ASPC’s Kitchen Must Haves

Kitchen Must Haves

It’s funny how the kitchen is a place that accumulates all sorts of unnecessary junk.

While we have a decently large kitchen, we don’t have tons of space for kitchen tools and gadgets that aren’t essential – especially since I have so many food photography props.  Over the years of teaching myself how to cook, trying out new cooking techniques, and discovering what works best, I’ve collected my fair share of, well, junk.

So, I figured I’d put together a list of all my kitchen must haves that I use frequently.  These are the essentials I always have a use for, the items I would go and actually buy the exact one again if they wore out or broke.

Let’s start with the biggies…

Knives & Cutlery

Kitchen Must Haves - Knives And Cutlery

Knives are arguable the most important part of your kitchen.  And, when I say knives, I really mean your chef’s knife.  Having a good paring knife and bread knife is very helpful as well – so, if you can afford all three, you won’t regret it.  I also use my kitchen shears all the time – from cutting fresh herbs in my garden to opening annoying plastic containers.

Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Cook’s Knife

Wüsthof Classic 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

Bread Knife

Epicurean Cutting Boards

Teak Extra Large Edge Grain Cutting Board

Knife Guards, Chef & Paring Knives

KitchenAid Kitchen Shears

Manual Knife Sharpener

9″ Honing Steel

Cooking Utensils

Kitchen Must Haves - Cooking Utensils

Can I just say how much I love my silicone spoons?  I searched long and hard for these babies and I swoon every single time I use them.  They’re safe on my pots and pans, easy to clean, compact, and just cool-looking.  I use and love everything pictured all the time and wouldn’t want to live without any of them.  So, please don’t make me!

Silicone Spoons x3 (1 Slotted)

OXO Metal Balloon Whisk

OXO Rubber Tongs x2

Le Creuset Silicone Basting Brush

Le Creuset Silicone Large Spatula Spoon

Basic Utensils

Kitchen Must Haves - Basic Utensils

These kitchen must haves assist the heavy hitters quite often with how useful they are.  What I love so much about all these is how versatile each tool is, meaning they don’t just do one thing, they do many.  Getting good quality kitchen tools that are multi-purpose are the best and this list is full of them.

OXO Vegetable Peeler

OXO Fine Mesh Strainer

Metal Colander

Microplane Grater/Zester

OXO Kitchen Grater x2

OXO Can Opener

Funnel (Set)

Kitchen Scraper/Chopper x2


Kitchen Must Haves - Bakeware

I think I have 6 sets of measuring spoons.  But that’s probably a little excessive.  Probably.  I am testing recipes all the time and burn through measuring cups, spoons, and mixing bowls like nobody.  These are the items that I can never have enough of, but always seem to be dirty at the same time.

Measuring Cups (set) x3

Measuring Glasses x3

Measuring Spoons x3

Mixing Bowls (Glass Set)

Rolling Pin

12-Cup Muffin Tin

Kitchen Must Haves - KitchenAid Mixer

My mixer deserves a section all to its own.  Her own?  I’ve been debating on naming her for years.  Weird, I know…but it’s like she’s a living entity in my kitchen.  My mixer is great for kneading dough, whipping cream, beating eggs, mixing batters, making marshmallows and so, so much more.  Definitely a must have in the kitchen.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

Kitchen Must Haves - Bakeware

While I don’t use these items as much as I use most others in the kitchen, there’s no replacing their function.  These loaf and casserole dishes are great for baking, roasting, and even storing.  Springform pans are also super useful to make cheesecakes or other cakes.  And you gotta have one pie dish – at least to make pumpkin pie or something.

Casserole Dishes, 9×13

Glass Loaf Pan, 5×9

9″ Springform Pan

Mixing Bowls (Stainless Steel Set)

Pie Plate

Kitchen Must Haves - Bakeware

As you can tell from my photo, I use these baking sheets a lot.  Like a lot a lot.  Just spread some parchment paper or tin foil over these babies and you can roast, broil, or bake just about anything.  So super duper useful.  And, if you bake at all, a cooling rack is a great thing to have to allow your baked goods to cool evenly.

Baking Sheets, Rimmed x2

Cookie Sheet, Flat

Cooling Rack x2


Kitchen Must Haves - Appliances

I love my appliances.  They take up a ton of space, but they’re great to have.  From toasting bread to making freshly squeezed lemon juice, they are all very useful.  Slow cookers are also great because of how much you can make in them and how easy they are to use.  I also use my food processor all the time to crush almonds, puree cauliflower, and even make peanut butter.  I foolishly forgot to add my blender into this pic, but that’s just because it was sitting in the sink because I had just used it on making a protein shake.  I use my blender at least once a day – that thing certainly gets used a lot and I couldn’t live without it.

Cuisinart Food Processor


Cuisinart 4-Slice Toaster

Citrus Juicer

KitchenAid Kitchen Blender (annoyingly not pictured)

Kitchen Must Haves - Appliances

I use my bread machine to make pizza dough all the time and I highly recommend owning an ice cream maker with how easy it is to make homemade ice cream.  Like so easy.  I talk about how awesome stick blenders are in this post if you’re interested…spoiler: they rock.  And, if you wanted to save time and money on spices, you could buy them whole and grind them yourself in a handy grinder.

Cusinart Ice Cream Maker

Bread Machine

Immersion Blender

Spice Grinder


Kitchen Must Haves - Cookware

I am a big fan of Calphalon.  I know, I know…non-stick pans are so yesterday.  But, they’re just so dang awesome. They work and perform great on the stove and in the oven.  Plus, they have a lifetime guarantee if they start to wear so I can just send them in and get a brand new replacement.  For eva!  That being said, I do also love my cast iron skillet, too.  I can share my skillet love.  My cast iron is great because of how it retains heat.

Calphalon Nonstick 12″ Jumbo Fryer

Calphalon Nonstick 8″ Omelette Pan

Calphalon Nonstick Shallow Sauce Pan, 2 1/2 Qt.

Lodge Cast Iron Skillet

Kitchen Must Haves - Cookware

These heavy hitting cookware items are some of my faves and most reliable pieces.  Again, I love Calphalon so that makes up the majority of my fry pans and sauce pans.  I also love how my dutch oven braises meats in the oven.  And my stock pot is great because I can use it to boil pasta, steam vegetables, and even steam tamales.

Calphalon Nonstick 11-Inch Square Griddle

Le Creuset 5 1/2 Qt. Round Dutch Oven

Calphalon Nonstick 10″ Omelette Pan

12-Quart Stock Pot


Kitchen Must Haves - Storage

I know – weird I only have one item here in the storage section.  But I honestly have two sets of these bad boys and they are so useful.  They come in a set and are air-tight.  I use them to store the dried goods I cook with all the time, like flour, sugar, brown sugar, cornmeal, etc.  They are very easy to use and last forever.  I’ve had this set since Dustin and I got married in 2004!

4-Piece Locking Acrylic Canister Set x2

Okay! So, there you have it: my kitchen must haves.  These are the tools I find essential in my kitchen.  I hope you found this post useful and that it helps you to figure out a specific brand of something you might already be looking for.  Did I miss anything that’s essential to you in your kitchen?  If so, leave a comment and let me know!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for the kitchen item(s) I use 🙂

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

14 thoughts on “ASPC’s Kitchen Must Haves

  1. I just LOVE everything you do Lacey. I’ve been following you for years. You have always have great, easy, healthey, & fail proof recipes. Just love you!

  2. I love all your recipes. I think you are AWESOME!!! Your recipes are simple, tastey, easy & fail proof. One can’t ask for anything else.
    Thank you for making cooking fun, especially for someone like me, who hates to cook!

  3. Just tried your cauli hash browns and they were delicious….thank you. Loved the easy to follow video.

  4. Hi Lacey,

    I enjoy your videos very much. You always have great recipes and cooking tips. I was looking through this great list of kitchen must haves and I was wondering what stove top do you use for your videos? Thank you. Can’t wait to see what you will be cooking next.

  5. I have never ever done meal prep of any kind but my boyfriend is working away from home for the summer and I think it would be super convenient and maybe get me into healthy eating as well. What containers do you think are best?

    1. It really does make eating healthy so much easier to plan ahead of time 🙂 I like these ones a lot http://amzn.to/1qqOKON but there are so many options 🙂

  6. Here are a few more must-haves from our busy kitchen: sturdy timer (2), Thermapen thermometer (expensive but well worth the cost), salad spinner, potholders (2-4), All Clad pots and Pans are our personal favorites, a set of ramekins or pyrex individual serving cups, ice cream scoop, small and large metal offset spatulas, and flexible cutting sheets (4).

  7. I was wondering if the link to the stand mixer is the model you recommend. I want to get my newly wed daughter a Kitchenaid stand mixer, but there are so many models out there and I don’t know which to choose. She most likely will use it semi-frequently, that is, more than I would (which is why I don’t own one). Thanks for the help.

    1. Yes, absolutely! That’s the one I use and it’s very useful, full of all the specs you need (I think), and a great product for either a starter mixer or for an experienced chef. Congrats to your daughter! 🙂

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