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
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.
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)
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.
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.
Mixing Bowls (Glass Set)
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.
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.
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.
Cooling Rack x2
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.
KitchenAid Kitchen Blender (annoyingly not pictured)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 🙂