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Kitchen Items: 10 Items We Can't Cook Without

Martha Stewart Living, April 2010

We opened our kitchen cabinets and pulled out the implements our editors use the most and love the best. Living's Christine Albano explains what makes each one indispensable.

Measuring Spoons and Cups
These sturdy stainless steel designs deliver precise measurements every time. 
$5 (spoons) and $10 (cups), by Amco, bedbathandbeyond.com

Asian Strainer
It's great for fishing things out of hot water and oil. Items stay securely in the basket. $8, macys.com 

High-Heat Rubber Spatula
We reach for this almost as often as we do a wooden spoon, for mixing, sauteing, and cleaning out bowls. $10, williams-sonoma.com 

Vegetable Peeler
We find that inexpensive Y-shaped peelers work better than many pricey designs. $3.50, kuhnrikon.com 

Flour-Sack Towels
You can't have enough of these towels. We often use two at once: a folded one for picking up hot pots, another for drying hands. $14 for a set of 3, williams-sonoma.com

Maple Cutting Boards
We prefer wood over plastic because it won't dull your knife as much. These boards are thick and sturdy. They provide a nice platform to chop on and won't slide around your countertop. $70, johnboosshops.com

Mini Kitchen Torch
To brown the top of a meringue or a creme brulee, this is what you need. Everyone will be impressed, but it takes only two seconds to do. $40, williams-sonoma.com

Pump-Style Salad Spinner
This spinner works really well. Its metal bowl can also be used for serving or mixing and keeping lettuce cold and crisp after it has been washed. $50, oxo.com 

Mandoline
A mandoline is essential for making superthin slices. This version is simple and easy to clean. Plus, it's flat enough to fit in a drawer. $40, by Benriner, gracioushome.com

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