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22 Must have Kitchen Tools
If you open a drawer or a cabinet in my kitchen, you will find a lot of different kitchen tools. Some of which I use often and some should probably bless someone else’s house! The list I have created are, in my opinion, the most essential kitchen tools that are used most often in my kitchen. Both new and established kitchens could benefit from having these 22 tools.
A good a set of spatulas is necessary for preparing eggs, making cookie dough, or making a cake. I have had these spatulas for over 10 years and use them all the time. They have held up really well over the years. I haven’t had any pulling apart or splitting of the silicone. The spatulas are very flexible which makes scraping the bottom of the bowl very easy. They may not be the cheapest spatulas but they are definitely a great quality spatula set.
No one has time to cook big meals every day which is why I love having a slow cooker. I can prepare and freeze slow cooker meals ahead of time and pick one out in the morning for dinner that night. There are so many different “make ahead” slow cooker recipes that you can find on the Internet.
This slow cooker was given to us as a wedding present 10 years ago it still works great! It has locks on it in case you want to travel with it or make sure that the lid stays on securely while cooking. It also has a programmable timer feature. You can set it to cook for a certain number of hours at low or high temperature and it will automatically switch to keep warm when it has completed the timed cooking. The slow cooker makes my life so much easier since I don’t have to worry as much about dinner and can feed my family on time.
Another kitchen tool that is essential for any kitchen is a great set of pots and pans with lids. I prefer glass lids and stainless steel pots and pans. The glass lids make it easier to see what is cooking and the stainless steel is easy to clean. Also with the stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about using a non-metal utensil to ensure the non-stick coating doesn’t come off in your food. To keep the pots and pans clean, I like to use Bar Keeper’s Friend for cookware. It makes my pots and pans look new after every cleaning.
As much as I like having stainless steel, it is also nice to have one or two pans that have a non-stick coating on it. It makes cooking eggs or grilled cheese much easier. Some recipes even call for non-stick skillets. You do need to be careful about what utensils you use while cooking with a non-stick skillet.
A good set of knives is an essential kitchen tool. Most sets come with a bread knife, chopping knife, steak knives, and possibly a knife sharpener. Some even come with a pair of food scissors. Preparing food is a lot easier with a great set of knives.
This knife sharpener was a Christmas present. We had a set of knives that was very nice, but most of the knives grew very dull and would not cut our food easily. I don’t know how to use a manual knife sharpener so this one was a must for me. This sharpener makes it super easy by having guides so you don’t damage your knives and can fit all different size knives. This will help preserve your investment of your nice set of knives much longer then you would have been able to previously keep them. Caring for your kitchen tools allows them to last longer saving you money and frustration.
A kitchen colander can be used to wash fruit, vegetables, potatoes, etc. If you get one with fine enough holes you can even use it to sift flour. We have a large one that can stand by itself and we also have a set of small ones that can be used to sift flour or sit on the side of a bowl. I use the large one to wash larger batches of things like potatoes, green beans, broccoli, and grapes. If you are limited on space, I would recommend one with fine holes for a more diverse kitchen tool.
I prefer glass cutting boards over plastic cutting boards because food was getting stuck where I was cutting on the plastic. I felt like that was probably growing germs and bacteria since I could not wash it off. The glass cutting boards do not hold odor or germs since it would be very difficult to slice the glass. Although they are louder when you are cutting on them, I feel it’s worth the noise. They can also be stuck in the dishwasher which is always a plus for me!
I love to bake so I have about four or five cookie sheets, but you really only need one. If you have a small kitchen, I would recommend getting one that is easily washed and has a nonstick type of surface on it. I also use a silicone baking mat to make my life easier. You can use cookie sheets to bake cookies, sheet meals, potatoes, chicken, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, crispy rice chicken, and so many other things. Make sure that the cookie sheet you are purchasing will fit into your oven. I would also make sure that you have a place to store your cookie sheet.
I use our Pyrex and casserole dishes constantly. I use them to make brownies, baked chicken, store leftovers, and we use the small ones for dipping sauces. They’re also great for making rice crispy treats and bringing dinner to a friend or family member. Some sets also come with a pie plate for yummy delicious pies.
A food scale is great for weighing things like hamburgers meat, packing snacks equally, or measuring out portions for diets. Measuring out ingredients is more accurate than a measuring cup or spoon ensuring your creation comes closer to the recipe. This scale is the closest to the one that we have. It’s small and fits in our cabinet nicely. This particular scale has good reviews. It also quickly converts between grams, ounces, milliliters, and fluid ounces.
The food processor I have is small, compact, and fits nicely in our cabinet. There are larger food processors you can buy with more features, but this one works great for chopping small amounts of ingredients. Dividing my ingredients to chop a little at a time is better for me rather than finding a spot in my kitchen for a large food processor. I’ve had this one for about 3 years and it has worked great for me with all of my baking and cookie needs.
A basic set of spices will get you through most recipes. This spice set is smaller than the one that I have, however, I don’t use half of the spices in my set. The spices included with this set are basil, chili, ground cinnamon, ground cumin, garlic granules, oregano, paprika, rosemary, thyme and turmeric. The spices come in small jars, can easily be refilled when empty, and are magnetic to be stored on a fridge.
One of the most essential kitchen tools in my house is a coffee maker. As a mom of 2 little ones, it helps me get things done. I can get the coffee ready at night, program it to come on, and the next morning I am thanking my night time self for making me coffee. This model holds 12 cups and can easily fit a normal size travel mug for fill up. It also tells you every 30 cycles to clean it. This is done by running 2 cups of vinegar through it and then 2 cups of water 3 times. I like this feature to remind me when I need to clean it since it’s one less thing for this mommy to remember.
My hot shot is used for more than just tea. I use it to boil a small amount of water fast without pulling out a pan. I use it to boil the water for my neti pot when I have a cold (I wait until the water is warm and not boiling before using it). It boils water in about 2 mins, which is great when you are trying to make a quick meal and need a cup of boiling water.
The food storage vacuum sealer that we have is a basic no-frills model that only seals food called seal-a-meal.
Some of the fancier models can marinate your meat, use for canning, or use for storing meat in containers. The one we have is compact and fits well in our pantry. We can find the bags and rolls that go with our machine in our local grocery store. It is a great price model for basic freezing and has helped us save a lot of money on meat. If we find a deal on meat, we can portion it out and freeze it with the vacuum sealer. I can then use this meat to meal plan over the next month or two. We’ve been using ours for about 12 years and it’s still working great.
Everyone needs a large mixing bowl in their kitchen for the obvious reasons of mixing amazing yummy things. We also use ours as a candy bowl for Halloween, as a popcorn bowl during movie nights, and to store are hand mixer. This one comes with a handle and a non-slip grip on the bottom which will grip to your counter or table for fewer spills. The handle is great for pouring out muffin batter, pancake batter, cupcake batter, etc. This mixing bowl received great reviews and looks very sturdy. It is very similar to the one we have in our kitchen.
For a few years after we got married, I used my grandmother’s old stand mixer which was a Sunbeam. It worked great; however, it did not have the capacity to hold the amount of cookie dough I wanted to make. For a Christmas present one year, my sweet husband gave me a gift of a KitchenAid mixer in light pink. These mixers are amazingly well made and stand the test of time. KitchenAid also sells a ton of attachments that can turn your stand mixer into an ice cream maker, a pasta maker, or even a slicer / shredder. If a stand mixer is out of your budget, a hand mixer with your large mixing bowl will work for almost everything. Even with a stand mixer, I still use our hand mixer for smaller things like pancakes, brownies, or muffins.
I have these measuring spoons which are great because the measurements will not rub off on them like on a lot of the other plastic measuring spoons. These measuring spoons can easily be stored together because they nest inside of one another really well. They can also be taken off the ring and separated which I found to be easier when I’m baking and cleaning. Although you can’t put them in the dishwasher, they are very easily cleaned and don’t hold odor or bacteria. Because these are so thin, they fit nicely into spice jars to help get spices out easily. The company also has a money back guarantee.
Measuring cups are necessary for any kitchen to function and be able to follow a recipe correctly. I find that these stainless steel cups last much longer than any plastic measuring cups that I’ve ever had. I will not buy plastic measuring cups again. These measuring cups, similar to the measuring spoons, can be stored inside of each other. They are stainless steel and have great reviews.
A simple rolling pin is great to have for any kitchen. It does not need to be fancy, heavy, or have handles. Out of the two rolling pins that I have, the one I have used the most is a simple stick rolling pin. I find that it works better than the larger more expensive heavy rolling pin. This rolling pin stores easily in most drawers and can be used just as easily for any recipe. I feel this lighter rolling pin allows me to have better control of the pressure I am using.
I love these oven mitts. They cover my arm almost up to my elbow which is nice when cooking with greasy things in a pan that splatter. They’re also fun with kids because they look like a sock puppet! The grip on them is great for keeping things from slipping out of my hand when getting them out of the oven or holding them on the stove. They are machine washable which is handy and they come in this great green color that I adore. There is also a ring where you can hang them on the inside of your cabinet. I have ours hung in the inside of the pots and pans cabinet with a command hook.
Although some of these kitchen tools are not the cheapest, I think that investing in good quality kitchen tools will help you in the long run saving time, money, and frustration. I think my favorite kitchen tool would have to be my light pink stand mixer. I love the color and the help it provides me with making all of my Christmas cookies and yummy goodness.