I LOVE TO COOK AND LOVE NEW KITCHEN UTENSILS. If you have been cooking as long as I have or you are a newbie to the kitchen, you need to be sure to equip yourself with high-quality kitchen utensils to make cooking fun and efficient. Some cooking utensils have stood the test of time and some are the new “hot item”. I really enjoy reviewing products and take it seriously. So, everything I recommend, I either own and use it myself or have researched reviews and have added it to my own wish list. Like everything else I put on my list, I do my homework and research first.
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The cooking tools here are not a complete list of everything I love of course, but I consider these utensils pretty essential for every cook. I admit to purchasing cooking tools for my daughter and daughter-in-law who also what you might consider “culinary experts”.
First, you need different kinds and sizes for different purposes. Protect your family by using only one board only for meat, especially chicken. You may need to grab a smaller cutting board to cut up herbs or vegetables. You can’t have just one type of cutting board! When making a soup or stew, I may use two or three! Here are the cutting boards I recently purchased for myself and as gifts.
Epicurean is a very popular brand name in composite cutting boards. Food-safe, long-lasting, and incredibly durable. Epicurean boards are made of wood, are dishwasher safe, knife-friendly and you can use it as a trivet! We will talk about trivets later.
Wood vs Plastic
I have both wood and plastic. cutting boards Plastic boards are wonderful when you need a small cutting surface like fruits or vegetables. Plastic can also go in the dishwasher.
Wood boards are not only beautiful, but you can also use them for serving and they are easier on your knives than plastic. Some people think that plastic is more sanitary than plastic, but it really depends on how you care for them.
Two studies, one from the University of Michigan and another done at the University of Wisconsin, found that plastic cutting boards actually had more bacteria than their wooden counterparts. In addition, one of the studies found that wooden cutting boards fared better than plastic ones when exposed to toxic bacteria strains like Salmonella, E.coli, and Listeria.
Wood boards are also used for carving and serving meat.
Keep your cutting boards organized on my favorite Cutting Board and Cookie Sheet Organizer. Keep it where you can grab a cutting board quickly when you need it.
Pyrex Storage Containers
Pyrex Storage Containers should be at the top of your list. Heat leftovers in the microwave without worrying about BPA risks. This is important because you don’t want to heat with plastic in your microwave. Even the lids are BPA free. They go on sale quite often, especially over the holidays.
When we entertain, I always make too much and want to share leftovers with another family member. I use the Pyrex containers hoping they will be returned, but that isn’t always the case. So, I honestly buy a set once a year!!!
Cooking utensils made of Silicone have become extremely popular for good reasons. Silicone doesn’t stick, is stain resistant, easy to clean and have very high heat resistance.
Tongs Are Must
High-quality silicone tongs should have silicone grips as well as the tips. These tongs are safe up to 600 degrees which makes them awesome for grilling. I admit to having several sizes in multiple colors. Also, use them for turning meat in your non-stick cookware.
Protect your hands while cooking, baking, or grilling. These gloves are heavy-duty and the length protects your hands and wrists up to 450º. The textured palm prevents slipping and a padded lining makes them comfortable to wear. I actually used mine to carry a casserole dish to a neighbor’s for dinner straight from the oven.
You need several baking mats. Put them on all your baking sheets to prevent sticking and easy clean-up. You can stick them in the freezer and the oven up to 480º. The mats are non-toxic, microwave and dishwasher safe. Use these when you roast pork or bake a ham. Freeze vegetables in the fall in a single layer and store them in baggies for cooking all winter.
And, have you ever baked chicken wings to get them crispy at high heat? If you have, you know how valuable a baking mat is!
I have to talk about trivets. You can never have enough! Food can go from oven to table for serving so you need several. They look so much nicer than shoving a pot holder under your dish to protect your table. This particular trivet is made by Joseph Joseph that I have purchased for my kids and myself.
Everyone needs a Spiralizer to make zoodles ( zucchini noodles). I use mine when I want to make a big salad that includes carrots, cucumbers, and any other firm vegetables or fruits. This is great for trying making meals that are low Carb eaters in your family. The Spiralizer I have has 7 blades so I can shred, slice and chip fast! There are lots of recipes online including homemade potato chips.
Knives, Knives, Knives
There is nothing more frustrating than having dull or weak knives when you need to slice, chop and dice. Knives are an investment if you buy good ones. However, really good knives should last you many years. Keep your knives in good, sharp condition. If you are a new cook, here is a basic list of knives you will want to purchase.
- An all-purpose utility knife – used for a range of foods; often a choice for the first knife as it can do many things.
- A chef’s knife – used for chopping, dicing, mincing, and cutting.
- A vegetable or paring knife – used for peeling, cutting, and trimming small items of food that you hold in the hand (such as trimming small potatoes).
- A bread knife (serrated) – used for bread, cake, fruit, and tomatoes.
- A carving knife – used for getting thin and even slices of meat from roasts, full roasted poultry, etc.
- Sharpening steel, knife-honing stone, or electric honer.
Vacuum Food Sealer
If you don’t own a vacuum food sealer yet, add it to your list asap! They do come in varying price ranges, but I can tell you from experience it is smart to get a good one. Here is how I use mine:
- Seal all meats I want to freeze- it extends the freezer time by months!
- Left-overs sealed and frozen are easily taken out the freezer and into the microwave or a boiling pot of water.
- Make meals for the week or month! I double many recipes and then freeze half for a night when I need something quick. I even vacuum seal soup!
- Seal fresh fruits and vegetable in your fridge. Take out what you need and re-seal
- Blocks of cheese stay fresh and don’t mold as quickly when sealed and kept in the fridge.
Make sure you have durable wooden spoons, they are often overlooked but a necessity. Did you know if you lay a wooden spoon across the top of boiling pasta, it won’t boil over?
Use a wooden spoon instead of a metal spoon when stirring on a non-stick surface. Metal spoons can scratch non-stick coatings. Another reason wooden spoons are better than metal spoons is that they don’t conduct heat.
I received this grill basket as a gift from my daughter after I saw how much she loves hers. Roasted vegetables on the grill are delicious alongside your entree. Try slicing peppers and onions and a pound of uncooked shrimp. Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic salt. Put the grill pan on the grill, stir occasionally until the shrimp are pink and the vegetables roasted. Yum.
I have to include the Instant Pot in my Favorites List. I received mine over the holidays and at the risk of sounding like a complete nut case, I LOVE IT. The 8 Qt Instant Pot is recommended for all families because it fills up really fast. I have made soups, pot roast, pork loin, chili, and I could go one. The biggest surprise for my husband was how delicious baby back ribs were. Of course, I save all sorts of recipes on Pinterest.
Digital Meat Thermometer with Dual Probe
Oh my gosh! This Digital Meat Thermometer is wonderful! I bought myself one for Christmas early because I knew I was going to have to cook TWO Prime Rib roasts and I was a little nervous. Seriously, so easy to set up and I put a probe in each roast and never open the oven door. – Perfection!
The ThermoPro comes pre-programmed for levels of doneness and I can monitor my food 300 feet away. One selling point for me was the 9 meat settings with a timer to alert you when your meat is just the way you want it
Best Knife Pizza Cutter
It won’t take you long to see why included the Best Knife Pizza Cutter on my Wish List. I like the design because I can cut pizza easily through the end crust. Plus I wanted to include something on my list that wasn’t just for healthy food. This pizza cutter is perfect for chopping vegetables too. As I said, this is on my Wish List. I don’t own one yet, but the reviews were really great.
Watermelon & Fruit Slicer
A large watermelon slicer? Look at this thing! I don’t have this yet, but I do have something like this for apples and small fruit and love it. Watermelon Fruit Cutter looks like fun to use, and It does have good reviews, so when I get mine and try it, I will let you know how well it works.
Bamboo Expandable Kitchen Utensils Organizer
Do you have a drawer in your kitchen that is a catch-all for so many tools? I am digging through it all the time and I especially need more storage for knives I don’t want sitting on the counter
This Bamboo Kitchen Utensil Organizer is the answer to my over-stuffed drawer. I use this organizer l for all kinds of kitchen gadgets including knives, can openers, vegetable peelers, etc. The Bamboo Utensils I love that it is expandable so I can store it in a drawer or cupboard, and it’s bamboo so it looks nice.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list of all the kitchen utensils I use and love but will share more at another time.
Which cooking utensils will you add next to your list, how about your gift list? Please let me know in the comments section below!
P.S. Do you love to cook as much I do? Here are some parties to plan: