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 Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP, 8 Inch, Black
  • 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 With Assist Handle, 10.25", Black
  • One Lodge Pre-Seasoned 10.25 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
  • Assist handle for better control
  • Unparalleled heat retention and even heating

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.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 14 One-Touch Programs
  • Best selling model: America’s most loved multi cooker, built with the latest 3rd generation technology, the microprocessor monitors pressure, temperature, keeps time, and adjusts heating intensity and duration to achieve desired results every time
  • Cooks fast and saves time: The Instant Pot Duo multi-cooker combines 7 appliances in one: Pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, yogurt maker and warmer – and cooks up to 70% faster
  • Consistently delicious: 14 one-touch smart programs put cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more on autopilot – with tasty results

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.

Bestseller 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!

SaleBestseller No. 1
Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece Set, Nesting, Microwave and Dishwasher Safe)
  • Mix, microwave and serve in a single bowl! Cleanup is a snap thanks to dishwasher safe glass that also nests neatly to save cabinet space
  • Includes (1) 1-Quart, (1) 1.5-Quart and (1) 2.5-Quart Glass Mixing Bowls
  • Durable high-quality tempered glass is dishwasher, freezer, microwave and preheated oven safe

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
Gorilla Grip Original Oversized Cutting Board, 3 Piece, BPA Free, Dishwasher Safe, Juice Grooves, Larger Thicker Boards, Easy Grip Handle, Non Porous, Extra Large, Kitchen, Set of 3, Black
  • NOT ALL CUTTING BOARDS ARE CREATED EQUAL!! Our professional quality cutting boards and cheese servers are both strong and durable to help ensure that they remain in place on most smooth and clean surfaces.
  • MUCH LARGER AND THICKER: Our cutting boards have been designed to satisfy even the most demanding chef needs! The set of three comes with: a large 16'' x 11.2'', a medium 13.8'' x 9.6'' and a small 11.8'' x 8'' size. They are thicker and larger than most other cutting boards and contain deep grooves to catch juices so your countertop stays clean.
  • CLEAN and SAFE: The boards are dishwasher Safe and BPA Free. Plus, they're non-porous (unlike wood/Bamboo), so they won't splinter, crack or peel. No oiling or maintenance necessary!

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
2 Pack Black Kitchen Tongs, Premium Silicone BPA Free Non-Stick Stainless Steel BBQ Cooking Grilling Locking Food Tongs, 9-Inch & 12-Inch
  • Heat resistant up to 500 degrees F.
  • Non-stick, Corrosion resistant and Odor resistant.
  • Hygienic silicone tongs BPA-free.

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.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Rubbermaid Easy Find Vented Lids Food Storage Containers, Set of 21 (42 Pieces Total), Racer Red
  • Disclaimer: Only 3c, 5c & 7c containers contain vented lid
  • Built-in vent for splatter-resistant microwaving
  • Lids snap together at bases to reduce clutter

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
Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker's Half Sheet (2 Pack), Silver
  • Naturals commercial bakeware is made of pure aluminum which will never rust for a lifetime of durability. For sweet or savory baking; from cookies to sheet pan dinners, this is the pan you’ll reach for
  • Foods bake and brown evenly due to aluminum’s superior heat conductivity. Reinforced encapsulated steel rim prevents warping and adds strength
  • Compatible with parchment paper or silicone baking mats if desired. Easy clean up; hand wash recommended

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.

SaleBestseller No. 1
AmazonBasics Silicone, Non-Stick, Food Safe Baking Mat - Pack of 2
  • 2 non-stick silicone baking mats for easy and convenient baking
  • No need for oil, 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.

Bestseller No. 1
Cuisinart CTG-00-SAS Salad Spinner, Green and White
  • Fabric Type: Stainless Steel
  • Hand washed for best results

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!

SaleBestseller No. 1
OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Can Opener,Black,None
  • 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.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Ninja Professional 72 Oz Countertop Blender with 1000-Watt Base and Total Crushing Technology for Smoothies, Ice and Frozen Fruit (BL610), Black
  • The Ninja professional blender 1000 features a sleek design and outstanding performance with 1000 watts of professional power 64 ounce maximum liquid capacity
  • Ninja total crushing blades gives you perfect ice crushing, blending, pureeing, and controlled processing crush ice and frozen fruit in seconds
  • The 72 ounce professional blender jar is perfect for making large batches of creamy, frozen drinks and smoothies for the entire family also perfect for large batches of delicious margaritas and daiquiris

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
M KITCHEN WORLD Heat Resistant Silicone Spatulas Set - Rubber Spatula Kitchen Utensils Non-Stick for Cooking, Baking and Mixing - Ergonomic, Dishwasher Safe Bakeware Set of 4, Orange
  • PREMIUM QUALITY: BPA Free, high quality, flexible, non-sticking and heat-resistant silicone (up to 480°F)
  • EASY TO HANDLE: Use as scraper spatula, icing spatula, baking or mixing spoon and good with heaviest batters
  • VERSATILE: Use for waffles, flipping eggs, pancakes, fold fruits into batters, icing cakes, and cupcakes

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.