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50+ Essential Tools Every Kitchen Needs

This list of essential kitchen tools includes my favorite items I use on a daily basis. Some links within this article are affiliate link that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Whether you’re starting in a brand new kitchen or looking to expand your expertise, this guide has the essential kitchen tools you’ll use. AND why you’ll use them.

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It can be so overwhelming if you’re new to cooking or if you’re trying to furnish a new apartment. There are so many options that it’s hard to know where to start to create a functional kitchen.

This helps if you have too many kitchen gadgets and aren’t sure which ones to keep and which ones to toss (hint: your corn butterer can go). The goal for just about every item in your kitchen is for it to have multiple uses, and these fit the bill perfectly to save you space and money.

When you buy, you may not be quite ready to break the bank on the most expensive brands or gadgets with the most cool features, but don’t buy cheap. When you pick up cheap tools, they don’t work well or last long, and you have to replace them quickly.

It’s not only frustrating when you try to cook, but it’s more expensive than buying quality kitchen tools from the start.

Think about how you cook and bake and start with what you need today and build your collection over time. There’s nothing wrong with that, and with the money you save by cooking at home, you can buy even more of the essential kitchen tools.

Pro tip? If you have a foodie in your life who loves to cook and don’t know what to get that person, his is a perfect gift guide to help complete that perfect kitchen. Sometimes there are gadgets and tools that you didn’t know existed and become hands down favorites once you gift them (see the measuring spoons I love!)

Kitchen Tools I Can't Live Without

When you cook, there are often tools you can "make do" with, but there are also those that make your life so much easier and make cooking and baking much faster in addition to just easier.

These are the favorites I have in my own kitchen - and ones I use constantly. I almost always believe in the mantra that a tool should do more than one thing, and there's only one exception to that in this list.

Pots and Pans You Need to Own

A quality set of pots and pans is a no brainer. Thicker and better quality implements mean that your dishes are less likely to burn or scorch, they'll last you much longer, and they are appropriate for the job you're doing.

Some of the items I own here I've had for well over 20 years. So yes, that ceramic coated cast iron pot might not be the cheapest one out there, but I bought it in 1998, and it's nowhere near the end of its life.

The cheaper nonstick pots and pans I've bought? Those I've replaced, sometimes more than once, which adds up fast.

General Kitchen Tools

There are some things you just can't cook or bake without. We all need cutting boards. And knives.

These are the ones I recommend, again because they are they are the quality that will last over time so you don't have to replace them again and again.

Small Gadgets and Tools

There are some items you just can't do without, whether it's spoons for stirring, spatulae for scraping, or peelers for well peeling.

These are often less expensive than many items in your kitchen, but go with a quality version to - sat it with me - make them last so you don't have to replace them as often.

I love silicone for so many of these tools because it stands up to heat well, but I don't use it for everything!

Kitchen Appliances

I don't mean you stove or your oven. Here I'm talking the small appliances that make your life easier.

Again, don't buy the cheapest ones because they'll often stop working. But a good blender, food processor, and the like you will use again and again and again.

Baking Supplies

If you love to bake as much as I do, your kitchen just might have as many items for baking as it does for cooking. Some go across both genres even when they're traditionally designed for baking purposes.

A pastry brush is a great example, but I use it to baste meat in addition to brushing on egg whites for homemade pretzels.

These are the tools that may wear out over time since they're exposed to high heat more often, but again buying a quality tool still saves you money in the long run, especially when it comes to your pans!

Odds and Ends

There are always items that don't fit into a neat category, and this is true in your kitchen, as well. That doesn't make them any less necessary.

Storage containers? Mason jars? Trust me, you need these, too!

Which of these essential cooking tools do you use the most?

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