There are thousands of kitchen gadgets on the market, and choosing the right cookware and utensils can be a challenge. But every chef, whether a newbie or a seasoned gastronome, should stock his or her kitchen with these 10 essential tools. Even veteran chefs can use this list as a guide for or gathering the last few pieces of basic cookware. Whether you’re setting up a new kitchen or simply updating an obsolete kitchen appliance, make sure to have these 10 gadgets at the ready before you attempt that homemade gourmet meal.
This baby needs no introduction. Without a can opener, it would be impossible to open canned goods.
When recipes call for freshly ground black pepper, you’ll need a pepper grinder or a spice grinder to crush the peppercorns. Alternatively, you can use a mortar and pestle to crush pepper and other spices and seeds.
This basic item chops a multitude of foods. Kitchen knives should be large and sturdy enough to cut tough vegetables like winter squash and fit comfortably in your hand. A set should include both serrated-edge and straight-edge knives.
KitchenAid mixers are the gold standard, but many cookware companies offer stand mixers. These appliances mix batter, stir ingredients and knead bread dough for a variety of baked treats.
Traditional pitcher-style blenders or hand-held immersion blenders incorporate ingredients equally well. Use blenders to puree soups, smoothies, shakes, and other dishes.
Food processors take the drudgery out of food prep by automatically slicing, chopping, whipping, or pureeing all kinds of ingredients. This kitchen gadget saves any chef a lot of time and effort.
Digital kitchen timers are essential for knowing when to make baked foods out of the oven and avoid overcooking. They’re also handy for timing the rising of yeast bread and boiling time for eggs.
Paired with the chef’s knife, a cutting board might be the most useful tool in the kitchen. The board protects surfaces and provides a sanitary space for food prep. Plastic cutting boards are inexpensive, but wooden boards are preferred for their durability.
An all-purpose Dutch oven or large, heavy pot is essential for making big quantities of soup, pasta, and roasts. They can also be used to make casseroles in a pinch.
This low-tech kitchen gadget scrapes the last drops out of bowls, extracts the contacts of canned products, stirs food, and folds delicate ingredients together. Silicone spatulas are heat resistant and won’t melt at high temperatures.