Wooden kitchen utensils on marble surface overlaid with text: Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools to Make Your Cooking Efficient

Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools to Make Your Cooking Efficient

Have you noticed that new kitchen tools have a habit of creeping into your kitchen cupboards and drawers?

Do these fancy doodad gadgets really make your cooking more efficient? Or would you be better off with a minimalist set of essential kitchen tools that do more than one task?

Which tools do you really need in your kitchen?

It goes without saying that you’re going to need a sharp chef’s knife, a good quality paring knife, and some kind of kitchen shears or scissors to prepare your food.

But, beyond that, there are really only a few absolute essentials for making successful recipes.

Every so often, I just have to cull all those extra kitchen tools down to the basics. In the process, I determined that there are only 10 essential kitchen tools worth having.

Essential Kitchen Tools List

  1. Measuring cups & spoons – Use glass measuring cups for liquids; stainless steel nesting cups and spoons for dry ingredients.
  2. Oven thermometer – This basic kitchen tool is essential for baking at the right temperature, especially when oven thermostats may be unreliable.
  3. Peelers – Use a harp-shaped peeler for thick-skinned produce (such as butternut squash), and a traditional vegetable peeler for thin-skinned produce (such as carrots and potatoes).
  4. Plane zester – This basic kitchen tool must have razor-sharp teeth to effectively grate citrus fruit, hard cheeses, nutmeg, chocolate, and ginger.
  5. Rubber spatulas – These are indispensable for general cooking and baking. Long handles are best. Be sure to have a larger (2-3 inch wide blade), and a smaller (1 inch wide blade) size in the basic kitchen tool drawer.
  6. Sieve – A sieve is a lifesaver for draining hot and cold foods quickly. It can also be used as a spatter guard during deep fat frying. (A stainless steel colander can be substituted in many instances.)
  7. Stainless steel spatulas – These are must haves as basic kitchen tools. Heavy duty spatulas help lift heavier hot foods, while flexible thin ones are great as pancake turners or removing cookies from hot baking sheets.
  8. Tongs – This is a versatile holder and lifter of either hot or cold foods, such as serving hot baked potatoes or serving cold pasta salad.  A set of two is recommended: one medium and one long.
  9. Whisks – These are great for making dressings, blending sauces, beating eggs and whipping cream, and mixing dry ingredients. (Ones with the most wires help make tasks go faster.)
  10. Wooden spoons – Long wooden handles are a necessity. Keep one spoon for savory and one for sweet.

The list of essential kitchen tools might be different from mine. But I think you’ll find that getting rid of all those non-essentials, will really make you more efficient in your cooking.

I gave away my extra basic kitchen tools to a good cause. Now my kitchen drawers are nicely organised, and my cooking is a lot more efficient!

Happy Cookbooking,


About Erin Miller

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