Essential Kitchen Tools

In every home, the kitchen is the area where most of the hard work associated with family life is taken care of.  Granted, it can be great fun to cook healthy and delicious meals.  But this task can quickly grow quite annoying, especially if you don’t have the right kitchen tools at your disposal to ease these tasks.

Today you can shop from a huge variety of kitchen tools. Many of these tools are extremely helpful and are used on a daily basis while others seem helpful in the beginning but end up unused and cluttering your kitchen drawers when they are just not practical.

If you are setting up a starter kitchen then you are in for quite a treat.  In this guide, we are going to take a look at the most popular kitchen tools and we are going to share with you which essential kitchen tools you should buy first. 

What Are Kitchen Tools?

If you are brand new to cooking then you might not understand the difference between kitchen appliances and kitchen tools.

Kitchen tools can vary quite a lot but ultimately they are defined as non-electric utensils or tools you use in the kitchen to prepare foods and beverages. 

The tool requirements for kitchens differ based on the foods you make the most.  A good example is bakeries where most of their tools consist of baking equipment.  Another good example is a restaurant that may contain heavy-duty industrial kitchen tools compared to domestic kitchens where many tools are made of plastic.

Essential Kitchen Tools You Need For a Startup Kitchen

Kitchen tools can be a bit expensive, especially if you want to invest in quality items that will last and that offer the best functionality.  These tools can also be quite bulky and many of them do take up a lot of space in the kitchen.  This can be quite annoying if you are limited on space and especially if you end up hardly ever using half the tools you own.

Here is a quick look at the essential tools every kitchen needs and that you are most likely to use ever so often;

  • Chef’s Knife

This tool goes at the tippy top of the list because it is the most versatile knife you can own.

Chef’s knives are used for chopping, slicing, mincing and so much more.  If you can only buy one single knife then this is the one to buy.  And even if you invest in a whole knife set, this is probably the knife you will use most frequently.

  • Paring Knife

This is the second most-used knife in the kitchen.  Chef’s knives can sometimes feel a bit bulky in your hands.  Paring knives are smaller and are perfect for tasks like peeling, cutting and deboning small items.

  • Cutting Board

Cutting boards are very handy tools to have. These boards protect your kitchen countertops as you work and they are glorious for stacking food pieces that you just don’t want to have lying about the table. If you are going to buy a chopping board, invest in something large. Those tiny chopping boards are often annoying to use and larger boards can double as a serving tray.

  • Measure Cups And Spoons

Just about all food recipes require measuring cups and spoons so you can measure out the right amounts of ingredients.  Measuring spoons and cups do have a tendency to get lost in your drawers.  Look for sets that are tied together so you won’t have to struggle to locate a specific size every time you want to measure something.

  • Kitchen Shears

This is a must-have in any kitchen.  Most foods you buy in stores today are packaged in air-tight packaging.  Kitchen shears are ideal for opening all of these annoying bags or for cutting anything else for that matter.  Many chefs even prefer kitchen shears above a knife so they can chop herbs, veggies and dried fruits with ease.

  • Can Opener

There are few things as frustrating as an attempt to open a can of peas without a can opener.  A good quality can opener can make a huge difference in your kitchen and can serve you for many years.

  • Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls are must for baking but these bowls are also handy for whipping up various foods in the kitchen such as sauces, marinates or they can even be handy for containing veggies you sliced for a stew.  A set of mixing bowls in different sizes is a true blessing in the kitchen.

  • Grater

A simple, manual grater is often much handier than a food processor.  Graters don’t take up a whole lot of space and yet they are handy for a variety of tasks such as zesting fruits, shredding chocolate, making salads and grating cheese.

  • Whisk

You can use an electric appliance to beat eggs or make whipped cream but the hassles of cleaning these appliances often just aren’t worth the effort. There are so many cooks who find it much easier to grab a simple whisk to whip something up even though there is a fully functional blender found in the drawer.

  • Vegetable Peeler

You can peel veggies with a knife and many do prefer this method.  But using a knife for peeling can be risky. Using a veggie peeler is a foolproof way to cut veggies without the risk of injuring yourself.  Peelers are also handy for cutting thin slices of cheese and can be much faster for peeling carrots.

  • Tongs

We’ve all been there.

We all try to use a fork to turn over steaks or nuggets in the oven and we all end up dropping food pieces or burning ourselves when food slips off the fork and comes crashing down in the frying pan.

Tongs are claw-like tools that make it very easy to grab foods out of boiling pots, flip meats, add ingredients to frying pans or even to stir and serve salads and fries.

  • Saucepans

If you are also shopping for a set of pots then be sure to get a set that includes at least one saucepan.  Saucepans are glorious for making a variety of foods such as soups, sauces, stir fry, fried meats and so much more.

  • Spatula

There is just no kitchen tool that can replace the function of a good spatula.  That flat surface is the only thing that can get clingy food pieces off the base of your pot without destroying the shape of the food.

Spatulas are terrific for flipping meats, pancakes, eggs and are also a handy tool to scoop out foods from a pan.

  • SautéPan

This pan looks a lot like a skillet but has a long handle that simulates that of a saucepan.  Sautés are terrific for cooking leafy greens, sauces and much more.  These pans are very easy to handle and give you the functionality of a saucepan with lots of added depth.

  • Roasting Pan

A roasting pan is also a must-have.  These pans are brilliant for roasting meats and can also be handy when you are preparing stir-fry or other food sources.

  • Pots

Of course, you do need various pot sizes so you can make those delicious and healthy home-cooked veggies.  A simple kitchen pot is one of the most flexible cooking tools to have at hand.

  • Cutlery

Cutlery includes forks, knives, spoons, teaspoons and sometimes steak knives. These are must-haves in any kitchen – unless of course, you don’t mind munching out like a caveman.

  • Glasses

Glassware is very important in the kitchen.  If you are shopping glassware on a tight budget then choose tumblers and tall water glasses.  If you have a bit more spending money, other types of glasses like wine glasses or draft tumblers can be very handy in the kitchen.

  • Serving Plates

You cannot exactly eat food off the table.  A beautiful set of plates can greatly enhance the look of your table when you are serving guests.  When you are buying plates then be sure to get a full set that includes serving bowls, side plates and serving plates.

  • Serving Spoons

We often underestimate the importance of a simple serving spoon.  Serving spoons are very handy kitchen tools.  They are perfect for stirring foods or for lifting foods out of your pots onto plates.

  • Food Storage Containers

Saving your leftovers for the next day is a great way to prevent food waste.  It is also glorious to have some leftovers in the fridge on those days where you feel just too tired or lazy to cook.  Food storage containers are also handy for saving chopped veggies, grated cheese and all sorts of foods.

  • French Press

If you are a coffee lover then a French press can be a worthy investment.  Coffee makers tend to be bulky and many of these machines are expensive to buy and just as expensive to use.  A French press is much simpler to use, much easier to clean and is often preferable for small families.

  • Pitcher

Pitchers are perfect for those times when you are hosting friends and especially if you have a bunch of thirsty kids running about.  Just fill your pitcher with a refreshing drink, store it in the refrigerator and everyone can simply serve and drink without making a mess of your kitchen counters.

  • Potato Masher

Love fluffy mashed potatoes?  A potato masher is the only tool you can really use to mash these and other veggies like green beans and pumpkin.  It certainly is much easier to use a simple potato masher than it is to assemble an entire food processor just to mash foods like green beans.

  • Food Scale

Many recipes offer their food measurements in grams.  A food scale allows you to measure out the needed amounts of ingredients with ease.

Scales are also handy if you want to divide foods in even quantitates for storage.

  • Colander

Colanders are not as essential as some of the other tools on the list but this device can enhance your kitchen safety. Skillets are perfect for draining fluids from cooked foods like pasta. This pitcher drains the food without exposing your food to other sources.

  • Baking Pan

Many of the foods we buy today are very easy to bake in the oven.  Oven fry chips, veggies, nuggets, fish fingers and so much more are very easy to make if you have a nice and large oven baking pan. These pans are also handy for making cookies or even cakes.

  • Honing Steel

Cutting meats can leave your knives feeling blunt in no time at all.  With honing steel you can sharpen those knives quickly without using much force at all.  Just give your knives a couple of runs along with the honing steel and it will be ready to use in no time at all.

  • Wooden Spoons

This is probably one of the first used kitchen tools ever and yet it is still a very handy tool to this very day.  Wooden spoons are ideal for stirring foods. The handles of wood spoons never get hot even if you leave the spoon in the pot and you can use a wooden spoon in all types of pots from stainless to non-stick coated.

  • Skillet

A skillet isn’t exactly a kitchen essential but they sure are glorious to own.  A nice and large skillet is the perfect tool for frying all sorts of delicious foods such as fish, stir fry, ground meats, steaks and so much more.

Things to Consider When You Are Buying Kitchen Tools

Even though this essential tool list narrowed down your kitchen tool needs tremendously, you still have quite a lot of options to consider when you are out shopping for the best.

Kitchen tools come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, brands, designs, colors and many do offer various functions.

For optimal kitchen functionality, it is important to choose tools that suit your cooking methods and your need for perfection.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are shopping for the best kitchen tools;

For How Many People Are You Cooking?

Kitchen tools like pots and pans can be quite bulky.  It is also harder to work to wash a huge skillet when you are only cooking a small amount of food.  If your family is small or if you are stocking a granny flat then it is best to invest in small pots and pans.  If you are cooking for a large family, you will need a greater variety of kitchen tools and many of these items need to be nice and large or your cooking sessions will take way too long.

How Much Space Do You Have Available

Even the smallest kitchen can be a blessing to work in if it contains the right essentials.  But kitchens with too much stuff can be very frustrating.  There is nothing more annoying than trying to find a specific tool in an overcrowded cupboard. 

You should consider the space you have available before buying any kitchen tools.  For large kitchens with lots of cupboards, you can enjoy lots of shopping freedom.  But if your kitchen is small then it is best to focus on the bare essential items that you absolutely cannot cook without.  Anything extra in your kitchen will only make life and cooking sessions a lot harder.

What Is Your Budget Range?

Appliances can vary quite a lot in price depending on the brand of the product, materials it is made of and the design.   If your budget is modest then it is probably better to focus on best-value products.

If you have a comfortable budget then you really should consider investing in higher quality kitchen tools.

How Frequently Are You Using The Product?

Owning all kitchen essentials is pointless if you never actually use these items.  Consider how often you will be using each tool before you buy it.  For example; if you only consume bread once a month then there is no point in buying a toaster.  But if you enjoy toast often then this is a very worthy investment.

Do You Really Need This Kitchen Tool?

This question is especially important to those who are shopping on a tight budget.  It is always best to focus on tools you really need at first and to get the rest at a later stage.  Kitchen tools that won’t be used very often can also be a complete waste of money and space in your kitchen and can result in a cluttered or messy kitchen which is something you need to avoid at all costs.

Do You Like The Look Of The Kitchen Tool?

With such a huge variety of products to choose from, there is really no need for you to buy something that you don’t find appealing or that doesn’t suit your kitchen style. 

If you don’t like the look of a tool then opt for something with more style.  Stylish kitchen equipment can enhance your kitchens look more than you can imagine.

Does The Tool Look Durable?

The most expensive kitchen tool isn’t always the best one to buy.  Can openers are a good example.  There are so many beautiful can openers available and yet those traditional, cheap, and ‘ugly’ can openers often last much longer and cause less frustration.  Try to avoid products that look flimsy or plastics that feel cheap.

Is The Tool Dishwasher Safe?

It is always best to focus on dishwasher safe products whether you have one or not.  Products that are not dishwasher safe will become damaged if you put them in these machines.  Even stainless chef knives are known to become discolored and look as if they are rusting if the product isn’t dishwasher safe.  Plastic products can bend or melt and will be rendered useless.

When you choose dishwasher safe products you are guaranteed that these products can withstand high temperatures as well as extreme cleaning products.  That dishwasher safe sign is a good way to tell if something is of good quality or not.

Is The Tool Made Of Quality Materials?

Quality materials that won’t fade in color or tarnish are always a worthy investment.  A good example is plastic handle cutlery compared to stainless steel cutlery.  Plastic and wood handle always lose their appeal as time goes on and through lots of wear and tear, these materials will come loose and fall off.  Stainless steel cutlery will stay in great condition no matter how long or often you use them.  This is also a perfect kitchen tool for those DIY women who love to grab a kitchen knife and use it as a screwdriver. 


The right kitchen tools can make a huge difference in your ability to prepare delicious meals and can also reduce the time you spend in the kitchen. 

The golden rule for kitchen tools is; just enough is more than enough.  Too many kitchen tools can only end up cluttering your kitchen and you will be spending a fortune on items you never use.  It is much better to invest in fewer pieces that are made of higher quality than to stock your drawers with kitchen tools that won’t last.

Fancy multi-purpose kitchen tools can seem interesting but these tools are often hard to use and can end up unused in your kitchen.  On many occasions, basic and simple kitchen tools are much better for your kitchen than those tools with all their bells and whistles that become just too complicated to use. 

When it pours down to a choice between quality and quantity then it is always best to choose quality.  It is much easier to get by with fewer kitchen tools than it is to struggle with tools that fall apart in your hands or that just don’t work.

We hope that this little guide was helpful in finding the best essential tools for your kitchen.  And if you are interested in buying the top picks of these tool ranges then we welcome you to hop over to some of our product reviews where we compare all the best kitchen tools as well as other kitchen accessories. 

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