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When shopping for some kitchen gadgets, it is sometimes worth paying a little more. But there are lots of supplies that can greatly enhance your cooking skills without hurting your wallet. Some of the most essential tools to have in your kitchen are available from quality brands in the range of $ 10 to $ 30. If you want to bring your food to a higher level on a budget, these are the products you should own.

1. wooden spoon; $ 15 for three

Nowadays, many sophisticated kitchen utensils are available to cooks at home, but the best type of cooking spoon is the one that has existed for centuries. Wooden spoons have several advantages over metal or plastic spoons: they do not heat well, they do not scratch the bottom of your expensive pan, and they do not leach chemicals into your food. They are as durable as they are versatile. The wood is naturally antibacterial and, if you maintain your spoon well, it will last many meals. OXO sells a set of three different wooden spoons for less than $ 15. (We also love OXO's single-corner spoon, which is out of stock on Amazon at the moment, but you can still get it from Bed Bath & Beyond for $ 6.)

Buy it: Amazon

2. silicone mat; $ 25

Less expensive than cooking sprays and less expensive than aluminum foil or parchment paper, silicone mats are essential for cooks and bakers at home. These reusable mats turn any surface into a nonstick surface. When a baking sheet is lined with a silicone mat, fancy items like cookies slip into one piece. The carpets are also easy to wipe and can survive thousands of cooking sessions. They can also facilitate cleaning when you roast salty foods like vegetables and chicken wings.

But this d & # 39; Amazon

3. kitchen shears; $ 20

Quality knives are essential in the kitchen, but no collection of cutting tools is complete without a good pair of scissors. A cook at home needs kitchen shears for butchering work, like spatchcocking a chicken. Kitchen shears are also useful for cutting pie crusts, cutting herbs and even cracking lobster claws. And unlike decent chef knives, an excellent pair of shears can cost as little as $ 20.

Buy it: Amazon

4. digital scale; $ 18

If you are serious about cooking, invest in a kitchen scale. Cooking is a question of precision and it is difficult to be precise when working with measuring cups and spoons. However, a digital scale can measure your flour and your sugar at a fraction of an ounce. It's also great for making written recipes in metric units. (Say, if you're cooking Great British cuisine recipes.)

Buy it: Amazon

5. mortar and pestle; $ 25

A bulky mortar and pestle may seem out of date in today's modern kitchen, but it's essential if you want to take your kitchen to the next level. Some spices, like fennel seeds, cardamom and peppercorns, have a much better freshly ground taste than in the pot. The use of a mortar and pestle is also essential to prepare professional-quality sauces and condiments, such as aioli, pesto, curry paste, l & # 39; 39, hummus and guacamole.

Buy it: Amazon

6. box grater; $ 12

Think of a box grater as being more than a basic cheese grater. Each of the four sides serves a particular purpose, from slicing to zesting. You can use it for grating potatoes for latkes, grating nutmeg for desserts or slicing zucchini for ratatouille. Of course, the grating capabilities of cheese alone are worth it if you like to make macaroni cheese at home.

Buy it: Amazon

7. instant reading thermometer; $ 27

There are many tips that you can use to evaluate whether your meat is well cooked, but none is as foolproof as an instant-read thermometer. Thanks to this tool, cooking steaks, chicken and roasts is much easier and less stressful. It is also essential for frying food or making candies at home such as caramel. Sometimes a minute of extra heat is enough to turn a perfect ingredient into an unchanging ingredient. The time gained in comparison with analog thermometers is well worth it.

Buy it: Amazon

8. juicer; $ 15

The fresh citrus juice is superior to the packaged products, but squeezing the cut fruit in half by hand can be messy. With a manual pressure juicer, you can add bright, acidic notes of lemon and lime to your meals without stinging your fingers. This tool also recovers the seeds for you, which helps squeeze citrus juice on your food almost as easily as squeezing it into a bottle. Even if you do not use it often during cooking, it is an essential part of any good bar trolley.

Buy it: Amazon

9. locking pliers; $ 13

The bare hands are underrated tools in the kitchen, but some work simply can not be done without a clamp. If you tilt hot meat on the grill, flap your wings in buffalo sauce or serve pasta, you'll need a pair of locking tongs to keep your hands clean and unburned. Fortunately, durable stainless steel forceps with smooth, pinch-free locks are easy to find for less than $ 15.

Buy it: Amazon

10. cast iron stove; $ 15

Cast iron stoves seem to be expensive. They are heavy, durable and make the taste of food amazing. Steaks, potatoes and hamburgers all benefit from the unique properties of this material in terms of heat conduction. But you do not need to pay your paycheck to own this tool, chefs swear by: Some of the best fonts available cost less than $ 25. As long as you take care of it, buying a cast iron skillet is one of the least expensive ways to improve your kitchen.

Buy it: Amazon

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