There are a million kitchen tools on the market that come in every color imaginable and each promise to make you a better cook. Most of them can only do one very specific task (like the strawberry de-stemmer) and will end up wasting your money and taking up precious space in your kitchen.
If you are trying to equip your first kitchen, or just want to become a better cook, start with the essentials. You don’t need an avocado slicer as much as you need a good chef’s knife or a rice steamer as much as a sturdy, all-purpose pot. Start with the essential tools, learn how to use them, and you will save money and space in the kitchen.
15 Essential Kitchen Tools That Should Be in Your Kitchen No Matter What:
1. Cast Iron Skillet
If your family has a cooking tradition, chances are good that there is a heirloom cast iron skillet. They are solid, hold heat, and get better with time.
2. Chef’s Knife
A chef’s greatest tool. Find one you like, with balance and the ability to hold a sharp edge. But choose wisely, you will use this more than anything else.
3. Cutting Board
A good cutting board should be large and clean. You can use it (cleaning between uses, of course) for veggies, herbs, meat, and even mixing dough for pastries.
You never want to spear or stab meat. Tongs help you arrange and turn meat with ease and precision.
5. Vegetable Peeler
Invaluable for quick and easy vegetable prep.
6. Wooden Spoon
Like wooden cutting boards and cast iron skillets, a wooden spoon will develop character over time and can last a lifetime if you take care of it.
7. Measuring Cups/Spoons
A lot of cooking is done by feel with fuzzy measurements a dash of salt, a splash of milk, a sprinkle of sugar. But if you want to ensure quality, or are learning to cook, stick with the spoons and cups. They will force you to be a better and more precise cook.
8. Can Opener
You will use it all of the time and nothing is worse than finding out you need a can opener in the middle of meal prep.
9. Mixing Bowls
Sometimes cereal bowls just won’t do. Having a few bowls of various sizes will help keep the kitchen clean and allow you to make more than a single serving.
10. Slotted, Heat-Resistant Spatula
Slotted because you want to lift food out of hot cookware without bringing oil or boiling water with it. Heat resistant because burnt and melted rubber tastes terrible.
Mixing, beating, turning, aerating…this simple tool does it all.
A small pot for more than just sauces. It is a real utility piece that you will use just about every meal.
13. Baking Pan
If you plan on ever using your oven, you’ll need a baking pan.
14. A Big Pot
While the sauce pan can do a lot, it can only handle small quantities. If you ever want pasta, soups, or gumbo. you will want something bigger.
Who ever heard of cooking without wine?