Carla Hall Breaks Down Her Top 5 Must-Haves In The Kitchen

Whether you're setting up your kitchen for the first time or maybe you just need a reboot, stocking your kitchen with the essentials is paramount. In fact, in order to make all of the great dishes your heart desires, it comes down to the tools that will help take a dish from good to great. For example, "Ace of Cakes" star Duff Goldman weighed in on the subject of baking with his go-to tool telling Tasting Table that a digital kitchen scale is a must. 

Perhaps, it's more about the ingredients in your larder, as opposed to the tools themselves. What do you reach for time and again that absolutely helps your recipes hit the high notes? Renowned chef and television personality, Carla Hall has her own personal favorites for a well-stocked kitchen and narrowed them down to five top pantry essentials in a podcast episode of "Renaissance Man" that included vinegar, lemon, condiments, eggs, and chopped tomatoes.

Why these are her five must-have kitchen ingredients

Hall offered a disclaimer in jest when listing her go-to's during the podcast, "I'm not saying everybody needs to. But, if you're in my house you need to get it for me if you see it's low on stock." When she talked about vinegar she referred to her grandma's quick pickles and how she loves "a good pucker." From black-eyed pea salad to chicken wings, it's on when Hall pulls the vinegar card.  Akin to vinegar, lemons also balance a dish. One of her pro tips when reaching for lemons is to infuse salt or sugar with the zest to "amp up the flavor."

And on the subject of elevation, she couldn't narrow condiments down to just one. "Condiments are my jam," Hall declared. Take ketchup, for example. She whisks it with soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and garlic for salad dressing. Still even more versatile than condiments in Hall's repertoire are eggs. From egg salad to batters for frying, so many recipes call for eggs. It's probably why Hall doesn't just like them, she "needs eggs." 

To round out the list, Hall said she uses a lot of diced tomatoes in stews and other dishes. She incorporates this versatile ingredient in everything from her fettuccine with tomato water vinaigrette to her tomato corn chowder soup. So, take it from a pro. Stocking your pantry with essential ingredients like these is a must.