It’s so easy to end up with a bunch of kitchen gadgets and tools that you thought you just had to have, but then end up never using.
This isn’t one of those lists.
This is a list of the essential kitchen tools every cook should have.
You need the tools on this list, whether you just need to round out your own kitchen tools, or figure out what you need to make a killer wedding or wedding shower gift.
This list isn’t just for you cooks, either. Maybe you’re looking for the perfect gift for your sweetie? It’s right here.
This is the perfect go-to list for your kitchen tool needs.
Here are the 15 items your kitchen has to have:
1. Good Knives
I can’t stress enough the importance of good knives. I’ve visited friend’s homes before and nearly removed fingers trying to strong-arm my way through slicing a simple apple. Good knives don’t come cheap, no matter what you might have seen on the latest infomercial.
There’s good news, though. Good knives don’t have to be cause for a second mortgage either. I like Henckels, but it’s really important that the knife be a comfortable fit for the wielder. It should be comfortable in your hand, and it shouldn’t be too big. I have small hands and find myself most comfortable with a knife 8” or smaller.
I highly recommend a starter set with a steel so that you can sharpen your knives, but I also really like the cleaver and Asian sets when you already have the basics.
2. Silicone Spatulas
Silicone (not rubber) spatulas are the best out there. Why? Several reasons. Good silicone spatulas:
- Are safe to use at really high temperatures
- Can be used to mix and scrape down the sides of bowls
- Eliminate the need for a spoon while cooking.
I really like Trudeau’s 3 piece set, they come in nifty colors and are available with straight scraping sides or a spoon design.
3. Wooden Spoons
I know I just said that you don’t even need spoons if you have a good set of silicone spatulas. And that’s true, on the stovetop. However, when you’re mixing something, sometimes you need to exert a little more force than you can with the flexible silicone.
Bambu’s unique shape has become a favorite of mine. When I’m in a hurry they are great for spreading frosting, but they can are versatile enough to use for serving dinner.
4. An Adjustable Measuring Cup
I really cannot tell you how handy an adjustable measuring cup is. This little deal uses one end for liquid measuring. Flip the thing over and the other end lets you measure solids. Measure out everything from peanut butter to shortening to packed brown sugar with the awesome plunger feature. I’m serious, this thing is so cool, I’m not sure how I survived without it!
5. Garlic Press
Yes, I use a garlic press. and I love it. I know there are mixed opinions about using garlic presses. I don’t really care, and most of you don’t either. I love the ease and convenience of a press. I also like not having to mince garlic and have the smell on my fingers all day.
Now, yes. You do lose some of the garlic in the process, so having a high quality garlic presswill help minimize the loss.
6. Electric Knife and Slicing Guide
I make a lot of homemade bread. I mean a lot of homemade bread. So, I have an Electric knife that I use exclusively for slicing the loaf. I found out very early that slicing the entire loaf as soon as it was slightly cooled let me minimize the risk of my family wasting bread because they didn’t want to go to the trouble of cutting it. It also allows me to cut straight slices effortlessly.
I also use a slicing guide with a storage container. I love using my slicing guide! Once you have one, you’ll wonder how you ever sliced bread without it. It makes the bread slices uniform (can you say control freak?) and look as nice as the bread sliced by the machines at the bakery.
Using the guide along with your electric knife makes a gorgeous sliced loaf of bread. On top of that, the storage container is great for keeping your bread fresh and helps avoid the condensation that appears when you bag your bread.
Since we’re discussing what a control freak I am I’ll mention these now. To the uninitiated, you might know dishers by the more common name of “scoops” (and they look like ice cream scoops).
Dishers come in all different sizes and are indispensable in your kitchen. I use them from everything to making every single cookie the exact same size to making perfectly shaped meatballs. You will use your dishers to serve mashed potatoes, rice, and ice cream. You’ll also use them to load your cookie press by scooping the cookie dough into the barrel. Every cook (yes, this means you) should have at least one.
8. Cutting Boards
People often ask about the cutting boards that I use. I have one super sized wooden board that I use for all of my pastry rolling, or for when I am working on big jobs that require large amounts of chopped veggies. I also have an anti-bacterial set of cutting boards (in graduated sizes) that I use for small jobs, and for messier jobs.
9. Rolling Pin
If you’re going to do any baking you’ll need a rolling pin. I personally prefer a small hand-held sized rolling pin that allows me to manage the rolling with my smaller hands, and to roll right inside a pie pan if I feel so inclined. I also like the storage space I save by keeping a smaller rolling pin.
I keep use two sets of tongs in my kitchen. I have a large metal set with a locking function that I use for everything from turning meats to serving spaghetti. I also have a smaller bamboo set that I use for pulling toast from the toaster and serving breads on the dinner table. The kids love the small set, too, and use them for pop tarts and toaster pastries.
You need a high-quality heavy duty wire whisk to make good gravy, smooth cream cheese, and fluffy eggs. There are as many whisks available as there are cooks, so make sure you try yours on for size. Just make sure it’s stainless steel, well made and feels good in your hand when you wield it!
12. A Pizza Cutter
Your pizza cutter is good for so much more than pizza. I use mine for cutting bar cookies, cutting dough for noodles, cutting pb&j sandwich crusts off and many other easy cutting jobs. Of course, you can still use it for pizza, too. If you insist.
13. Iron Skillet
Can I just say One Skillet Cooking? You must have an iron skillet. Buy one and you’ll find so many uses for it. It’s great for skillet garlic bread, pork chops, chicken breasts and many other wonderful oven meals.
There are many varying opinions out there on how to care for iron cookware, so be sure and read a bit on how to keep it in top shape.
I have spent many blog posts waxing poetic about the =mandolin and how handy this is in the kitchen. It lets you cut, grate, dice, and everything in between with one tool. You’ll look like a complete pro and you’ll feel like one too. And, the best part? You’ll know what the heck I’m talking about when I feel the spirit move me to go on about mine.
15. Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons and Cup
Your kitchen has to have measuring spoons and cup. These are basics that every cook must have. Buy a good set early on when you are first equipping your kitchen and you’ll never need another set.
If you’ve already got an odd assortment of mismatched and misshapen plastic measuring cups toss them out and replace them with a good set. I know, it’s hard. You’ve had them for so long. Do it. They’re just measuring cups, for crying out loud! You’ll be so glad you did and it will be the last time you’ll have to replace them.
I like a set that includes 1/8 cup all the way to 1 cup and spoons that include ¼ tsp up to a tablespoon. I also like to have the 1 ½ teaspoon measurement and the “pinch, dash, and smidgen” spoon set. I bought them because they were so dang cute, but then was floored at just how often I use them!
- None Found