I’ve compiled a list of my top 12 must-have kitchen tools for the budding home cook.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links, but are products I love and recommend.
- A powerhouse sautee pan
- I’m not joking when I say that we use this sautee pan basically every day. Whether I’m frying up bacon for crispy breakfast egg rolls or searing and then baking Italian turkey meatballs or making cornbread french toast (!!) this pan is what I’m doing it in. I’m a big fan of this kind of pan because it goes straight from the stovetop to the oven. Less dishes = more happiness. Always.
- Kitchen scale
- I initially bought this scale when I was trying to get better at portioning out my meals so that I wasn’t massively overeating. Since then, it’s been useful for when recipes around the web call for only grams or ounces, and especially when we made s’mores macarons. Macarons are very fussy about their precise measurements. This scale is really simple to use and doesn’t take up a ton of space and I think I’ve only replaced the batteries once in the time that I’ve owned it.
- Rubber tongs
- How many nonstick pans have I ruined using metal tongs? More than I’d care to admit. The fiance and I accidentally bought each other a pair of these tongs during our anniversary as gifts. We love them so much that we kept both pairs.
- A good set of knives
- Nothing made me more furious than having to cut through meat/veggies/potatoes with a dull and crappy knife. Do yourself a favor and buy a set of knives that are SHARP! You’ll enjoy your kitchen prep time a lot more when you aren’t yelling at your produce and cutlery. If you already have a sharp set, definitely invest in a knife sharpener or get your knives professionally sharpened. If you’re especially fearful of knives or your knife skills in the kitchen, my friend and I took this awesome knife skills class at Sur la Table (totally not getting paid to promote this, but I wish!) It was just a nice class that was actually informative.
- Kitchenaid stand mixer
- I got this as a birthday gift and I am head over heels in love with it. When I get my own place, I intend on stocking my shelves full of all of its accessories. I’m looking at you, ice cream maker attachment. I have the slicer/grater attachment and the rubberized paddle attachment. Both are awesome additions and the rubber paddle is great for baking because you don’t have to use another rubber spatula to scrape the edges down during the mixing process. Again, less dishes = happier cooks.
- Pyrex dish/pyrex dishes with lids that snap
- We love the standard 11 x 13 pyrex for baking brownies and other bars. The 8 x 8 is also a favorite. I recently bought a set of smaller glass Pyrex dishes with snapping lids that are perfect for reheating leftovers or baking smaller desserts in. Since they’re glass they don’t stain or have residual smells when you leave in acidic foods like tomato sauce or vinegar. Basically, these are perfect to store your leftover short rib bolognese sauce in.
- Dry and liquid measuring cups and spoons
- These are essential for baking. Do yourself a favor and invest in a quality set of each for the best cookies, muffins and pancakes! Check out the set down at the bottom this post – I love the little beaker set of liquid measuring cups.
- Ramekins aren’t only for souffles anymore! My personal favorite uses for these cute little guys are mug cakes, mini frittatas (or baked eggs perfectly sized for a breakfast sandwich) and the occasional creme brulee. I also use these for when I have leftover cake mix and no more spaces in my cupcake pan. They’re also the perfect size for roasting a sole head of garlic to make homemade roasted garlic.
- Powerful blender or personal sized blender
- We have a Vitamix and MagicBullet and love both of them equally. The Vitamix is a powerhouse of a blender and it’s pulverized kale and spinach into tasty and grit-free smoothies. It’s also useful for blending soups, like my creamy loaded potato soup! The magic bullet is my favorite for making single servings of smoothies, protein shakes and grinding small amounts of things (like oats for oat flour). It’s also great for making a normal (read: small) amount of pesto!
- Muffin/cupcake pans (regular and mini)
- You never know when you’ll need to bring cupcakes to a party! What we really use these pans for is for homemade muffins. They’re the perfect little breakfast when you’re in a hurry! I bought mine on Amazon and really like it. Definitely stock up on your favorite paper liners too 🙂
- Silicone baking mats
- These were actually life changing for me. They’re basically the reusable form of parchment paper. You don’t have to get your baking sheet covered in grease or spills, and everything comes off really easily. I have these baking mats.
- Four walled baking sheet
- There are so many fun “one pan” meal ideas, and this doesn’t always mean the sautee pan. I’ve seen chicken and veggies one sheet pan meals that look absolutely drool-worthy. You’ll also want to have a sheet pan for cookies, biscuits, baking meats for dinner and for sheet cakes!
That’s a wrap for now! What are your must-have kitchen tools?