The Kitchen Tool Ina Garten Thinks Is Overrated

We're going to let you in on a little secret: that trendy new kitchen gadget you just saw at the store? You don't need it. Sure, some of the recent phenoms like the Instant Pot and the air fryer have proved to be more than useful in everyday life, but a pickle picker? Don't fall for it — you've already got a drawer full of them that happen to go by the name "fork." Getting your hands on the latest and greatest cooking appliance or tool is exhilarating at the moment, but you're not going to be feeling that way once you realize your cabinets are overflowing with wasted money in the form of bacon express grills and yogurt makers.

If you still don't believe us, maybe you'll listen to the wise words of the Barefoot Contessa herself, Ina Garten. Not only does the 73-year-old Food Network star make a point to remind fans that they can follow her recipes with storebought items, but she also preaches "less is more" when it comes to equipping your home cooking space. Garten has said in the past that she likes to "keep a very simple kitchen" (via Cassandra's Kitchen), even choosing to omit a somewhat surprising tool from her own.

Ina Garten says knives work just as well as this kitchen tool

One thing you're not likely to find in Ina Garten's kitchen? A garlic press. The Barefoot Contessa specifically called out the tool on her website in response to a fan asking her which piece of equipment she thought was "overrated," and noted that she always has a knife available that will do the same job just as well. "The fewer fancy kitchen gadgets you have, the more organized your kitchen will be," she once again reminded her fans (via Barefoot Contessa). As for the blades she favors the most? Anything from Wüsthof's classic line, which she admitted to Kitchn may be more expensive, but last far longer than cheaper alternatives.

That's not to say Garten's kitchen cabinets and drawers are completely barren aside from a good set of knives. The cookbook author has recommended a number of must-haves over the years, including a sheet pan, which she once named as her most-used kitchen tool (via Kitchn). According to TODAY, Garten has also listed kitchen timers, a kitchen scale, and an oven thermometer as some of her favorites alongside a slightly uncommon choice: a food mill. "What I like is when something ends up with texture, so it's not just like baby food," she explained to NYT Cooking about her affinity for the gadget. "I just adore it."