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The way we registered for our wedding gifts, you’d think we were whipping up eight-course meals for at least 16 people on the regular—even though in reality we’re throwing together pasta four nights a week. We definitely could have used some expert insight regarding the kitchen essentials we would actually need. Here, PureWow’s food editor, Katherine Gillen, provides us with a very manageable list of five items every kitchen should have.

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Amazon

1. Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Chef’s Knife

“Knives are essential for cooking (duh), but I really believe in investing in at least one workhorse knife for chopping veggies and slicing meat and fish. This eight-inch chef’s knife isn’t too big or too small and can be sharpened a bajillion times without compromising quality.”

$140 at Amazon

Macy's

2. John Boos Chop n Slice Reversible Maple Cutting Board

“Wooden cutting boards look pretty on your counter and are the gentlest surface for keeping your knives in good condition. If you take care of your Boos Block (I suggest weekly oiling), it’ll last forever.”

Buy It ($57)

Amazon

3. Staub Cast-Iron Round Cocotte, 7-Quart

“A Dutch oven is so multipurpose; I use mine for soups, braises and more. By the way, you can definitely find bargain versions that are almost as good as Le Creuset, like this Staub cocotte (my personal fave).”

$256 at Amazon

Bed Bath & Beyond

4. All-Clad Stainless Steel 12-Inch Fry Pan with Lid

“A good frying pan is essential for weeknight dinners. I use mine to cook meat, veggies, eggs, you name it, and scrubbing it cleans takes just a minute. I like that this All-Clad one comes with a lid to keep the heat in.”

Buy It ($130)

Sur La Table

5. Sur La Table Flour Sack Towels

“I like to keep a ton of these flour sack towels hanging around for drying hands and cleaning up messes in place of paper towels. I also use them instead of oven mitts to grab hot pans out of the oven. When they get dirty, just toss them in the bleach wash and they’ll come out as good as new.”

Buy It ($15 for Set of 3)

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