18 Must Have Kitchen Tools

18 Must Have Kitchen Tools

Cooking is easier and faster with the right equipment. Stock your kitchen with these basics.

 This list is definitely not all-inclusive, but it’s not bare bones either…it’s somewhere in between. Hopefully it will be useful and possibly even introduce you to something new.

Pots & Pans.

You don’t need a cupboard full of pots and pans to get by very handily in the kitchen. I think most of us tend to have too many overall. All you REALLY need is:

  • a small sauté pan and a large sauté pan
  • a small sauce pan and a larger sauce pan
  • a pot for cooking pasta, stock, etc.

You don’t need a big block of knives. You need a chef knife, a paring knife, and a bread (serrated) knife — these will handle most everything you’ll need to cut. Invest in as good a quality of knives as you can afford, but I wouldn’t go crazy.

Cutting Board.

A large cutting board, a 15″ x 20″ is good. Nothing is worse than watching your chopped-up veggies fall to the floor because you don’t have enough work space. Don’t forget a smaller plastic cutting board for handling meat and poultry safely.


Some people prefer the one with thin wires rather than thick heavy ones or prefer a solid handle so food doesn’t get stick in it. Most important, make sure it fits well in YOUR hand.

Wooden Spoons.

They are inexpensive and come in very handy, especially when cooking with non-stick pans because they won’t scratch.


Microplane graters are all the rage, but I’ll stick with my sturdy box grater. It’s versatile with four different grate options to shred, shave, dust, and zest.

Kitchen Shears.

These scissors designed for the kitchen make help with cutting herbs, garnishes and pie crusts just to list a few.

Lemon Squeezer.

A fairly recent acquisition to my kitchen, but once I experienced the joy of fresh squeezed lemon juice in my salsa and other lemony dishes, I was sold! SO much easier than trying to squeeze with just your hands.

Potato Masher.

Perfect to “whip” up homemade mashed potatoes although some prefer them a little more “rustic” with lumps and all, so a potato masher is a must-have for that. A masher with a curved head allows you to get into corners of bowls and pots.

Instant-read thermometer.

They are pricey but you will never ruin an expensive steak on the grill again!

Nesting Bowls.

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to cook without the right size bowls. Nesting bowls give you a range of sizes, and don’t take up too much valuable storage space.

Measuring cups.

A MUST for baking. You should have at least one Pyrex liquid measuring cup You’ll also need a set of measuring cups for solids.

Measuring Spoons.

Oval measuring spoons fit into spice jars better than round ones.


FRESHLY ground pepper. Why not? You can also easily adjust it from a coarse grind to a fine one. I like that.


A good all-purpose blender of ANY kind is a definite must-have in any kitchen. It can puree, whip, and chop at a fraction of the cost of a food processor.

Slow Cooker.

Slow cookers are cheap to buy, economical to use and they’re great for making the most of budget ingredients. Not to mention the convenience of throwing in all the ingredients and then walking away. What’s not to love?

Stand Mixer.

You can mix BIG batches with ease. Basically it just makes mixing anything a lot easier.

Cast Iron Enamel Dutch Oven.

Enameled cast iron is heavy, heats evenly and stays hot. Its surface allows browning but is virtually non-stick. It can be used on top of or in the oven. And they are so pretty.

It’s ideal for simmering, marinating, poaching, braising, and browning. It even goes from the stove or oven to the table and can store leftovers in the refrigerator or freezer!


From – A wife who cooks for her husband and children for over 25 years now.