What Beginners Really Need For Their Kitchen, According To Rachael Ray

There's something exciting about shopping for the hottest kitchen gadgets for your very first kitchen. Your favorite department store's cooking section is the adult equivalent of FAO Schwarz, but it's not stuffies and Legos that are mesmerizing you now. It's the myriad of shiny metal bits and rainbow-hued appliances. There's just one question. Which of these beautiful machines and cool-looking gadgets do you really need? 

It turns out that it all depends on who you ask. For instance, Bobby Flay suggests investing in a bevy of reliable hand tools. As he shared on his "Always Hungry" podcast, Flay keeps a container of his most-used tools next to his stove, including "a rubber spatula, a metal spatula, a wooden spoon, a zester, a couple of whisks of different sizes, some tongs, both long and short." 

In Gordon Ramsay's Master Class, meanwhile, the chef says the number-one tool you need is a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan. Ina Garten told Bon Appetit that the tool she couldn't live without is a rasp, otherwise known as a microplane, as she uses it to zest fruit and mince garlic. Alex Guarnaschelli shared with People that buying a Vitamix blender is a great investment, as "it could purée car parts and make them taste good." And, according to Today, Andrew Zimmern swears by his mortar and pestle.

But what does Rachael Ray — a chef and product developer — have to say on the subject?

Rachael Ray enjoys her multi-plane and bench scraper

Rachael Ray recommends making your choices based on what you most like to eat, per the Rachael Ray Show. If you're a meat and potatoes person, she says you'll need a cast-iron skillet and a pot for potatoes. Chicken enthusiasts will want a decent-sized frying pan, while pasta and sauce fans will want a six to eight-quart pot and a colander. That's not all. In another episode of her show, she shared that some of her favorite gadgets include a bench scraper (or what she calls a "food mover"), a huge cutting board, a garbage bowl (perfect for collecting produce scraps), and a really sharp knife. 

As a product designer, Rachael Ray is able to simply create the products that fill the voids in her culinary life. When asked to disclose her top three must-haves from her own kitchen line, Ray told her YouTube audience that she liked her bench scraper and the two-sided plane "you can put on a hot pot and grate right into it." Her hubby, meanwhile, confessed to appreciating a good channel knife that lets him make lemon twists. And they both agreed that a good veggie peeler is a must. 

Now that you've been able to prepare your shopping list with a little help from the experts, you're all set to hit the stores. Just remember, no matter how shiny the bauble is, if it's not on your list, you don't need it.