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.

Bestseller No. 1
Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, Pre-Seasoned with Silicone Hot Handle Holder , 10.25 Inch Dia, Black/Red Silicone (L8SK3ASHH41B)
  • CAST IRON SKILLET is 10.25 inches in diameter and includes red silicone hot handle holder. An improvement on the original: the Lodge Cast Iron Skillet, featuring an assist handle. This will be your go-to pan for generations to come
  • SEASONED CAST IRON COOKWARE. A good seasoning makes all the difference. Lodge seasons its cookware with 100% vegetable oil; no synthetic coatings or chemicals. The more you use your iron, the better the seasoning will get
  • CAST IRON provides superior heat retention and is unparalleled for even cooking. Lodge Cast Iron Skillets are at home in the oven, on the stove, on the grill or over the campfire

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.

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
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (Set of 6) Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set - Easy To Clean, Nesting Bowls for Space Saving Storage, Great for Cooking, Baking, Prepping
  • SIZED for EVERY TASKS - With range of 6-Sizes ¾, 1.5, 3, 4, 5, and 8 quart, metal mixing bowls add versatility and functionality to your kitchen. For all-purpose kitchen workhorses from prepping, mixing, stirring, to kneading dough like a pro.
  • STAINLESS STEEL - Features an attractive mirror finish, for an elegant look enhancing your kitchen tools. These metal bowls are easy to clean, as well as odor, stain and taste resistant.
  • DURABLE yet LIGHTWEIGHT - Our lightweight stainless-steel bowls-ideal for everyday tasks-are made from freezer- and dishwasher-safe, durable shatterproof materials, to last a lifetime.

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
HOMWE Kitchen Cutting Board (3-Piece Set) - Juice Grooves with Easy-Grip Handles - BPA-Free, Non-Porous, Dishwasher Safe - Multiple Sizes (Gray)
  • Precision Cutting Surface – Crafted with a thick, heavy-duty plastic, our BPA-free and latex free cutting boards provide a clean food prep surface for every meal.
  • Multiple Prep Board Pack – Each order comes with three distinct cutting board sizes, including small, medium and large; perfect for multi-course meals or all-day use.
  • Juice Grooves & Handles – These reversible cutting boards feature juice grooves to catch sticky or acidic drippings and non-slip handles to protect you and surfaces.

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.

Bestseller 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.

Bestseller No. 1
Large Food Storage Containers 5.2L / 176oz, Vtopmart 4 Pieces BPA Free Plastic Airtight Food Storage Containers for Flour, Sugar, Baking Supplies, with 4 Measuring Cups and 24 Labels, Blue
  • Make a Huge Difference in Pantry Organization ---- If you already got tired of messy flour and sugar bags, then don't hesitate to choose our large food storage containers. These flour containers will make everything looks neat and in order. Come with 4 premium food storage canisters, 4 measuring cups, 24 chalkboard Labels, this container set will also be an ideal gift for any family.
  • Perfect for Storing Dry Food ---- The size of each container is 7.5 x 7.5 x 9.1 inch ( 5.2L / 176 oz) , with the large capacity, these kitchen storage containers are perfect for many kinds of dry food and baking supplies, such as flour, sugar, rice, grain, chips, cereals, nuts, beans, snacks, pasta, coffee and tea. Plus wide enough openings to reach in with measuring cup.
  • Made from High-Grade Plastic ---- These pantry storage containers are made from high-grade BPA free plastic, which has decent quality. Containers are fairly sturdy and nice looking, which are worth every cent you paid for them. The clear plastic let you see what is in the container, you can get what you want easily without opening every container.

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.

Bestseller 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 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
KitchenAid Can Opener, Black, One Size
  • Stainless Steel Blade: The KitchenAid Can Opener is made from strong stainless steel that will easily puncture and open all types of cans
  • Easy to Turn: An oversized, easy to grip turn knob allows for opening cans with ease
  • Ergonomic Handles: This can opener is durable and comes with ergonomic handles to provide a sure grip

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
Ninja Professional Countertop Blender with 1100-Watt Base, 72 Oz Total Crushing Pitcher and (2) 16 Oz Cups for Frozen Drinks and Smoothies (BL660), Gray
  • Ninja professional blender with Nutri Ninja Cups has 1100 watts of professional performance power with 3 speeds, pulse, and single serve functions
  • 72 ounce total crushing pitcher pulverizes ice to snow in seconds for creamy frozen drinks and smoothies
  • Two 16 ounce Nutri Ninja cups with to go lids are perfect for creating personalized, nutrient rich drinks to take on the go

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.

Bestseller 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.