Nowadays there is a huge offer of cooking utensils and not always we have enough space in the kitchen or the budget to get them all. Let´s dive in this I want to share with you a list of the essential kitchen utensil, including kitchen accessories, I use at least once a week and they are so versatile that you can cook almost any recipe or daily food you want.
- Stock Pot: Generally it is used to make stews and soups; you can cook pasta or even for boiling potatoes. You should pick a thick and sturdy one, which has a multi-ply designer, built that can hold heat. Preferred stock pot would be with a lid and comes with at least 8 quarts of capacity.
- Skillet: This is one of the must have kitchen items, for toasted sandwiches, fried eggs, veggies and ground beef. It is useful to cook almost all the items on the stove top. Our recommendation would be a 12 inch skillet and the material to be stainless steel with a non-stick inner coating. Another advantage would be to have a lid so that simmering and steaming can go well with it.
- Sheet Pan: It makes your baking experience pleasant, be it cookies or an entire meal. Look for a sheet pan which is durable, strong and sturdy also built to resist warping. Generally, baking sheets are made of aluminum, which is a good conductor of heat and spreads heat throughout for even baking quality. It comes in various sizes, so choose a pair based on the type of food and the amount of food you usually cook. If you plan to cook a dinner for two, a quarter size is ample. And if you are cooking for more people or a larger batch of cookies, choose the half sheet pan size. These two sizes are usually available in sets with a cooling rack/baking rack. This is essential kitchen equipment that you will use for a long time.
- Saucepan: If you do not have a stock pot then you can use a saucepan as well since it is lighter. It will help you to toss and warm food fast; also being a medium sized cookware can help you hold it easily while cooking canned food like soup and vegetables. It is good to cook smaller portions of meals.
- Colander: This is a very useful item at the moment when you want to drain out something and it’s really hot, like spaghetti or noodles. You would not want to use your saucepan for draining by holding its lid and ending up burning your fingers. Go for the one with a fine mesh option as its smaller holes would make it more versatile in use.
- Casserole: You will need it when you want to prepare dishes like, lasagna or brownie. These can be used as a great serving dish and storage also. Though it may be sold in sets, you can buy individual items too. My recommendation would be to buy 9*13 and 8*8 inches,you would see these two being mentioned in almost every cookbook or cook show.
- Knife Set: Though, you may feel only a larger knife is enough for all your kitchen knife needs, but later on you will find yourself blessed if you buy the entire set. Especially the one that comes with the knife block, as it can help you save the cabinet space and it is good from a safety perspective as well. Watch out for a set that contains a Larger chef’s knife (ideal for major slicing and dicing), a paring knife (suitable for smaller and detail oriented needs), a serrated knife (best to cut bread and other hard outer fruits like watermelon), and a honing steel (it helps the knife edges to remain sharp). Although it may cost a bit more, choose high-quality knives that will serve you for a long time.
- Large Spoon: This is another versatile tool to be added to your kitchen, it would help you to scoop, stir and serve food. It is available in metal, plastic and silicone but the preferred one is silicone as it is non sticky, easy to clean and heat resistant too. More importantly, it will not get oil or spice stain from food.
- Measuring Spoons and Cup: Both of these are required, if you are not an expert in the kitchen and want to follow the instructions very precisely from the cookbook. Find a cup that has a pouring spout and is microwaveable, that way you can measure the right quantity, get them straight into the oven and start pouring like melted chocolate and butter etc.
- Potato Masher: Go for a high quality and company product, which is dish wash safe and comes with flip-able function ability.
- Citrus Juicer: This is one of the cheapest kitchen tools, and is perfect for avoiding sticky hands when you need to squeeze lemons, oranges, or limes. Another advantage is that you can measure the quantity that goes in the dish and also you can avoid getting seed in too.
- Tongs: You would need this to pick hot vegetable or a piece of meat on barbecue or while making salad. You can opt for silicone tip tongs to resist the scratches and to avoid melting in high temperature.
- Spatula: This is definitely going to make a place in your kitchen, because of its versatile use. It comes in a set of different sizes and colors, so you can pick accordingly.
- Vegetable Peeler: Though it’s not that unique item you want in your drawer; this is very helpful when there is a pile of vegetables or carrots to peel. Being so inexpensive and doing things quickly keeps this tool on this list of essential kitchen utensils. It can also cut cucumber and carrot in smaller pieces too for making salad. Preferred one would be a “Y” shape peeler for its wider range to peel big fruits and veggies so easily like sweet potatoes.
- Can Opener: You cannot imagine your kitchen without a cap opener, because of so many canned food items available these days. Try to find an opener that can open the can without leaving behind the jagged edges of the lid. You can try electric as well as manual can openers.
- Box Grater: Can you imagine grating cheese over a pizza without a box grater? Well, definitely not. You can also grate carrots, for coleslaw, salads and sandwiches. However, you can get a box grater without a box also, but since it is a detachable box, you can either remove it as you like.
- Whisk: From a quick omelet egg whisking to preparing a pancake batter, a whisk is a must in your kitchen. It can give a fluffy texture very quickly with fewer efforts.
- Thermometer: Be a perfectionist by setting the right temperature with the help of this amazingly accurate thermometer that can give you quick reading in just 4 seconds. You can choose the type of thermometer that adapts to the type of food you cook the most. If you like to cook meat such as, pork, or lamb, you can look for a thermometer that has different doneness levels.
- Slow Cooker: This is definitely one of the kitchen tools that you must have on your counter top because of its versatility. It makes slow meals perfectly lazy like pot roast to juicy chicken wings.
- Toaster: To your everyday breakfast needs you would want to have in the kitchen for sure. Bread, muffins, or a pop tart, all need a good toaster to be toasted. Go for a versatile one with wide slots so that thicker slices can go in easily.
- Microwave: You need this in your kitchen counter top, because of its versatility as it can reheat the food along with cooking and baking. So if you have any leftover pizza or pasta just use it to reheat in a quick time with a microwave.
- Kitchen Scale: To measure a precise amount especially for pastry recipes. You can get one with a bright digital LED display, multi-function option, and compact scale for your kitchen.
- Food Processor: In the kitchen there are many repetitive tasks that you want to get rid of. Chopping, slicing and blending become easy with the help of versatile attachments with this kitchen appliance.
- Stick Blender: It is perfect for making smoothies, soups, sauces. The stick style is the most convenient and preferred because of its ease of use and takes up less space. It comes with multiple useful accessories, such as a measuring cup, and a variety of blades for different actions. There are two sizes available on the market: 6 “and 8”.
Dishes, Tools and Gadgets
- Cutting Board: Ideally, have at least two, use one to slice vegetables and fruit, and another to prepare and cut meat. This will prevent cross contamination. You can choose wooden ones that tend to be a bit heavier but also last longer, and plastic ones are lighter, take up less space, and are generally dishwasher safe. Whether you have many or only one, the important thing is to pick good quality because you will use it very often.
- Mixing Bowls: These are too useful for mixing and whisking stuff for a quick meal. You can go for the set of three larger bowls with lids so you can then use them to serve or keep some prep in the fridge while cooking.
- Storage Containers: There are chances to have some leftover food to be stored in freeze, so be prepared for such time; you can go for silicone or plastic containers, either way make sure they are microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe.
- Serving Platter: When you have a fancy dish ready for the guests or family, then you would want to make it appear exquisite. Buy a company product to serve the food, to make it look good on your dinner table.
- Kitchen Shears: This will become one of the useful kitchen accessories for cutting many items in the kitchen, such as paper, polyethylene, cloth, rope, etc. There are specialized scissors available on the market, try to find one that is dishwasher safe.
- Pepper Grinder: Almost all cooked or baked dishes need freshly grinded pepper and it’s possible with a pepper grinder. It comes in various beautiful designs and can be a décor item for your kitchen along with being not so expensive.
- Kitchen Linen: Hand towels are very useful in the kitchen area to keep your hands dry and clean up the mess quickly that you do while preparing the food. It can be used to lift and shift the hot pots and sheet pan easily. It is recommended to keep a bunch of towels with you so that you are always a few fresh when others are under a wash.
As you can see the list has basic kitchen tools, which are very versatile to make your cooking enjoyable and show your skills with ease. Check your kitchen instrument stock and see what you are missing or which need to be updated. You don’t need to buy them all on the same day, it’s better slowly choosing good quality kitchen utensils that you actually use.