It’s not easy to make your food look magazine ready without the right kitchen gadgets, but dropping a ton of cash to stock your kitchen with every professional appliance just isn’t realistic. The following items truly take cooking to the next level and are items we recommend because we keep them in our own cabinets at home (and use them all the time).
These are our favorite kitchen tools to help your food look professional quality, while keeping the price under $10 so you won’t feel guilty for stocking up.
Using a microplane creates not only elegant flavors, but also a stunning finish to your dishes. Add some lime zest to your guacamole for a citrus undertone, grate fresh Parmesan over pasta dishes for a restaurant feel, or shave whole nutmeg and cinnamon over morning pancakes.
Impress your dinner guests with masterful bar tending skills and enjoy cocktails at home. You’ll love mixing up your own twist on margaritas or crafting a special house cocktail.
For all those times you prepared garlic and your hands smelled all day or you accidently bite into a hunk of garlic you thought you cut properly, a garlic press is your answer. Simply press fresh garlic through to make preparation and clean up a breeze. You’ll never buy minced garlic again.
You won’t realize how much citrus you’ve wasted until you a get a lemon squeezer. Say goodbye to surprise stray seeds in your dishes and mix up some incredible citrusy sauces and dressings.
Cast iron skillets are a professional cook’s best friend, because they are seasoned with oil for a non-stick finish. Sure, you can buy other non-stick pans, but cast iron skillets can go from gas stove, to oven, to the grill so any dish can cook to perfection. This small size will get you started, and is great for cooking for one.
For those rainy days or winter nights that all you want is perfectly grilled steak, the grill pan is pure magic. It’s a non-stick wonder that lets you cook meat and veggies with real grill marks on days the grill just isn’t an option.
Silicon tongs help you flip grilled chicken, toss salads, and pull food from boiling water without any trouble. They’re a staple in every kitchen, and you’ll be able to cook more confidently with the right set of grabbing tools.
Pre slice eggs for egg salad, cut them neatly as a salad topper or sandwich stuffer, and serve them as a garnish for appetizers. You can’t slice eggs this beautifully without one.
For all those one-pan meals, roasted vegetables, snack dinners, and kale chips, you need a sturdy sheet pan that can handle anything.
An electric knife is an effortless way to wow your dinner guests with your perfectly cut Thanksgiving turkey slices or just your weeknight family dinner meatloaf.
This article originally appeared on Cookinglight.com