Essential Kitchen Tools List: 15 Utensils All Cooks Need
Whether you’re equipping your kitchen from scratch or already have some of the basics, shopping for tools and accessories can be confusing. You’ve got to get knives, frying pans and everything in-between. Our essential kitchen tools list has everything you need to know, featuring kitchen utensils that are a must-have for all budding cooks.
1) Frying Pan
You won’t get very far on your cooking adventures without a decent frying pan. You can use them for everything from basic recipes like scrambled eggs, to more complicated ones like no-oven sponge cakes or paella. Make sure your frying pan has a good no-stick coating if you want to make omelettes or pancakes, or just want an easier life when washing up.
You’ll need a spatula to lift or flip hot food without making a mess, ruining your dish or burning yourself – only the most skilled chefs can flip American pancakes or fried eggs without one! If you plan to cook either with a frying pan or on the stove top, a spatula is a must-have item for your kitchen.
Any keen baker needs a pair of kitchen scales. They can help you to measure out the exact amount of flour or sugar required for making yummy cupcakes, cakes and other desserts (or mains, for that matter). With baking, it’s especially important to nail the ingredient ratio.
4) Measuring Cups
Instead of scales, you could try the classic way of measuring ingredients – by using measuring cups. As baking is essentially all about getting the ideal ratio, measuring cups work just as well as scales and are often less intimidating. Be aware that a cup is a specific measurement so just eyeballing it won't work.
5) Food Processor
Despite being a slightly more expensive cooking utensil, a food processor is totally worth any extra costs. It makes it easier to chop, puree or mix foods. Most include a selection of blades that can be changed depending on what you’re preparing. Food processors make making hummus, salsa and homemade coleslaw easy, while some can even help you to knead bread!
6) Sharp Knives
You’ll struggle to cut anything without a sharp kitchen knife. Imagine trying to cut a hard sweet potato with a little kitchen knife, or a loaf of bread with a straight edged one! We recommend purchasing a knife set with a variety of blade sizes and edges so you can always use the best-sized one. A knife sharpener is also a great accompaniment to a kitchen knife set as it will help to keep your knives sharp after continual use.
7) Vegetable Peeler
When preparing vegetables, it’s important to remove skins. While you could remove the skin with a kitchen knife, it’s much easier and more efficient to use a vegetable peeler. You can even get peelers that help shape your veg into funky designs, if you desire a more stylish dinner presentation.
Strainers, also called sieves, help you to drain water from your pot while protecting you from being burned by the scalding water. With a strainer, you can safely and quickly remove excess water from pasta, potatoes or boiled vegetables. Strainers are also great for removing large ingredients (like bay leaves, for instance) from soups or sauces.
Blenders make it easy to create the perfect smoothie or puree. Simply add your ingredients, pulse and you’re good to go. A blender is a fantastic addition to any busy kitchen and an absolute must for anyone wanting a healthy, delicious breakfast or baby-friendly meal.
10) Cutting Board
If you don’t use a cutting board, you run the risk of damaging your kitchen counter tops and even getting sick. Preparing food directly on top of your counter tops can easily result in scratched surfaces and is unhygienic as bacteria from raw meat can linger in grooves. To help avoid this, a cutting board helps keep your kitchen clean and scratch-free.
Remember to use a different cutting board for preparing meat or fish to avoid cross-contamination, and always wash thoroughly after use.
11) Can Opener
Have you ever tried to open a can without a can opener? It’s a near-impossible task. What’s more, there’s nothing worse than getting halfway through a recipe and realizing you need a can opener – which you don’t have – to continue. Get one to avoid situations like these and open up a world of tasty ingredients.
As the name suggests, a saucepan is ideal for cooking sauces, such as Bolognese. It can also be used to create smaller batches of curries, stews, soups and much more. Like a frying pan, it’s an essential kitchen utensil for both novice chefs and more experienced ones alike.
13) Large Stock Pot
When you’re cooking a big batch of soup or stew, or making stock, you’ll want the extra space provided by a large stock pot. Large stock pots help prevent your soup or stew from boiling over and messing up your stove top. We always recommend overestimating the space you’ll need as you’d be surprised how easy it is to run out of space when cooking. If you do run out of room, you’ll need to transfer to a larger pot, creating more dishes to clean afterwards.
While it’s hypothetically possible to open a bottle of wine without a corkscrew, it’s certainly much harder. After trying to knock the cork into the bottle or remove it with a screw, you’ll wish you had a corkscrew. Corkscrews make opening a bottle of your favorite wine far less frustrating leaving you with more time to enjoy and savor its flavor!
15) Baking Tray
If you’re going to be using your oven, you’ll want a baking tray. Baking trays are perfect for roasting vegetables, baking cookies, and making oven fries or even a store-bought pizza. On top of that, having a baking tray will also help keep your oven clean by catching any drips or spills when cooking. Regardless of your culinary skills, all kitchens should have a baking tray.