precise way to measure, but because I know many people do not have kitchen scales, I always use measuring cups to make sure the recipe works without a kitchen scale."

Ina Garten uses her food mill for more than mashed potatoes

If there's a kitchen tool that instantly transports you to pioneer times, while also making you feel like a kid again, it's a food mill. (If only we were making Play-Doh spaghetti hair.) Ina puts her food mill to work, ricing more than just potatoes.

"What I like is, something ends up with texture, so it's not just like baby food," she noted, adding, "Potatoes I actually like finely-puréed, so that's different." But for everything else, into the food mill it goes. Ina's Moulinex food mill fits over a glass mixing bowl, so everything falls into place.

Ina's luxurious Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes take a trip through the mill, and so does her Roasted Tomato Basil Soup. The Barefoot Contessa Carrot and Cauliflower Purée also gets a turn. If you don't own a food mill, but want the texture of one, Ina suggests, "You can definitely use an immersion blender or the food processor, just be sure that you don't over-process the vegetables." Because baby food. (No offense to any babies reading this.)

Ina Garten famously makes her own vanilla extract

Full disclosure, there may be a jar of Ina's vanilla extract aging in our own pantry. (We did ours with bourbon, for an extra buttery, caramel flavor.) Ina uses only the finest ingredients in her cooking and baking. And when it comes to vanilla extract, the best one is her own.

For Ina, vanilla extract is a standard issue tool in her pantry — and it's always ready to rock. "Homemade vanilla is one of my favorite ingredients," she shared, standing inside her glorious pantry. Her recipe couldn't be more simple. Throw 12 to 24 Madagascar vanilla beans into a glass jar without bending them, then pour enough vodka in there to cover the beans. Wait at least a month (you'll get the best results in 6 months), and you're done! The vodka becomes vanilla extract, and the now-softened beans are packed with seeds that will amp up any recipe that'll have them.

Ina has yet to put her vanilla extract on the market, so if you need something earlier than half a year from now, Ina's got you covered. She famously recommends Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract for all your flawless baking needs.

Ina Garten doesn't chop anything without her Boos Blocks butcher block

Listen up, boo. No more chopping onions atop inferior surfaces. (Hi, didn't we just talk about knife blades and sharpness?) Ina gives her chef's knives the platform they deserve with a hefty wooden Boos Blocks brand butcher block. They're so ubiquitous on her Instagram, they almost look like they're her actual countertop.

Ina loves the Boos Blocks rectangular edge grain series. Assembly that parallels the grain of the wood is easy to clean and maintain. End grain blocks (like the checkerboard-looking style) are believed to be gentler on knives but act like low-key divas about upkeep. Roughed-up edge grain can also be sanded and oiled to appear just like new.

Need something to do with your Boos Block when it's off-duty for chopping? Plate Ina Garten's Ultimate Cheese Platter using your beautiful butcher block. With a few fig leaves for decoration, and a generous bunch of grapes holding down the fort in the middle, this one's as easy as one, two, brie.

Ina Garten is team Le Creuset for her enameled cast iron Dutch oven

An honorable member of the timelessly trendy Dutch Oven Society of Stews, Sourdough, and Cassoulet, Ina is in a serious relationship with her Le Creuset. Especially in the light sandy color Dune (a color which she seems to have single-handedly revived from the archives). After a peak inside her pantry, we noticed she also likes bright green (no longer available) Kiwi. And possibly... Bamboo? And then of course, Flame. OK, she has all the colors. Moving on.

Ina explained to one fan, "I use the Le Creuset #26 Dutch oven more often than everything else. It's great for soups, stews, and braising." The #26 is the 5 ½-quart round Dutch oven that you see popping up in Ina's posts and recipes. Not only is it classically styled, and available in pretty colors, it's functional AF (That stands for "And French.") Enameled cast iron is particularly suited to home cooking because it heats evenly, is easy to clean, doesn't need to be seasoned, won't transfer flavors, and omg you can throw it in the dishwasher. Bada bing bada boom, dinner is served.

Ina's Company Pot Roast might sound like a conference room potluck recipe from "The Office," but the "company" she refers to is friends. And, made of boneless beef chuck roast, vegetables, cognac, and aromatic herbs, it's also the perfect dish to cook in your Dutch oven.

Ina Garten loves the Stretch-tite Wrap'n Snap 7500 for storage

Can we interest you in a fresh sheet of cling film that doesn't instantly self-destruct at the slightest breeze? The name is giving us "Legally Blonde" Bend And Snap energy, but Ina swears by this food saver. At roughly $40, it's also one of the more affordable items in Ina's kitchen.

The Stretch-tite Wrap'n Snap 7500 does all the annoying work of doling out cling wrap while you effortlessly float by and wrap up your leftovers like a professional. "Instead of fighting with that box," Ina explained, noting every useless cling film holder, "You have a really simple piece of plastic wrap. I use it all the time." With a push of a lever, a pleasantly arranged sheet of cling wrap is yours.

Sure it feels like the "solution" part of a bad infomercial, right after the black-and-white part where the person becomes fully entangled in plastic wrap. But when it comes to As Seen On Ina's Kitchen Tour ...  Amazon, take all our money.

Ina Garten zests her heart out with a rasp grater

No two ways about it — when a recipe calls for zest, you need a zesty surface. And if you're Ina, that means you need a rasp grater (or microplane).

Ina not only grates citrus with her microplane, she "minces" garlic with its ultra-fine teeth, too. You can also grate pecorino for cacio e pepe, chocolate (hola, Mexican hot chocolate), nutmeg in a creamy bechamel, coconut for dusting on date balls, and fresh ginger for tea. You can also grate cold butter into flour, no problem. It also works miracles by gently shaving off burnt pie crust tips and blackened cookie bottoms, making them look (mostly) properly baked. The world is now your finely-grated oyster.

While you could always repurpose a box grater, or even the tines of a fork to zest a lemon, a real rasp grater is long and thin, offering a generous runway of stainless steel teeth to grate the living daylights out of anything that comes near it. (Stay strong, fingertips!)

Ina Garten really puts her KitchenAid stand mixer to work

The KitchenAid stand mixer may be the most iconic symbol of a fully realized love of baking. So of course Ina has owned one since way back. (Further back. Like, all the way back.)

But Ina's KitchenAid represents her entire kitchen organization philosophy of leaving often-used tools out where she can find them. As she told House Beautiful, "I don't put my KitchenAid mixer away, I leave it on the counter." (Because it's beautiful and so are you, Ina.) It certainly helps, at least design-wise, that Ina's appliances all coordinate with each other. "There aren't, like, hot pink spatulas in my kitchen," she joked. "And there never will be."

While Ina does share recipes that call for a hand-held mixer (love those Classic Mashed Potatoes), she usually prefers the stand mixer setup where you can walk away with both hands-free. Need a little stand mixer inspiration? Ina's Beatty's Chocolate Cake recipe will get that paddle attachment humming and whipping up a coffee, cocoa, and buttercreamy slice of heaven.