The Best Kitchen Utensils – Must-Have Cooking Tools

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Every home cook knows that having the right tools in the kitchen is essential to whipping up a good meal. Whether you’re a beginner cook just starting out, or a seasoned pro, these are the best kitchen utensils to have on hand. These tools will make your life in the kitchen much easier. From prep to cleanup, I’ve got you covered with this list of our kitchen essentials.

The Best Kitchen Utensils - Must-Have Cooking Tools

Chef’s Knife

The Best Kitchen Utensils - Must-Have Cooking Tools

A good quality kitchen knife is essential. A sharp knife will make prep work much easier and can help you avoid accidents in the kitchen. When choosing a chef’s knife, look for one that is comfortable to hold and has a good weight to it. Once you’ve found the perfect knife for your needs, be sure to take care of it by sharpening it regularly.

Cutting Board

best kitchen tools

A cutting board is another essential tool. Look for one that is large enough to accommodate your prep work and is made from a durable material like bamboo or hardwood. You should also consider getting a second cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and fish to avoid cross-contamination.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

best cooking utensils

Measuring cups and spoons are essential especially for bakers. Choose sets that are made from durable materials like stainless steel. You should also get a set that includes both dry and liquid measures.

Mixing Bowls

The Best Kitchen Utensils - Must-Have Cooking Tools

When it comes to mixing bowls, look for a set that includes a variety of sizes, so you have the right bowl for any task. I love to use clear mixing bowls as well as stainless bowls.


The Best Kitchen Utensils - Must-Have Cooking Tools

A colander is an essential kitchen tool due to its versatility and functionality. It’s primarily used for draining excess water from cooked pasta or vegetables but also serves as an excellent tool for rinsing ingredients like fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains. You can also use it to steam vegetables over a pot of boiling water! In a pinch, it can even serve as a makeshift sifter for flour or powdered sugar.

Cast Iron Skillets

The Best Kitchen Utensils - Must-Have Cooking Tools

Cast iron skillets are not just for cooking on the stovetop. They can also be used in your oven, meaning you’ll have all sorts of options at hand when it comes time make something tasty. This is my favorite must have on the list! See my guide about cast iron skillet maintenance.

Microplane Zester

best kitchen utensils

A zester is designed to remove the zest (the colored part of the peel) from citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits. The zest contains the fruit’s oils and gives a strong, concentrated flavor to dishes. This tool allows you to remove this zest in fine shreds, without reaching the bitter white pith underneath. It’s not just for citrus, though. A zester can also be used to grate hard cheeses, garlic, ginger and nutmeg. I love multipurpose tools!

Garlic Press

best kitchen utensils

A garlic press is a tool that can significantly speed up the process of mincing garlic. Instead of having to peel and chop the garlic, you can simply place a clove in the press and squeeze it. The garlic is then pushed through small holes, creating a fine mince. This not only saves time, but it also ensures that the garlic is evenly minced, which can lead to better flavor distribution in your dishes.

Paring Knife

best kitchen utensils

A paring knife is a small, sharp knife that is incredibly versatile and essential in any kitchen. It’s perfect for tasks that require precision, such as peeling fruits and vegetables, deveining shrimp, hulling strawberries, or slicing small items like garlic cloves. Its small size gives you better control over delicate tasks that a larger knife might not handle as well.

Baking Sheet

best cooking utensils

A baking sheet, also known as a cookie sheet, is a flat, rectangular metal pan that is used in the oven. It’s not just for baking cookies. You can use it for roasting vegetables, baking chicken or fish, toasting nuts, and much more. It’s one of the most versatile pieces of bakeware you can own.

Cooling Rack

best kitchen tools

A cooling rack is definitely a mut-have! When you remove your baked goods from the oven, you need to let them safely cool. A cooling rack allows air to circulate around the food, cooling it faster and preventing it from getting soggy. I also use my cooling rack when frying foods like french fries and fried chicken. Rather than using paper towel lined plates (which can cause sogginess), I let the oil drain using a rack.

Ice Cream Scoop

must have kitchen utensils

An ice cream scoop is not just for ice cream. It’s a versatile tool that can portion out a variety of foods. For example, you can use it to scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet, ensuring that all your cookies are the same size and will bake evenly. It can also be used for portioning out batter for muffins or cupcakes, or for serving consistent amounts of mashed potatoes or rice. Of course, it’s also great for serving ice cream, as it creates a nice, round scoop.

Cheese Grater

best cooking utensils

A cheese grater is a must-have because it allows you to grate fresh cheese, which tastes significantly better than pre-grated cheese. Freshly grated cheese also melts better. But a cheese grater isn’t just for cheese! Remember I said I love multi-functional. It can also be used to grate foods, such as vegetables (like carrots or zucchini), chocolate and even to zest citrus fruits.

Vegetable Peeler

best kitchen utensils

A peeler is a tool that’s used to remove the outer skin of fruits and vegetables quickly and efficiently. It’s much faster and safer than using a knife and it removes a thinner, more even layer, helping to reduce waste. Some peelers also have a pointed tip that can be used to remove the eyes from potatoes or blemishes from fruit. If you love making mashed potatoes, apple pie or just want to peel a carrot for a snack, a peeler is a must-have tool.

Nonstick Cookware

best kitchen utensils

Nonstick cookware, such as frying pans and pots, is essential because it allows for healthier, lower-fat cooking since you don’t need a lot of oil or butter to prevent food from sticking. It also makes cleaning up a breeze as food residue can be easily wiped off.

Slotted Spoon

what are the best cooking utensils

A slotted spoon is a versatile tool that allows you to scoop up solid food items while draining away any liquid. It’s perfect for removing items from a pot of boiling water or a deep fryer, serving foods with broths or sauces, and can also be used for skimming off foam when making broths or jams.

Silicone Spatulas

kitchen utensil set silicone

Silicone spatulas are heat-resistant and flexible, making them perfect for a wide range of tasks from scraping the last bit of batter out of a mixing bowl, to stirring a sauce on the stove, to flipping pancakes. Unlike plastic or rubber spatulas, they won’t melt if you leave them in the pan for a while. Check out my silicone matainence guide.

Fish Spatula

best kitchen tools

A fish spatula is a must-have for anyone who enjoys cooking fish. Its thin, flexible edge is designed to delicately flip thin, delicate foods without breaking them. It’s also useful for other delicate tasks like flipping pancakes or removing cookies from a baking sheet.

Potato Masher

best kitchen utensils

You can use a potato masher for making creamy mashed potatoes, but it’s also great for mashing other foods like avocados for guacamole, bananas for banana bread or beans. It allows you to achieve a nice, even mash without any lumps. I also use it when browning ground beef, chicken and turkey.

Pizza Cutter

best kitchen utensils

A pizza cutter is designed to cut through pizza without dragging the cheese and toppings around, but it’s also useful for other things. You can use it to cut through pastry dough, chop herbs and slice sandwiches or quesadillas. Yay for multi-use!

Balloon Whisk

best cooking utensils

A balloon whisk is essential for many baking and cooking tasks. Its shape allows it to incorporate air into liquids, which is crucial for tasks like whipping cream or egg whites. It’s also great for stirring and smoothing out sauces or gravies, ensuring there are no lumps. The balloon whisk is designed to give you the best whisking experience due to its shape and the number of wires it has.

Meat Tenderizer

best kitchen utensils

A meat tenderizer is used to break down the tough muscle fibers in meat, making it more tender and easier to eat. This is particularly useful for tougher cuts of meat. Additionally, it can help to reduce cooking time and allow marinades to penetrate deeper into the meat.

Pair of Tongs

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Tongs are like an extension of your hand! They can be used for turning, lifting and serving food. They’re essential for tasks like flipping steaks on the grill, serving salad and turning vegetables while they’re roasting. They provide a good grip and keep your hand at a safe distance from heat.

Basting Brush

best cooking utensils

A basting brush is used to apply glazes, sauces and marinades. It’s particularly useful for basting meats while they’re grilling or roasting, helping to keep them moist and add flavor. The bristles of the brush hold onto the liquid, allowing you to evenly distribute it over the food.

Utensil Sets

Kitchen utensil sets are a great option since they typically include most of the utensils I mentioned above. These handy sets can range from a basic 15-piece set to a more comprehensive 25-piece set, and they often come with a matching utensil holder for easy storage.

There are different types of kitchen utensil sets available, each made from different materials, and each has its own advantages:

Silicone Kitchen Utensil Sets

silicone kitchen utensils set

These sets are a top pick for many cooks due to their heat-resistant properties. Silicone utensils can withstand high heat, making them safe to use with hot food items and nonstick cookware. The silicone heads won’t scratch the non-stick coating on your pots and pans, preserving them for a long time. Silicone handles also provide a comfortable grip. These sets often include a slotted spatula, solid spoon, slotted turner, and more. They are also easy to clean, making them a great option for easy cleanup.

Wooden Kitchen Utensil Sets

kitchen set utensils wooden

Wooden utensils, like a wooden spoon, are a staple in many kitchens. They are durable, don’t conduct heat and won’t scratch your nonstick pots and pans. Wooden handles also provide a comfortable grip plus they’re aesthetically pleasing:) The only downside is that they require a bit more care in cleaning and maintaining as compared to silicone or stainless steel utensils. Please don’t put these things in the dishwasher. You’ll regret it! Ask me how I know.

Bamboo Utensil Sets

best cooking utensils

​Bamboo utensils are a type of wooden kitchen utensils that are eco-friendly and durable. They are a great value and are becoming increasingly popular. This particular set also uses silicone.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Utensil Sets

kitchen utensils set

Stainless steel utensils are sturdy, durable and can withstand heavy use. A stainless steel set is often the best quality choice for professional chefs. These sets often include a stainless steel turner, a pair of tongs, and other essential kitchen tools. They have a high-quality feel and can last a long time with proper care.

In conclusion, investing in high-quality kitchen utensils is a game-changer for both professional chefs and home cooks alike. From silicone spatulas to wooden spoons, stainless steel turners and bamboo utensil sets, each tool has a unique role in your cooking. They not only make the process more efficient but also contribute to the quality of your dishes. Whether you’re whipping up a quick salad dressing, grilling a steak or baking a cake, having the right tools at your disposal is crucial. Remember, the best kitchen utensils are those that cater to your individual cooking style and needs. So, explore, experiment, and equip your kitchen with what you need that fits into your budget. Let me know if the comments below your favorite kitchen tools.

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Meet Dee

Meet Dee

I love to share recipes with real ingredients that are both sweet and savory (especially sweet:) My mission with Gimme From Scratch is to inspire you with recipes that will bring your families together in the kitchen. I'm introverted at heart but know how important socializing can be for maintaining good relationships, when writing not only am looking forward to sharing information - It's also building connections between readers who love good food as much as I do!

5 Responses

  1. Such a great list of kitchen tools, everyone definitely needs these. Especially a cast iron pan, I don’t know what I would do without mine.

  2. Thank you for sharing this helpful article on affordable must-have kitchen tools! As someone who loves cooking but is on a tight budget, I found your suggestions to be very practical and useful.

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I love to share recipes with real ingredients that are both sweet and savory (especially sweet:)

My mission with Gimme From Scratch is to inspire you with recipes that will bring your families together in the kitchen.

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