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Essential Kitchen Tools Answered

What kitchen tools are absolutely essential to you?


A seasonal must, the one and only "Corn Zipper". I'm not talking about canning, but for making salads, or just stripping it off the cob, this is a great kitchen addition( kind of in the same way that I need a cherry pitter).

Whoa, cool! I didn't know they made these. We have a lot of corn on the cob left over from a party, I'll have to check these out!

cast iron skillet and pot is a needed addition.

Pressure Cooker
Frying pan

Pressure cooker! My boyfriend was asking me the other day if a pressure cooker is worth while getting. The only thing I could think to do with it was fried chicken or cook potatoes a bit faster. What do you use it for?

I'm a baker and this is what is in my toolbox at work:

- My cheap but trustworthy 10" chef knife. It's long enough to cut through giant slabs of brownies in 2 strokes, with a nice tall blade that won't get lost in a cheesecake, ugly enough that no one "accidentally" takes it home with them..

- A seriously sharp 12" serrated cake/bread knife, indispensable for trisecting even the most unruly of sponge cakes and will break down a pineapple in a matter of seconds

- Paring knife with a hook on the end, its has a certain maneuverability through things like rolled out sheets of dough, and you can use it to make torpedo shaped zucchini's or tomato roses if you're into that. It's hooked nose means I poke my finger less.. somehow that seems to be a problem..

- A large balloon whisk

- A heat resistant spatula

- A small & large star tip piping nozzle, and a round tip nozzle

- Dough scraper. Probably my most used and most overlooked tools. I use it for cleaning up sticky floury messes, portioning out dough or to safely cut through pounds of cold butter.

- A large palette knife, I use it all day long to smooth out bars before they go into the oven, mask cakes, or if nothing else is within reach, to stir a pot with...

- Lastly, my absolute most used tool.. a sturdy wooden spoon. Wouldn't be caught dead without it.

As long as I have these things, anything is possible, or at least, improvised well!

At the bare minimum, I'm happy with a sharp knife, a large cutting board, and a deep sided saute pan.

Add a silicone spatula, and I'd agree that this is the ideal baseline.

I think you pretty much covered it... I can't be bothered with a whole lot else. In the time it takes to get out some gadget or a food processor, I've got whatever it is I'm doing done with a knife and cutting board - plus theres much less to clean up that way. As far as pots and pans, I think it really depends on what I'm making, but I find nowadays I use my new tabletop-oven a lot more. Its larger than the old toaster ovens, more powerful and efficient and has more than enough room to cook just about anything... so I guess its an "essential" to me now. :-)

Ooh that sounds useful! I imagine I'd use a tabletop oven more than a microwave. It sounds like a good fix for a small kitchen situation, too.

Nailed it! Especially if it is an oven-safe saute pan, then it can double as a baking/roasting dish for meats and whatnot.

The one gadget I do adore is my immersion blender. It has a little 2-cup food processor attachment that I use for making sauces/dressings/hummus/pie crusts/smoothies. I own a top of the line cuisinart but I never use it becuase it is so unweildy and hard to clean. That little food processor attachment goes straight in the dishwaher.

mixing bowl
wood or plastic cutting board

Cast Iron dutch oven: it's a casserole, it's a pot, it can fry This is essential
Large chef knife This is essential
Stainless Steel Spoon
Set of Stainless steel bowls ; they can be for mixing or serving. These are essential.
Cast iron Fry pan. Highly desirable.


There are a lot of things:
- whisk (sometimes may be substituded with a bunch of chopsticks
- mixer
- knives, sometimes a lot of different knives
- chopping boards: plastic and wood
- sieve
But in my kitchen there are a lot of extra stuff just to make cooking easier.


5 years ago

as a life long bachelor: a bowl, spoon, and a knife :)

Depends on whether you are cooking more or baking. For cooking, you don't need much more than what is already mentioned, though please do yourself a favor and do not get a glass cutting board. It will destroy a knife edge in no time.
A cheap non stick pan will also make easier clean up but don't put it over the high heat required to sear say, a steak. (it will damage the surface and can off gas some stuff you don't want in you lungs or food)

I'd also consider a 12x9 inch baking pan as it will open up casseroles, lasagna, brownies, etc.

Baking requires more precise measurement. ( probably touching off a minor war here: please no offense meant :). Grab a set of measuring spoons and a Pyrex 2 cup measuring cup and that will get you through almost anything. Pyrex is heavy, but you can heat/boil/melt things using a microwave, plus it can pour pancake batter into your pan. Note that this is for liquid measure, so standard measuring cups will be more accurate for dry goods. But I'd you have a microwave, I'd go Pyrex if forced to choose.

Ooh good point on the lasagna pan. Oven baked dishes in winter are cozy and wonderful. Not all saute pans are oven safe. (another hard lesson).

I thought of another good mention- cast iron pans. I had the chance to cook on a relatives' set. The quality of my sear and sautes were incredible.

I'm not much of a baker, but when I do bake, I prefer to bake by grams. You're absolutely right, in that it varies by person. I have family members who can bake by feel, it's remarkable.

Whup, you are absolutely right. I totally should have thought of a cast iron pan. Stovetop to oven and, I think, the best vessel ever for making cornbread or yorkshire pudding!

Also agree on measuring by weight. For that, a tare(sp?) digital scale is very nice. If you are starting off with cooking, stick with measuring cups &spoons: if you want to make bread, consider adding the scale to your list.

a really good knife is high up on my list, along with a good spatula, a solid cutting board and a a good heavy-bottomed saucepan/fry-pan