The Controversial Kitchen Tool That’s Become My Staple

Any professional chef will tell you that good knives are only to be sharpened manually and with a whetstone—electric knife sharpeners are for the uneducated, who don’t truly care about their tools. So like any self-respecting cook (someone who intervie…

Any professional chef will tell you that good knives are only to be sharpened manually and with a whetstone—electric knife sharpeners are for the uneducated, who don't truly care about their tools. So like any self-respecting cook (someone who interviews chefs for a living!) I never deigned to purchase a knife sharpener. Instead I bought a whetstone, found it impossible to use, stuck it far away in a drawer, and subsequently got my knives sharpened by a professional every three months or so (honing daily in-between).

This strategy was working quite well for me, until the world was placed into quarantine. My day job of filming a public television show about food was replaced this spring by becoming a glorified in-home chef/cleaner for my family, a homeschool prisoner/teacher, and the kind of person who does daily Instagram Lives cooking with her son just to have a reason to get dressed. As the days and weeks dragged into months, I was suddenly faced with a new problem. My daily knife honing was no match for knives that required sharpening.

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The Very Best Way to Sharpen Your Knives

The world’s sharpest knives probably belong to newlyweds. That’s because it’s all downhill from there—the more you cook, the duller your most important tool becomes. It’s only through regular maintenance that chefs and home cook…

The world’s sharpest knives probably belong to newlyweds. That’s because it’s all downhill from there—the more you cook, the duller your most important tool becomes. It's only through regular maintenance that chefs and home cooks keep their blades sharp.

So how often should you aim for? Well, the short answer is whenever they start to feel dull—which can vary depending on the quality of your knives and how often you use them. Can your knife cut a tomato cleanly? If not, it's time to sharpen it. You can also use the paper test: Hold a sheet of printer paper up and try to slice it vertically. If you have trouble hacking through the paper, your knife could stand to be sharper. For most home cooks, this will be two to three times a year.

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The Best Kitchen Knives? Let’s Cut to the Chase

There comes a time in every home cook’s life when they realize they can no longer survive on a single dull, hand-me-down knife alone: It’s time to upgrade, toss that old workhorse of a blade, or invest in a decent sharpener. If you’ve recently come upo…

There comes a time in every home cook’s life when they realize they can no longer survive on a single dull, hand-me-down knife alone: It’s time to upgrade, toss that old workhorse of a blade, or invest in a decent sharpener. If you’ve recently come upon this realization in your own cooking, you’ve come to the right place.

While a single chef’s knife can tackle plenty of cutting and chopping on its own, a few additional (and some would argue: just as essential) knives will round out your collection and make you feel all the better prepared to tackle whatever task a recipe may call for. So, in addition to the ever-versatile chef’s blade, a paring knife, serrated knife, and carving knife, to name a few, deserve a spot in your arsenal as well.

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How to Clean & Care for Stainless Steel Pans Like a Pro

The arrival of a new set of stainless steel cookware is a joyful occasion. The second you lay eyes on it—all shiny and pristine—you’re already dreaming of all the searing, caramelizing, and sautéing you’ll be doing. But in the same breath, you also thi…

The arrival of a new set of stainless steel cookware is a joyful occasion. The second you lay eyes on it—all shiny and pristine—you’re already dreaming of all the searing, caramelizing, and sautéing you’ll be doing. But in the same breath, you also think: Man, I really hope I don’t ruin this gleaming piece of perfection. Because as much as stainless steel pots and pans conduct, distribute, and maintain heat beautifully, and are an absolute joy to have around the kitchen, they also need your care and attention.

Let’s face it: bits of food will stick on, water spots will (too reliably) appear, and dings will happen. Luckily though, there are handy solutions for all this regular wear and tear. Protect your precious pots and pans from discoloration, damage, and debauchery by following these guidelines for cleaning and for caring.

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14 Mini Kitchen Tools That Give Us So. Much. Joy.

I have always been enchanted with miniature-size things—especially anything food related. I could watch Tom Brown, a mini-kitchen master, craft pocket-size plates of cacio e pepe on an absurdly small stovetop (with a gas burner!) for hours on end.

So …

I have always been enchanted with miniature-size things—especially anything food related. I could watch Tom Brown, a mini-kitchen master, craft pocket-size plates of cacio e pepe on an absurdly small stovetop (with a gas burner!) for hours on end.

So it should come as no surprise that I have amassed a decent collection of tiny (yet functional) cooking tools for use in my own kitchen. Think: mini cocottes for single-serving baked eggs or desserts, the teeniest tongs you ever did see, and the littlest spoon for sugar and salt.

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Ina Garten’s Favorite Citrus Juicer Is the Best Way to Turn Lemons Into Lemonade

When I was a kid, I never had a lemonade stand. Squeezing a huge bowl of lemons to yield a single pitcher of juice was way too tedious, and I refused to just use lemon-flavored drink mix, which was always a bit too sweet and chalky for my taste. But no…

When I was a kid, I never had a lemonade stand. Squeezing a huge bowl of lemons to yield a single pitcher of juice was way too tedious, and I refused to just use lemon-flavored drink mix, which was always a bit too sweet and chalky for my taste. But now that I have an electric citrus juicer, I make lemonade almost every week.

This isn’t just any citrus juicer, though—it’s Ina Garten’s favorite, seen in at least a dozen episodes of Barefoot Contessa. I actually found out where to find the juicer from Ina herself, when I cooked with her a few years ago in her East Hampton kitchen.

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15 Ways to Make Magic with Your Food Processor

If you, as a child or as an adult, read Calvin and Hobbes, you’ll remember Calvin’s transmogrifier. Ostensibly, the transmogrifier was a cardboard box—but we know that it was magic, capable of transforming one thing into another thing almost inst…

If you, as a child or as an adult, read Calvin and Hobbes, you'll remember Calvin's transmogrifier. Ostensibly, the transmogrifier was a cardboard box—but we know that it was magic, capable of transforming one thing into another thing almost instantaneously (though only Calvin and Hobbes could see its effects).

If there were a culinary equivalent of the transmogrifier, it would be the food processor. Greens zip into pesto! Bananas become ice cream! Nuts and beans become butters and dips! Magic visible to all!

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Meet the Cookware That Will Change the Way You Cook Forever

Over the years we’ve fallen in love with countless pots and pans, for one reason or another. Maybe they have the nicest heft, or the lightest weight, or maybe they sear just right. But we’ve never landed on a set that has it all.

Until now. Read More …

Over the years we've fallen in love with countless pots and pans, for one reason or another. Maybe they have the nicest heft, or the lightest weight, or maybe they sear just right. But we’ve never landed on a set that has it all.

Until now.

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There Are *So* Many Instant Pots to Choose From—Here’s the Right One for You

When it comes to the Instant Pot, there’s a lot to love. Primarily, the electric multi-cooker—which is a fancy term for “all-in-one pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and more, that plugs into your wall instead of cooking over an open fl…

When it comes to the Instant Pot, there's a lot to love. Primarily, the electric multi-cooker—which is a fancy term for "all-in-one pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, steamer, and more, that plugs into your wall instead of cooking over an open flame"—can create the type of deep, caramel-y flavor typically associated with an all-day braise in under an hour. It can tenderize the toughest legumes (sans a pre-soak!) in the time it takes to watch one episode of Great British Baking Show. It can slow-cook with the best of 'em.

So it's no wonder that Instant Pot models have nabbed the top four bestseller spots on Amazon's electric pressure cooker list.

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The Iconic French Knives I’d Climb the Alps For

I’m in a lamplit tavern in Chambéry, France—it’s actually called the Café de Lyon, but my brain is in a time zone six hours behind, so let’s say it’s that tavern from Beauty and the Beast. The one where Gaston sings about decorating with antlers. Excep…

I’m in a lamplit tavern in Chambéry, France—it’s actually called the Café de Lyon, but my brain is in a time zone six hours behind, so let’s say it’s that tavern from Beauty and the Beast. The one where Gaston sings about decorating with antlers. Except we’re drinking very fancy red wine and I’m scraping marrow from a halved bone with a steak knife, spreading it deliriously across a piece of bread that yields in just-baked sublimity.

Our guides, Alex and Francoise, are teaching us how to do the French sign for ‘you’ve had one bottle of Bordeaux too many,' twisting a fisted hand in front of their noses, and laughing at our attempts.

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