If you haven’t been focused on using your kitchen too much over the years or you are finding you are cooking at home more often these days, you may find that you aren’t really prepared with the proper cooking utensils. Of course, a walk through the kitchen aisle in a store can leave you feeling overwhelmed and ready to give up adding anything else to what you already have. After all, do you know why there are so many different types of spoons? Or even strawberry huskers?

Thankfully, we have created a list of the food preparation utensils every kitchen must have. As you are reading through this list, you may find utensils you know you will never use. That is completely okay, because not everyone needs to use them all. However, this extensive list should give you an idea of what you might want to consider adding to your kitchen this year.

The Essential List of Food Preparation Utensils


1. Kitchen Tool Organizer

Okay, so before you head out to the store to get what you need for your kitchen, we recommend deciding where you are going to store everything. After all, you must have a plan, so you know where each utensil is located when you need them. We recommend either purchasing, or creating, a kitchen tool organizer that will work for your needs. This will ensure every utensil has a place to live in your kitchen.


If you are unsure of what utensils you are purchasing yet, you can feel free to wait until you have everything back home. Then you can decide the best way to store all your new kitchen utensils.


2. Bread Bin

Not many people think to have a bread bin anymore, but honestly, these are perfect for keeping your bread fresh. Bread should never be in direct light, but it needs to be well ventilated. A bread bin is the perfect option, because just enough air flow can get through without adding light to the mix. Plus, the bread box will prevent your bread from getting wet if something happens to spill on your counter.


3. Bottle Opener

Bottle openers can come in handy for so many things. While many people use them to open a bottle of liquid, we have found they can be used to pop the tops on those hard to open jars. If you have never tried using a bottle opener to do that, we urge you to try it today.


4. Corkscrew

While many bottles of wine are sold with screw tops, you don’t want to miss out on tasting some delicious wine simply because you don’t own a corkscrew. There are many types of corkscrews out there to purchase. We recommend getting a sturdy one over the cheaper, flimsy options, because they are so much easier to use.


5. Ladle

Ladles are large spoons that make serving soup and other liquid items easy. Some people can go years before they realize they don’t have a ladle in their kitchen. Of course, they think of purchasing one all the time, but since it isn’t a kitchen utensil that gets used much, everyone forgets about it.


6. Pizza Cutter

Pizza cutters have so many uses besides cutting up pizzas. You can use this utensil to cut up flatbread, French toast, and even cookie bars.


7. Meat Thermometer

Have you ever wondered if you are overcooking some types of meat? Or even undercooking them? If you have never used a meat thermometer before, you truly don’t know what you are missing out on. There are many types of meat thermometers available and you don’t need the fanciest one to do the job. This is one of our top choices for kitchen utensils, because it can prevent you from completely ruining a meal.


8. Masher

Some people place their cooked potatoes in a mixer to mash for dinner, but you can use a masher instead. Plus, mashers are quite versatile, because you can use them to mash up avocados and other foods. Yes, you can use a fork for the avocados, but a masher will make the job so much easier.


9. Tongs

Tongs are perfect for picking up meats, tossing pasta, and even grabbing hot dogs off the grill. You can purchase metal tongs or ones with silicone at the ends. The ones you purchase will depend on what you use them for. Although, once you have this utensil in your kitchen, you will find that you will use it for so many more things than you thought.


10. Stirring Spoon

There are so many spoon utensils out there, so it is impossible to just say you need a spoon in your kitchen. A stirring spoon is only one type of spoon you should keep in your kitchen. It can be used to stir sauce, mix up a pasta salad, and so much more. We love wooden spoons, but silicone spoons are wonderful too.


11. Slotted Spoons

Slotted spoons are best used when you want to drain liquid from the food you are serving. Instead of draining the liquid out of the pot or pan, you can simply use this type of spoon to get the food out onto a plate.


12. Spatula

A spatula is perfect for flipping items in a pan, making pancakes, and even taking cookies off a baking sheet. If you are like many people, you will have a couple different spatulas in your kitchen, because each one will have a specific task.

wooden spatula

13. Can Opener

Most canned foods come with ring pulls you can use, but there are still cans out there that you will need to use a can opener for. While you can easily purchase an electric can opener, those take up space on a countertop. Therefore, we recommend getting the handheld ones. They are simple to use and fit neatly inside a drawer.


14. Rolling Pins

If you don’t make cookies or pies, you may think that you will never need a rolling pin in your kitchen. And that could very well be true! However, rolling pins can come in handy for breaking up graham crackers and so much more. Plus, you never know when you may decide to break out an old recipe and make a pie for dessert one day!


15. Colander

No kitchen can be without a colander! You can use this utensil to wash vegetables, drain pasta, and so much more. There are many types of colanders, but we prefer to use the ones that collapse. Those take up so much less storage space, leaving you room for other items in your kitchen.

Classic colander

16. Sieve

If you bake a lot, you are going to want a sieve for getting the clumps out of flour. When you are not using your sieve for baking, you can use it to rinse beans, rice, and other smaller ingredients.


17. Measuring Cups and Spoons

You can never use a regular cup or spoon to measure ingredients for a recipe, because no cups or spoons are the same size. Stacking measuring cups and spoons are the best, because they take up less space in a drawer or cabinet.


18. Measuring Jug

If you have recipes that call for lots of liquid, it can be handy to have a measuring jug. This will prevent you from having to fill a measuring cup multiple times when making something.


19. Kitchen Scales

Depending on where you live, or where you are getting your recipes, a kitchen scale can be useful. Some areas prefer to weigh their ingredients instead of measuring them out. These scales can also come in handy if you are trying to limit your portion sizes.


20. Graters

There are plenty of different graters available to purchase, so it can be easy to go overboard. We recommend purchasing a grater that has different sized holes on multiple sides. This will allow you to own one grater instead of four or five of them. This will save room in your cabinets and drawers and make it possible to know that you can grate anything with just that grater.


21. Vegetable Peeler

So many people use a knife to peel vegetables, but a vegetable peeler makes this job so much easier. Plus, you won’t cut yourself like you would if you used a knife. The best part is most vegetable peelers will let you peel towards you or away from you, so you won’t need to change how you peel when prepping foods.


22. Garlic Press

Many people skip the garlic press, because it is difficult to clean after use. However, if you use a lot of garlic, and don’t want to spend hours chopping it all up by hand, a garlic press may be your new best friend.


23. Kitchen Scissors

Many people keep a pair of scissors in their kitchen to use to open packages. But did you know there are super heavy-duty kitchen scissors you can purchase to cut up whole chickens? Those kitchen scissors can also be used to snip herbs, cut fat off meat, and even cut up dried fruit.


24. Cutting Boards

So many people try to get away with a single cutting board in their kitchen. We don’t know how they do it, because we are always using cutting boards of different sizes. Smaller cutting boards are perfect for cutting up blocks of cheese and fruit, while larger cutting boards are better for serving meat. We also like to use our cutting boards for charcuterie boards, because we love how all the foods look on the wooden-type platter.


25. Chef’s Knife

If you are only going to have one knife in your kitchen, it must be a chef’s knife. This knife is quite versatile and can be used to cut and slice up so many things. It is best to choose a stainless-steel chef’s knife, because it won’t rust like other materials. If you purchase a really good chef’s knife for your kitchen, it should last you for many years.


26. Bread Knife

Some people love to have more than one knife in their kitchen. If that is you, then a bread knife should be on your list as well. Bread knives are perfect if you bake a lot of your own bread or even purchase artisan breads from a local bakery. The serrated edge makes it easier to cut through the bread and keep the slices even.


27. Paring Knife

Paring knives are almost as versatile as a chef’s knife. Paring knives are a little smaller, which makes it easier to use them to chop up vegetables and fruits. Most people will purchase a paring knife and a chef’s knife for their kitchen, so they have the proper sized knife for everything they need to do while preparing meals.


28. Ice Cream Scoop

If you eat a lot of ice cream in your house, you will find that an ice cream scoop is a valuable utensil for your home. Some homeowners have two or three ice cream scoops, so there is always a clean one when needed. You can even get an ice cream scoop offers the ability to scoop cookie dough to drop onto cooking sheets.

ice cream scoop

This is the essential list of food preparation utensils you should consider having in your kitchen. We recommend that you go through your kitchen to see which items on this list you already have. And then consider all the other items to see if they are something you should have in your kitchen as well. You may be surprised at how many utensils are missing from your kitchen. You may also be surprised as to why you haven’t thought of purchasing those utensils before now.

The one thing we can say is that you don’t need to purchase everything on this list. You can skip a few items if you know for sure that you will never use them in your kitchen. This will prevent extra clutter in this room of your home, which we know is something you will appreciate.

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