10 Must Have Kitchen Tools

Here are the top 10 kitchen tools/gadgets that can make cooking easier and more efficient including knives, cutting board, zester and peeler!

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These are the 10 most basic kitchen tools I literally cannot cook without. Every chef has their favorite knife or the cutting board that just feels right. These are my go-to, every day, die-hard cooking workhorses.

1. Knives

The Wusthof Gourmet Knife Block Set sits on my own counter and is the most valuable tool in my kitchen! Obviously, the chef’s knife is in heavy rotation for absolutely everything, like when I dice a ton of onions for Lebanese Mujadara. But I also use the kitchen shears to snip herbs into tiny pieces, like the parsley for this Garlic Bread. And I love the bread knife for breaking into the crusty french bread I need for Tomato Basil Bruschetta.

Wusthof 9718-3 Precise Laser Cut High Carbon Stainless Steel Kitchen Knife Set with 17 Slot Walnut Bloc
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2. Grater/Zester

Once you have used a Microplane zester to grate parmesan cheese, for say Zucchini Fritters, or zesting citrus like the lemon in my Lemon Bread, you will never go back to other graters. This kitchen tool’s tiny blades, made by chemical photo etching, create feathery clouds of cheese and zest.

Microplane image

3. Glass prep bowls

It is so handy to have this sturdy Pyrex 3-Piece Prep Bowls set for doing everything from chilling homemade stock overnight to mixing Meatballs or Carrot Cake Pancakes. Because these are Pyrex, they are safe in the fridge, freezer, oven, microwave AND dishwasher. And, because they are glass, I can mix a salad in one and bring it to the table. I’ve had the same set since I got married in 2007!

Pyrex 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set

4. Cutting board

My Epicurean Nonslip Cutting Board is another kitchen tool that does double duty. Besides being a safe, nonslip cutting surface, it withstands temperatures up to 350° so I can use it as a tabletop trivet, too. Made in the US from compressed wood fiber and food-safe resin, this is a dishwasher safe cutting board for easier cleanups.

This board makes chopping all the veggies for salads like my Mexican Chopped Salad a breeze.

Epicurian Non Slip Cutting Board

5. Salad Spinner

Full confession: I find drying lettuce leaves as boring as you do, but salad dressings will not stick as nicely to wet leaves. My OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner gets the job done quickly and efficiently. Here are two homemade vinaigrettes that make spinning pay off. And, salad spinning is a great job to farm out to younger sous chefs.

OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner, Large

6. Garlic press

I have heard some big chefs malign the humble garlic press, but well, I love my Stainless Steel Garlic Press for giving me a quick hit of finely minced garlic without hauling out my cutting board (even though, I love it, too). A garlic press is very helpful for recipes that benefit from garlic that is almost liquified like Tahini Sauce.

OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Garlic Press

7. Thermometer

Spending money on and then slaving over a fish or meat dish only to pull it out of the oven too late is a big bummer. Enter my friend, the Instant Read Thermometer. It gives a reading in three to five seconds. It is easy to slip into an apron pocket, too. I use it to check on my Oven Baked Chicken Breast.

ThermoPro TP03 Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer Kitchen Cooking Food Candy Thermometer with Backlight and Magnet

8. Vegetable Peeler

Swivel Peelers are great for carrots, and this wide peeler works for wider vegetables like beets and potatoes. It even has a built-in potato eyer. I love these kitchen tools so much, that I also have one specifically for corn and another for cabbage. But really, the first two are the essential ones! I give the cabbage peeler a workout when I make Lebanese Cabbage Salad.

OXO Good Grips 3 Piece Assorted Prep Y-Peeler Set

9. Measuring Cups and Spoons

While savory cooked dishes are more forgiving, exact amounts and specific ratios are super important in baking, especially when it comes to leveling agents. For instance, too much or too little baking powder can ruin a recipe. I love this affordable, complete set of stainless steel measuring cups and spoons.

And even though I cook a lot, when making a recipe that is new to me, I always measure everything exactly as written. Here’s one of my favorite baked treats – Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies.

 Stainless Steel Measuring Cups And Measuring Spoons 10-Piece Set, 5 Cups And 5 Spoons

10. Spoons, whisk, spatulas and tongs

I don’t have any specific brands or kinds I love, so I mix and match often. But these are definitely in my top needed tools!

For more kitchen resources:

If you found this list for my Top Kitchen Tools useful, I’d love to hear from you! And if you snapped some shots of any of these tips and tricks, please share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Leave a comment


  1. Hello,

    I agree with you. I live in the Metric system and find it really hard to adjust to American recipes. I never know how much is ‘a cup’. You show so many cups above. I’ve downloaded a few conversion tables, but they all give different information.

    At the moment I’m making your Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad and I’m not sure it will turn just right.

    I’ll be really grateful if you could guide me on this.