A photo of miscellaneous kitchen tools next to a 4 burner silver gas cooktop.
Kitchen Tips & Tricks

20 Kitchen Must Haves

We all have those items in our kitchen that we use daily and could not live without. What about new cooks, what would I recommend for them to have in their kitchen?

I have created a list of my top twenty must haves for a kitchen and an additional ten that are great to have but not necessary for every day.

20 Must Haves

KitchenAid Classic Series Mixer
1. Mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer)
I love a stand mixer. My favorite is the KitchenAid. I have had one for many years and it is versatile. There are so many great attachments you can purchase to go with it making it a true power house in the kitchen. 
Calphalon Classic Nonstick Saute Pan With Cover, 5 Quart, Grey
2. Large Oven Safe Saute Pan with Lid 
When I first started cooking I didn’t have an oven safe saute pan or skillet. So often I would find myself burning the outside of my chicken while trying to finish cooking the inside. I love to start chicken or pork on the stove to brown it and then finish it in the oven. The meat is so tender and juicy this way. 

All-Clad Essentials Hard Anodized Nonstick Sauce Pan Set 4 Piece, 2.5, 4 Quart Oven Broiler Safe 500F Pots and Pans, Cookware Black

3. Small and Medium Saucepans 
Great for warming pasta sauces, cooking vegetables and everyday cooking.
Calphalon Classic Nonstick* Dutch Oven with Cover, 7 quart, Grey
4. Large Pot for Soups, Chili or Pasta
If you want to make soup from scratch you will need a large pot. I love this one as it has a pour spot for draining pasta water.
Cuisinart CSB-179 Smart Stick Hand Blender, 2019, Stainless Steel
5. Immersion Blender or Regular Blender 
I got an immersion blender years ago for Christmas and I wondered how often I would use it. The answer a lot more often than you think. The newer ones come with the chopping attachments and are especially great for those with small kitchens.

KitchenAid Gourmet 4-Sided Stainless Steel Box Grater with Detachable Storage Container, Small, Black

6. Cheese Grater
A cheese grater is definitely an essential. It can be used for so much more than cheese. Want to make zucchini muffins use the greater to shred the zucchini. Making a teriyaki rice bowl and want shredded carrots in it use the cheese grater.
Shun Classic Blonde 8” Chef's Knife, Blonde PakkaWood Handle, Full Tang VG-MAX Blade (DM0706W)
7. Good Chef’s Knife
Most people think that buying a knife set is very important. However, you will find that the knife you use most is your chef’s knife. It is worth investing in a good one that will last you a long time. I find a comfortable size for me is an 8″ but some cooks want a 10″ knife. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the knife. 
Calphalon 7-Piece Gourmet Mixed Kitchen Utensil Set, 7-pc
8. Cooking Utensils
Cooking utensils are essential. You need a slotted spoon, solid spoon, spatula and a pasta fork. Nylon and silicone are your best options as you will be able to use them on all cookware.  

Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set (3-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe), Clear

9. Liquid Measuring Cups
Some cooks use dry measuring cups for liquid ingredients. However, it is important to have separate liquid measuring cups to make sure you are getting accurate measurements for your liquid ingredients. 
Pyrex 1107101 Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes, 2 Piece Value Plus Pack Set
10. Pyrex Glass Baking Dishes
I love these baking dishes. So great for brownies, oven fajitas, roast chicken and so much more.
Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware Set, 10-Piece Set Includes Baking Sheet, Cookie Sheet, Cake Pans, Muffin Pan, and More, Dishwasher Safe, Silver
11. Bakeware Set
Every home kitchen needs bakeware. A sheet pan can be used to make a cake, roasted veggies or even a sheet pan shrimp boil. Cake pans, muffin tins and loaf pans just add the ability to make so many things from your own kitchen. You can even make the ever so popular banana bread.
Wildone Measuring Cups & Spoons Set of 21 - Includes 7 Stainless Steel Nesting Measuring Cups, 8 Measuring Spoons, 1 Leveler & 5 Mini Measuring Spoons
12. Dry Measuring Cups & Spoons
As important as liquid measuring cups are dry measuring cups. This is a great set that includes some smaller measurements which can be a little bit harder to find. If I am cutting a recipe in half I always find I am looking for the 1/8 tsp. 
OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowl Set
13. Mixing Bowls
We have all used a mixing bowl. A great versatile item that can be used to scramble eggs, mix batter, make pizza dough and so much more. 
2 Pack Black Kitchen Tongs, Premium Silicone BPA Free Non-Stick Stainless Steel BBQ Cooking Grilling Locking Food Tongs, 9-Inch & 12-Inch
14. Tongs
Tongs are great tool in the kitchen for picking up meat, pasta and roasted veggies. I have a few pairs including some small and large ones. 
OXO Good Grips Chef's Precision Digital Instant Read Thermometer,Black
15. Meat Thermometer
Have you ever cooked chicken and wondered is it done? I started using a meat thermometer about ten years ago and anytime I am cooking in a kitchen without one I feel so lost. I like the proof of the temperature to ensure that the chicken or pork is cooked all the way. 
Taylor Precision Products Scale Kitchen Silver 6Lb
16. Kitchen Scale
A kitchen scale is great for those recipes that list the ingredients in weights instead of measures. However, I find I use mine mostly when I am splitting up large packages of meat I got from the grocery store. A family pack of hamburger or chicken is almost always cheaper by the pound than the individual packs. A scale and some Ziploc freezer bags makes it easy to buy in bulk and divide into the portions for your meals. 
OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Better Balloon Whisk
17. Whisk
Want to make home made whip cream? You will need a whisk for that. I love a larger whisk as I find them easier to use. 
KitchenAid KE351OHOBA All Purpose Shears with Protective Sheath, One Size, Black
18. Kitchen Shears
Recently I made a recipe of spatchcocked Cornish hens (where you remove the back bone). The easiest way to do this is by using kitchen shears. Also great for cutting homemade pasta. 
OXO 1130780 Good Grips Wooden Spoon Set, 3-Piece,Brown
19. Wooden Spoons
Over the years I have come across quite a few recipes that call for a wooden spoon to be used. They are really great to use when melting cheese for fondue. 
All-Clad Textiles Silicone Oven Mitt, 2 Pack, Rainfall, 2 Count
20. Pot Holders
A good set of pot holders are a must. No one wants to drop a towel while trying to get a hot pan out of the oven. I love these as the come up a little ways on the arm to give better protection.  

10 Nice to Haves

What are your essential kitchen items? Comment below with what you can't live without.

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