When building a set of go-to kitchen tools, many stores will try to convince you that a poached egg cup or a cherry pitter is absolutely necessary. Sure, this could mean you make eggs benedict more often or finally make that summer cherry pie. We’re here for it. But certain tools earn their keep for the day-in and day-out usefulness. We’re talking the workhorses that are best kept in a sturdy container next to the stovetop. That’s how useful they are. It’s not a long list, and for good reason. When you have the right tools, you’re set. Paired with a sturdy cutting board, sharp knives, and your HexClad pans, you don’t need much more than these 9 kitchen tools.
Here Are The 9 Kitchen Tools That Will Seriously Up Your Cooking Game
A flexible spatula
Waste not, want not, they say. Well, the flexible spatula is up to the task, scraping every last bit of batter from the bowl into the cake pan, or getting the last bit of cookie dough for a baker’s snack. If you want to make scrambled eggs or an omelet, you need—seriously, need!—a flexible spatula. The flexibility allows the spatula to easily curve along the skillet, meaning it can slip under delicate items like fried eggs, omelets, or even pancakes without damaging them. Opt for a heat-resistant silicone or rubber spatula for durability and safe use in various cooking applications.
We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that no kitchen is complete without a wooden spoon. Sturdy and perfect for stirring, a wooden spoon resists picking up smells and bacteria. Choose a rounded-edge wooden spoon for stirring soups and stews and a straight-edge spoon for scraping the bottom of pans. Because wood warps when exposed to too much moisture, hand-wash rather than dishwash your wooden utensils.
No, people aren’t trolling you when they say cooking fish really is easier with a fish spatula. Characterized by its thin, angled design, a fish spatula is perfect for delicately flipping and turning fillets of fish, but it's versatile enough for other tasks. The thin edge helps to lift foods without them falling apart, making it an excellent tool for any delicate or thin items on the stove or grill. In a pinch, a fish spatula is perfect for pancakes.
Oddly overlooked by many cooks, tongs are absolutely crucial in a well-stocked kitchen. Use them to toss pasta in a pan sauce, to turn sausages on the grill, or to grab green beans from the steamer. The list goes on! Tongs come in a variety of lengths. Choose long-handled ones for grilling, at least 12-inch long ones for high-heat preparations (like using a wok or frying), and 8-inch tongs when you want to use some muscle to toss foods like salad, pasta, or roasted vegetables.
Serving soups, stews, and other saucy dishes is so much easier with a ladle. Look for one with a deep cup that can hold at least 1 cup of food. Anything less will have you working up a sweat while serving.
Not just for turkey day, a basting spoon is ideal for cooking meats and fish on the stovetop. Use it to spoon butter over a perfectly seared steak or a delicate fillet of fish. A basting spoon is great for skimming the fat off of homemade stock or a soup, too. And yes, it’s great for basting your Thanksgiving turkey, too. Look for one with a long handle so you don’t have to get too close to a hot dish.
Also known as a turner, this spatula is specifically designed for flipping pancakes, but it's also handy for turning other flat items like eggs, burgers, or crepes. Choose one with a thin, wide blade for easy maneuvering and a beveled edge for slipping under food with precision. If you don’t have a fish spatula, a pancake spatula will do the job perfectly.
Anytime you need to blend, whip, or incorporate air into various ingredients, you’re going to want to reach for a whisk. Whether you're whisking eggs, making sauces, or mixing dry ingredients, a sturdy whisk with evenly spaced wires ensures efficient and smooth results. Keep a balloon whisk on hand for whisking eggs or whipped cream, a medium-sized whisk for batters and eggs, and a small whisk for vinaigrettes.