13 Essential Ingredients Every Home Cook Should Keep Stocked

Everyone has half a sack of flour and an old jar of vinegar on the shelf, but the truly creative home cook goes beyond the boring staples, a few impressive ingredients can make a huge difference when meals need to be whipped up on the fly.

Duck fat

Instead of reaching for butter or oil when cooking eggs, Perry always grabs her trusty jar of duck fat. It’s a luxuriously rich starting point for almost any dish.

Pickle juice

“Don’t throw the juice out when you buy a jar of pickles,” says Jessica. “The pickling liquid already has a lot going on with all of the spices in it. It makes for a really nice deglaze for vegetables like cauliflower and roasted vegetables and adds a nice bit of acid and depth. We also like to put it in chili.”

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