Essential Hand Tools You Need In Your Kitchen, According To Bobby Flay

On the March 1 episode of Bobby and daughter Sophie Flay's podcast, "Always Hungry" (via Google Podcasts and Eat This, Not That!), the celebrity chef told listeners that his 25-year-old progeny had recently revealed that she did not own a food processor. How could the offspring of the "Iron Chef" star not have such a basic and integral piece of cooking equipment? Once his shock wore off, Flay says that this got him thinking, what are the kitchen essentials every cook, including Sophie, a community journalist in Los Angeles, must have?

The question prompted Flay to walk around his kitchen, pen and paper in hand, and write down everything in it. From the list, he eliminated some of the fancier pro tools that most people will never use and narrowed it down to the things every home cook needs. The list includes a food processor (of course), thermometers, cooking oils, a rack of essential spices, and well-chosen cooking utensils, or as Flay calls them, hand tools, which he says he keeps in a container next to his cooktop. So if the cute ceramic jar next to your stove serves aesthetic purposes only, it's time to consider more function, and less form, says the TV Personality.

Bobby's basic hand tool kit

Which hand tools are on the list created by Bobby Flay? Per Eat This, Not That!, a rubber spatula is essential. While more often made of silicone, these flexible spatulas are best for mixing and baking, scraping out bowls easily, but most importantly, this tool won't scratch your nonstick cookware (via The New York Times). Choose one stiff enough to handle thick doughs, but thin and flexible enough to fold delicate ingredients.

The "Beat Bobby Flay" host says you also need a metal spatula. Per Cooks Illustrated, this is the tool you should reach for when you need to flip or transfer food from metal cookware, like a grill. A classic wooden spoon is another must-have per Flay, as they're sturdy, heat-tolerant, and don't scratch. A ladle is needed as well for sauces and soups.

A zester is an interesting gadget deemed a must-have. Why? Because it's how you get extract flavor from citrus peels, cheese, chocolate, garlic, ginger, nutmeg, and more. According to Reddit, a zester is one of the most underrated cooking tools.

Also making the list are brushes to glaze with and a whisk — actually two, in different sizes. Whisks help you prepare perfect scrambled eggs, meringues, whipped cream, dressings, and more. One more gadget every kitchen needs is a "spider." This is a metal or wire scoop with a long handle that's used for lifting and straining foods like from hot oil or boiling water.