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The best kitchen tools and gadgets, according to Food52’s Amanda Hesser

For more than 10 years, Food52 has brought James Beard award-winning recipes to the web, sold New York Times best-selling cookbooks, and grown an online community of foodies to more than 16 million people. Needless to say, this company knows its way around a kitchen—even better than you do after six months of cooking at home.

That’s why we reached out to Amanda Hesser, cofounder and CEO of the innovative company, for inspiration and guidance as a new stay-at-home season (a holiday one, at that) awaits us. “The pandemic underlined how vital home cooking is as a source of both sustenance and comfort,” she says. “And it has forced us to adapt to a new landscape of grocery shopping and cooking all the time. People have had to try new things and figure out how to make the most of what they have on hand. Some home cooks have embraced this with gusto, which is why we’re still seeing a wave of trends like bread baking.”

Sourdough starters were just the beginning. Hesser believes that this moment marks a true cultural shift: Americans are genuinely interested in learning how to feed ourselves better for the long haul. So how to make the kitchen updates you need to embrace a fall and winter of cozy, homemade meals? Hesser recommends first getting your hands on all the zucchini, peppers, and eggplant you can before the season ends so you can make ratatouille. (It freezes well!) Then, consider investing in these six kitchen tools that can make a big difference.

Staub x Food 52 Enameled Cast Iron Braising Pan

“This is a year-round lifesaver, and it comes especially handy in the fall because you can use it for everything from roasting chicken to making a vegetable gratin to braising short ribs,” Hesser