I’m a cooking editor, and these are the 7 kitchen items I can’t live without

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I love to cook, and I love to shop. Lucky for me, over the past three years, I’ve been working here at In The Know as a cooking and lifestyle shopping editor. I’ve gotten to try new kitchen appliances, test innovative cooking tools and taste loads of new snacks to recommend only the best to our readers. (Yes, I really get paid to do this, and it’s awesome.)

Due to this experience, my own home is fully stocked with what I think are some of the best kitchen items out there. From air fryers and coffee makers to dish spray and sponges, these are the seven kitchen items I can’t live without.

Yes, some were gifted by the brand, but most were purchased with my own money and all of them have my full stamp of approval.

1. Beautiful Kitchenware 6-Quart Air Fryer, $99

Credit: Walmart

Drew Barrymore’s air fryer doesn’t just look pretty — it actually works. It heats up super fast ,and it can air fry, roast, reheat and dehydrate foods. I’ve used it to roast a whole 3 lb chicken in under 45 minutes, make toast in the morning, crisp up leftover pizza, bake chicken breasts for a salad and more. I probably use it every single day.

2. GreenPan Padova Reserve Set of 2 Ceramic Nonstick Frying Pans, $119.99

Credit: Nordstrom

These frying pans are some of the best ceramic nonstick pans I’ve ever used. Admittedly, I got them because I liked the gold handles. However, like many of GreenPan’s products, they’re also a little sparkly because they’re reinforced with real diamonds for extra durability. I don’t even have to use any oil if I don’t want to (although I always like to use oil).

3. longzon Silicone Stretch Lids, 14-Pack, $16.95 (Orig. $24.99)

Credit: Amazon

These silicone lids stretch to fit over bowls, cups, fresh-cut fruit, pots — pretty much anything. They take up much less space in my cabinet than a bunch of Tupperware and are seriously leakproof. I tested them out once by putting one of the lids over a full glass of water and turning it upside down, and nothing spilled out. Call me impressed!

4. Ninja Foodi NeverDull 12-Piece Knife Block Set, $249.99

Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

OK, I know what you’re thinking: These knives are pricey! However, they’re some of the sharpest knives I’ve ever used. They cut through raw meat, nuts, tomatoes, firm cheeses and more with ease. Plus, they have an included knife sharpener that keeps them extra sharp for years to come. Actually, according to the brand, they should last you at least a good 10 years. I’m only on year one, but they’re going strong.

Psst! You can get a smaller Ninja Foodi NeverDull Knife Set with only four steak knives for about $100 less at Walmart.

5. Original Scrub Daddy, Style Collection, $6.99

Credit: Walmart

I swear by the Original Scrub Daddy for washing my dishes. In fact, I didn’t have a dishwasher for nearly four years and these sponges put in some serious work. They have temperature-controlled foam that stays firm in cold water and softens with warm water, so you can control your scrubbing power. However, you can call me extra, but I like to get the Scrub Daddy in this simple gray color from its Style Collection to match the rest of my kitchen.

6. Ninja DualBrew Pro Specialty Coffee System, $229.99

Credit: Bed Bath & Beyond

I’ve had a Keurig coffee maker, the Nespresso Original espresso maker and a Nespresso Vertuo machine. However, I made the switch last year to this Ninja DualBrew Pro coffee maker and it’s been my favorite. It brews K-cups and ground coffee; plus, it makes espresso. You can brew everything from a 6-ounce cup to a full 12-cup carafe. And it has a foldable arm for frothing milk to make cappuccinos, lattes and more. It also has a special water setting for dispensing hot or boiled water to make tea, oatmeal and more. It really does it all.

I like to insert my K-cup before I go to bed and set the timer for it to brew when my morning alarm goes off. It’s nice waking up to a fresh cup of joe (and it gives me a reason to get up right away).

7. Dawn Free & Clear Powerwash Dish Spray, $4.94

Credit: Walmart

You’ve probably seen the Dawn Powerwash Dish Spray in your local grocery store or heard about it from TikTok. This stuff really fights tough grease and sticky messes. All you have to do is remove food from dishes, spray the Dawn Powerwash, wipe it off and rinse with water. No scrubbing required! However, I prefer the Free & Clear version that’s dye-free and has a light pear scent.

If you liked this article, check out this list from another lifestyle editor on the eight products she’s buying this month.

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