My Most Used Kitchen Tools: The Top 15

It’s no secret that going from packaged food to homemade food means more time in the kitchen. And that’s okay because our health (and our family’s health) is absolutely worth the extra effort! To make my time in the kitchen as efficient as possible and to also be able to multitask when I’m in there (i.e., throw a batch of breakfast granola in the oven while I’m prepping dinner), I’ve found having the right kitchen tools – and enough of them – is key.

My Most Used Kitchen Tools and Appliances on 100 Days of Real Food

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My Most Used Kitchen Tools and Small Appliances

  1. Good-quality knives.
    The majority of the foods I prepare require a little chopping, so good-quality knives are at the top of my list for a reason.We started with this set and then added this outstanding 6″ cook’s knife. My husband and I reach for it first since it is so versatile and well balanced. And when you think your knives are no longer working very well, just give them a quick sharpening. It can make such a difference!
  2. Durable cutting boards.
    We have quite a variety of cutting boards in all sizes made of both wood and plastic. This is another item that often gets used daily.
  3. Kitchen shears.
    I dedicated an entire blog post to my love of kitchen shears! We own three pairs and for good reason – that’s how often we use them.
  4. Stainless steel measuring cups and spoons.
    This is another one where I have several sets of each, and that comes in handy when I am multitasking in the kitchen. The cups are good for dry ingredients and the spoons are good for just about anything!
  5. Glass measuring cups (with handle).
    These are optimal for wet ingredients, and we have them in the 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup sizes. It’s another inexpensive tool that can go a long way.
  6. Two sets of these bowls since we were married, and I almost shed a tear when one broke from each set (on separate occasions). We use them for mixing, storing, and serving – all the time!
  7. Slow cooker.
    I use my slow cooker at least once a week, including sometimes overnight for stocks and soups. As a busy mom, I honestly don’t think I could survive without it!
  8. High-quality pots and pans (+ metal spatulas to go with them!).
    This is another one that gets daily use at our house. You truly can’t do much cooking without pots and pans, and if you invest in a high-quality brand (I personally love All-Clad), they will last a lifetime!
  9. Cast iron skillet.
    A well-seasoned cast iron skillet is great for making all sorts of goods such as tortillas and corn bread. Luckily, you don’t have to spend much to get a decent one. I think the one we’re still using was purchased from Walmart in college.
  10. High-quality blender.
    I’ve tried a few of the top choices including Vitamix, and (they’re not paying me to say this!) Blendtec is honestly my favorite blender. Whether it’s for smoothies, soups, nut butters, or sauces, this appliance is essential.
  11. Hand immersion blender.
    I don’t know how I ever made soup without one of these! I used to try to transfer the soup to the countertop blender in batches (and the heat would sometimes threaten to blow the lid off), run out of room in the blender, and then have to find a third container to hold the pureed stuff until I was done. Let’s just say it was a HUGE mess, but all that changed when I picked up one of these super affordable appliances.
  12. Food processor (big and small).
    My food processor is not something I use every day, but it’s pretty key when it comes to certain jobs. I use it to make pesto, dough, large quantities of grated cheese, homemade Larabars, and more. It would be hard – although not impossible – to do these things without it!
  13. Stand mixer.
    This is another good one when it comes to making dough and also whipped cream, batter, and frosting. I don’t use my mixer as often as I use my food processor, but I definitely like to have it around! This is another one of those tools that can last a lifetime if you buy a decent quality one.
  14. Salad spinner.
    Funny enough, we did not own a salad spinner before we cut out processed food, and now we use it regularly! I’ve found it’s not only great for lettuces and greens but also for fresh herbs.
  15. Baking sheets.
    This is something else we use every week for baking our breakfast granola among other things. It’s a pretty basic tool with so many different uses. It’s definitely a staple in my opinion!

I’d love to know how your most used kitchen tools compare. Did I leave anything important off the list?

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20 thoughts on “My Most Used Kitchen Tools: The Top 15”

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  1. Your list includes many great things. I have a few more suggestions:
    * I couldn’t live without my pressure cooker. It is such a great time saver and it is especially great for cooking tougher cuts of meats that usually take a long time to be tender. You can usually cut the cook time to 1/3 of the original time. I can’t recommend a pressure cooker enough!
    * A food chopper is also a great time saver. I’ve had one for many years and use it regularly. It’s great for onions, nuts, spices. I’ve used it on numerous things that I want chopped.
    * Good quality scrapers/spatulas are indispensable! I particularly like silicone ones, because they are flexible and can handle some heat.

    Thanks for your blog and your great ideas!

  2. Hi, Lisa. These 15 items are also the most used kitchen tools in my kitchen. I can’t think not a single moment without these things in my kitchen. Thanks for sharing.

  3. You use all the items I use!! What is the exact model of the Blendtec you are using in the video, been trying to figure it out, I can tell it’s one of the Designer ones but not sure which model number, can you let me know!!! Thanks, Greatly appreciated!

  4. OXO storage containers, I use a basic Oster Smoothie blender for daily smoothies, a mandoline for really uniformly sliced veggies and some fruit, a potato peeler and the Vitamix.

  5. What do you use for storage containers/pantry containers, for various flours, etc.? I recently bought the duralex storage containers that you recommend, and I really like them. Thanks!

  6. I really enjoyed this post. I noticed the pots and pans you mentioned were stainless steel, do you have any issues with items sticking? What are your thoughts on ceramic pans?

    1. Amy Taylor (comment moderator)

      Hi there. We love quality stainless pans! For some things like eggs, we do use more healthy fat to avoid sticking. While I personally use a ceramic griddle from time to time, I think the jury is still out on the ceramic coating. :)

  7. All of those you mentioned plus a Microplane. I use it all the time to grate garlic, ginger and hard cheese. Also, to zest citrus. Love that thing!

  8. My new #1 kitchen tool is my Instant Pot pressure cooker. It sautees, slow cooks, makes yogurt, steams rice. I can make creamy steel cut oats in a few minutes with no stirring. I made a beef stew in under an hour total time including chopping.

    1. That’s awesome! I didn’t know you could do yogurt in a pressure cooker! I’ve been thinking about getting a one, but just haven’t made the leap.

  9. Convection Oven! My mother got me a Breville for my wedding, and we can’t live without it. It cooks everything (frozen fish, cookies, pizza). It’s faster and creates less heat than a standard kitchen oven.

  10. Jill Randy Chong

    Kitchen scale. I am on a low-carb/high-fat diet and I use the scale to get accurate ounce and/or gram readings for the carbs.

    1. Kitchen scales are also essential for baking. Whenever possible, I weigh out dry ingredients to get a more precise measurement. I love my stainless steel mixing bowls. Chip resistant, unlike glass, and perfect to pop in the freezer with beaters to pre-chill for whipping cream in. Salad spinners are also great for berries.

  11. I used to have a food processor, but it burned out and I never replaced it. I have an induction stove and work from home, so I don’t really need a slow cooker. Now that I have induction, I’m completely in love with it.