The Essential Kitchen Tools for Beginners Cooks
For anyone that knows me, they know that I love me some kitchen tools or gadgets as my family calls them. It has become my girls’ mission in life to try to find me a gadget that I don’t already have in my collection. I get asked all the time what tools do you use in your kitchen and what would you recommend for beginner cooks? With this in mind, I have put together a list of the 15 tools I use most often when I am working in my kitchen.
One of the most important things a beginner cook should do is make sure their kitchen is supplied with the basic kitchen tools to make their cooking experience more enjoyable. Having the best kitchen tools for your specific needs can make that time more enjoyable. Whether or not cooking is typically your thing, having the right essential tools will make your cooking experience easy, simple and satisfying.
Here are 15 essential kitchen tools a beginner cook might need and that I use in my kitchen on a regular basis. There are so many kitchen utensils but this includes a few of my favorites.
1 Measuring Cups – There are so many options with regard to measuring cups but my favorite measuring cups for measuring dry ingredients are stainless steel measuring cups. I love the Smithcraft stainless steel measuring cups because they measure from one cup to 1/8 cup. But in all candor, I have found that there are many options in stainless measuring cups that work just as well. My favorite measuring cup to measure liquids is the Pyrex Prepware 2-quart glass measuring cup. This cups allows you to measure large amounts of liquids. I love a glass measuring cup because it does not stain or absorb odors. It is also oven, microwave, fridge, freezer & dishwasher safe. For sticky ingredients such as peanut butter, honey, sour cream and mayo, I prefer the Pampered Chef Measure-All 2 Cup measuring cup. This cup allows you to measure any and all sticky and gooey ingredients and push out the ingredients with ease. No trying to scrape the peanut butter out of the cup.
2. Measuring Spoons – once again I prefer a stainless steel option for measuring spoons. Mainly because they don’t stain or absorb odors and honestly they will not melt in the dishwasher. Am I the only person who can melt things in the dishwasher? There are several options on Amazon where you can purchase stainless steel measuring spoons and measuring cups as a set. I honestly think this is a great way to start your basic kitchen tools collection.
3. Cutting Board – Let me start by saying I have gone through some cutting boards in my lifetime. I am really weird in that I don’t like using a cutting board that looks really worn. That is probably why I shy away from wood cutting boards. I know this will cause some of you to be upset but this is just my preference. I do love a wood cutting board to make a charcuterie board – nothing better. But when it comes to meal prep, I prefer the Pampered Chef large grooved cutting board. It is a big cutting board 18″ by 12″ and it has a grove around the side to catch any juices. Pampered chef also makes a smaller cutting board 8″x 6 1/2″ that I like to pull out for the smaller jobs.
4. Paring Knife – Oh my word yawl the paring knife is my favorite knife in the kitchen. I use a paring knife for so many things because I like the control of a smaller knife as it is not so imitating right? I mean let’s be honest. Knifes are scary (well maybe to me because I have cut myself way too many times) but I just feel in control with a paring knife. Does that make me a control freak???? Maybe so. My favorite paring knife of all time is the Cutco paring knife. In a perfect world, I would own a whole set of Cutco knives but unfortunately that is an expense I cannot afford. But I do not mind spending a little more money on a knife that I use almost every day. The paring knife is one of those knives. I have had this paring knife for about 15 years. I purchased it from my daughter’s friend who was selling them in college. Best purchase I ever made. One great thing about Cutco is that they will sharpen the blade when it gets dull.
5. Chef’s Knife – The Chef’s Knife is the second most used knife in my collection. On this knife, I also bit the bullet after many years of cooking and purchased the Cutco Chef’s Knife. And no I don’t work for Cutco in case your wondering. After purchasing the paring knife and only because I use a chef’s knife on a regular basis, I knew I wanted to invest in the Cutco Chef’s Knife. There are many other options available that are less expensive and still do the job efficiently such as the Pampered Chef Santoku Knife but a chef’s knife is a must in your collection.
6. Garlic Press – I love garlic!!! I add garlic to so many of my recipes and I like using fresh garlic. If you love garlic, a garlic press is a necessity in your kitchen. Over the years I have used numerous garlic presses, but I can honestly say without a doubt the Pampered Chef Garlic Press is my favorite press. I have had my current garlic press for well over 10 years and it is still pressing strong. There are many garlic presses available but I have found the others do not last as long or work as efficiently as the Pampered Chef Garlic Press.
7. Vegetable Peeler – A vegetable peeler makes peeling potatoes, apples, carrots, peaches, tomatoes and more so much easier to peel. Of course, some people like to leave the skin on their vegetables (I love a good potato skin), but if you want to make apple pie, or peel thick-skinned squash, or peel potatoes, a vegetable peeler is a godsend. Depending on the house I am in (I live with my daughters and switch houses every two weeks), I use the Pampered Chef Vegetable peeler or the OXO Good Grips peeler. I prefer the Pampered Chef peeler as I feel the blade is sharper but the OXO comes in a close second. And I love that with OXO you can purchase tools with color. Something about using a orange peeler brings me joy. I have also learned with vegetable peelers you waste less of the fruit or vegetable and remove mainly the peel. As they say “Waste not, want not”.
8. Whisk – Trying to whisk something with a utensil that is not a whisk can be demoralizing. When it comes to making gravy, mixing pancake batter, or getting really fancy and whipping your own cream, you simply need a whisk. I use the Pampered Chef Stainless Steel Whisk. Once again I lean toward stainless steel utensils. I feel you can’t lose with stainless steel. Another option would be the OXO Good Grips Better Balloon Whisk.
9. Microplane Grater – Instead of a box grater, which is bulky and takes up a lot of space, I prefer a Microplane grater. The Microplane’s smaller holes are perfect for grating hard cheeses, zesting fruits, or grating spices like nutmeg; the larger-holed flat grater helps you shred cheddar and potatoes. I use the Pampered Chef Microplane Grater especially with hard cheeses. Please remember that with any grater you gotta watch those knuckles. Nothing worse than shaving your knuckle with a grater. That is one of the reasons I also like to use the food holder on my grater.
10. Can Opener – Wouldn’t it be cool if every can came with a pull tab?. But life is never that easy, and neither is attempting to open a can without a can opener. I prefer a smooth edge can opener as it opens cans without sharp edges. When you remove your lid you are not worried about slicing a finger. Once again depending on the home I am staying, I use either the Pampered Chef Smooth Edge Can Opener or the OXO Good Grips Smooth Edge Can Opener.
11. Mini Serving Spatula – Serving brownies, cookies, or bagel bites has never been easier than when using a mini serving spatula. I am sure some of you are thinking “What would I do with a mini spatula?” But you would be surprised how many times I pull out this specific utensil. Pampered Chef makes a stainless steel mini spatula and both my girls and I love this little guy.
12. Citrus Press – I love me some lemonade, limeade, or just adding fresh squeezed lemon juice to my water. I feel that with more of us drinking water than in the past, you can add a little zip to your water by squeezing a lemon, lime or orange. Also I little extra vitamin C is always a good thing. The Cuisinart Citrus Press and the Pampered Chef Citrus Press will help you easily squeeze every last drop of juice from your lemons, limes and small oranges.
13. Oven Mitts – If you have every burned yourself pulling a hot pan out of the oven, you know that a good oven mitt is one of the most important tools you can have in your kitchen. Recently I stumbled on the Big Red House Oven Mitts. These mitts are some of the best I have ever used. They have the flexibility of a cotton mitt but the heat resistance of a silicone mitt. They also have a terrycloth lining and will withstand temperatures up to 480 degrees. I believe these are the best oven mitts I have ever used.
14. Pizza/ Crust Cutter – Lets be honest, if you have children and a busy household frozen pizza is your go to for a quick meal (or at least in our household). Now that my grandchildren are getting older, they have started helping me in the kitchen. We all know sometimes that can be a dangerous task but cutting a pizza is one thing they can handle. There are so many pizza cutters out there and I have two favorites. The Oxo Good Grips Pizza Cutter and the Pampered Chef Pizza and Crust Cutter. The newer version of the Pampered Chef pizza cutter is really cool because it also has a beveled crust cutter to get into the edges of the pan. I have had mine for well over 10 years and still slices up those frozen pizzas.
15. Ice Cream Scoop – You scream, I scream, we all scream for ice cream. And I sometimes want to scream when I am trying to scoop really hard ice cream. I now want to scream because I have found the perfect ice cream scoop. The Zeroll Original Easy Ice Cream Scoop with a Unique Liquid Filled Heat Conductive Handle. The unique heat-conductive liquid in the handle uses the natural warmth of your hand to make for smooth and effortless scooping and easy release. This ice cream scoop makes scooping ice cream so much easier but I am not sure if that is a good thing or bad thing (lol).
As you may notice I really use a large amount of Pampered Chef products. I have been using Pampered Chef products for years and they tend to be my favorite cooking utensils. And yes when designing my blog, I signed up to sell Pampered Chef in the hopes of bringing in extra income. These Covid Virus Pandemic times has made a serious cut in our incomes. But I do want you to know that I will never recommend a product I truly don’t believe in. If you are a beginner cook and trying to cut corners, I would suggest you go to a Homegoods store and purchase your beginner cooking utensils. Homegoods has some really good options to start you cooking. Although in my experience, I have found that spending a little more money on a good kitchen utensil saves you money in the long run. However, speaking as a person who at one time could not even afford to buy groceries, much less kitchen tools, I totally understand and appreciate the need to stay on a budget. My recommendation is that you spend what you are comfortable with. These are my kitchen favorites but as they say, “you do you”.
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