Along the way, the Food Network star shares some of her favorite kitchen gadgets — and explains why she always has three types of salt handy

By Mary Honkus
November 17, 2020 12:38 PM

Ina Garten has really been a shining light of joy throughout 2020 — from making giant cocktails in quarantine to blessing us with her new cookbook Modern Comfort Food. Now, she's giving fans a more in-depth look at her barn kitchen complete with a few of her favorite things.

In a video posted on the New York Times' YouTube channel, The Barefoot Contessa star, 72, welcomes viewers into her Hamptons barn kitchen which she considers her office. "This barn is actually a great luxury for me," Garten says at the start of the video. "I used to work and film in my house — that was crazy."

The barn, aside from being her home office, is where Garten usually hosts a large Thanksgiving gathering every year. Due to COVID, she explains she'll be celebrating only with her husband, Jeffrey. "I'll probably make a very small turkey, and I think we're going to have a very good time," she assures.

Credit: nyt cooking/youtube

Before she gets to work in the barn each day, Garten is always sure to have three kitchen necessities on her counter. First and foremost, she keeps ingredients that are better at room temperature on the counter, like garlic, oranges, eggs (for baking), and lemons.

Her second must-have is a 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 says.

Credit: nyt cooking/youtube

Finally, she shows off her butcher blocks. "I have lots of them and if you take care of them they last forever," she says.

Credit: nyt cooking/youtube

Moving onto the next part of the tour, Garten showcases the essentials she keeps next to the stove — including three types of salt she always has handy. Kosher salt, specifically Diamond Crystal brand: "It's actually different from other Kosher salts. Some of them are much saltier," she explains. She also has French sea salt "to finish things" and Maldon flaked sea salt to add some flair and crunchiness to dishes.

To round out the tour, Garten grabs her absolute favorite item in the kitchen: her homemade vanilla extract that she's been consistently making for 35 years. She places vanilla beans into a jar and fills it with inexpensive vodka, "No time for Grey Goose," she jokes. Garten explains that after four to six months the liquid in the jar turns into vanilla extract. "The smell is just amazing and it's a great Christmas gift."