The One Kitchen Tool Samin Nosrat Can't Live Without - Exclusive

Over the last year, it seems more and more people have delved into cooking at home — be it out of necessity or simply for the love of it. Maybe you're still whipping up classic dinners or maybe you're trying to earn your badges by tackling new ingredients, like the characters from the new Netflix series Waffles and Mochi (via Waffles and Mochi). No matter what dish you're taking on, some tools just make cooking easier. Mashed talked to American chef and author Samin Nosrat, who appears in Waffles + Mochi, about which kitchen tool she loves the most. 

"I've been visiting one friend consistently throughout the pandemic. I would say that's my pod friend, and every time I go there, I bring my kitchen scale," Nosrat revealed to Mashed in an exclusive interview. "She's like, 'You travel with your scale?' Some people might say that's an essential thing, but I will not travel without the kitchen scale." There's a very good reason Nosrat won't leave home without her scale — it's the key to cooking with accuracy.

Nosrat explained, "That's not very glamorous, but I just have fully transitioned. And even to the point where now, recipes that I wrote or that I used to follow that were all volume, I'm just in the process of converting them to weight, because it's so much easier to bake from weight and cook from weight." Kitchen scales also give you the advantage of converting measurements if, for example, you're working with a recipe that uses grams and you prefer ounces (via MasterClass). 

As a bonus, Nosrat named another one of her go-to tools.

Nosrat "just loves" this tool for slicing

The other kitchen tool that Samin Nosrat always uses is a specific type of mandoline. "The other thing that I really love [...] I just love the inexpensive Japanese mandolines, the Benriner," she said. Benriner mandolines have been around for over 70 years and first became popular in restaurants and hotels before making their way to home kitchens (via Benriner). These types of mandolines are relatively small, so they don't take up much storage space, yet they provide enough surface area to slice up most vegetables. Benriners specifically allow you to adjust your slice thickness up to 1/4 inch (via Serious Eats). It's an easy way to get even slices and speed up prep time. 

"They are sharp and you have to be very careful using them, but you can really slice a lot of stuff very quickly and thinly," Nosrat added. The mandolines are made with stainless blades that can slice vegetables super thin, but you'll definitely want to use the hand guard. No one wants to get carried away and lose their fingertips trying to get one last slice out of a vegetable.

So if you don't already own a kitchen scale or a mandoline, these could be the secret weapons you'll want to add to your collection. Neither will break the bank, and both are quite versatile. You just might find that you'll love them as much as Nosrat does.

You can catch more from chef Samin Nosrat on this season of Waffles + Mochi, which is streaming now on Netflix.