Have you ever wondered what you really need in your kitchen to cook up delicious meals? It’s easy to fall into the trap of collecting utensils because they look cute or are on sale, but that can wind up making your space cluttered and hard to navigate when you want to make something quickly.
To make sure you have everything you need when it comes time to cook, here are 10 kitchen utensils every home cook should have in their kitchens.
A chef’s knife is a kitchen essential and, perhaps more than any other tool, it will be your workhorse. What makes a good chef’s knife? Well, it needs to be of good quality steel that is sharp and holds its edge well. It should feel comfortable in your hand and have a good balance so you don’t tire of using it too quickly. Most chefs we know prefer carbon-steel blades as they hold their edges better over time (and won’t rust like many stainless-steel knives). Don’t forget to pay attention to how easy it is to sharpen as well!
A bread knife has a serrated edge that easily cuts through crusty bread. It’s also useful for chopping large items, such as onions or potatoes. In fact, you could purchase a larger cutting board to have both a standard and a serrated board so you don’t have to keep switching back and forth. A good-quality bread knife doesn’t need to be replaced often, so it will last for years.
Paring knives are small, sharp knives used for mincing, cutting, and trimming fruits and vegetables. A paring knife can take on many of your daily slicing tasks without getting in your way. Paring knives are also great for detail work when you’re cooking or preparing food. They make an excellent complement to a chef’s knife when slicing smaller items like tomatoes or lemon wedges—and they’re perfect for garnishing.
A sharp knife is a safer and more precise tool for cutting than a dull one. Dull knives are harder to control, and force you to apply more pressure to get them through food or tasks at hand—which can lead to injuries. It’s also just not fun. Invest in a quality knife sharpener so you can keep your knives at their best.
Standard Kitchen Spoon A Kitchen spoon is a kitchen utensil that is used to stir and taste food while cooking. It has a long handle with a bowl-shaped end on it. A spoon is usually made of metal or plastic, but some have wooden handles.
An accurate set of measuring cups is a crucial element in a successful kitchen. They’re often a home cook’s first introduction to basic cooking concepts, from understanding how many tablespoons are in a cup to how big an eighth of a teaspoon really is.
Choosing a cutting board may seem like an easy decision: wood or plastic? But there are many variations of both, and no matter what kind you buy, you’ll likely go through several before finding one that truly lasts. A classic maple butcher block looks great on your counter but can be expensive and difficult to keep sanitary.
Plastic boards tend to dull knives faster than wood, but many serious cooks prefer their lighter weight. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference—and just a little bit of luck. Make sure to invest in at least two so you always have a clean one ready for use!
The perfect all-purpose kitchen utensil, a spatula can be used for everything from stirring to flipping meat on your grill. Look for one that is sturdy but flexible so it can get underneath food, and try to find one with heat-resistant silicone so you don’t burn yourself while cooking. Looking for an ideal one? We've got you covered.
A ladle is a kitchen utensil designed to scoop and pour liquids such as soups, sauces, and gravies. Choose a ladle that has a handle that can be easily gripped and one that isn’t too shallow; most recipes won’t work with a ladle that holds less than half a cup of liquid. The rounded shape makes it easy to maneuver and helps prevent hot soup from splashing onto your hand or arm.
Let’s face it—tongs are an unsung hero in any kitchen. They’re all-purpose, multi-functional tools that's easy to grip and grab food with, and sturdy enough to hold up under frequent use. These handy kitchen utensils can help you with everything from flipping meats to tossing salad. While kitchen tongs are far from revolutionary in design, they’re still an important part of every home cook’s arsenal. A good pair will have a locking mechanism to keep them in place while they’re not in use—just like the one you see here.
And here you have it — the essential kitchen utensils that should belong to every kitchen. Like any decision you make in life, it's important to weigh what you need as well as the options available. If you're looking for a bundle or housewarming gift, we have curated a kitchen starter bundle here that might just fit like a glove. And as always, we’d love to hear from you! If you have any particular question on cookware—or any other kitchen topic—be sure to reach out on Instagram!
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