You’ll never make meatballs the same way again.
Since 2010, Laura Vitale has been cooking for an audience (now almost 3.5 million subscribers) through her YouTube show, Laura in the Kitchen—providing recipes that are simple and easy to follow, ranging from linguine with clams and bacon to Oreo milkshakes. She publishes two to three videos a week, and in each episode, Vitale guides viewers through meals step-by-step, from her own kitchen. She actually has two kitchens in her home—one downstairs for filming, and a regular one upstairs for use with her family. And with two kitchens comes plenty of tools and appliances.
We chatted with Vitale about how she picks her recipes, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a viral cooking show, and the tools she absolutely can’t live without in her kitchen(s). While you’d expect standbys like a KitchenAid stand mixer and sharp knife to make the final cut, there were some dark horses, too—clearly, we’ve been using ice cream scoops all wrong. Check out all of her picks below.
1. Global knife
“I can’t live without my Global knife. I’ve got a Global chef knife that I’ve had for I don’t even know how many years, probably six or seven,” Vitale says. “It’s chopped my finger off—that’s how sharp it is—but that was my own fault. [Laughs.] It makes slicing and dicing just a breeze.”
Global 6-Piece Block Set, $400 (suggested price $645) at surlatable.com
2. Worn wooden spoons
“I couldn’t survive without really old, worn, used, and loved wooden spoons. I use them for baking; I use them for mixing; I use them for everything,” she says.
Staub Olive Wood Spoon & Spatula Set, $50 at food52.com
3. Cast-iron skillet
“You can fry, sauté, sear, and bake in it [a cast-iron skillet],” Vitale says. “It’s an absolute must-have.”
Smithey Cast Iron Skillet, $106-$200 at surlatable.com
4. Immersion blender
“I also really need to have an immersion blender," she says. "An immersion blender is key.”
KitchenAid Pro Line Cordless Immersion Blender, $330 at williams-sonoma.com
5. Stand mixer
“For me personally, because I do so much dough-making and pie-making, I really love my standing mixer,” she says. “I’ve had my KitchenAid since 2008—no, 2005—when I first moved out. And I’ve never needed to replace it, it’s still going, knock on wood. And I always say it’s my best friend in the kitchen because it can knead for me without me having to put all of my elbow grease into it. I love it for everything, but primarily for dough-making. It just does the job better than I can do it by hand.”
Fun fact: Vitale has two stand mixers—one in her studio, and one upstairs in her regular kitchen.
KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer, $300 (suggested price $380) at williams-sonoma.com
6. A good set of ice cream scoops
“I’ve used them [ice cream scoops] to form perfect meatballs, perfect cookies, they come in various sizes,” Vitale says. “That’s the only way I can fill my muffin tin—by using the large ice cream scoop—because they all turn out the same size, and it makes no mess. And I think I have them in five or six different sizes. Because like I said, it makes the perfect-shaped meatball, cookie dough, biscuits, everything. I use them for everything. I don’t know why you would fill a muffin tin with two spoons when an ice cream scoop works super, super well.”
OXO Good Grips Trigger Scoop, $12 at surlatable.com