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You know that feeling when you’re cooking in a new kitchen, and you reach for that thing you just assume everyone has, only to find…nope? Pots and pans are relatively universal, but the kitchen tools we rely on wind up much more specific.

Here are the ones we use day in, day out. Some of them you might already own. Others are culled from our time in commercial kitchens, where efficiency and durability is prized above all. And some are less common versions of items we all rely on, that we think are more than worth the investment. So: How many do you have?

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Matt Taylor-Gross

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Heami Lee

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"Cooling

Cooling Rack

If you’re leaving those cookies on your baking sheet after you take them out of the oven, well, see above re: burned bottoms. Instead, use that handy slotted spatula we recommended at the beginning of this post and quickly slide them over to this cooling rack, which is also great for resting fried food, steaks, and anything else you don’t want sitting in its own juices or in direct contact with a flat surface that would lead to sogginess. If you’re making guacamole for a crowd, these racks are also the fastest way to dice up a bunch of avocado quickly—a restaurant trick we can’t get enough of.

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