Cooking Utensils You Need In The Kitchen
In case you are teaching others to cook from scratch, I highly recommend these cooking utensils. If you have others you want to be added to my list, let me know. We all learn from one another.
Some of these may be new to you and some may be your old standby as well. I remember teaching a food storage class and I mentioned one item every family needs in the kitchen is a can opener. One lady, asked why? She mentioned she only buys fresh fruit and vegetables. Okay, I get it. I would love to do that as well.
She said she’s never owned a can opener. You can picture my jaw-dropping, right? To be fair, I know so many canned goods have those flip tops with tabs that are supposed to be easier to open now.
I have cans of olives and green chilies that need a can opener. I asked her, “How will you open your #10 cans?” By the way, in case you need a good can opener for those large cans, this is the one. Commercial Can Opener or a Regular Can Opener or if you have arthritic hands like me Hamiton Beach Electric Can Opener.
Yes, I have 8-10 hand crank ones I will use when I have to. That’s how I roll. But for now, electric can openers are my best friend. So, this is why I show my number one item is a can opener on the list today.
In case you missed this post, Canned Foods I Highly Recommend You Store
Cooking Utensils You Need In The Kitchen
1. Can Openers
Every kitchen needs a few can openers. When I say a few, what I mean is if one breaks, you have a backup. You can never have too many can openers. I realize we are seeing more and more canned items with the pull tab, but there are still a lot that need a can opener.
Having a few tongs in the kitchen is awesome. I have several different sizes. I prefer the ones with Silicone Handles. It’s nice to have different sizes because you need larger ones for barbecuing and smaller ones to use when serving “build your own sandwiches,” or for salads. They work perfectly for serving salads from a bowl. Smaller Tongs and 3 Sizes of Silicone Tongs
You can use a Skimmer Strainer for so many things. I use it when making doughnuts or blanching food to dehydrate. It’s larger than a slotted spoon and drains a whole lot better. Oh, and if you have lumps in gravy, use this, it works!
4. Pancake Turner
Pancake turners are for pancakes to flip them over. But Pancake Turners can be used for grilled cheese sandwiches, crepes, burgers, and more.
Here’s the deal, I realize everyone has a spoon or several spoons in their kitchen. But this is where we will get a little more specific. You need a spoon that feels good in your hands to stir, you don’t want it too short and not too long either.
If you have a tall pot you need a longer spoon, if you are using a 4-quart pot, you can use a smaller one. Here is an 8-inch Stainless Steel Silicone Spoon, it’s perfect for smaller pans or bowls for mixing. These 10-inch Silicone Spoons are great for mixing up or stirring in medium-size bowls and pans.
It’s nice to have a gravy ladle and a soup ladle. They are two different sizes. In the olden days, if you bought a set of stainless steel silverware you automatically received a matching gravy ladle. Not anymore, or at least the set I purchased at Costco didn’t. I’m still using my wedding gift gravy ladle, it’s 52 years old and still going strong. It doesn’t match my other stainless steel items, but hey, I have a gravy ladle. 12-inch Stainless Steel Ladle and here’s a smaller Gravy Ladle.
7. Gravy Bowl
Do you love gravy? I sure do. If you need help making it, this is how I make it. I love having a gravy boat or bowl. Gravy Boat/Bowl
- 1 cup Turkey, Chicken, or Beef Drippings
- 1-2 cups of Flour
- 1 quart Water or Milk (I use water more than milk)
- Salt & pepper
1. I use the pan that the turkey, chicken, or beef was baked in with the "drippings" and bring the liquid to a boil. If you have very little juice or drippings, add some water. Now, I can't give you exact measurements because this depends on the size of a turkey, chicken, or roast you purchased and how many drippings are available. Over time, with experience, you'll learn.
2. I take about 1-2 cups of flour and put it in a quart jar with cold water and shake it like crazy.
3. I slowly add this mixture to the hot boiling turkey, chicken, or beef drippings. Use a whisk and stir constantly.
4. I have a quart pitcher with cold water to add to this pan as the gravy thickens. I add water until it's the consistency I prefer. Not too runny, but not too thick.
5. I add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Yep, it's the sugar that brings out the best flavor. Of course, it's optional.
6. If you have some lumps, no worries, bring out the hand mixer. The flavor is fabulous and so easy to make.
You can never have too many whisks, I use them for so many things. Scrambled eggs, gravy, making Jello, etc. It’s nice to have different sizes, right? Stainless Steel Whisks
9. Danish Whisk
By now you know, I love Danish Whisks, I use them all the time. You can buy a stainless steel one or one with a wood handle. If you are looking for a dishwasher-safe one, I recommend a Stainless Steel Danish Whisk. What I like about the Danish whisk is the fact that if we lose power, it works great for pancakes, eggs, cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and even cakes. Yes, I have a sweet tooth.
10. Hand-Crank Egg Beater
Here again, we must always be prepared for power outages, I grew up using one of these and you probably did as well. It can whip eggs fast, for instance. But, it’s good for just about mixing up anything, if it’s whippable. Hand-Crank Egg Beater
11. Lemon/Lime Reamer
I use those awesome True Lemon and Lime Packets when I don’t have fresh fruit. But, I love to squeeze some fresh lime over my Mexican dishes. So I use one of these Lemon/Lime Reamer.
12. Pasta Server
Who loves pasta as much as I do? I know, it has a lot of carbs, but even so, I like to have spaghetti at least once a month. It helps to have a pasta server after you cook the spaghetti, right? Tongs are okay, but a true Spaghetti Server is best!
13. Rolling Pin
It’s funny, as I write about a rolling pin, I’m wondering if any of my daughters even have one! I actually started to laugh. I’m not sure they would have one. Oh, they must, right? I use mine when I make bread, some dinner rolls, pizza dough, and if I attempt to make a pie crust. So there you have it, everyone needs one. Rolling Pin
14. Slotted Spoon
Sometimes, a slotted spoon comes in handy to serve some foods where you want to drain the broth or serve something without scooping up all the gravy or sauce. It’s perfect for straining vegetables as you serve them. Slotted Spoon
15. Bread Board
Over the years I have given my daughters a good breadboard, my motto is to buy right the first time. If you keep it oiled it should last a lifetime. I have a few different sizes, but my favorite one is the larger one. Large Cutting Board In order to keep it nice, oil it often, this is what I use. Cutting Board Oil
16. Good Knives
Over the years I have tried many different knives. You may remember me telling you, I had the privilege of teaching classes at fancy kitchen stores. Therefore, I learned about the best knives. I quickly learned ceramic one are not for me. They can’t be sharpened and they can snap or break whatever you want to call it. They are expensive, but I prefer metal ones, a lot more.
One day I was at Costco, and they had a “Roadshow” where this guy was selling “Cutco” knives. I love the fact they sharpen them for free. You may have to pay to ship the knives to them for sharpening, I can’t remember.
I highly recommend you watch for one of their “Roadshows” and purchase one or two knives at a time. You will be thrilled how well they cut, and stay sharp. Plus, you can get them cheaper by buying a package deal.
They tend to be pretty expensive, but they are truly the best knives I have ever used. I gifted a few to my son-in-law and he loves them. He protects them like they are gold. He keeps them in sleeves and loves to cook with my daughter in the kitchen. These are my two favorite ones, the CUTCO Model 1766 Santoku and this one, the Model 1764 CUTCO Traditional Cheese Knives (perfect for so many things like tomatoes! This is the bread knife I use, Cutco 1724 10 Inch Bread Knife
17. Vegetable Shears
It’s nice to have a pair of kitchen shears that are dishwasher safe so they are not cross-contaminated with other foods. I use mine for cutting bacon, snipping herbs, cutting up pizza slices, cutting up lettuce, and so many other items. Vegetable Shears The advantage of kitchen shears is that they are sharper compared to craft scissors.
18. Lettuce Cutter
One thing I learned many years ago if you use a plastic lettuce knife it will keep the lettuce from getting rust-colored edges. ZYLISS Lettuce Knife
19. Cheese Slicer
Mark loves thinly sliced cheese so he always uses a cheese slicer. I use my Cutco cheese slicer. It’s all about how you prefer your cheese sliced. OXO Good Grips Non-Stick Cheese Slicer
My favorite spatulas are silicone because I can use them with a hot cast iron pan or scraping the frosting from a bowl. Spatulas
21. Measuring Cups
When I’m in the kitchen, I love seeing the distinct numbers on the handles of my measuring cups. These are the ones I give as wedding gifts. Measuring Cups. These nestle inside each other so that’s a bonus for me since it saves so much room in my kitchen drawers.
22. Measuring Spoons
Of course, having one or two sets of measuring spoons is critical for any cook or baker. Measuring Spoons
23. Dough Scraper
Whenever you need something to scrape stuff off your countertop, (carefully so as not to cut the counter) this is my go-to tool. I use it to cut my bread dough because I learned years ago never to stretch bread dough. I cut my bread dough into sections, and do the same with my dinner rolls as I cut the dough into portions. Dough Scraper
24. Pastry Cutter
My kitchen has one of these, but it is used rarely because I find I need to take most of the weekend to make the best pie crusts and really have trouble finding the time! But even so, every kitchen needs one of these to cut the butter into the flour for pie crusts. My dream would be to make a coconut cream pie, I’m good at making a crust for chicken pot pies, but I want the challenge for fruit pies. Pastry Cutter
25. Hand Blender
Oh my gosh, I remember getting one of these about 30 years ago, maybe. If I had lumps in gravy, I would use this, and bim-bam they were gone. Braun Hand Blender
Now, I have the giggles, I never sift anything, even if the recipe calls for sifting. Don’t get me wrong, my mom sifted flour all the time. She used the sifter to sprinkle powdered sugar on cakes or fancy desserts. I have used mine to sift a little powdered sugar on fresh strawberries. My mom would be so proud I have one in the cupboard. Bellemain Stainless Steel Sifter
27. Vegetable Peeler
Do any of you have a few of these? I do because it’s how I roll. I used to peel so many things, then I learned how good the peelings are on certain vegetables, especially if they are Organic! So, sometimes I peel the cucumbers, and sometimes I don’t. But I still want a peeler, just in case the zucchini’s get overgrown, for one thing. Vegetable Peeler
28. Cheese Grater/Shredder
Were you aware that cheese that is purchased “grated or shredded” may have additives like potato starch and natamycin to keep it from clumping? Yes, I still buy it, but it tastes so much better freshly grated. Cheese Grater and this cheese grater for fresh Parmesan, Zyliss Classic Rotary Cheese Grater
I use a funnel almost every day. If I purchase large bags of food, I break them down into quart or pint mason jars. This is the funnel I use for canning, Canning Funnel. This one is for any food that you don’t want spilling over the jars. Plain Funnel
30. Cookie Scoop
As you know I love to bake, and cookies are one of my favorite treats, besides ice cream. Yes, I have a sweet tooth! In case you missed this post, Soft Sugar Cookies. This is my favorite Cookie Scoop
31. Garlic Press
I’m so glad readers are reminding me of the ones I forgot to add! I love press garlic and a garlic press or squeezer is awesome! Garlic Press
32. Alaskan Ulu Knife
Angie reminded me of a knife she uses from Alaska. It’s an Ulu knife. My husband picked this up when on a trip to fish for halibut with family members in Alaska. I put the date of August 1- 4, 1995 on it when he returned so we could remember when he took the trip. Boy how the time flies.
It’s very sharp and is often used to cut the skin from game animals. My friend uses hers to cut up herbs on her wood cutting board in her kitchen. I’m sure it could come in handy cutting most anything as part of meal prep. Ulu Factory Alaskan Knife
I love adding a little “zest” to meals, salads, scrambled eggs, etc. It adds a little flavor and makes the dish pop with a zing. This is the zester I have, Microplane Zester and Angie mentioned this one, Foldable Zester/Grater
Thanks to Rhonda for telling me about this serving/cooking utensil. She said, “It’s not listed as a ServeSpoon, but I found it there under “ALL-IN-ONE KITCHEN TOOL SPATULA SKU: 1819” ( Lehman’s). Or Amazon, Spatula Server Made in The USA, 8-7/8
Cooking Utensils You Need In The Kitchen
There is something about cooking with family in the kitchen. Please let me know what cooking utensils are your favorites and which ones I need to add. It’s all about making memories together cooking from scratch in the kitchen. We can do this and have fun at the same time. May God Bless this world, Linda
21 thoughts on “Cooking Utensils You Need In The Kitchen”
Good to see this. I was worried when there was no post from you on Friday and Saturday. Hope all is well.
Hi Harry, Mark and I drove to Arizona (one day there and one day back) for my granddaughter’s wedding. I love our group Harry, we care so much about each other. Life is good with awesome friends. Stay safe, stay well, Linda
Woo Hoo! Linda, I have them all except the lettuce knife. I didn’t realize I had such a well stocked kitchen. We don’t have an electric can opener. We’ve only have the hand cranked ones. We had an electric one, but it didn’t work as well as the hand cranked one. I also have a jar opener. Good to have, too. I have to use it as my hands aren’t as strong as they used to be.
Hi Deborah, oh this is the best ever! What would you add to my list, girlfriend?? Life is good when we can compare kitchen doo-dads! Linda
My giggle–the “skimmer” in my kitchen is actually a stainless steel kitty-box scooper/sifter that I got free some years ago! I didn’t need a kitty-box scoop, but the item looked like the perfect thing for lifting doughnuts, things that need to drain–and it is.
As for spatula–I have 2 favorites, both metal. One is a stainless steel one, small, stiff, straight-edge–best thing for scraping a pan clean or making scrambled eggs (marked “Ace ServeSpoon”–be careful, there are flimsy copies that bend!). The other has to be well over 100 years old–wooden handle, thin/flexible metal, straight-edge, ideal for folding omelets, flipping pancakes, lifting fish… My mother said she remembered *her* mother using it before they moved to N.H. in the 1920s!
The other item I couldn’t manage without is a “granny fork”–about the size of a dinner fork, but with three quite sharp tines and a good handle (mine are so old that three have bone handles, one wood). Makes quite a good whisk, and is sharp enough to hold and flip a steak or pork chop, among other tasks. I’ve seen similar small kitchen forks, modern ones, but they have clumsy tines–no good for whisking, not sharp enough…
Hi Rhonda, I will never look at my doughnut skimmer again the same! It’s a kitty litter scooper! LOL! I need a good stainless steel spatula for my cast iron pans. I’m going to look for the one you are talking about. Great tips! Linda
I’m pretty sure Lehman’s has something like the ServeSpoon (I’ve been intending to order a spare) and generally they DON’T sell flimsy! And for cast ion–treat yourself to one of the “chain-mail” scrubber squares– they are perfect for cast iron and almost everything else! I drop mine into canning jars, etc., and shake it to get stuck-on stuff loose!
Hi Rhonda, I just looked at Lehman’s, I love that store. It’s on my bucket list to visit someday! I couldn’t see one! I have seen the chain-mail scrubber, I will order one of those. I love cast iron pans! If you find one like you have. let me know and I will order the ServeSpoon! Linda
It’s not listed as a ServeSpoon, but I found it there under “ALL-IN-ONE KITCHEN TOOL SPATULA
Hi Rhonda, SQUEAL! I just ordered two, thank you so much! I can’t wait to get them!!! Linda
Hi Rhonda, I got the ServeSpoons today, thanks for the suggestion! I’m adding them to the post!! Linda
I have all them all” yaaa” .one thing I use alot not sure the proper name but “my garlic squeezer ” (garlic is my go to for everything) it was my grandma’s.
Ho Joakima, oh my gosh, thank you! I need to add a garlic squeezer!!! Yes, indeed! Adding to the list right now. Thank you, Linda
This is a little off subject but you did mention cooking from scratch, I don’t know if anyone seen the Bloomberg
report from Saturday. It is saying that Wheat prices will be going up due to the amount of wheat there is
because of weather and other factors. Everyone need to grab a bag of flour and yeast so they can make their own
bread or other goodies. If you have the room buy a few extra loaves of sliced bread too and throw in the freezer. Who
knows when the price will go back down.
Hi June, I have heard that about wheat, it’s crazy! I’m very concerned about what I’m reading about prices escalating like never before! Linda
Hi Linda, So glad to get your post today. I was beginning to think I would never hear from you again!. I have been a kitchen gadget junkie for years. I have finally reached the point that I realize “I don’t need all of those things” and have quit buying them. So many of my kitchen “utensils” are so very old. However, they still work great and I keep on using them. I have a set of what I call “cooking” spoon, one sloted, one plain, that have wooden handles with rivets. These spoons have been used practically non-stop since I originally bought them about 65+ years ago. Same with my metal pancake turners, although I’ve always called them spatulas. Didn’t know there was such a thing as a “soft spatula’ for cleaning bowls, pots & pans etc. until I had been married for several years, & I was married in 1956. When were they actually introduced to us for use in cooking? Do you know?
My Dad was a butcher, so we ALWAYS had sharp knives in the kitchen. AND I took what he taught us about sharp knives and keep good Forschner knives and keep them good and sharp. I actually have his set of sharpening stones that he used in his butcher shop. What a great gift they are. I have several of his knives that started out as normal wide bladed knives and are now just mere slivers of metal due to his constantly sharpening them.
You know Linda, this is way off subject, but I just want to say that I am so very thankful and grateful that I grew up when I did. I worry about my grandchildren and great grandchildren and what they may be facing in their lives.
I don’t know about you, but our future in this country doesn’t look all that bright. Out cost of living grows by leaps and bounds every month and I don’t see any relief in sight. However, I pray every night that Things will get better. ALSO, I try REALLLLLY hard to maintain my positive attitude.
Well my dear, thanks again for your wonderful posts, May you and yours stay well and stay safe.
HI Suzanne, I’m so glad to hear from you, my friend!! I want to look into those Forschner knives, I love GOOD knives. I worry about the future of our country as well. Well, the world, actually. I agree it is hard to stay positive. My philosophy may not be the best for some, but I can’t fix or change everything. I know I have to turn off the news a lot. It doesn’t matter what channel, it’s sometimes a big downer. Yes, I want to know what’s going on but, I have to listen to upbeat music (from the 60-70s-LOL), watch a good Netflix movie or TV series that’s upbeat. For me, it can be a field of yellow flowers that brighten my day. It can be a Hummingbird outside my window, or whatever. I am concerned about the rising cost of food. We have one more package of meat in the freezer, I will not buy anymore because the cost is ridiculous. I may look into a Farmer’s butcher-type operation. I do not know how families are feeding their kids these days. If they can’t cook from scratch and stretch a penny, they are in for rough times ahead. Pray for our country! Linda
Just got around to reading this post. Something that I have used for several years to whisk things are chop sticks! I have several sets of metal chop sticks that I use when I whisk an egg for scrambling or if I need to pick things up that one would use tongs for. It took a lot of practice but these take up so little space!
Hi Leanne, metal chopsticks??? I didn’t know they made metal ones!! I love it, I need to try that!! Linda
I would add two things to your list. I love my folding zester and almost always include one with either a shower gift or wedding gift. https://amzn.to/3APt4QB
The second thing is an Ulou knife from Alaska. This rounded knife was used by the Native Alaskans. I love using mine to chop herbs, I can get a better chop with the ulou knife and anything else I have tried.
They also have an ulou bowl that work well with the knife. I want one and my husband has promised to make me one. https://amzn.to/3jUIJaw
Hi Angela, my husband got a Ulou knife when he went fishing in Alaska! I did not know that it was called that! I’m going to add a picture of it to the post, thank you! I like the idea of the folding zester, I’m adding that as well to the post, thank you!! Linda