The Next Food Network Stars Share What Every Kitchen Needs, Kitchen Necessities

If your kitchen is anything like mine, youre using the one pot you own to cook absolutely everything and much of your cabinet space is taken up with the quesadilla maker and waffle iron you just had to have (but never use). Tired of sauting chicken in a soup pot, I asked the expertsthe contestants on Food Networks The Next Food Network Starfor their picks of the most essential tools and ingredients for the kitchen.

Even if you are a little better equipped than I am, Adrien Sharp, Tommy Grella, Paul McCullough, Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine, Michael Salmon, Amy Finley and Rory Schepisi will help you figure out exactly what you needand dont needin the kitchen and offer some delicious and easy recipes.

Photo Credit:  iStock Essential Tools:

  1. A knife set. This is a top priority, and the chefs say it should be the highest quality you can afford because good knives are the key to good cooking.
  2. A saut pan. I believe in quality, better to go without and save for another month to buy the heavier saut pan then to buy the cheaper version that doesnt work well or last, Grella says.
  3. A large sauce or stock pot. These are great for soups and stews.
  4. Cutting boards (separate ones for raw meat and vegetables). Color-coded boards can be a good way to keep track of which is for what food.
  5. Spatula. Great for flipping hot food, since you dont want to pierce that meat with a fork.
  6. A non-stick omelet pan. Brunch will be a blast with your own omelet station.
  7. A pasta pot with a colander. Perfect for pasta (obviously) and also for steaming vegetables.
  8. A food processor. When you need to chop a lot in a hurry, this can be a big help.
  9. Sheet trays for the oven. These are useful for baking and roasting.
  10. A hand blender. If its an immersion blender, you can puree soups and dips with it.
  11. A grill pan. You can bring grilling inside with thisperfect for winter or if theres no room on your balcony.
  12. A cast-iron skillet. These are a good alternative to Teflon non-stick pans, which can become toxic.
  13. A grater. Essential for cheese, but it can also be used for vegetables.
  14. Tongs. So useful. They can grab hot dishes, stir things and turn over hot food.