a bain marie pot

You don’t need more than a handful of utensils to be a great cook. In fact, the more you cook the more you’ll realize that you turn to the same items again and again. Don’t be surprised if you develop a favorite wooden spoon or spatula. So where do we put those items that we love the most? We keep them in a bain marie.

One of the most important pieces of equipment in your kitchen is actually the container to hold those utensils that you’re constantly reaching for. Keeping items like serving forks, slotted spoons, ladles, tongs, and a microplane out on the countertop can save you time. No more searching through drawers for your spatula while your dinner languishes on the stove. Storing these utensils vertically means you can quickly see and grab them without rummaging around. With the right container, you can keep every single utensil you might need for a recipe right there at hand, organized but accessible.

A bain marie is technically part of a double boiler, but this tall thin pot is endlessly versatile. It’s stainless steel, inexpensive, and easy to clean. You can find one online or at a local restaurant supply store. Of course, you can pick any sort of container. A pretty ceramic vase or even or a nice-looking pitcher could work wonders. Be sure to look for something with a little heft to it, that will keep if from tipping over one it’s full of tools.

Think of the utensil cup as the culinary equivalent of your desk’s pencil holder and pick one that fits your style.

At its most basic, a kitchen does not need fancy appliances and shelves full of gadgets. In fact, there are only a few dozen essential pieces of equipment you need to cook great food at home. Follow along in our new series, Kitchen Toolboxto find out what tools you should own and grab recommendations for our chef’s favorite brands, when applicable. And, watch our chef go through the whole Blue Apron toolbox in this video