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I spend a LOT of time in the kitchen. I have come to find there are certain tools that I couldn’t function without when I cook. Maybe you are wondering what my favorite tools are, maybe you’re stocking your very first kitchen, either way, you need to hear my list of kitchen Must-Haves.
Essential kitchen tools you need in your house!
- Cast Iron cook ware
I rarely cook on the stove with anything else. You can use it for dutch over cooking, you can cook eggs in it, sautee in it, bake in the oven with it. It’s hardy, easy to maintain, and if kept properly, non stick. We have several different sizes. I use a medium one and my giant one the most. Check out the selection on Amazon here: Cast Iron Cookware on Amazon
2. Chain link scrubber
These are one of my most recent discoveries and it’s one I can’t live without now. These are for cleaning cast iron cookware and your crock pot bowl. They are fantastic! They are the right price range to make them a great gift, too! I have this one: Chain link scrubber on Amazon
3. Crock Pot
Seriously, you can’t live without one if you work all the time like me! Even though I work from home, I don’t have time to cook for hours every day. Shocking, I know! With a Crock Pot, I can prep the meal in the morning and put it on to cook all day, or prep and put the ceramic bowl to pop in after lunch. You can plan a monthly meal plan for your crock pot and freeze prepped dinners to pop in later. SO handy. This one is the newer version of mine: Rival Smart Pot Crock Pot at Walmart
4. Two sizes of ice cream scoops
I use a 4 TBLS scoop for pancakes and burgers, and a smaller 1.7″ scoop for cookies. It makes them look all lovely and uniform. They are super handy and I use them at least a couple times a week. Partially because I bake a lot of cookies… I believe this is the smaller one I have: Cookie scoop on Amazon
5. A Fish spatula (you don’t have to use it for fish)
I feel like it makes me old to have a favorite spatula…but here we are. This is my favorite one. I use it for fried eggs, sauteing turkey and veggies, EVERYTHING. I need to buy a second one because many days I have to wash it after I used it for breakfast and now need it for dinner. Get your own here: Awesome Spatula on Amazon
6. Silicone baking mats
These are fantastic! Bake with these on your cookie sheets and you will not have any sticking. Along with that, they cook more evenly. I recently did an experiment baking one pan of cookies on a silicone mat and one pan with bare metal with cooking spray. Neither batch stuck to the pan, but the pan without a silicone mat got darker on the bottom. These are my favorite: Silicone baking mats on Amazon
This one is important if you like to bake with fruit flavors or like to buy whole nutmegs. It’s like a tiny cheese grater, but you use it to zest the rinds of fruit to put in your cooking or to zest a nutmeg to get the powder needed for cookies and pies and such. If you will never do any zesting, you don’t need this, but it is fun and you might want to make Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies someday… Here is a nice microplane on Amazon.
8. Cast iron/stove top scraper
These are great for cleaning glass stove tops, getting sticky and dried on food off of cutting boards, and cleaning out your cast iron skillets. They are also handy for scooping food off the cutting board to save your knife blades. Here is the one I am buying to replace mine, which my kids used to “chop down a tree” in the yard… Metal Scraper (Amazon)
The plastic scraper is for cleaning La Chomba cookware. I highly recommend it, but it deserves a whole post to itself, so it isn’t on this list.
9. Silicone basting brush
These are SO much better than the old brushes. They go right in the dish washer after use and you aren’t losing bristles into your food! I prefer the type that are one piece versus the type with a silicone brush on a separate handle because they seem to last longer. I use them for putting egg white on rolls so they look all fancy when they come out of the oven. Here is the set I plan to buy to replace the ones my children ruined having an archaeological dig in the front garden: silicone basting brushes (Amazon)
10. Wooden Rolling pin
I can’t actually recommend the exact pin I use because it was my husband’s great-grandmother’s, but I will suggest one that looks very similar. A good rolling pin needs to have some weight to it so that you don’t have to do all the work of flattening your dough. I use mine for biscuits and pie crust the most. Here is one that looks like a winner: Wooden rolling pin (Amazon)
I have pie servers in a few different sizes. If you don’t eat pie, you still need one for serving cake or quiche. But come on, don’t you love pie? I also have one that is silver plated and engraved with my wedding date, *awe*. Here is the one I have: Plastic Pie Server (Amazon)
12. Citrus juicer
We do a lot of cooking that requires limes and lemons to be squeezed. Our house is sold on these squeezers. They are metal, so don’t break, easy to use and easy to clean. Metal Citrus Juicer (Amazon)
13. Pizza cutter
I love a take and bake pizza, but it does help to have a pizza cutter at home to cut it up! A pizza cutter is also useful for cutting quesadillas, home made noodles, sugar cookies, biscuits, etc. It’s only a uni-tasker if you aren’t creative. You want to sturdy one, since you’ll likely push down when you roll it. It also should have some weight you don’t have to do all the work. I currently need to purchase a new one and this is the one in my cart:
14. Meat thermometer
If you cook meat at all, you need a thermometer. For turkey at thanksgiving, roasting chicken in the oven, steak in a skillet; you need to be able to easily take the temperature so you don’t make everyone sick! Here is one that looks great on Amazon:
15. Egg slicer
I LOVE egg salad. Sure, you can LIVE without an egg slicer, but is that really living? How much is our time worth? For the price of this little gadget, it is will worth saving that time and energy. Plus it’s fun!
16. Spring bag clips
What do I use these for? Everything! Cereal bags, pasta bags, bean bags, chip bags, bags of frozen produce, anything I don’t want to have spill or go stale. I have tried all the clips. Fancy clips, cute clips, clips that snap, clips with magnets. The one ones I’ve found that work and don’t break are this little rubber coated metal spring clips. I have seen them a few places, and I have bought mine at the local Dollar Tree for about 6 in a pack, but here they are in a MUCH larger pack on Amazon:
17. Zucchini noodle slicer
I know it’s a bit of a fad to make veggies into noodles, but it’s a pretty ingenious way to get your family (or yourself) to eat more veggies! Swap zucchinni noodles for regular pasta in lasagna or just add veggies noodles to your regular pasta dish. Let your kids help and they might be more likely to eat the resulting dish! Plus it looks fancy to have swirly carrots on the plate. This is one of the newest additions to my kitchen, but I’m excited to see what all I can come up with to make with it! This slicer is fancier than mine, but it does a lot more, too: Zoodle Slicer (Amazon)
18. Veggie steamer
I have a pot that came with a basket that I use to steam, but this one I am suggesting will go in any pot and is plastic, so it won’t scratch a non stick pot. My kids will usually eat steamed veggies, so I offer them a lot. I also use it to steam potatoes for mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes for chowder. Get your own here: Veggie Steamer Basket (Amazon)
That is my list! What would you add? Let me know what you can’t live without in your kitchen in the comments!