The 30 must-have kitchen tools and equipment for any kitchen

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There are a few items that every kitchen should have. Period. You can get by without all of the super-specific tools you see in a professional chef’s kitchen, but I would argue that if you have the following items then you are pretty much ready go to make any recipe out there. From utensils to gadgets and cookware, we have you covered with the 30 essential cooking tools.

Keep in mind that you should start slowly and then build up to owning all of the stuff on this list. I recommend buying one key item per month for a whole year until you have a good base of the absolute essential kitchen tools and equipment.

All Clad pots and pans BIFL

Pots and pans

Saucepan

A good saucepan is the thing that ties your kitchen together. You can use this to make everything from pasta to… well… sauces. A good saucepan should be made from metals and a versatile size. We like the Cuisinart one below as a good mix of value and quality.

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Skillet

Nothing beats a nice heavy skillet for making your mains. From searing meat to making pretty much anything else that requires frying or roasting this is your new best friend. Your omelettes will thank you for having a ood skillet. For those of you that want something a little extra heavy duty, consider a caste iron skillet (but don’t forget to season it from time to time!)

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Pot and pan set

You’re going to want to pick up a set of pots (and perhaps even various pans) just to have enough variation to take on any recipe. Just watch out, there are plenty of crappy pot sets out there. Our go-to has always been All-Clad due to their amazing tri-bond technology and great warranty. In fact, many of these sets will include most of what is included in this section so make sure you aren’t doubling up.

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Casserole dish

Making casseroles is going to be a regular occurrence in any functional kitchen. And for us don’t even consider anything other than Le Creuset in terms of quality. You won’t regret it.

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Roasting pan

For roasting meat and vegetables, this is a must. Just make sure you get something of quality so it doesn’t warp with use (this is really common with the $10 specials you find out there).

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C is for cookie, is good enough for me… Seriously though, cookie sheets aren’t just for cookies. You’ll need these for almost any kind of baking, including just heating up frozen food for appetizers. Like roasting pans, these can be susceptible to warping over time so make sure you spend a bit on a decent set like the Rachael Ray set below.

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Utensils

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Chef’s knife

If you’re going to spend some money on any tool in the kitchen, this is it. This is like your all around tool. You’ll use this for many different types of cutting. Depending on the exact design of the knife you can also use it for chopping vegetables. Don’t skimp here!

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Bread knife

Not much to say here. But certainly don’t use any other kind of knife to cut bread. These are designed specifically for the task. Once you have one, you won’t know how you lived without it.

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Paring knife

This is a smaller utilitarian knife that you use for smaller jobs. This knife will be particularly handy for small chopping jobs, peeling and anything else that needs precision. Having several of these at your disposal is a good idea since you may need to cut several different types of food in one recipe and you won’t want to do dishes halfway through.

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Ladle

You’ll want a good ladle for serving soup, stews and chowders. Look for one that is made mostly of metal so it doesn’t risk melting while in a hot pot.

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Serving spoons

A nice set of serving spoons of different sizes will ensure that you can accommodate a dinner party.

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Strainer (fine mesh)

A good strainer should be able to strain everything from past to couscous. Look for one that has small holes (fine mesh) so you can strain smaller pastas, vegetables and batters.

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Grater (microplane)

A microplane grater will allow you do everything from grate cheese to zest a lemon. It is a hand tool instead of the more bulky box graters so it is more versatile.

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Tongs

A nice comfortable set of tongs will be indispensable in the kitchen. We recommend one that is a mix of metal and rubber handles.

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Peeler

A Euro design peeler is probably the most versatile style you can buy. If you really need it you can also look at the horizontal designed peeler as well (for things like potatoes).

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Whisk

If you’re doing any baking you’re going to need a balloon whisk. Consider something that is dishwasher safe since whisks can be a bit of a pain to wash by hand.

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Shears (kitchen scissors)

It’s not the first kitchen tool that comes to mind, but honest to god it is the one that is used more than most. A good set of shears is perfect for opening packages and even cutting meat. Wusthof is the king of shears.

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Wooden spoons

My mom used to threaten to hit my bottom with a wooden spoon when I was bad.  But they are also good for cooking! If you’re using non-stick pans wooden spoons are a must. They are light to the touch, meaning that you won’t damage the non-stick coating on your pans. These are perfect for stirring pretty much anything.

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Spatula set

For bakers and those that love breakfast, you will want to have a good silicone spatula for mixing and portioning batter and other thick ingredients. And a good old flipping spatula is something you will use constantly.

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Must have kitchen gadgets and tools

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Can opener

Well, unless you have some other way to do it, you’ll need a good manual can opener. Don’t bother with electric ones, they die and aren’t made very well. EZ-DUZ-IT has been making the best can opener by far for many decades.

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Stand mixer

This is a more expensive purchase but it really does pay for itself when you start to use it for everything. You’ll be blown away how many things stand mixers can do with the variety of add-ons available.

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Blender

Unless you are really hardcore, a good quality blender can play double duty as a food processor as well. Our favorite is the Blendtec based on its bulletproof construction and its good looks on your counter.

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Other stuff

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Cutting board

You can go for wood, but sometimes bacteria build-up on them can be a problem. We recommend going synthetic for this reason (and you can put these in the dishwasher).

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Measuring cup

A good quality Pyrex measuring cup has been and will continue to be a staple in a well equipped kitchen.

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Measuring spoons

Stainless steel measuring spoons will allow you to do more fine measuring of liquids and powder in your cooking.

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Mixing bowls

Mixing bowls in a few sizes will come in very handy with most cooking. You can get plastic but we recommend stainless steel in terms of durability.

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Pepper mill

Pre-milled pepper just doesn’t taste as good a freshly ground pepper. Get yourself a nice durable pepper mill and call it a day.

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Corkscrew

Nothing fancy, just a good corkscrew to make sure you can open your wine bottles. Seriously, you were thinking to do this all without wine? Bad idea…

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Bottle opener

Again, this is pretty basic and you should probably have one. But if you have been using your belt buckle for years, consider investing a few bucks in a dedicated bottle opener.

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Multi-tool

When all else fails, have a Leatherman at the ready. I can’t tell you how many times my Leatherman Wave has come in handy while in the kitchen.

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The 30 must-have kitchen tools and equipment run down

So there it is. 30 kitchen tools and equipment that you need in any well-equipped kitchen. If you have all of these you are really doing well. You really shouldn’t need anything else in your kitchen if you have everything on this list.  Here is everything on the list from least to most expensive:

Last update was on: September 19, 2017 11:36 pm

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