Must-Have Kitchen Tools for Budding Chefs

Are you ready to become a kitchen master? To create delicious meals, you need the right tools. Start by getting the basic cooking essentials, and as you gain more experience, explore additional kitchen tools that will make your cooking adventures even more exciting. Don’t worry if you can’t get everything at once – you can find great deals on kitchen essentials at yard sales and thrift shops. Let’s dive into the top kitchen tools you should have:

  1. Large, nonstick skillet: This pan is super important in your kitchen. You can use it to cook all sorts of things like eggs, stir-fries, and even pancakes. Its nonstick surface makes cooking and cleaning up a breeze.
  2. Chef’s knife: A good chef’s knife is perfect for chopping, slicing, and mincing vegetables. You can also use it to cut meat. With a sharp and reliable chef’s knife, your prep work will be a piece of cake.
  3. 3-quart saucepan: This handy pot is perfect for making rice, sauces, gravies, and small batches of soup. It’s also great for boiling vegetables. With this saucepan, you can cook up a storm in no time.
  4. 8-quart pot: When you want to make spaghetti, soups, or chili, this pot is your go-to. It’s large enough to handle big batches of food and will become your trusty companion for hearty meals.
  5. 8×8 or 9×13 baking dish, muffin pan, and baking sheets: These are essential for baking delicious treats like brownies, cakes, and cookies. The baking dish is also handy for casseroles and lasagnas.
  6. Colander: Washing fruits and vegetables is a breeze with a colander. It’s also great for draining pasta and separating liquids from solids. A versatile tool indeed!
  7. Cutting board(s): Protect your countertops and yourself with cutting boards. It’s a good idea to have separate boards for meat and produce. Make sure to wash them thoroughly after each use.
  8. Measuring cups and spoons: Accurate measurements are crucial in cooking and baking. Having both dry and liquid measuring cups, along with measuring spoons, will help you get your recipes just right.
  9. Heat-resistant spatula and other tools: Wooden spoons, rubber spatulas, flat spatulas, tongs, and a whisk are handy for various tasks in the kitchen. They help you mix, flip, and stir your ingredients with ease.
  10. Can opener and vegetable brush: Opening cans and cleaning vegetables are no problem with these tools. They make your prep work much more efficient.
  11. Paring knife and/or vegetable peeler: Use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to peel and slice fruits and vegetables. They are great for delicate tasks.
  12. Mixing bowl(s) with or without lids: Mixing bowls are essential for combining ingredients and preparing batters. Lids are a bonus as they allow you to store leftovers conveniently.
  13. Towels and pot holders: Keep your hands and countertops safe with pot holders. Kitchen towels are handy for wiping spills and drying dishes.
  14. Instant-read thermometer: This tool is essential for food safety. It helps you check the doneness of your dishes, ensuring you cook meats and casseroles to a safe internal temperature, preventing foodborne illnesses.

Remember, building your cooking toolbox takes time. Start with the essentials and gradually add more tools as you go along. With these kitchen essentials, you’ll be well-equipped to create delicious meals and explore the world of cooking. Happy cooking!

Source: LaToya Drake, MS, Program Coordinator, KY Nutrition Education Program, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service