Cook every night? Just moving out on your own? Looking to up your game in the kitchen? No matter what you’re looking for in the kitchen, there are a few things that remain consistent—tools.
With the right kitchen tools, you can create amazing meals—without them, cooking can be a completely tiring experience. Let’s change that.
We snagged a few minutes of our executive chef, Jason Triail’s time to create this quick, yet comprehensive kitchen essentials guide.
1. Nonstick Pots & Pans
Nonstick pots and pans are the new norms for modern cooking. Without a quality set of cookware, your foods can lose their delicious flavor. A set of pots and pans might set you back a few bucks, but trust us, it’s worth it.
Try a set like this one by Cuisinart. The light, champagne color of this nonstick ceramic will appreciate for years on end, and look great sitting atop your stove. Watch out world—there’s a new chef in town—you.
2. Sheet Pans
Everyone needs a set of sheet pans. We use these exact sheet pans in our test kitchen! They’re perfect for anything from baking cookies to roasting veggies—their versatility is endless.
3. Baking Dish
Everyone loves a good casserole. They’re easy to make, simple to cook, and can be modified to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. A pretty ceramic baking dish, like this, is great because it can be thrown in the oven to cook, then thrown on the table (with care) to serve, without the mess or clean up.
Using a knife to peel your veggies is not only a pain but also dangerous. Invest in a peeler to speed up your prep time (and keep all your fingers).
5. Can Opener
Every cook needs a can opener—and one that doesn’t mangle the can. Get yourself a nice one like this to tackle all your can-opening needs easily.
Having a set of quality tongs will change the way you cook for the better. More is better when it comes to cooking utensils like tongs—take it from our executive chef, Jason Triail,
“Everyone should have two tongs when cooking meat—one for handling raw meats, and one for handling cooked meat. Serving cooked meat with tongs that touched raw meat is a big no-no.”
7. Spatulas & Spoons
Silicon, metal, wood—it doesn't matter which you choose, as long as you have them you’ll be good to go. Flipping filets, scooping batter, stirring pasta—the list goes on and on. Grab a set of quality spatulas and spoons, like these, that will stand up to constant use, temperature changes, and plenty of washing.
8. Measuring Cups & Spoons
While we pre-portion and measure everything for you in our meal kits, there’s always a need for measuring cups and spoons. Sometimes, a pinch or dash just won’t cut it. We’ve had the “I’ll just eyeball it” moment, which is usually about the time the whole recipe is ruined, so do yourself a favor, and invest in some of these beautiful measuring cups and spoons.
Ladles are great for cooking and serving a wide variety of foods.—from soups and stews to beverages and baking. Ladles make serving liquids a breeze and everyone should have a few stocked away somewhere in their kitchen.
10. Quality Knifes & Knife Sharpener
This is another kitchen staple that is a must-have for all cooks of all levels. Like pots and pans, the good ones don’t come cheap.
“You would think that accidents in the kitchen are caused by sharp knives, but most happen because of dull knives.”
You heard the man, get yourself a knife sharpener!
11. Cutting Board
Everything thus far has been pretty cut and dry—now it’s time to have some fun! Cutting boards are typically not the most exciting thing in the kitchen, but they can be! Oddly shaped cutting boards are all the rage right now. A pig, your home state, a dog nearly endless options.
12. Food Processor
A food processor is an essential? Yes!
Food processors are used for many different types of recipes. They’re used to do anything from chopping onions to creating soups.
Because these machines are so necessary today, they’ve become less and less expensive. The food processor pictured above is just under $25! This small kitchen appliance will not only act as your right-hand man in the kitchen but also help you up your cooking skills!
We’ve all experienced that moment of, “How and I supposed to drain this?” Fumbling with the lid to makeshift a sans-colander draining method always leads to noodles escaping down the drain.
Invest in a colander with small holes, like this one. Rice, noodles, and spaghetti won’t fall through the holes and they won’t get clogged either.
14. Bowls of All Sizes
Did you catch our live gifting guide on Facebook? We featured the colorful, 4 piece bowl set by Sur la Table. They’re great to have on hand in the kitchen. Use them for prepping, serving, and mixing—their versatility is endless.
1. Le Creuset Dutch Oven
Made from cast iron, a le Creuset dutch oven will last you a lifetime. Perfect for cooking braised short ribs, hearty chili, and even roasting a whole chicken, the versatility of this high-end piece of equipment will amaze you.
Love a lemony zest? Who doesn’t? Investing in a zester or Microplane helps you easily extract the best flavor from limes, lemons, oranges, and other citruses for your meals. They’re inexpensive and will make you look like a total pro in the kitchen.
3. Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are all the rage right now—they do all the work for you! Throw in all your favorite veggies and meat to create soups, stews, and more. While this isn’t a total necessity in the kitchen, it can help you stay sane on those crazy busy weeknights. Keep it cooking throughout the day and walk through the door with dinner ready and waiting.
4. Citrus Squeezer
Make quick work out of squeezing lemons, limes, and oranges with this handy tool. A citrus squeezer is great for making tangy marinades, and even a delicious cocktail. Using little effort, you’ll get all the juice out of your fruits and save you from the mess that typically occurs.
5. Cast Iron Pan
What is a cast iron skillet? It’s a type of pan that’s used to bring out the best flavors in your cooking. The more you use it, the more it appreciates. They take a bit more attention that your typical nonstick pan, as their crafted from cast iron, which can easily rust.
Sometimes, a hearty roast is needed. Cooking them can seem a bit intimidating at first, but with the proper tools, you can master your recipe with ease. Having a cooking thermometer on hand will help ensure your meats are cooked at the perfect temperature, giving you the juicy and tender roast you crave.