Pick Out the Best Kitchen Tools for Your New Home

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This list really started a long awhile ago when I began to build my wedding registry. But then I realized that the information was perfectly good for bachelors or bachelorettes, as well as for those who have been married for a while, or even for those who are newly single.

Best Kitchen Tools for Your Kitchen - Foodal.com

Basically, this is a list of kitchen tools and utensils that one needs (or that would be very handy) to set up a fully functioning home kitchen.

Without further ado, here is my list of recommended kitchen utensils that I believe would benefit any experienced or budding home chef.

Basics

Tongs

For one reason or another, it took me an embarrassingly long time to actually get a pair of tongs. I always just used a fork or my fingers instead, which left me with burns on my hands, and scratches on my cookware.

This is such an inexpensive tool, which makes my lack of a set doubly silly. I like tongs with coated ends, so I don’t have to worry about scratching my nonstick or cast iron cookware.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B0000CDVD8″ locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/31leldNVuGL.jpg” alt=”OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”500″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B0000CDVD8″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads[/easyazon_link] at Amazon

What to buy: I really like these OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads. The locking mechanism makes them much easier to store, and the nylon heads will keep your nonstick cookware safe.

The OXO Good Grips Tongs are also heat resistant, and dishwasher safe!

Potato Masher

This was another item that took me a long time to get around to buying. I often use my KitchenAid Stand Mixer to mash my potatoes for me, but I’ve found this can result in ones that have a gluier texture. A potato masher keeps them nice and fluffy!

You can also use this for cauliflower, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and plenty of other mashed dishes.

Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel Masher - Foodal.com

[easyazon_link asin=”B0045EPNBI” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel Masher[/easyazon_link] available from Amazon

What to buy: This Jamie Oliver Stainless Steel Masher makes for the smoothest mashed potatoes.

When I began looking for a potato masher, I knew I wanted one that was solid, all metal, and without too many holes in the masher head. I really couldn’t find anything I liked in the local stores, and took a chance with this one. I’m glad I did!

Construction was spot on, with good quality stainless steel and an ergonomic soft grip handle. This handle provides for a great grip, and it perfectly contours to your hand. There is absolutely no flex in this masher, and it doesn’t wobble at all.

The masher smashes through potatoes thanks to its additional heft, and nothing gets stuck in its optimized hole layout. It has tiny outer holes and larger inner holes, to make mashing quicker and leave fewer chunks. It’s really great if you are like I am and like your mashed potatoes really smooth, with no lumps.

It also features an integrated silicone bowl scraper on one of the sides of the handle but I prefer to use a silicone spatula. [easyazon_link asin=”B0045EPNBI” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Read more customer reviews at Amazon.[/easyazon_link]

Kitchen Scale

A digital food scale is a really important tool to have in your kitchen, especially if you bake a lot, which usually requires precise measurements. Many European recipes list amounts of required ingredients by weight, so you’ll need a food scale to get this just right.

It’s also useful for counting calories, and making sure you really do know how many ounces of M&Ms you had! If you want to, that is…

Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale Elegant Black |Foodal.com

[easyazon_link asin=”B004164SRA” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black[/easyazon_link]

What to buy: With digital kitchen devices, I like to get something [easyazon_link asin=”B004164SRA” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]that’s really well-reviewed[/easyazon_link], which led me to this Ozeri Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale. It’s very simple to use, and can weigh ingredients up to eleven pounds.

Knives & Sharpener

A good set of knives is a crucial piece in your kitchen! I’m using my wedding registry as an opportunity to get a few really good knives to add to my set, but you might look at a complete set if you don’t have much to work with yet.

At the very least, make sure you get a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife.

Between those three, you should be able to get just about everything chopped just how you need it. Invest in some good pieces. If you take care of them and dry them immediately after washing, they should last you a really long time!

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B0016P3708″ locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/51uin2B7sWoL.jpg” alt=”Chicago Cutlery 18-Piece Insignia Steel Knife Set with Block and In-Block Sharpener” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”426″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B0016P3708″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Chicago Cutlery 18-Piece Insignia Steel Knife Set with Block and In-Block Sharpener[/easyazon_link]

What to buy: This Chicago Cutlery 18-Piece Insignia Steel Knife Set with Block and In-Block Sharpener has more than enough knives to get you started, plus a pair of kitchen shears. They’re made of forged steel, so you should never find yourself with a handle that’s broken off. The in-block sharpener is very handy, too!

Of course, the most handy sharpening device is the Chef’s Choice Professional Sharpening Station like the one we reviewed here.

Cutting Boards

I love cutting boards. I love small ones, purple ones, and those gorgeous wooden ones. I love them for chopping veggies, trimming and seasoning steaks, or just making a PB&J. And I have way too many.

If you are using cheap plastic ones like I often do, you should really start to replace your cutting boards with new ones fairly often. Bacteria can hide in any cuts and grooves in the surface.

My problem is that I sometimes don’t actually follow through and throw away the old… In my defense, I’m about to purge all my old cutting boards. And I would love to get a few new ones at my bridal shower!

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”280″ identifier=”B008MXPO4E” locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/31EQAWwlSdL.jpg” alt=”John Boos 18 by 18 by 3-Inch End Grain Walnut Chopping Block” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”500″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B008MXPO4E” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]John Boos 18 by 18 by 3-Inch End Grain Walnut Chopping Block[/easyazon_link] available at Amazon

What to buy: I’m a sucker for the pretty wood tones of this [easyazon_link asin=”B008MXPO4E” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]John Boos 18 by 18 by 3-Inch End Grain Walnut Chopping Block[/easyazon_link]. It’s durable and very thick, so this could last you and your children for your entire lives, if you take care of it.

While you’re at it, get a set of [easyazon_link asin=”B00KLBD3WU” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]CounterArt Food Service Grade Flexible Cutting Boards with Food Icons[/easyazon_link] to lay on top, so you won’t contaminate the wooden board with raw meat.

Read Foodal’s complete guide on cutting boards for more information and check out your options.

Cooking Utensils

If you’re furnishing your own kitchen for the first time, a set of cooking utensils and a good whisk might be items you accidentally overlook. Unfortunately, when you go to flip a batch of your sweet cornmeal pancakes, you’re going to be bummed to find that a fork doesn’t quite cut it, and it’s not the best sauce for thickening up a tasty gravy, either.

Look for a simple set that’s well coated. I know that stainless steel utensils look so much prettier, but you’ll risk scratching up the precious cookware that you spent hours painstakingly researching. Wooden utensils will work, too!

Cuisinart CTG-00-CCR7 Curve Crock with Tools Set of 7 - Foodal.com

[easyazon_link asin=”B004YZEODG” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Cuisinart CTG-00-CCR7 Curve Crock with Tools, Set of 7[/easyazon_link] from Amazon

What to buy: This [easyazon_link asin=”B004YZEODG” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]basic Cuisinart Curve Crock with Tools[/easyazon_link] is a great place to start. It comes with a container to store everything, and these are made of nylon, so no scratching!

These tools are oven safe to 400°F, which should be fine for just about anything you’re cooking on the stovetop.

Maxam 17-Piece Kitchen Tool Set -|Foodal.com

[easyazon_link asin=”B00O7MELU2″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Maxam 17-Piece Kitchen Tool Set[/easyazon_link]

If you want something with a few more tools, [easyazon_link asin=”B00O7MELU2″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]check out this Maxam 17-Piece Kitchen Tool Set.[/easyazon_link] It includes just about every utensil you could dream up for the kitchen, and it is great option if you’re moving into your first place.

Again, these aren’t made of metal, so no fear of scratching. This even comes with a wire basket, to help you keep everything organized.

Cheese Grater

I really tried to make do without a cheese grater. I don’t know why, but it just seemed unnecessary, since I thought I’d hardly ever use it. After making a few pizzas for which I made an attempt at finely dicing the cheese, I caved and bought a grater – which is a good thing, because they’re inexpensive and handy to have.

I love to roast a big cookie sheet full of veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and brussels sprouts, throw in some pine nuts, and when they’re done roasting, zest and then squeeze a lemon over them. Such bright, good flavor!

Oxo Good Grips Box Gater | Foodal.com

[easyazon_link asin=”B0007VO0CQ” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]OXO Good Grips Box Grater[/easyazon_link] available from Amazon

What to buy: I like box graters a lot. I’ve found that cheese graters are a necessary kitchen tool – at least in my kitchen.

This OXO Cheese Grater is one of my go-to kitchen tools now, and I don’t know what I’d do without it (especially given our fetish for homemade pizza, as I’ve alluded to before).

Similar to other OXO products, you can tell that ergonomics were at the forefront of the design team’s mind when they planned this one out. Unlike several others that I’ve had in the past, this grater is rock solid with absolutely no wobble. It’s very sharp (unlike many graters that just have punched holes instead of actual cutting elements), with a very comfortable handle – and whoever thought of the non-skid base should be in the running for a presidential award!

Another significant advantage to this grater is the included container that captures all of the material as you grate. You can use some plastic wrap to seal it up, if you aren’t going to use the ingredients immediately.

Moreover, this grater is dishwasher safe. But removing the rubber skid-resistant rim from the bottom first is recommended – you can always give that a quick hand wash. [easyazon_link asin=”B0007VO0CQ” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Read more reviews at Amazon.[/easyazon_link]

Microplane

A great stocking stuffer from my mom a few years ago was my first microplane. A microplane is like a cheese grater, but it creates a much finer product, and it’s more like a utensil, with a handle. It’s primarily used for zesting fruits, like lemons and limes.

What to buy: Get the Microplane Classic Zester/Grater pictured below. It’s good quality stainless steel, so it’ll stay sharp for a long time. It’s also dishwasher safe! If you need to finely grate some lemon or orange for a nice zest, this tool will handle that task in under a minute.

It doesn’t stop with zesting chores, either. This is great grinding a quick dusting of hard spices like nutmeg, and hard cheeses that you wish to shred into a light dusting of flakes, rather than the chunks produced by a box-style grater.

The ability to create a finer product gives you better control, allowing you to blend ingredients as you like. And the presentation is also improved, since a fluffy coating on top of your pasta looks a lot better than those clumps created by the bigger grater.

Microplane 40020 Classic Zester Grater | Foodal.com

[easyazon_link asin=”B00004S7V8″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater[/easyazon_link]

Since the microplane will make very fine flakes, this is not ideal for use if you actually are trying to create larger cheese shreds that will not fully melt into a dish, but the above-described grater is better for that. This tool is best for use if you want to fully incorporate an ingredient like lemon zest, or if you’re aiming to grate some cheese onto a cold dish, for the ideal presentation.

Grating parmesean with the Microplane 40020 Classic Zester Grater 2

This microplane is exceptionally easy to operate, as you can flake whatever you’re zesting right into your plate or your pan. Its length allows you to rest it on the edge of a bowl or other container.

Its attractive design also allows you to have at the ready at the table, even during the most formal of meals. It’s long enough to rest on the lip of most bowls, and it’s elegant enough to bring to the table.

Its [easyazon_link asin=”B00004S7V8″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]1300 reviews and high marks on Amazon.com[/easyazon_link] attests to its quality.

Mixing & Prep Bowls

A good set of mixing and prep bowls is a crucial part of any kitchen. I bought myself a good set of glass stacking bowls just before I got engaged, or else I might have saved this item for our registry.

I really like this set because I can use different sizes for different needs. I can use the smaller bowls for serving dips and hummus, or to prep things like spice mixes for a recipe.

I like the glass because I don’t have to worry about anything leaching into my food, and I can glance over and know what’s in the bowl from across the kitchen. Plus, they clean up really easily!

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”B002RL9DMQ” cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Duralex-Lys-Stackable-10-Piece-Bowl-Set-2.jpg” alt=”Duralex Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set 2 | Foodal.com”tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”500″]Duralex Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set[/easyazon_image]

[easyazon_link asin=”B002RL9DMQ” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Duralex Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set[/easyazon_link]

What to buy: This Duralex Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set includes a variety of sizes, and it should cover most of your needs. Duralex has a long history of making quality tempered glass – this company has been manufacturing their products in France since 1929.

They can withstand thermal shock, which means you can go from cold to hot or vice versa without breaking a dish. All the bowls are also dishwasher and microwave safe!

Duralex Lys Stackable 10-Piece Bowl Set | Foodal.com

You will find that the biggest bowl is handy for mixing up a huge batch of cookies, a large cake, a pan full of muffins, or even double batches of baked goods.

It’s also great for blending ingredients such as a large quantity of hamburger meat for meatloaf or meatballs.

The medium-sized bowls are great for mixing up cake and brownie mixes, and the smaller ones work well for making dips, condiments, or prepping vegetables that you are prepping to be sauteed or steamed.

A second large bowl would be handy if you like to do a lot of baking like I do, but you can supplement with an additional bowl or two. This is one of the most complete and, more importantly, best quality bowl sets that you’ll find.

The glass in these is very thick and heavy duty, and they can withstand a lot of abuse that many other glass products would not be able to handle.

This set will last you for years of service (if not forever) and it will survive drops and other abuse that similar looking products would not be able to cope with. There are [easyazon_link asin=”B002RL9DMQ” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]many reviewers on Amazon who attest to quality of this set. [/easyazon_link]

Pepper Mill

A pepper mill almost went into the extras category, but I really think it’s a kitchen essential. Freshly ground black pepper has so much more flavor than the pre-ground variety, and it will bring your food to life.

I currently use disposable mills, but I am putting a more permanent one on my registry.

A basic one is just fine, but there are some pretty fancy ones out there, even electronic models. Just make sure you find one that grinds the pepper to your desired consistency.

If you’re really into spices, get a few for different varieties of peppercorns.

Peugeot 23386 Paris U'Select Pepper Mill | Foodal.com

If you’re going to get a peppermill, I’d suggest not taking the cheap route with this kitchen tool, as most low priced models will just lead to frustration and poor user experience. This is definitely the case with about 90 percent of the examples that are out there.

What to buy: There are more types of pepper mills available than you could imagine, but I’d highly suggest the Peugeot 23317 Paris U’Select Pepper Mill. It’s pretty, it’s easy to use, and it’ll get the job done!

Peugeot is a very well known French cookware manufacturer that prides itself on high quality products. The have been producing the highest quality pepper grinders since 1847!

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B000RAC7T0″ locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/31X2B3JGE1xL.jpg” alt=”Peugeot 23386 Paris U’Select 7-Inch Pepper Mill, Natural” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”160″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B000RAC7T0″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Peugeot 23386 Paris U’Select 7-Inch Pepper Mill, Natural[/easyazon_link]

The U’Select line is unique among its peers, as it gives you the ability to adjust the coarseness of the grind by rotating the lower portion of the grinder.

You are able to choose among four coarseness settings, with cracked pepper at the lowest setting up to fine at the highest – about the level that the cheap grinders produce at their coarsest setting!

What does this mean for you? Well, you’ll actually be able to add a little pepper to your baked potato without involving fifteen minutes of frustration while rotating a mill that is (very) lightly powdering your meal, and probably causing more than one sneezing fit in the process. You want a meal – not a CrossFit workout, or an allergy attack!

If you’ve ever been frustrated with disposable models, cheap pepper mills at restaurants, or even cheaper consumer mills, then this kitchen tool would be perfect for you. [easyazon_link asin=”B000RAC7T0″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Its rave reviews on Amazon are testament to the quality[/easyazon_link] demanded by the most discriminating of consumers.

This grinder will last decades and many owners have bought several, as it will also grind salt! It’s available in four different sizes, so make sure you select the right one for you if you place an order for one. Read Foodal’s review of the Peugeot Paris U’Select Pepper Mill, or take a look at Foodal’s Pepper and Salt Mill Buying Guide.

Extras

Kitchen Torch

In my post on bakeware, I talked about how creme brulee is my absolute favorite dessert. It’s the one thing that my fiancé has some competition for my heart over.

In order to give creme brulee that crunchy, caramelized topping, you need a torch. Most of the time, that topping is just melted raw sugar. A torch is great for caramelizing other dishes too, as well as melting marshmallows, or even melting cheese!

You can read our review of the top kitchen torches, but take a look below at my personal favorite.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B000G9OYX4″ locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/41BSzuZ0GuL.jpg” alt=”BonJour Brushed Aluminum Chef’s Torch with Fuel Gauge” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”500″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B000G9OYX4″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]BonJour Brushed Aluminum Chef’s Torch with Fuel Gauge[/easyazon_link]

What to buy: When choosing a torch, look for quality, and don’t go too cheap. I like this BonJour Brushed Aluminum Chef’s Torch with Fuel Gauge.

I looked at many cheaper products, and found that most folks had major issues and went ahead and purchased a better quality one later. But why buy twice?

The Bonjour unit is very well constructed, simple to operate, and the output of the flame is very strong on the high setting, which can speed up your work and make it easier to get the job done.

To operate, you merely flick the safety switch and press the button. A convenient switch is also placed on the side that can be activated if you need to use the torch for an extended period, which allows you to remove your finger from the activation button. The flame length is adjusted with a lever on the side.

Moreover, the bottom functions as a handy stand.

BonJour Brushed Aluminum Chef's Torch with Fuel Gauge | Foodal.com

It’s powered by standard butane fuel containers, so you won’t have to go hunting for specialty tools. Adding butane to this torch is easy – just flip it upside down and connect the hose to the bottom insert, then press. There is a gauge on the bottom so you can see how much is in there.

If you are going to be using the torch for awhile, there is a switch on the side can easily be flipped to keep the flame going. And as I said, there is another lever on the other side to adjust the flame length. I usually keep this in the middle.

If you are in need of a torch to make creme brulee, s’mores (in the house!) or other recipes that require a touch of flame, then the [easyazon_link asin=”B000G9OYX4″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Bonjour is perfect for you, and it’s available on Amazon.[/easyazon_link]

Mortar & Pestle

In addition to the coffee grinder I mentioned in my small appliances post, a mortar and pestle is a great tool for getting the most from your spices. You can use it to grind spices together, make pastes, prepare pestos, and crush and blend plenty of other things that recipes may call for. I find this is really great for Indian cooking, and you’ll get the freshest flavor by using whole spices instead of pre-ground varieties.

(While you’re at it, if you need a place to keep all of those spices, check out this post where we review the best spice racks.)

As much as I love using an empty glass and a mixing bowl to grind what I need (I really don’t love it at all), I’m super excited to add this tool to my registry!

What to buy: I really like this RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle. Marble is one of the best substances around for these tools. It’s smooth, so you don’t have to worry about foods hiding in textured surfaces.

RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle | Foodal.com

[easyazon_link asin=”B000BUB58K” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle[/easyazon_link]

This is a great mortar and pestal. It’s great looking, and more importantly, it is the perfect size. I think it should be large enough to put in all that you might need.

The bowl is not so large that your herbs will be sliding around the bottom, which is a problem when you have too much room, and not enough herbs for use in larger models.

It does produce a slight amount of chalk during the first couple of uses, but nothing that should affect the taste, nutrition, or texture of your ingredients. After the first couple of washes though, the chalk dust will subside.

The marble is not porous like some other stones and materials like ceramic, making this product really easy to clean. The RSVP White Marble Mortar and Pestle [easyazon_link asin=”B000BUB58K” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]is a top seller on Amazon,[/easyazon_link] and at this price, you can’t go wrong.

Meat Tenderizer

There are two reasons why you need a meat tenderizer. First, it’s the only tool that’s able to really thoroughly pound meat to an even thickness, and to tenderize tougher cuts of beef and other meats.

Second, it is so much fun to have an excuse to hammer something like that after a long and stressful day. Just don’t get too crazy – you don’t want the neighbors peeking in the windows to make sure everyone’s okay!

I really like using this to pound butterflied chicken breasts to a thin and even thickness. Then I mix up some feta and spinach, lay it on the chicken, roll up the breast, and coat it in breadcrumbs. Repeat with each breast.

Poke a toothpick through to hold the rolls together, and bake for a delicious chicken rolls dinner! They’re great dipped in a good marinara sauce.

What to buy: This OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer is double sided, with one rough edge and one that’s smooth, so you can either use it to make meat an even thickness, or to truly tenderize it.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B00004OCJJ” locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/31DRJZSZQHL.jpg” alt=”OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”383″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B00004OCJJ” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]OXO Good Grips Meat Tenderizer[/easyazon_link] available from Amazon

Mandoline

My mom has a mandoline, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve borrowed it. Just for a week. Or four.

It is a seriously awesome tool! I really like to make my own sweet potato fries and potato chips, and this thing juliennes and slices to a perfect thinness.

Despite years of cooking, my knife skills still aren’t all that great, so this thing is a life saver. Not to mention, it’s so fast!

Usually, thinly slicing a potato would take me at least five minutes. With a mandoline, I’m done in less than thirty seconds!

They can be dangerous, though. In order to get the job done, they’ve got a very sharp blade. I recommend wearing a cutting glove when using one, to protect your fingertips.

I am super excited about this registry addition!

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”500″ identifier=”B003DZ0BRG” locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/41ayiyEj64L.jpg” alt=”Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline V-7000, Green” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”271″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B003DZ0BRG” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline V-7000[/easyazon_link]

What to buy: The Swissmar Borner V Power Mandoline V-7000 comes with three different types of blades, plus it’s adjustable so you can do a variety different cuts. It also comes with a safety guard, which will hold the vegetable (or whatever else you’re slicing) for you, minimizing your chances of getting cut.

This is without a doubt one of the best mandolines available on the market. It is very easily adjustable, and with just a quick setting change, you can adjust the thickness of a cut. It also has rubber feet so that it stays in place on the countertop when in use. A quick rinse off in the sink with a spray hose and a little bit of soap, and it is clean.

The Swissmar Mandoline comes with 3 inserts and 4 thickness settings for each – and these settings are easily changed with a button push. The blade is very sharp, and it can slice vegetables up into translucent slices, if that is your goal.

It works well for slicing daikon, if you’re cooking up some Japanese or Korean food, or cutting root vegetables into paper-thin chips. Made in Germany of a very strong plastic material, this is not your usual wobbly and ill-cutting mandoline like those available at the big box store.

This model is a well-engineered and well-crafted piece of equipment, and it’s a great value for the price. You can even pick one to match your kitchen decor, since it’s [easyazon_link asin=”B003DZ0BRG” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]available in four colors (red, green, white, and orange) from Amazon.[/easyazon_link]

Fine Mesh Strainer

If you already have a colander that you love, you might not think a fine mesh strainer is necessary. And it might not be – that’s why I’ve listed it in the “extras” category. But, if you’re in your kitchen a lot, this is a good tool to have around.

If you ever make cheese or or something where a fine solid needs to be strained from a liquid – like ghee, for example – this is incredibly useful. Line it with cheesecloth and everything will separate beautifully.

One of my favorite tricks for a beautiful, simple garnish is to press a hard boiled egg through a fine mesh strainer. You’ll get tiny egg ribbons that make salads look so much prettier! Mine also does double duty as a sifter, since it’s made from the same material, and doesn’t take too much more effort to use as one.

[easyazon_image align=”center” height=”429″ identifier=”B007TUQF9O” locale=”US” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/41jNeizP7L.jpg” alt=”Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Mesh Strainers, Set of 3″ tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”500″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B007TUQF9O” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Mesh Strainers, Set of 3[/easyazon_link]

What to buy: Just get yourself a basic fine mesh strainer that’s relatively sturdy so it doesn’t warp, like [easyazon_link asin=”B007TUQF9O” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]the Cuisinart Mesh Strainers[/easyazon_link]. This set comes with three items of different sizes, so it’ll give you a little more control, depending on what you’re doing. They also have lips around the edge so they’re easier to set over bowls, and they come with lifetime a warranty.

Probe Thermometer

I know it’s safe to say I’m a real life cooking nerd when the thing on my registry that I’m most excited about isn’t the gorgeous new china set, but rather, a probe thermometer. I hate having to open my oven, let out all that trapped hot air, and cut into my gorgeous roast to see if it’s done.

This probe thermometer is inserted into the meat, with a display that sits outside the oven. Set it to your desired temperature (go for medium rare, people!) and a timer will go off when the center of the meat has reached that temperature.

I absolutely need this! I’m dreaming about the perfectly cooked prime rib my fiancé and I could be enjoying…

[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”center” asin=”B000P6FLOY” cloaking=”default” height=”500″ localization=”default” locale=”US” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”https://foodal.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Polder-Digital-In-Oven-Thermometer-Time.jpg” alt=”Polder Digital In-Oven Thermometer Time | Foodal.com” tag=”foodal02-20″ width=”500″]

[easyazon_link asin=”B000P6FLOY” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”foodal02-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]Polder Digital In-Oven Thermometer/Timer, Graphite color[/easyazon_link]

What to buy: I like the Polder Digital In-Oven Thermometer/Timer. It’s well-reviewed and replacement probes are relatively inexpensive, which is important because no matter what thermometer you buy, this will go out a few times over the course of using it.

The display piece is magnetic so it can just stick to the front of my oven, and I don’t have to worry about my clumsy self knocking it off the counter and breaking it.

Read Foodal’s Meat Thermometer Buying Guide for more tips on finding the perfect model for you.

Miscellaneous

I could go on forever naming different tools to add to your cooking collection, but just in case you need a few more ideas, here are some to consider.

Colander

First, if you don’t already have a colander for straining pasta and other dishes, you need to get one.

Now.

You can’t even make boxed mac and cheese without it! This might be the time to upgrade if you have a plastic one that’s now a bit warped, or if you find that you really need two.

Pastry Brush & Pastry Cutter

If you enjoy baking, especially bread, make sure you have a pastry brush and a pastry cutter in your kitchen. A pastry brush is actually handy for more than just brushing egg wash over rolls – you can use it to spread sauce over meat, and butter over anything (and everything).

A pastry cutter is used to cut cold butter into dry ingredients. It’s much easier to use than a fork, or my favorite technique, crumbling with your hands.

Melon Baller

Lastly, a melon baller is a really fun tool for creating gorgeous fruit salads. And it can totally be used on vegetables, too.

Ready to stock up your own kitchen at home? My registry’s definitely full, and I can’t wait to start cooking!

Tell me about all of your kitchen equipment must-haves in the comments.

First published October 25th, 2015. Last updated February 7th, 2020.

About Chelsea Miller

Chelsea Miller, born and raised in Portland, Oregon, graduated from the University of Oregon where she discovered both her love of football and cooking great food. She's the founder of the food blog "A Duck's Oven" and began writing for Foodal in 2014.

15 thoughts on “Pick Out the Best Kitchen Tools for Your New Home”

  1. There are some great ideas here, I haven’t seen the microplane before it looks stylish, easier to use than a grater and also for storing. I’ve always found storing a grater a bit of a weird thing, trying to hang it up (it always fell off) or to put it in a cupboard.

    I visited my parents to find they had no potato masher and they went and got one. Home made mash is much easier with a good masher and has encouraged them to make sweet potato mash as a topping for pies, so I recommend one for everyone as you never know when it will come in handy.

    Reply
    • I think an old roommate of mine took my microplane last year. I need a new one. They are great and I used it pretty regularly, especially for things like adding lemon/lime zest to recipes. I would definitely recommend getting one!

      Reply
  2. Thanks for such a comprehensive list of kitchen essentials.

    I’m fairly certain I have most of them, but as I scrolled down I actually realised that I was missing a couple 😛 Will probably look into the mandoline!

    I got a nice set of ceramic knives as a present before, and I have to say that having multiple knives for any cutting job makes for a much easier cooking experience.

    Reply
  3. Since I”m a huge fan of potatoes, I think I’ll have the potato masher in my best kitchen tools list. I just love to have mashed potato every now and then.

    Reply
  4. OMG I want everything on this list! There are so many little gadgets that I don’t have. I would love a potato ricer, a microplane, and a nicer thermometer. I’d also like a nice set of strainers. I’m adding all of these to my wishlist now 🙂

    Reply
  5. The first thought that came to my mind while reading this post: it would sure be nice to have a shop-for-free day at Bed Bath & Beyond. 😀

    Anyway, I agree if with your list. It is what it is… to cook well, quickly, efficiently you need the proper utensils. And these will certainly help you create culinary masterpieces.

    Reply
  6. Wow, thank you for sharing such detailed information on what you consider to be kitchen essentials! I’ll admit, I don’t really spend much time in the kitchen, and when I do, it’s to prepare quick and easy meals. So while I’m not sure I would need all of these items, it’s great to keep them in mind anyway.

    In fact, even the items I do have are probably not as good a quality as the ones recommended here. I never thought about the importance of having different types of knives depending on what food you want to chop. I also never considered the possibility of bacteria collecting easily into the grooves of cheap, plastic cutting boards.

    I’ll also have to keep this in mind for any future weddings I attend! I’m sure some of my friends who’ve gotten married would’ve liked a few of these items for their new home.

    Reply
  7. Great tips here…i can see where am lacking when it comes to kitchen features…am having a slight face palm moment when i read about having a kitchen food scale!…i really need to up my game in this realm, i can see i have tons of shopping to do in the near future 🙂

    Reply
    • If i might add….Glad to have a trustworthy blog with golden nuggets to hold my hand and lead me along the bright lit path of kitchen knowledge and wisdom…awesome article i must add 🙂

      Reply
  8. These are really classic and essential tools for setting up a well equipped family kitchen. I have a couple of young friends that are going to get married soon and at this moment they don’t even have a can opener. They just open can with a big knife in the old-fashioned way. Well this post gives me some good ideas for their wedding gift.

    Reply
  9. I am in the process of putting a new kitchen in my house and I’ve been inspired to stock up on all the staple cooking and baking utensil and other etc items. I am so excited to have a kitchen again and to get back into baking and cooking. I already had a lot of these, but this list helped me finish off my list of needed must haves. Thank you.

    Reply
  10. This is a good read. Recently moving out I find I don’t realize I am missing utensils until the time I actually need them. The amount of kitchen appliances and items out there is overwhelming. This article really narrow down what is useful and what isn’t. I personally also am a fan of oxo brand. I think they are one of the most durable yet affordable brands out there.

    Reply
  11. Thanks so much for posting this considering I am more of a random kitchen utensils girl. I never buy a whole set I just pick up as I go. I never really knew what the kitchen essentials are except maybe knives and a big spoon. I have taken note and plan on remodeling my kitchen and really making it user friendly.

    Reply
  12. All Gadgets are amazing. It all is expensive but makes your kitchen looks better and stylish. Thank you for sharing useful tips and guidance.

    Reply

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