Whether you’re a casual cook or an aspiring chef, there are just certain kitchen necessities you need in the kitchen. Read on to discover the seven things every great chef uses in their kitchen and that you should have, too. Bear in mind that these items don’t have to be incredibly expensive or top-of-the-line. However, having a kitchen stocked with quality essentials will make your everyday food preparation more convenient and less stressful.

Cutting Boards

A cutting board serves a number of purposes such as saving your countertops from knife marks and ensuring sanitation. You should have two decent cutting boards on hand in order to avoid transferring bacteria from raw meat to the vegetables you plan to chop later to accompany that meat.

Quality Chopping Knife

While it doesn’t hurt to have a good variety of quality butcher knives and other kitchen knife styles, you really only need one good chopping knife to do most jobs. This multi-purpose tool lets you slice apples, julienne peppers, cube potatoes and more. Purchase the best quality knife you can afford. Be sure to check reviews and do a bit of research, as the best isn’t always the most expensive.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

According to We Olive, olive oil is as important to great food prep as any tool. Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is an unprocessed and healthy type of oil that will enhance the flavor of your dishes. Look for quality brands such as We Oil that use only the freshest olives, rather than cheap grocery store brands that use inferior ingredients and processing methods.

A Whisk

A whisk truly is necessary because it does things no ordinary spoon can accomplish. Using a whisk will give you fluffier eggs, creamier frosting and lighter pancakes.

Vegetable Peeler

A vegetable peeler is a very versatile tool. You can, of course, use it for peeling carrots, potatoes and apples. It can also be used to make fancy ribbons or slivers of items such as chocolate, cheeses or citrus peels.

Food Processor

A food processor does it all when it comes to dicing, blending, mixing and pureeing. This valuable tool can help you create a mean chili and handle all the jobs with ease from making the tomato sauce to dicing the vegetables.

Mixing Bowls

Finally, every chef needs a decent set of mixing bowls. These bowls are deep and let you whisk, mix or stir your ingredients well without making a mess.

This list doesn’t include everything you need in your kitchen, but it’s a start. These basics will improve your cooking and your life.