14 Kitchen Must Haves

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Beautiful contemporary kitchen.

Ahh, the kitchen. A modern landing zone for some of the most specific and one-task oriented gadgets the world has to offer. For any specific cooking or baking task, there’s a kitchen item designed to perform it. What’s really powerful about the growth in the kitchen accessories market is that there has been more investment in how they can visually add to our homes.

If you think about it, the kitchen is an aesthetic powerhouse in the home. It seems that more and more, companies are learning to fuse functionality and design into the products on the market, so therein lies the biggest question of all: “what exactly do I need?” Below are some of the items that everyone should have in their kitchen:

Chef’s Knife

Finding the perfect chef’s knife can be difficult. Many people settle for a cheaper option that ends up dull and virtually useless within months of purchase. We would recommend doing some research on the subject before purchasing this tool. Overall, you’ll want to look for something that is durable and can perform multiple tasks. Some knives are designed with a specific function in mind, limiting what you can do with it (without dulling the blade). Don’t be afraid to spend a little more on a chef’s knife. In doing so, you can avoid having to buy an entire knife set. Plus, the time investment for taking care of just one knife versus a whole set will leave you more time to enjoy using it!

SaleBestseller No. 1
Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's
  • For home chefs & professionals. This Fibro Pro chef's knife has been the top choice of both home chefs and professionals alike. Expertly crafted with a tapered stainless steel edge that cuts with ease and efficiency.
  • Fit for all tasks. Designed to handle kitchen tasks both big and small, This durable knife's razor sharp and laser-tested blade effortlessly chops, minces, slices and dices. An essential for every kitchen.
  • Easy handling. Each knife features an ergonomic handle made from thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) for a non-slip grip - even when wet. This exceptional knife is weighted and balanced for easy handling.

Cast Iron Skillet

While cast iron is heavier than your standard non-stick pan, the functionality of this item is much higher. Traditional nonstick pans often have plastic handles which can melt if misplaced on the stovetop. Moreover, non-stick pans are less versatile when it comes to performance. Cast iron performs well at high heat levels and can be used on the stovetop, in the oven, or even over a campfire. If properly taken care of, cast iron will last a lifetime and can be passed down from one generation to another.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, 10.25", Black
  • One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
  • Unparalleled heat retention and even heating
  • Pre-seasoned with 100% natural vegetable oil

Instant Pot

The Instant Pot is a modern must-have in any kitchen. Not only is it a pressure cooker, but the newer models perform dozens of various functions. You can use this kitchen essential in so many ways, from cooking rice, to sauteing vegetables, to slow cooking meat or soaking beans. Did you know that you can cook an entire frozen chicken in an Instant Pot in less than two hours? With this one item you can consolidate many standard appliances into one without the complication of extra attachments and parts to wash.

Bestseller No. 1
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker, Warmer & Sterilizer, 6 Quart, Stainless Steel/Black
  • 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer.
  • QUICK ONE-TOUCH COOKING: 13 customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more.
  • COOK FAST OR SLOW: Pressure cook delicious one-pot meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cook your favorite traditional recipes – just like grandma used to make.

Measuring Cups

It almost feels like this one goes without saying, but if you don’t currently have measuring cups, they will change your life for the better. Measuring cups are essential to baking any recipe to perfection and if you’re on a health journey, can actually help you to standardize your snack portions, as well. We would personally recommend a set of metal measuring cups because, as stated before, plastic and hot surfaces really aren’t the best combination.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set (3-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe),Clear
  • Includes 1-cup, 2-cup and 4-cup versions
  • Easy to read measurements in cups, ounces and milliliters. Features a curved spout for precise pouring and easy-grip handles for comfort
  • Durable, high-quality tempered glass is dishwasher, freezer, microwave and preheated oven safe

Mixing Bowl Set

You’d be hard-pressed to get by in the kitchen without mixing bowls around. Not only are they great for baking, but they are also super handy food storage containers, as well. An added bonus is if you can find a set that has handles, as they are easier to move about the kitchen, especially when retrieving food from the fridge. Bowls with handles also make good popcorn containers for movie night!

Bestseller No. 1
7 Piece Mixing Bowls with Lids for Kitchen, YIHONG Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls Set Ideal for Baking, Prepping, Cooking and Serving Food, Nesting Metal Bowls for Space Saving Storage
  • Make Your Cooking Much Easier — Multi-purpose, stainless steel mixing bowl is essential to your everyday kitchen needs,7 different sizes of 4.5, 3.6, 2.7, 2.1, 1.7, 1.1, 0.7Qt will complement your cooking and make cooking much easier. Ideal for making a quick salad, preparing food, mixing batters, or storing and serving food.
  • Multi-use to Meet You Needs — These metal bowls are perfect for everyday use on your home table, they are ideal for serving or even as storage bowls, or ingredient bowls
  • Nesting and Stackable — Easily nest in each other, so you can save space on the countertop, also they can easy storage stack on top of each other, keep them in a spot in the corner of your kitchen, and easily access your food items.

Cutting Board

This is a kitchen essential because it protects your countertops from unnecessary damage. A personal favorite material for cutting boards is glass (because of how quickly it can be cleaned off), but wooden boards are definitely the most practical all-around option. Plastic boards are the most budget-friendly option but they are quickly cut up by knives and won’t last nearly as long as the others. Glass and marble are sturdy options but will dull out your kitchen knives faster, so they may not be the best option if you have a limited knife set. For durability, surface material, and longevity, wood is definitely the best option.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Farberware Bamboo Cutting Board Set, Set of 3
  • ANTIMICROBIAL: Bamboo has natural antimicrobial properties
  • REVERSIBLE: These bamboo cutting board have a reversible cutting surface perfect for everyday food preparation, from slicing fruit to chopping veggie and is a perfect kitchen starter set, housewarming gift or back to school essential
  • NATURAL MATERIAL: Bamboo is a stronger, natural alternative to wood, easy on knife blades, it is substantially stronger than hard woods; Bamboo is one of the most renewable resources in the world

Tongs

You might not think this is a kitchen essential, but once you consider all of its functions, you might change your mind. Tongs get used in so many different ways, the most practical of which is pulling corn on the cob from a pot of boiling hot water. If you’ve ever attempted to do that with a slotted spoon or worse, a fork, you know what we’re talking about. If you haven’t attempted it, please don’t. Because they can be used for tossing salads, plating bacon, mixing noodles and sauces, or flipping chicken nuggets in the oven (to name a few), they’ve made the list.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Hotec Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs Set of 2 - 9" and 12", Locking Metal Food Tongs Non-Slip Grip (Black)
  • FOOD LEVEL STAINLESS STEEL: The heavy duty Hotec kitchen tongs built with stainless steel, sturdy, heat resistance, anti-rust, anti-corrosion, light weight, easy to handle, like new forever. This tongs for cooking comes with a set of 2, standard 9" serving tongs and large sized 12" BBQ grill tongs.
  • PULL RING LOCK AND UNLOCK AND HANGING LOOP: This kitchen tongs set has locking mechanism, pull the ring for lock and push for unlock, super easy operation. Hang them with the hanging loop after use or put in the drawer by pulling the ring to lock it, space saving.
  • ERGONOMIC HANDLE DESIGN AND HEAT RESISTANT: The handle is cushioned with silicon, good for thumb rest and ensures good grip and control. The metal tong head is super heat resistant. Easy to rinse, dishwasher safe.

Storage Containers

Whether you cook at home or eat out for every meal, you will need these in your kitchen. Perfect for storing leftovers, takeout, snacks, meal preps, etc, the hardest part of owning these is keeping them organized. Try to opt for a sturdy plastic that is easily stackable. We’ve found that the weight of glass containers adds up quickly if you’re taking them on the go, so thick, good-quality plastic sets are the best option for both inside and outside of the house.

Baking Trays

The uses for a baking tray are endless, whether food-related or not. You can put freshly cut banana slices on a baking tray in the freezer to save money on pre-bagged frozen fruit. Great for baking desserts, roasting vegetables, or marinating meat, a set of solid baking trays will serve you in more ways than you can dream.

Bestseller No. 1
Wilton Easy Layers Sheet Cake Pan, 2-Piece Set, Rectangle Steel Sheet Pan
  • READY, SET, BAKE: Wilton has the bakeware sets to help you make the most out of your favorite foods. Make a layered sheet cake with ease using the Wilton Easy Layers Sheet Cake Pan Set
  • BAKEWARE FOR EVERY DAY AND EVERY OCCASION: With the Wilton cake pans, you can stack cakes between a layer of delicious buttercream mouse or fruit filling. Bake another batch of 2 cake layer cakes with this bakeware set to double up on the height!
  • NON- STICK: No matter what you're making, the durable non-stick and scratch-resistant coating on our cake pans allows your food to slide or pop out easily, making cleanup almost effortless. Non-stick bakeware sets are a must-have for busy cooks

Silicone Baking Mat

Going along with your baking trays, silicone baking mats have risen in popularity over the past few years, replacing single-use aluminum and paper products designed to keep pans clean. They also prevent foods like zucchini and squash from getting caked onto the pans and can even be used as a protective surface on your countertop while you prepare sandwiches, roll doughs, or form cookies. Because of the mess they can help avoid and their reusability, they make the list.

Bestseller No. 1
Amazon Basics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mat - Pack of 2
  • 2 non-stick silicone baking mats for easy and convenient baking, roasting and food prep
  • Nonstick silicone releases food without the need for grease, cooking sprays, or parchment paper
  • Oven-safe up to 480 degrees F

Salad Spinner

While many would argue that a salad spinner is NOT an essential addition to the kitchen, we would argue what a great colander the inner lining of a salad spinner makes. A salad spinner can act as a bowl with a lid, a pasta strainer, a fresh fruit salad container, and of course, a salad spinner. We would caution against a collapsible version, however, they are not nearly as versatile.

SaleBestseller No. 1
OXO Good Grips Large Salad Spinner - 6.22 Qt.
  • Easy, one handed operation with patented pump mechanism and brake button
  • Soft, non slip knob locks down for storage, and a non slip ring and wide base keep bowl steady on countertop
  • Elegant, clear bowl is perfect for serving, and basket can be used separately as a colander

Can Opener

Can openers are essential because there may come a time when the power goes out and all you have is canned food available. We all know the struggle of not having a can opener and trying to open one with a bottle opener. Be prepared for anything! Invest in a sturdy opener or even an electric one, it will come in handy for opening cans and jars, especially on camping trips!

Bestseller No. 1
OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Can Opener
  • Large, comfortable handles take the pain out of opening cans
  • Features big, cushioned handles for a non slip grip, even when wet
  • Oversized knob turns easily to take the hard work out of opening cans

Blender

The great thing about blenders is that they come in at so many price points within the market that there is a model for every house, whether you make smoothies every day or you’re only interested in making sauces a couple times a year. You can get by with a Magic Bullet blender before upgrading to a bigger, more industrial-strength option. Either way, you’ll find that there are great options for every budget and home.

Bestseller No. 1
Hamilton Beach 58148A Blender to Puree - Crush Ice - and Make Shakes and Smoothies - 40 Oz Glass Jar - 12 Functions - Black and Stainless
  • 700 watts: Peak blending power for powerful ice crushing.
  • Wave action system: 700 watt power blender continuously pulls mixture down into the blades for consistently smooth results.
  • 12 blending functions: Multi-function blender with only 5 simple buttons on the easy to read control panel. Power blender creates smoothies, icy drinks, shakes, and more.

Spatula

When we say each kitchen needs a spatula, we’re talking about a sturdy spatula that’s not going to melt if left in the pan or on the burner. Our favorite is a metal head spatula with a rubber grip handle, wide enough for flipping pancakes or several chicken nuggets or vegetables at a time. A good spatula can even be used for stirring sauces in a pan, proving its versatility in the kitchen.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Unicook 2 Pack Flexible Silicone Spatula, Turner, 600F Heat Resistant, Ideal for Flipping Eggs, Burgers, Crepes and More, Black
  • 2 Pack-including Large and Small spatula. Sturdy, durable construction with a comfortable nonslip handle and silicone head bonded to a flexible stainless-steel core. Ideal for flipping eggs, burgers, crepes and more.
  • Thin, flexible silicone head with an angled edge that glides easily beneath food without damaging it.
  • Spatula head is made of supreme silicone, heat resistant to 600°F.

Final Thoughts

What’s great about the kitchen is that it has endless potential for design and function. With so many products on the market, it’s hard to decide which gadgets are essential and which are too specific for your needs. Ultimately what determines whether an appliance or kitchen gadget is a “must have” is how much use you get out of it. The comprehensive list above outlines some of the most versatile and functional equipment you could need either in or out of the kitchen.

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