In the ever-evolving world of home cooking, equipping home cooks with the essential kitchen tools and gadgets is paramount for creating delicious and efficient meals.
My article on "Essential Home Cooking Equipment Must-Haves 2024" delves into the must-have kitchen tools and gadgets for the year, ensuring that home cooks have the right tools at their disposal to streamline their culinary adventures.
From precision knives to valuable culinary assistants, I'll guide you through the latest and greatest tools that promise to make your kitchen endeavors more enjoyable and successful. Discover the essential tools that will take your home cooking to the next level in 2024.
- What Does Essential Mean?
- It's Not Just About the Tools!
- Know that You Got This!
- The List 👇
- 31. ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer
- 30. GIR: Get It Right Premium Silicone Heat-Resistant Kitchen Small Spoon
- 29. TECHEF - Tamagoyaki Japanese Omelette Pan/Egg Pan Skillet
- 28. BPA-Free Color Coded Plastic Cutting Board, Set of 4 with Storage Stand
- 27. OXO Good Grips Pro 8" Frying Pan Skillet
- 26. Lodge 6 Quart Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven with Lid
- 25. KitchenAid Citrus Squeezer
- 24. BergKoch Splatter Screen for Frying Pan
- 23. KitchenAid 3.5 Cup Food Chopper
- 22. KitchenAid Classic Bamboo Spatula
- 21. KAF Home Soho Kitchen Dish Towels
- 20. Lodge Pre-Seasoned 6-½-Inch Skillet
- 19. Microplane Classic Zester Grater
- 14. PAUDIN 7", High Carbon Stainless Santoku Knife
- 13. Ninja Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill
- 12. Asvel Rice Container Bin with Pour Spout
- 11. Mantah Chalkboard Label Stickers 96pcs
- 9. Totally Bamboo Salt Cellar
- 10. Italian Glass Vinegar & Olive Oil Dispenser With Stainless Steel
- 8. iDesign Lineo BPA-Free Flexible Silicone Soap and Sponge Tray
- 7. OXO Good Grips Pepper Grinder
- 6. Tuilful Portion Scoop Set of 3
- 5. Fotouzy Plastic Colored Cutting Board
- 3. Extra Large Bamboo Wood Cutting Board
- 4. Ahyuan Roll-up Dish Drying Rack
- 2. Pyrex 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup
- 1. KitchenAid Silicone Stainless Steel Tongs - 10.26-inch
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What Does Essential Mean?
Having essential tools in your kitchen is like having a well-stocked toolbox for a handyman – it's the foundation of a successful culinary journey. These tools are the unsung heroes of every meal, simplifying the cooking process and allowing you to unleash your culinary creativity.
From sharp knives for precise cuts to measuring cups that ensure accuracy, these kitchen essentials form the backbone of efficient meal preparation. They empower you to tackle a wide array of recipes, from simple weekday dinners to gourmet feasts.
Moreover, these tools often save you time and effort, making cooking a more enjoyable experience. In essence, having essential tools in your kitchen is about equipping yourself with the right instruments to turn your cooking dreams into delicious realities.
It's Not Just About the Tools!
While having the right kitchen tools is crucial for successful recipe execution, several other factors contribute to a successful culinary endeavor. Here are some additional elements to consider:
- Quality Ingredients - Using fresh and high-quality ingredients is paramount. The taste and outcome of your dish largely depend on the quality of what goes into it! Just like how chefs season their food along the way, the ingredients themselves must be the foundation. How can you build up flavor if bad ingredients?
- Proper Techniques - Understanding and applying cooking techniques, such as chopping, sautéing, and braising, is essential. This ensures that your ingredients are prepared and cooked correctly. In addition, it's important to learn about your ingredients. Check out Cook's Notebook for great articles on getting to know your food and equipment.
- A Well-Organized Kitchen - A clean and organized kitchen helps streamline the cooking process. Having a clutter-free workspace and all necessary ingredients within reach is vital for efficiency. And I am big on this! If you want to get more done quicker, put things you don't need away, such as washing dirty dishes and clearing your counter.
The Recipe Depends on You Too!
Number one below is the most important. This is why the first instruction in my recipes is to prepare your kitchen and to read the recipe all the way first before starting it. Trust me, this may seem like more time, but it shortens time!
- Recipe Understanding - Thoroughly reading and comprehending the recipe before starting is essential. This includes noting cooking times, temperatures, and any special instructions.
- Timing and Multi-Tasking - Successful cooking often involves multitasking and timing various elements of the dish to come together at the right moment. Proper time management is crucial.
- Tasting and Adjusting - Regularly tasting the dish and adjusting seasoning or other components as needed ensures the final result meets your taste preferences. Have your tasting spoon close by!
Know that You Got This!
- Patience and Practice - Cooking can be an art that requires patience and practice. Don't be discouraged by initial failures; learning from your mistakes is a valuable part of the journey. Every skill takes practice to master!
- Presentation - The visual appeal of a dish is also important, so consider how it will look when served. Aesthetics can enhance the overall dining experience. We eat with our eyes, no?
And Last But Not Least!
- Kitchen Hygiene - Maintaining good hygiene, including washing hands, utensils, and surfaces, is essential to prevent foodborne illnesses and ensure safety in the kitchen.
Each of my recipe posts lists the Food Safety reminders at the end. The more you remember, the more you practice, the more you will do them naturally. Bon Chance!
In essence, while having the right kitchen tools is a crucial foundation, successful cooking also involves a combination of skills, knowledge, attention to detail, and a passion for creating delectable dishes.
The List 👇
Ok, now that we have got all of that out of the way, below you will find essential home cooking equipment that I use at home with reviews. This updates frequently! I highly suggest you Subscribe to this page so as not to miss out when something new pops up here. And don't forget to bookmark the page as a reference guide.
Subscribe to the List!
This Kitchen Must-Haves page is a live blog and updates frequently with new information.
The ThermoPro Wireless Meat Thermometer with a Bluetooth App is a game-changer for any home chef or grill master. Its accurate temperature readings and the convenience of monitoring your food from your smartphone make it a must-have tool for achieving perfectly cooked meals every time. I've used it to monitor by roasting whole chickens to prevent door opening, decreasing cooking time. I love it!
The GIR: Get It Right heat-resistant silicone kitchen small spoon is a kitchen essential and one of my top favorites! I can't live without it. Its durable construction and heat resistance makes it the perfect tool for everything from stirring and serving sauces to scraping the last bits from the pan. Importantly, when trying a new recipe or getting used to one, you should always taste it along the way. This is my perfect-tasting spoon. 🥰
A Japanese omelet pan is a specialized cooking vessel, typically rectangular in shape, designed for making Japanese rolled omelets called "tamagoyaki," known for its distinctive sweet and savory layers. In addition, the Korean version of the Japanese omelet is called "gyeran mari," and it typically consists of rolled and sliced omelet with various ingredients like vegetables and sometimes minced meat or seafood. I usually call it an egg roll.
I hope no one comes for me for this, but I also like to use it for other food items, as displayed in this video.
Color-coded cutting boards are crucial in the kitchen. They help prevent cross-contamination by designating specific boards for different food groups, such as vegetables, raw and cooked meats, and fish. This system ensures that harmful bacteria from raw meats, for example, do not transfer to foods that won't be cooked, enhancing food safety and reducing the risk of foodborne illnesses. These conveniently are small enough to stack sideways in any kitchen!
The non-stick OXO Good Grips Pro frying pan, designed specifically for omelets, is an essential addition to your kitchen. Its smooth, non-stick surface ensures that delicate omelets effortlessly slide out onto the plate, and the comfortable handle and even heat distribution make for a flawless cooking experience. Having this specialized omelet pan is a game-changer, allowing you to create perfect, restaurant-quality omelets with ease, making it a must-have for any breakfast enthusiast. America's Test Kitchen has claimed it as one of their favorites!
A Dutch oven is a versatile kitchen essential, prized for its ability to evenly distribute heat and maintain consistent temperatures, making it ideal for slow cooking, braising, and baking. Its durability and heat retention properties not only ensure delicious, tender meals but also make it a long-lasting investment for your culinary adventures. Lodge cookware is known for its dependability due to its rugged, seasoned cast iron construction, which offers excellent heat retention, even heating, and durability that stands the test of time.
When designing this tool, they thought of everything! Definitely a must-have. It easily fits extra large lemons, collects the seeds, and has its strainer and spout to pour out! You can squeeze multiple lemons quickly while preserving the lemon juice in its reservoir. Prepping for my Frozen Watermelon Lemonade recipe was a breeze. It is very convenient with fewer materials to clean afterward.
Oh yes! One of my biggest helpers in the kitchen is the splatter screen. You’ve probably seen in one of my videos where I have two round red spots on my hand. That was thanks to good old kitchen oil that popped from a hot pan. It was the day I didn’t use my splatter guard. Silly me. And that’s why it has become one of my must-haves. I got the 13-inch one to fit most of my pots and pans. Watch me use it in action while making my Butternut Squash Chicken Chili recipe.
Another item that earned its space among the must-haves. At a reasonable price, this food processor has made kitchen life so much easier. Made by the trusted KitchenAid company, you know this will last a long time in addition to having essential features. It is so easy to clean, and I like the fact that you press down on the lid at the hand to chop quickly. And I’ve noticed others loving it for its power, being lightweight and compact, doesn’t take up too much room in your kitchen. Especially if you like to cook like me with so many gadgets, that is super helpful. Watch me use it in action for my Spicy Tomato Farro Risotto with Shrimp, Mushrooms and Peas and Chili Herb Crusted Rainbow Trout with Cannellini Beans, Spinach, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes recipe.
With thick handles, it is easy to grip. KitchenAid products are durable, so I have trusted them for years. This silicone isn't stiff so side bowls can be scrapped easily. And the versatility of them is great, and I can use them to mix cold items in a bowl or sauté hot items in the sauté pan. It was the right size for my food processor when making my Spicy Zhug Feta Cheese Hummus.
Moreover, I was pleased to find it came with two in a set, a must-have that allowed for greater flexibility, from sauteeing to scrapping the KitchenAid mixer bowl—definitely a bang for your hard-working bucks. You can also choose from a variety of colors. And this pistachio color is lovely.
Kitchen towels are essential in any culinary space as they serve multiple purposes, from wiping spills and cleaning surfaces to providing a safe and dry surface for hot cookware. They help maintain cleanliness and safety in the kitchen, making them a vital tool for any home chef. In addition, the KAF Home towels are simply beautiful and can fit in any kitchen with their various colors and designs.
I recently used this must-have cast iron pan to make my Harissa Egg Toast with Feta Cheese and Olive Oil breakfast dish. It’s a straight-to-the-point, well-made cast iron skillet. Honestly, how can you go wrong with Lodge?! Add cast iron pans to your kitchen collection. They are the best in heat retention, beautifully searing meat, fish, and browning vegetables!
Over the past decade, this Microplane has been and still is my favorite! My replacement was once when someone came to borrow it in the kitchen and left it next to an open flame! And it scorched the metal. Honestly, it worked great, but I was young and concerned about aesthetics. Go figure! This was a professional kitchen staple. You can use it to enhance the citrus flavor and presentation of foods, from pureed soups to beautiful French custards, just like my Spicy Green Kale Lentil Soup, which has a delicious lemon broth. It’s the original, and it’s my must-have go-to item.
This knife is well-made. Super solid and multi-functional. It is made with high-carbon steel, so it will not rust. Slicing meat like fish is easier with the grooves. It doesn’t stick to the knife. The handle has an excellent grip, and it's not heavy.
I use this must-have air fryer practically every day! Most of my recipes call for it. It is quick and easy to use. Also, it’s multifunctional with not only the air fryer option but also a roast, grill, back, and even a dehydrating function. Setting the time and temperature is easy with soft, apparent button features. The parts are easy to remove for cleaning and dishwasher safe. Plus, it comes with an easy-to-read guide and mini cookbook for ideas. See the results with my Air Fryer Branzino with Lemon Potatoes and Vegetables recipe.
I love these rice storage containers for five reasons: (1) It has a large, easy-to-read measuring cup. (2) They are slim and ideal for storing several of them. Let’s just say I love rice! (3) The handle makes holding easier with a good grip. (4) The rice stays fresh thanks to the rubber seal and clamps. (5) Oh yeah, they hold 4 pounds of rice each.
My kitchen became so easy to organize thanks to these reusable waterproof labels. As a cook, I love transferring my ingredients into air-tight containers so that they are fresh. Labels like these helped identify what's inside. There are two different chalk markers and tons of labels inside. It’s more bang for your buck. Plus, stickers are easy to peel without the annoying outline, so they aren't wasted. There are so many options you won't run out of them for a long time.
The bamboo salt cellar is an elegant and practical addition to any kitchen. Its natural bamboo construction not only adds a style to your countertop but also keeps your salt easily accessible for seasoning your culinary creations and, importantly, prevents it from caking.
This is a chef’s and home cook’s staple in the kitchen. My top reasons to get these are: (1) Keep your oils organized! Since they are slim, they are easy to store on the counter. (2) There are no funky labels on them, so you can see exactly how much you have left. (3) They are effortless to fill and grip when cooking on the fly. Keep them right next to the stove without problems. (4) You will notice many of my recipes call for either olive oil or avocado oil. Avocado oil has a high smoke point, which is excellent for cooking with high heat, such as grilling. Additionally, both oils are beneficial for your health. Therefore, organizing them allows me to use them conveniently and frequently.
Even though it says "...soap and sponge tray," I use one as a utensil rester when cooking. It can hold multiple utensils, and I throw it in the dishwasher when it becomes dirty. This extremely durable material has been washed several times with no changes in color or form, with no chips or cracks. In addition, you get two in the same pack. So, of course, I use the other one for my hand soap and dish sponge.
The Oxo Good Grips pepper grinder is a kitchen essential that combines functionality and ease of use. Its ergonomic design and adjustable grind settings make seasoning your dishes a breeze, and the durable construction ensures it will be a long-lasting addition to your kitchen arsenal. You'll use it every day!
I use these to portion my Lemon Pine Nuts Turkey Meatballs and Air Fryer S'mores Cookies recipes. They are simple and straight to the point. Additionally, they come in three different portion sizes. This tool is useful when making meal prep in bulk when you can measure out items such as rice and salads, like tuna salad. It is also excellent for portioning cookie dough or scooping ice cream. Plus, they are stainless still and won’t rust. They'll last you for a long time.
Wow! These are really cool! It adheres well to granite surfaces. I use the “yellow chicken,” “green banana,” and “red cow” very often! Chicken means raw poultry, banana means fruit, and cow is raw red meat. The other colors are used respectively. I have a wooden cutting board and don’t want any of the raw juices seeping into the wood. When dealing with raw meat juices or when I don’t want a garlicky banana, I use these must-have boards to prevent cross-contamination. Just place a sheet of damp paper towel underneath. They are easy to clean and easily stored due to their flexible material. You can watch me use it in my Chicken Prepping post in Cook's Notebook.
The extra large bamboo wood cutting board is an essential kitchen must-have. Its generous size provides ample space for chopping, slicing, and dicing. At the same time, the durable and sustainable bamboo material ensures it's not only practical but also eco-friendly, making it a perfect addition to any kitchen. It is thick and sturdy and great for everyday use.
The multipurpose kitchen must-have allows you to create more counter space. Stainless steel rods held securely with BPA-Free silicone. That means you can put it in the dishwasher. And it stores easily. Roll it up and put it away when you are done. I’ve used it to lay out all of my produce when prepping and even to dry big pots and pans. I use it to dry my flexible plastic cutting boards by placing them vertically in the slots.
Pyrex is such a must-have household name in America that you can't go wrong. You will enjoy this for years to come. And it’s easy to read with double-sided measurements in metrics and ounces. Plus, it is made of glass, so you can microwave it, especially when recipes call for melted butter. Simple has always been their goal. Even the handle is part of the mold, so it will not break off, and it has a spout for easy pouring.
The 10.26-inch KitchenAid Silicone Tongs have been an indispensable kitchen tool. Their sturdy build and heat-resistant silicone tips make them dependable for various cooking tasks, from flipping delicate fish fillets to pulling a hot oven rack, ensuring they're a valuable addition to my kitchen.