6 Cooking Essentials You Didn't Know You Needed

In order to take your cooking skills to the next level you, need a few things in your kitchen.  It only takes a few essentials to make cooking easier, more fun, and to make everyone jealous of your abilities.

1. Spices

The difference between a good meal and a great meal is what spices you add to the dish. Oregano, red pepper flakes, and garlic salt are three must have spices. When you need some more heat, or just a little something extra, spices are the perfect way to take your dish to the next level. One spice that isn't typically in your cupboard that is a must have is Old Bay. Add this to mac and cheese or to chicken for some extra heat.

2. Griddle

The perfect grilled cheese requires two things: butter on the bread and a cooking surface that provides even heat. A griddle is the best option for making quesadillas, bacon, pancakes, etc. The griddle makes everything easier and allows you to cook multiple things at once.

3. Cocktail Shaker

Want to impress all of your friends? Make them a bomb-ass drink. Want to get that guys attention? Grab the cocktail shaker and play "hot bartender". Learn how to make about three different drinks that taste good, and you will be everyone’s best friend.

4. A Good Knife

A good knife will really speed up the process of cooking.  Having a knife that is sharp and sturdy will help you cut vegetables quickly and easily. Also, when you are cooking, having everything the same size means that they will all be done at the same time.

5. Skillet

A skillet that can go into the oven is an essential.  To get a good crust you need high heat directly on the surface. By using a skillet you can get the outside done quickly and then stick it into the oven to finish the cooking process. Be sure to double check that it can go into the oven before you buy one.

6. A Speaker

To make cooking go from a task to a hobby you need to make it fun. The best way to do this is music. Add some Nick Jonas to the mix and you will never be bored cooking again.

With these six editions you can go from cooking novice to the next food network star.