You Need These 21 Utensils In Your Kitchen

You Need These 21 Utensils In Your Kitchen

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I was looking around my kitchen and taking inventory of the utensils I tend to use most often. Mark is always reminding me that having the right tools for a project makes all the difference. I thought to myself that I needed to update this post from 2015 and explain again why you need these 21 utensils in your kitchen.

I will list my favorite 21 utensils today, but I would love to hear what your favorite ones are, the ones you can’t cook or bake without. There is something magical when you grab a bowl and start measuring the cups of flour, sugar, spices, and other ingredients to make a successful recipe come to life.

When you use one of these utensils to complete the recipe, it makes the chore so much easier.

When my beautiful granddaughter, Maddie, left for college a few years ago I really thought to myself that college students need a college shower party so they will be prepared for the time ahead when they’ll be fixing their own meals.

We take for granted what we have in our kitchens. I looked for as many duplicate pieces I could find for her in my cupboards and drawers, and still ended up buying a few she really needed.

Related: How to Care for Wooden Utensils

You Need These 21 Utensils In Your Kitchen

Utensils In Your Kitchen:

  1. Danish whisk: I use mine for just about everything. Danish Dough Hand Whisk / Mixer 11″ or 14″. I use it for pancake batter, waffle batter, muffins, and natural yeast making. Some people are so used to using a large spoon to stir varios mixtures, they haven’t learned the benefit of using a whisk. I love mine.
  2. Stainless steel whisk: this one I use for lumpy gravy or to beat some eggs. If I want to take the time, I can use it to make whipped cream, but I would rather use my electric hand mixer. Norpro 3 Piece Stainless Steel Balloon Whisk Set
  3. Pizza cutter: I use my pizza cutter for more than just pizza. I use it to cut crackers and raw bread dough to make breadsticks. OXO SteeL Pizza Wheel and Cutter. We often buy pizza from Pappa Murphy’s, and they make it and you bake it. The pizza cutter is a must have at our house!
  4. Measuring cups: these can be used for measuring so many different things, this is a no-brainer. Some cooks try to estimate how much of an ingredient they’ve put in the bowl, and then they wonder why things didn’t turn out right. These make great gifts for college students or newly wed couples.
  5. Measuring spoons: these can be used for measuring so many small amounts, this is a no-brainer too. Some spices have a real affect on the flavor of the recipe, so even though the spoons may be small, having the right amount is critical. I have three sets of these. You can never have too many, right?
  6. Spatula’s: I like to buy the silicone version because they seem to last longer and I can use them in hot liquids I am stirring on the stove. The silicone ones also seem to be more flexible when trying to scrape the remaining mixture from the bowl.
  7. Pancake turner: these are great for pancakes, French toast, and grilled cheese sandwiches, to name a few ways they are needed. They can also be used to effectively turn over items in the frying pan to make sure all the materials are cooked to perfection, much like a stir fry.
  8. Pastry brush: I love these to make certain things that need to be smothered with butter, sauces, or basted properly are covered all over. These can be used for bread sticks, pies, French bread, and meat marinades.
  9. Garlic press: doesn’t everything tastes better with garlic as an ingredient? Oh, and the health benefits….need I say more? A press makes putting it to use so much easier. I have to be careful how much I add since my husband seems to have trouble digesting too much garlic. I’d love to have more recipes with garlic. Let me know how you put it to use.
  10. Potato masher: this is one of my favorite utensils, but then I like mashed potatoes with just a few small lumps: OXO Good Grips Stainless Potato Masher. If you like mashed potatoes, this is a must for your kitchen inventory.
  11. Cookie scoop: cookies are almost a weekly project at our house. Who doesn’t love the smell of homemade cookies? I bet you are dreaming of making some of your favorites right now. I want to make my favorite pumpkin cookies this time of year. Yummy! This is my favorite masher: OXO Good Grips Medium Cookie Scoop
  12. Tongs: I have several of these in different sizes. You can use them for salads, parties, barbecues, etc. Be careful if you use the version with a plastic or rubberized tip that you don’t melt it when used to turn the goodies on your BBQ, they could melt or become mis-shapen.
  13. Bread knife/knives: please, please buy one really good bread knife. Also, keep your knives sharpened at home, or find a good store that will keep yours sharp by getting them sharpened at least once a year. I’ve always lived by the addage to buy right the first time. A set of high quality knives that are kept sharp will make meal prep a much easier exercise.
  14. Can opener: everyone should have at least two? If we have to totally live off our food storage, we need to be able to open the cans. Don’t poor boy this purchase, get really good quality openers. Buy an extra one of your favorites like this one: Swing-A-Way 407BK Portable Can Opener, Black
  15. Vegetable peeler: I realize we are all trying to eat the peelings on most veggies these days to get the full health benefits, but I still want one of these. There are times that eating the “skin” just doesn’t feel right. Having one of these at least gives the cook options.
  16. Rolling pin: I like to have a big and little one. I have the fondest memories of my daughters, and now grandkids, rolling out bread dough. Did I say cinnamon rolls? Please!
  17. Cheese grater: yep we all need one even if we buy most the cheese we eat already grated. I’ve been writing a number of posts this month that highlight different kinds of cheese balls. We’ve had to grate a whole lot of cheese as part of that process. This is one like The Olive Garden has for those special pasta servings: Zyliss Classic Rotary Cheese Grater
  18. Funnel: I tend to get my work area a little messy when I cook. Using one of these helps keep the mess at a minimum. I use them to measure seeds into a jar, canning fruits and vegetables, making Hummingbird syrup for jars, etc.
  19. Gravy ladle and/or soup ladle: this utensil can make serving liquids so much easier. Why try to move liquids from one container to another using a large spoon? This utensil makes the effort so much more efficient. Remember, they come in all sorts of sizes. Who can use another one in the kitchen??? Me!!
  20. Biscuit cutter: these are great for biscuits and sometimes crackers or cookies. I just ordered these for my new butter cracker recipe: RSVP Stainless Steel Round Biscuit Cutters with Fluted Edge, Set of 4
  21. Thermometer: great for cooking meats, baking bread, and candy. One of these is a must if you cook large meat dishes like a roast turkey, beef roasts, etc. It makes the process so much safer! It also makes cooking candy easier so you don’t burn it when it’s being cooked on the stovetop.
Read More of My Articles  Cooking Utensils You Need In The Kitchen

My favorite food canning resource: USU Extension Service

You Need These 21 Utensils In Your Kitchen

  • Jan: “Joyce Chen” scissors (I just ordered some, squeal!)
  • Cheryl: GOOD Kitchen knives and a sharpener
  • Dang Duffy’s and Harry: Ulu Knife
  • Steff: Kitchen Shears for cutting up salads and pancakes for toddlers

Final Word

Having the right tools, whether in the garden, garage, or kitchen makes all the work we do around the house so much easier, and safer. That’s why I wanted to remind you, you need these 21 utensils in your kitchen.

If you don’t have the majority of these utensils, you are making canning and meal prep much more difficult than it needs to be. Consider buying those you don’t already have, you’ll be glad you did, I promise.

Also, having these now as you try to teach your younger family members how to make the kitchen a fun and worthwhile place to spend time, will make those lessons easier to teach, but will truly set the stage for successful meal preps for a lifetime. May God bless this world. Linda

Copyright Images: Kitchen Utensils AdobeStock_69903665 by Mara Zemgaliete

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    1. DD,
      You beat me to it. I was going to recommend an Ulu and saw your post. We use our Ulu all the time. In fact, when our pizza cutter broke, we used the Ulu to cut the pizza that we had just baked. It worked so great that we decided we did not need a new pizza cutter since the Ulu worked so much better. Plus, the Ulu is much easier to clean than a rolling pizza cutter.

  1. I have never seen a french whip in my life or a biscuit cutter. I was taught by my husbands grandmother to make them by hand. It’s not as messy as it sounds. You learn to feel the dough and you learn by feel when the dough is ready. Then it is so easy to just pat the dough into biscuit size and put it on a cookie sheet. or a cake pan if that is what you want to use. I heard my pastor when we lived in Tennessee telling his wife he didn’t like those little biscuits that came in cans he wished she would learn to make homemade biscuits. Well I asked them to come for supper the next Sunday and I made my cat’s head biscuits. They are about 5″ round and I ended up showing her how to make them after dinner, I sent them home with her and although they were a little wonky but they were good biscuits.
    I told the pastor that you can’t expect a city girl to know how to make real biscuits. My husband howled at that statement and he reminded me that I was a city girl when we married and every thing I made was either spaghetti or from a can or a mix when we first married. It wasn’t until we were married for 3 years after we were married and moved back to his home town before I really learned how to cook, But I told him after those 3 years I had his grandma to show me how to cook and Ma was a fantastic cook and had been cooking since she was 8 years old.

    1. Hi Jackie, oh my gosh, thank you for sharing this great story!! You know I love this kind of thing. I love biscuits, I mean love biscuits. If we could teach people to make biscuits, tortillas, dinner rolls, and bread, people can survive a famine. Linda

  2. I do have all of these except for the Danish whip, and a liquid measuring cup. Liquid and other items measure a tad different. I have a measuring bowl that I use to mix things in. It has a lid that goes on it, but I don’t use it. I do use the pouring spout. I also have a flour sifter. It is a treasured item as it was my grandmothers.

      1. Yes ma’am, it is a treasure. I also have her old wooden rolling pin. It still works great. I love heirloom Tools. They are well used and treasured. I have her bread bowl, too. And yes, I use it to make bread. She used it to make her biscuits in. She didn’t measure anything. Just threw it all together and it turned out great.

        1. Hi Deborah, oh, how I wish I could go back when my mom died and gather up some kitchen tools. I lived 300 miles away and didn’t get a chance to choose some treasures. Those really are heirlooms! Every time you make bread your mom is looking down from heaven and smiling. Linda

  3. What a wonderful list Linda. I would also like to add a few of my personal favorites. Kitchen shears that come apart for cleaning: we use these to open bags, chop salads to bite sized pieces, back in the baby/toddler days here they were exponentially helpful for quickly cutting up pancakes and such for tiny fingers(I have bad RA in my hands, so I love the ease these offer). The Pampered Chef Mix n Chop: absolute best tool when cooking ground meats. Instead of a million chops with a regular spatula as you try to break up the cooking meat, this nifty tool breaks it apart with ease. I am not a rep for their company or anything but I believe in working smarter, not harder and their products last and last. It is difficult to find good quality anything these days. I give one of these with some other kitchen gadgets as New Home gifts to young folks. Our son who is out on his own loves his and all his friends bought one after seeing how it works. I would highly recommend hand washing both items instead of putting them through the dish washer.

    1. Hi Steff, oh I love Pampered Chef products! I have one of those Mix N Chop tools! Love it! I never thought to cut pancakes with kitchen shears! Why didn’t I think of that! Love it! Linda

  4. Linda, please let people know that there are a variety of thermometers, oven, meat and candy are all totally different from room thermometers. Also if you can find a room thermometer that gives the humidity level of the room it’s even better. Divinity candy is directly affected by the ambient humidity. Oven thermometers are a must for any renter, as those ovens are rarely calibrated.

    1. Hi Joy, oh, you are so right! Great reminder for renters, I have several thermometers, one for meat, one for candy, I need to look for one with humidity levels, I like that idea! Linda

  5. This is a great list Linda. My husband teases me about my can opener collection. I have one I use everyday and then keep at least 2 more in my supply cupboard. I also like to use kitchen scissors (KitchenAid brand) to cut up dough, chicken, etc. I also keep a couple of extras of those in my supply cupboard too.

    1. Hi Paula, oh I love your comment! You can never have too many can openers!! OH, the kitchen scissors are a must. I will be adding everyone’s ideas later today, thank you!! Linda

  6. Linda, I FINALLY purchased a Danish whisk!! But I’ll admit that even though you have recommended it several times, it wasn’t until I saw it in use by my sister that I was sold!!
    I have nearly everything on your list. I no longer have a garlic press. I had a really good one but a thief (aka my daughter) tends to steal all of my good stuff. She cooks for her family of 6 while I cook for just myself so she puts those things to good use.
    On the recommendation of a couple of commenters, think I’ll look into getting a ulu for my daughter.

    1. Hi Leanne, I have 4 daughters so I totally understand they want the “good stuff”!! I love it! Oh, the Danish Whisk is the best! I’m so glad you saw one in action! It made me smile, my friend! Linda

  7. I am partial to the Joyce Chen scissors. They are smaller with big handles and I found them so much more comfortable than big kitchen shears, that I only use them now. When a pair gets too old, they go to the craft area and still work for years!

  8. I have 3 Danish whips and love them. Another thing you didn’t mention was a good set of kitchen knives and a way to sharpen them! I use mine every day. Do not get the cheat ones, only the good quality ones that will last for years. Also, my cast iron cook wear is a must! If you get some at a garage sale. check to be sure that the bottoms aren’t warped due to high heat. I have a large can opener that I use for #10 cans plus my regular ones. The rest of your list is spot on!

    1. Hi Cheryl, oh yes, the larger can opener for the #10 cans. We can’t go wrong with cast iron, a great reminder on the warped bottom if buying used. I’m adding the good knives and sharpener as well, thank you! Linda

  9. I have 2 biscuit cutters but what I like to use best is a tin can. I have one that use to have tuna in it. ( I like
    big biscuits) and I used a can opener that cuts the side and not the top and leave the jagged edges. So the top is
    smooth and I just wash it out very well and air it out and I have used it for years and it is great and cheap enough to
    use. My grandma had one like this so I had to have one and found the size of can I wanted. Best way to
    recycle an item.

    1. Hi June, I remember growing up we used a can or a metal drinking cup. I love bigger biscuits, I’m going to save my tuna can, next time! great tip and it recycles at the same time! I love it! Linda

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