The Ultimate Guide to My Favorite Kitchen Tools.
Ready for all of my kitchen essentials?!
It’s here, it’s here! I’m finally sharing my ultimate list of kitchen favorites that you guys have been asking about for years – all in one place! I’ve received a ton of messages about my kitchen “stuff” (for lack of a better word) lately and I assume it’s because you’re all cooking right now. So I made it happen and you can find everything below that I adore.
These are the best of the best – everything I have and personally use. There isn’t anything on this list that I don’t have and use myself. We’re talking everyday essentials and a few kitchen splurges. Things like skillets, cast iron, counter appliances, utensils and so on. Plus towels and sponges! I’ve tested it all thoroughly and you’ve probably seen most of it on instagram. I cook constantly for my job and have for the last 11 years, so I need to use high-quality items in the kitchen. These are my recommendations for the best items for the kitchen – and ones that last!
P.S. I’ll update this list as time goes on so it’s always here for you! xo
High power blender. I adore this blender and it gets used nonstop in our house. It’s my pick over Vitamix by far (we’ve broke three, don’t ask) and Blendtec too. We make at least one large smoothie a day, sometimes more, and this is top notch.
Stand mixer. I use my mixer for tons of baked goods, obviously, but I also use it for shredding chicken! It’s a life saver. I make pizza dough or focaccia in it too.
Hand mixer. If I don’t need to dirty my stand mixer, the hand mixer is where it’s at! You can use this for almost anything, except for bread dough.
Nutribullet. I love this to make quick vinaigrettes. I also use it to make a smooth if just one person wants it. It doesn’t get the smoothie as thick and smooth, but it works well.
Multi cook slow cooker. It’s no secret that this is my favorite slow cooker! You can sear right in the slow cooker on the saute setting. It’s wonderful. I’ve never had an issue with mine and I actually have two of them!
Food processor. I might use this more than our blender! I use the food processor to make bread crumbs, dips, pestos, sauces, everything.
Citrus Juicer. This is oddly one of our most used appliances. It makes such wonderful fresh juice, the kids can use it, it’s light in weight and pretty enough to keep on the counter.
Air fryer. The air fryer is not a product that everyone needs, but if you’re in the market for one, I do love it. The only downside is that it’s huge. I just store mine on a shelf in our basement.
Waffle iron. I think we’ve gone through five or six waffle irons since we’ve been married. They have all been garbage! It’s been so hard to find one that produces a crispy waffle. This is an investment but it is life changing. If I didn’t have this one, I would just go buy one at Target.
Electric skillet. There are only a few things I use an electric skillet for these days – making pancakes and toasting quesadillas are the main ones. I love it, because everyone can eat together at the same time.
Immersion blender. This is one appliance that I don’t love, but it is great to have on hand and most people live for it when it comes to blending soups.
Electric tea kettle. This is the best. It heats up SO fast.
Nespresso. This is my coffee maker that I use everyday! I love it, and especially love how it looks in the kitchen.
Keurig K-Cafe. I love this coffee maker, especially when entertaining and on holidays. You can make lattes and cappuccinos and it’s wonderful.
Bodum double wall glasses. These are my favorite coffee cups – be it iced or hot!
Pots and Pans
10 and 12-inch nonstick skillets. These are my all time favorite skillets. They are exceptional quality and also oven safe up to 600 degrees F.
4 quart nonstick saute pan. This is a large version of the skillets above and it has a lid. I love to make bolognese in this or pasta dishes.
2 quart saucepan. This is the perfect size for making a single serving of pasta or sauce.
Oval roasting pan. This pan also goes from oven to stove. It’s phenomenal because you can fit a roast, a turkey, a filet, etc in the pan, but the pan itself is SO light in weight.
5 quart stock pot. This is the pot I use the most often when boiling pasta or making a soup to serve four.
7 quart stock pot. This is the pot I use to make stocks, large batches of soup, etc. It’s also gorgeous as decor.
Finex cast iron skillet. My favorite cast iron skillet by far! I have high standards – my mom uses one that is over 100 years old, so I’ve been on a mission to find a good one. Also love that this comes with a lid.
Le Creuset 3.5 quart braiser. This is my favorite Le Creuset piece by far. It’s easier to carry than a large dutch oven and a great size.
Le Creuset 7 quart dutch oven. But of course, I do use my dutch oven often. This is my favorite one.
Staub 2 piece baking dishes. These are smaller than 9×13, but I love using them for dinners!
9×13 covered baker. I love this for heavy duty dishes like lasagna. I use it for holidays but also for weeknight dinners.
9×13 inch cake pan. This is the pan I use most for sheet cakes and brownies.
Baking sheets. These baking sheets are wonderful! I have tons of them and they hold up great. There are also similar ones at Target that I love too.
Nordicware bundt pans. This is the highest quality bundt pan you can find – not to mention they have wonderful designs.
Silicone lids. I received these as a gift and I love them. My shelves are a mess of pots, pans and lids and I can’t always find the lid I want. This is a great quick solution.
Everyday Gadgets and Utensils
Cutting boards. I have a bunch of these cutting boards and they’re wonderful.
Glass mixing bowls. These are my favorite mixing and prep bowls.
Microplane. I use this for citrus zest, garlic and ginger multiple times per week.
Garlic press. Perhaps my favorite gadget in the kitchen!
Mezzaluna. I love this knife for cutting herbs, making chopped salads and cutting pizza too.
Wooden spoons. No one cake cook without these!
Global knife block. These are the best knives I’ve ever used in my life. Incredible.
Whisks. Get a few in an assortment of sizes.
Kitchen scale. We use ours almost every day – both Eddie and I!
Mandoline. I don’t use a mandoline every day, but it’s IDEAL when you need it – super thin potatoes, radish slices, cucumbers, onions, etc. Nothing can replace it!
Handheld citrus juicer. Use this daily as well!
Fish spatula. One of the best spatulas ever.
Serrated grapefruit spoons. I use these for grapefruits, but I use them more often to scrap the seeds out of butternut and spaghetti squash.
Cherry pitter. I use this for cherries, olives and even dates. It’s a lifesaver.
Meat thermometer. This is the best one I’ve found.
Pro vegetable chopper. This isn’t something I use everyday, but if you cook often and find yourself making meats that require a lot of onion and pepper chopping, this is fabulous. I also use this for egg salad!
Kitchen towels. I love these ones because they are pretty while also function. But these bar mop towels are also what I have on hand during big recipe days!
Kitchen torch. This isn’t an essential by any meals, but if you’re into torching marshmallow or making creme brûlée, you’ll be thrilled to have this.
Wooden salad bowl. I use this salad bowl a few times a week, if not daily. It’s great for parties by also every day use and it comes in a few different sizes.
Scrub daddy sponge. This is the best sponge for doing dishes. Ever!
Stasher bags. I use these for fridge and freezer, for snacks, for marinating meat and vegetables, everything.
Weck jars. These are what I use most for sauces, dressings, vinaigrettes, pickled onions, etc. I love the tulip jars the most!
Seal tight containers. These seal tight containers are my new obsession for sauces, dressings, leftovers – everything. I adore them.
[Nothing in this post is sponsored – just a list of my favorite kitchen items! There are some affiliate links above. Thank you for your support!]
41 Comments on “The Ultimate Guide to My Favorite Kitchen Tools.”
I love this so much! I come here every day now, it feels like home to me :)
Do you have a separate cutting board that you only use for raw meat?
yes i do, but i use only that cutting board linked above! i probably have ten of them. some are marble patterned, some are plain white, some have a dotted design, they’ve changed patterns over the years. i use a specific dotted one for meat!
Thanks for putting this together.
I’ve been debating buying an air fryer – mainly because of the space it takes up. What do you typically use it for and how often do you use it?
My husband bought me an air fryer for Christmas, but it was really a gift to himself. LOL I’m still trying to figure out a good wings recipe. Any suggestions? We have an old fashioned deep-fryer and I’m having a hard time beating wings that come out of that!
i did make wings in the air fryer for the super bowl and they were delicious! i just marinated them and thew them in. however, my only thing with the air fryer is that with meat, i prefer it be in a single layer. and if you’re cooking for 4 or more (like for a party or entertaining, etc) it takes multiple batches, which sucks.
not that we can entertain anytime soon, but you know! xoxoxo
Maybe I could try cooking them some in the oven, and then finish them in the air fryer? Good to know!
Hi, thanks this is so helpful. I’m looking at a new blender…did you break the Vitamix 3 tines? Guess I should get the kitchen aid one you recommend.
we really did – we have had NO luck with vitamix. it took me a long time to buy one (because $$$) and i think i finally broke down in 2013 or so? over time i’ve had 2 different ones and we haven’t liked either. we much prefer the kitchenaid – they are incredible! but i am in minority, so if i were you, i would go read a bunch of reviews before making a decision. :)
Great! Love kitchenaid so likely will go that route! Thanks again!
I destroyed my vita mix too. Not good to leave a spoon in when you’re making a smoothie. Oops!
I love this too!! I am on the lookout for a new food processor since we accidentally broke the bowl on my Cuisinart. I am going to look at the KitchenAid one you recommend! Thanks!
i really love my kitchen aid one!
This list is WONDERFUL! Curious what you recommend for plastic scrapers/spatulas…I have some wood handled ones from a high-end brand that don’t hold up as well as you would think for the price.
you know this is one place i struggle because i just cook so much more than the regular person due to my job, that i haven’t found any to hold up without having to replace. i’m going to try some from food52 since i love all of their other products!
Sur la Table has really nice silicone spatulas. All one piece and come in lots of sizes. Called flex-core silicone spatulas
What a great list! What size of the Finex do you own?
i have the 10 and 12 with a lid. i also have the 8 but i don’t use it as often as the 10 and 12!
One thing that I would add to this very complete list is a dough whisk. I use it to mix anything and it works really fast. I have the one that’s all stainless, so it’s dishwasher safe. However it’s so easy to hand wash if you need to. For spatulas, I swear by the silicone ones – have them in MANY sizes and always seem to be reaching for one.
chris can you believe i don’t have a dough whisk?! adding one to my cart right now!!
This is amazing!! Got married last month and my husband and I had a few of those on our registry, and now I know what we’ll be doing with some of the giftcards we got. Our kitchen right now is tiny, so some of my favorites (hello, stand mixer!) are living in our storage unit until we move to a bigger place.
For what it’s worth, my MIL gave me a immersion blender for Christmas last year and I am OBSESSED (and it doesn’t take up any space in our wee kitchen!). The Mueller one I have is not a big investment and has whisk and milk frother attachments in addition to the blender, so it’s versatile – I use it for creamy soups, dressings, whipped cream, lattes, and that new/trendy whipped coffee.
Only thing I’d add to your list is a rice cooker! I’m half asian, and didn’t realize until I was in college that you could cook rice WITHOUT a rice cooker haha
Curious what your thoughts are on the instant pot? Got the 6qt Duo as a bday gift and have enjoyed using it for some meals, but it’s not been *life changing* for me like some people say.
so i actually do really like my rice cooker! i think in the day to day i just don’t bring it out because there is so much going on in my kitchen! i should use it more though.
i pretty much LOATHE the instant pot. i think it’s great for some people (i got it for my brother as an engagement gift, they like it) but it’s so unpractical for me. i’ve never had meat turn out great in it. by the time i haul it upstairs, have it get up to temp, cook and release, i could have started something in my dutch oven and have it simmering or almost finished. i also really love to build flavor from the bottom up of dishes and feel like doing that in the instant pot takes just as long! and finally, i LOVE the process of cooking and feel like the IP takes that away too.
so while it’s great for some people, it just isn’t for me. i do actually like it to cook rice and boil eggs, but again i can boil eggs just as quickly on my stovetop!
Someone above mentioned rubber spatulas. About 5 years ago, I got a lot of rubber spatulas (they’re actually silicone) from Williams Sonoma for Mother’s Day. They are amazing! One piece, so nothing will come apart, melt, etc. HIGHLY recommend! They come in several sizes & shapes & I use them daily.
Hey! Which size of Weck tulip jar do you have?
i have a few different sizes but my most used is probably the 16.9oz – that’s what is in the picture of the pickled onions!
What about cheese graters? What do you use to finely grate parmesan cheese? I feel like my microplane shreds it but doesn’t grate it.
i actually do use my microplane to finely grate cheese! if you’re talking about the finely grated parmesan/romano to sprinkle on pasta or pizza, i actually do that in my food processor. otherwise, for grated cheese i just use a box grated which is super old – i think someone got it for us for our wedding!
What do you cook your pizza on? We are debating a stone but my sur la table sheets seem to be doing the job okay. I just hear people rave about the stones and was wondering your thoughts!
i make pizza so many different ways, but i do always have a stone in my oven. sometimes i make pizza on a sheet pan (or do my detriot style in a 9×13 pan, but normally, i do bake on a stone. it’s great! it gives you that bubbly almost wood fire-ish crust!
Thank you so much for posting this! Could you please let me know what type of immersion blender you use? I think there is a problem with the link.
ah thanks for letting me know sarah, i fixed it. my immersion blender is the kitchenaid one!
Food52 x Green Pans are on sale right now!! RUN…online and buy :)
Hi, Thanks for posting this recipe here. Keep it up and keep posting.
Love your recipes and therefore I take your suggestions seriously : ) I ordered the Weck jars because they look too cute and I love the wide opening! Question, for something you will use often like a sauce or use as a honey jar. Do you use the clips with with rubber seal? The seal is loose and will move around a bit. Just curious. For my honey jar I’m just using the glass lid without the seal and clips. Thanks!
Hi Jessica, This is an amazing list. I’m definitely going to be doing some shopping. I’ve never bought any of that food 52 kitchen products but I definitely will. Thank you
What is your recommended salt and pepper grinders? I find that mine always leave a trail of ground residue on my counter. Thanks!
Target link for covered cake pan doesn’t work..which one do you like?
This is a very huge and necessary kitchen tools list. Thank you for the informative post.
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