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7 Cooking Splurges That Are Totally Worth It

High-Speed Blender

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“A Vitamix blender is a worthwhile kitchen investment. From making soups to purées to drinks, it blends things in a way that makes them taste even better. Low speeds whip in less air and leave the intense flavor intact, while higher speeds can add lightness to something creamy. It’s the only machine I have sitting out on my counter at all times.” –Alex Guarnaschelli, Food Network celebrity chef and executive chef at Butter in New York City

RELATED: The Best Blenders for Any Budget

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Solid Cookware

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“I think it is important to spend money on good cookware that will hold an even temperature and brown your food well. I’m a big fan of All Clad; their products allow you to sauté quickly, locking in flavor and nutrients.” –Keri Gans, author of The Small Change Diet

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High-End Dried Pasta

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“High-end dried pasta made from grano duro or 'hard grain' has a higher protein content. When cooked ‘al dente,’ as it should be, this results in a lower glycemic index compared to regular pasta brands we find at the supermarket.” –Lidia Bastianich, host of PBS’s Emmy-winning Lidia’s Italy

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Really Good Oil

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“The best extra-virgin olive oil and roasted nut oils can make all the difference. Good oil is healthy food, and it doubles as a superb flavor- and texture-enhancer for vegetables, whole-grain pilafs, bread, pasta—everything savory.” –Mollie Katzen, author of The Heart of the Plate

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Pastured Eggs

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“I spend twice the money to buy eggs from a local farmer that raises pastured chickens. The flavor and nutritional content are vastly superior.” –Mike Roussell, Ph.D., author of Dr. Mike’s 7 Step Weight Loss Plan and The 6 Pillars of Nutrition

RELATED: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Eggs

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Dutch Oven

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"I highly recommend investing in a Le Creuset Dutch oven. It's heavy but can handle many jobs. It has the perfect even-cooking surface and only gets better as you cook in it." –Amanda Freitag, judge on Food Network’s Chopped and owner of Empire Diner in New York City

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Spanish Saffron

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“Although there are other items that will give you the nice reddish-yellow color, nothing compares to the flavor of true Spanish saffron. And a little goes a long way, so it’s worth the splurge and is definitely a necessity for some of my favorite dishes such as paella and fideuà.” –Emeril Lagasse, host of Cooking Channel’s The OriginalsFresh Food Fast, and Emeril Live

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