There are some things that you need in your kitchen for it to be complete. Apart from the usual knife and dishes, you also need a whisk or potato masher. However, sometimes it becomes hard for you to choose because there are many experts out there that will tell you that their product is the best even though it’s a single-function monstrosity whose sole purpose is to take up counter space and collect dust. What’s a struggling cook to do?
What you really want nay, what you really need is a proper list of the essential kitchen tools to have on hand. After all, you can’t make it on Chopped if you don’t have the proper tools to train with! So in the spirit of our previous post where we reviewed the ultimate guide to the must have tools for homeowners, we present to you this exhaustive list of the absolute must-have kitchen items for the home chef.

1. Chef’s Knife

Truth be told, the quality of a chef’s knife will make a difference when it comes to preparing your vegetables for a scrumptious meal. A high-quality chef’s knife is regarded as one of the must-have kitchen items. They are usually between 8 and 9 inches long and tend to be very versatile. You can use it for slicing, chopping, mincing, and dicing.

2. Storage Containers

Your kitchen should also have quality storage containers that you can use to store food for consumption later. You can use these containers to store food that you’re going to carry for lunch to work. Since plastic containers tend to be unsafe with some appliances, you should consider going for glass ones. The good thing about storage containers is that they are sold together in a variety of different sizes.

3. Cutting Board

It would be very weird to have a wonderful set of knives and no chopping board around. This and the knives make it to the top list of all kitchen utensils to have. There are some cutting boards that are sold with knife set. Go for these ones if you want to save on costs.

4. Towels

This is one of the most overlooked kitchen items on this list. This is because most people just assume that they can use paper towels to wipe the kitchen clean. But there is a limit to using paper towels. Most of them are expensive and tend to be temporary. You need a different towel for drying the dishes, general cleaning of kitchen area, wiping spills, and dusting. Make sure that you buy the ones made from cotton or wool since they last longer.

5. Can/Bottle Opener

Among the list of kitchen items needed in your house is the can opener. You might be a lover of wine or soft drinks. In that case, you need something to open those bottles with ease and minimize spill. It’s advisable that you go for a multipurpose can opener. This is because such a tool can be used to open different kinds of bottles. (Related: 10 of the Best Whiskey Drinks)

6. Mixing Bowls

There’s no way you would live without needing to mix a few ingredients together. Even if it’s just to try a new recipe, a mixing bowl will always come in handy. You need the mixing bowls to mix together the salad dressings, spice rubs, and marinades. Just like the storage containers, the mixing bowls are usually sold in sets of different sizes.

7. Measuring Cups

If you are into baking, you’ll definitely need a set of measuring cups. You need the cups to measure the amount of ingredients that you put into the dough mixture. The measuring cups are not only meant for baking, you may want to experiment with different recipes, and for that, you may need measuring cups to estimate the size of different liquid and solid ingredients. If you’re thinking about what type of measuring cups you should go for, there are stainless steel ones that are usually sold in sets. These can handle hot liquids.

8. Measuring Spoons

Apart from the measuring cups, you also need calibrating spoons. You will use these ones to measure smaller portion ingredients. The good ones tend to be double sided so that they can measure both liquids and solids.

9. Vegetable Peeler

Some vegetables should be labeled as a kitchen hazard considering the fact they can be so difficult to peel or cut. The peeler is in this list of kitchen items because it makes it easier for you to peel carrots, arrow roots, sweet potatoes, and many other different kinds of vegetables.

10. Colander

Pasta can be very tasty and easy to cook at home, but you know what else pasta can be? Messy when rinsing! A colander is the best item for this job. Furthermore, it is important to understand that it’s a big tool. As such, the colander is a large kitchen equipment and their uses can extend to be a holding place as you wash leafy vegetables.

11. Whisk

Let it be known to you today that there’s no better way to make your fried eggs that to use a whisk to properly mix your ingredients. Your eggs will simply look amazing.

12. Potato Masher

There are times when you might want to make yourself some mashed potatoes. This food goes great with beef stew or any other ingredient of your choosing. The process to make mashed potatoes usually involves boiling a number of peeled potatoes. Then, you drain the water and leave the potatoes in the cooking pot. Some people may try to use a wooden spoon to mash the potatoes. That could take a while. This is why a potato masher is one of those must have kitchen items.

13. Grater

Not every vegetable is prepped by chopping, and that’s why you need a grater to create a more refined substance.

14. Salad Spinner

You can either make your salad fresh and steamed or well cooked. A salad spinner will make it extra crispy giving you an exceptional texture. Furthermore, the salad spinner is one of the fastest ways to dry your vegetables.

15. Citrus Juicer

Milking the juice from citrus fruits is quite a difficult task to undertake. This is why you have to make use of a citrus juicer to get as much fluid as possible.

16. Paring Knife

This is different from the chef’s kind and is basically shorter and has a smaller handle with a comfortable feel. This makes peeling a whole lot easier for smaller fruits and ingredients that have some skin.

17. Garlic Press

Garlic is one of those ingredients that tend to be very beneficial for your health. Early civilizations used garlic to treat different kinds of diseases. Most of them used it in either its chopped or grinded form. One of the best ways to grind garlic is by using a garlic press.

18. Bread Knife

The bread knife is a crucial kitchen tool because it lets you cut your bread into the slice sizes that you want. Unlike other knives that have sharp edges, the kitchen knife is serrated to make it easier for you to cut the bread.

19. Dish Rack

There are some people that won’t buy this kitchen item because they think that it’s unnecessary. This mostly happens with people that have dish washers. However, you have to remember that you’re not going to be placing all your dishes on the washer. There are other times that you’ll have to wash them with your hands. And after you’ve done doing so, the best place to put them is on a dish rack.

20. Honing / Sharpening Ceramic Rod

No matter how careful you are with the cutting edge of your knives, they will eventually wear out and need sharpening. When that happens, you will need a sharpening tool. The sharpening ceramic rod can help you do just that.

21. Knife Sharpener

If you’re not the type of person that likes to manually handle knives when sharpening their blades, a knife sharpener is a better alternative to the ceramic sharpener.

22. Stainless Steel Skillet

Almost similar to the look of a regular pan, a stainless steel skillet will help you sear, fry and brown your food to the right degree.

23. Splatter Guard

When you use a skillet to fry your meat or fish, there’s a possibility that some of the oil may spill out. To prevent that from happening, you need to get yourself a splatter guard. This item is usually made from metal so that it doesn’t burn when cooking oil spills on it.

24. Sauté Pan

The main difference between the sauté pan and the skillet is that it appears to have a wider flat bottom and higher vertical edges. This should be your best friend when making sauces.

25. Ice Cube Tray

There are times when your juice or beverage may not be as cold as you want it to be. In that case, you need to get yourself an ice cube tray. In this list of kitchen items, people also tend to overlook ice trays because it’s an item that can be easily forgotten. When you want to buy an ice cube tray, go for the ones made from rubber. Alternatively, you can use the ones that came with your fridge.

26. Small Saucepan

If you still want to make different sauces and not have to use something too big, the small saucepan might be just what you need.

27. Heavy Sponge

After you’ve used your dishes, you’ll need something that can help you clean them properly. The heavy sponge is one item that you can use to scrub-off hard stains.

28. Medium Saucepan

Well, not every time you cook will be exclusively for yourself. Sometimes, you may need lots of sauce for visitors when they come to visit you. A medium saucepan is the right tool for such a job.

29. Kitchen Shears

In some cases, you may need shears to cut a chicken into pieces or stem off plants. The shears are preferred because they can reach areas where knives can’t especially for the chicken.

30. Large Pot

Don’t cook the cat!

This is a kitchen tool that can’t be missing from any household. The large pot is mostly used for stew making and can still be used for prepping soups, sauces, and pasta.

31. Stick Blender

In the list of must have kitchen items, the stick blender is a must especially if you love your soups. As the food is slowly cooking, you can use the immersion blender to slowly mix the ingredients as you add in some more flavors.

32. Grill Pan

If you happen to be a lover of meat, you have to admit grilling is the way to go (okay, you can grill veggies too). For a wonderful grilled meat presentation, a grill pan is the main component needed in the equation. (Related: Top Features for Culinary Artists to Watch for When House Hunting)

33. Baking Sheet Pan

Baking can be can a delicate process and even one wrong move can make the cake look off. A baking sheet pan will ensure that your cake comes out as it’s supposed to be.

34. Cast Iron Skillet

The cast iron skillet is made with non-stick material meaning that you won’t struggle to get the meat particles off the surfaces. But be warned, caring for a cast iron pan is different than any other material.

35. Muffin Pan

Muffins are little bundles of joy especially when eaten with a cold beverage. A muffin pan is what will help you get the shape right. A regular one will have about 6-12 built-in cups.

36. Casserole Dish

Just like the name suggests, a casserole dish is mainly used for casseroles. The primary purpose is for baking and serving, which makes it quite versatile.

37. Broiler Pan

Since the broiler pan is much thicker than a normal baking pan, it doesn’t warp when exposed to exceedingly high heat. This makes it more efficient for high-heat broiler purposes in the oven.

38. Stockpot

Some meals can be eaten dry, but they need plenty of broth or soup. The stock pot has high edges to make it easy for you to prepare soup.

39. Aluminum Foil

This is another versatile kitchen item that your kitchen must have. You can use the foil to wrap hot food and make sure that it remains that way for a long time after turning off the heat. Also acceptable, parchment paper or jelly rolls.

40. Stirring Spoon

A stirring spoon is mighty, considering that it won’t melt when exposed to high temperatures. This makes it ideal for stirring even the hottest of fluids.

41. Spatula

Eggs can be very messy when frying and that’s why you need the proper tool to safely turn them around. A spatula is crucial since it doesn’t scratch the pan and lets you turn the food like a pro.

42. Slotted Spoon

Frying is one way of making your favorite type of meat, but the oil can be too much for consumption. Using a slotted spoon allows you to cook faster and grasp what you need from the pan, leaving behind the excess oil.

43. Tongs

Not many kitchen utensils can be used to grab hot charcoal or even hold on to meat pieces directly from the frying pan. Kitchen tongs have been designed just for that sort of work.

44. Ladle

The good thing about having a ladle is that you can easily serve soups without getting any of it stuck on your hands or sleeves. Thanks to the fact that the ladle has a long handle for this purpose.

45. Oven Mitts

The kitchen is s place where things get very hot, and you have to be very careful not to burn your skin off by accident. This is why oven mitts are there to help you when baking and cooking.

46. Trivet

Just as mentioned earlier, handling food can be risky and that’s why you need a trivet. They’re basically used for placing hot kitchen utensils on surfaces to avoid burn marks on the table.

47. Trash Bags

During the preparation of any meal, you are bound to leave waste behind. Most waste comes from the peeled skin of fruits and vegetables. That’s why you need trash bags in your kitchen.

48. Thermometer

Some food recipes require that you adhere to a particular temperature. A thermometer is essential to ensure that you’re not over or under heating your food. Here’s a list of the 10 best instant read kitchen thermometers.

49. Kitchen Scale

Weighing your vegetables and kitchen utensils can come in handy when trying to attain accuracy. This is why you may require a kitchen scale.

50. Blender

Food processors can be tiring to use, and that’s why you have to consider a blender. They work better and can be used to make smoothies, dips, soups, shakes, and sauces.

It’s important for your kitchen to have most, if not all, of the items mentioned above. This is because these are the best kitchen tools and having them will only make your work easier and improve the cooking experience (not to mention the eating experience). So get shopping and then get cooking! Most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy the time spent cooking and preparing meals for and with family and friends.