Must-Have Kitchen Items For Aspiring Chefs

By Shannon Quinn
Must-Have Kitchen Items For Aspiring Chefs

Plenty of people aspire to start cooking at home, but they have  no idea where to start. If you grew up in a household where no one taught you how to cook, it can seem very overwhelming.  Don’t worry, because it is actually a lot easier than you think. Once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy cooking so much that you may want to do it every day. However, if you walk around an expensive kitchen supply store like Williams-Sonoma and Sur La Table,  you might begin to feel intimidated by the sheer number of things there are available. Are you wondering which items are more important than others? Here at home addict we want to give you a list of some of the must have items that are absolutely necessary for making the majority of recipes that you will find.  If you buy these items, you are guaranteed to use them over and over again on your cooking journey.

Every chef needs a great set of cooking knives. Credit: Freepik

40. Every Home Cook Needs a Great Set of Knives

One of the very first things that you should buy as an amateur chef is a set of cooking knives.  They are necessary for chopping vegetables, fruit, and meat. Some people make the mistake of buying  very cheap knives at somewhere like Ikea or Walmart. This is fine if you hardly ever cook it all, or if you know you’re going to move far away for your next home. But if you want to start getting serious about cooking, those cheap knives may actually break or go dull very quickly.

There are a lot of different knife brands out there. Credit: Freepik

You could (and probably should) purchase a knife sharpener, but once you start using great knives, you will immediately see the difference they make in saving time and being more precise with your cutting. Japanese knives are known for being some of the best in the world. You don’t necessarily have to buy the most expensive brand out there to get the job done. But you should possibly read some reviews online before you commit to spending a lot of money.

Your cutting board should last for several years. Credit: Burst by Shopify

39. Cutting Boards Are Essential For Everyday Cooking

Cutting boards are essential for cooking almost any recipe. Whether you are chopping vegetables, meat, bread, or pretty much anything, you need a cutting board. Some people have marble countertops, which is possible for you to cut on top of. However, if you want to keep your counters in the best shape possible, you still need a cutting board to protect your countertop surfaces. It is possible to buy a cheap plastic cutting board from somewhere like Walmart. The issue with those is that they will warp in the dishwasher, and may eventually crack or break.

Credit: Freepik

We recommend getting a wooden or bamboo cutting board that is going to last for years. Keep in mind that these are finished with an oil glaze, so please don’t stick these in the dishwasher! The steam from the washing machine will cause a wooden cutting board to split and break in half. Once you invest in a high-quality cutting board and wash it by hand, you just might have it for the rest of your life. Even if you’re on a small budget, and can only afford something cheap, a cutting board should last for several years, so there is no need to worry about buying anything too expensive.

Mise en place means “everything in its place”. Credit: Freepik

38.

Every professional chef prepares to cook their meal with “mise en place” bowls. In French, the phrase “mise en place” means “everything in its place.” This is essential for a professional kitchen. Sous chefs usually prepare the ingredients for a recipe by measuring out everything perfectly and putting them in mise en place bowls. Then, when the head chef comes over to get the cooking done, they have everything ready for them straight away. This makes the process more fluid, and they never have to stop or second-guess if they measured out the correct amount of ingredients.

Some people use mise en place bowls for snacks. Credit: Amazon

When you are cooking at home, it is not absolutely necessary for you to have mise-en-place bowls. Most people go their entire lives without ever using them. However, they really do help with organization and speed.  This becomes crucial when you are making a huge meal on a day like Thanksgiving. Basically, these bowls are used when you have a lot of preparation that must be done ahead of time. And when you are not using them for cooking purposes, a lot of people reuse them for little bowls of snacks, or for dips like salsa at parties.

Credit: Shutterstock

37. Standing Mixers Are On Every Baker's Wish List

Almost everyone dreams of having a KitchenAid mixer on their new countertop, but is it really necessary? That all depends on how much you bake. It is possible to get by with a hand mixer, and that is significantly cheaper than a standing. The major difference is that a standing mixer will free up your hands to gradually add ingredients that needed to be distributed evenly into certain recipes. You can also multi-task by leaving your ingredients to mix. Certain recipes will even ask you to mix for several minutes straight, which can be incredibly tiring to do by hand.

Standing mixers help you evenly distribute products. Credit: Shutterstock

Another reason why people love standing mixers so much is that they’re incredibly versatile. KitchenAid mixers have attachments that help you knead dough, make pasta, and so much more. They basically make your life  so much easier once you begin experimenting with more difficult recipes. If you’re on a budget, I recommend skipping this one. I’ve been baking all my life, and I don’t have a standing mixer. (Even though I want one.) For beginners, this may not be absolutely necessary. And considering how expensive they are, it might be something that you should probably put on your wedding registry or a Christmas wish list.

Mixing bowls and essential for any recipe. Credit: Shutterstock

36. You'll Need Mixing Bowls To Make Almost Everything

Something that is absolutely essential to cooking pretty much anything is a set of cooking bowls. These come in all different types of materials from stainless steel to plastic or wood. We recommend buying bowls that stack into one another, because it makes it a lot easier to store them when they are stacked up. The material doesn’t matter too much, but glass mixing bowls are popular among professional chefs. You can see what is going on inside of the bowl, which is essential for anyone teaching someone else how to cook.

Glass bowls are popular among professional chefs. Credit: Shutterstock

One of the most important features of glass bowls is that you can put them into the oven. If you have made pizza dough, for example, you may be mixing the ingredients into your bowl and then immediately put it into the oven so that it rises in a warm place. Obviously, you cannot put a plastic mixing bowl into the oven, because it would melt. And metal bowls could go into the oven, but they may get too hot. Plastic is the cheapest option, but it limits your ability. Ask yourself what level of cooking you’re hoping to achieve, and buy accordingly.

Credit: Shutterstock

35. Some Chefs Swear By The Power of a Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets sometimes cause  polarizing opinions. You either love them or hate them. Some people dislike having cast iron skillets because they are very heavy, they don’t have a protective cover on the handle, and they rust very easily. They are definitely not a convenient thing to have in your home if you are planning on using it to cook eggs in the morning. However, professional chefs all used cast iron skillets at some point, because it is essential for certain recipes. Deep-dish Chicago-style pizzas are made in these cast irons, and so are dishes like the French tarte tatin and Spanish paella.

A cast iron skillet can even be used over an open fire. Credit: Shutterstock

Buying a cast iron skillet is actually very affordable. They’re usually only around $15 to buy a cheap one online. However, you have to do something called seasoning the skillet. This is a process of covering it with olive oil and baking it in the oven so that it has a protective coating. If it has too much moisture at any given time, it will rest. It is possible to remove the rust with white vinegar and an abrasive sponge.  Obviously, this is a big chore for a lot of people. Some companies out there like Le Creuset have mastered creating cast iron skillets that have an enamel coating. This means that they will not rest the same way that a cheap one will. The only downside is that they cost a minimum of $150 and upwards of $300 per piece.

Aprons are essential for cooking. Credit: Shutterstock

34. Wearing an Apron Can Help Save Your Clothes From Getting Stained

Wearing an apron might seem silly to some of you out there. After all, you’re an adult, and you don’t need to wear an apron to protect yourself. Plus, if you accidentally spill something on your clothes, you can always put it in the washing machine. Unfortunately, mistakes happen no matter how skilled you are in the kitchen. And getting certain things on your clothing like ketchup, mustard, or the worst of all- olive oil -can ruin your clothes forever. 

Credit: Freepik

If you’re not a professional chef, really only makes sense to invest in a high-quality apron that is going to last you for a few years. It doesn’t really matter if it gets stained, because you only wear it as a shield to protect your clothing. Some people like to opt for leather aprons, because they can be wiped off instead of putting in the washing machine. It tends to last a lot longer, and will not stain if you accidentally splash oil on it.

Vegetable peelers are essential to cooking. Credit: Burst by Shopify

33. A Vegetable Peeler Is Essential For Home Cooks

Every kitchen needs a vegetable peeler. Even if you already peel your vegetables with a knife, this is not the most efficient way of going about things. Knives will cut out far too much of the vegetable that could be used to eat. Peelers can help you go quickly and efficiently, especially if you have to get a lot done in a short amount of time. You can find vegetable peelers pretty much anywhere, including Dollar Tree.However, if you plan to cook a lot, these are the types of items that will eventually fall apart.

Peelers can be used for both fruit and vegetables. Credit: Freepik

Some vegetable peelers are also more comfortable than others. They might have specially made grips that make it easier to peel an entire bag of potatoes, or any other vegetable. Cheaper ones tend to cause a lot of pain in your hands and wrists. So always think about how long you were going to be gripping the handle and ask yourself if it would be comfortable for up to an hour of cooking. We recommend the KitchenAid peelers, because their handles are thick and comfortable to hold for a long time.

Old school can openers work just fine. Credit: Shutterstock

32. Can Openers Are Necessary For Everyone to Have

Having canned goods in your home is essential now more than ever. With people hunkering down in their homes, you need canned goods in your pantry. Most households already have a can opener, even if you don’t cook anything fancy. After all, you need to use can openers for any canned food that doesn’t already have a pull-tab on top.  Most people can get away with using an old-fashioned manual can opener.

You will need to open a lot of cans when you are cooking. Credit: Shutterstock

However, manual can openers can be annoying and cumbersome to work with. If you plan to cook every single day, you might want to consider investing in an electric can opener. One of the best types of electric can openers is the kind that you can mount and install underneath your cabinets. This makes it quick and easy to open multiple cans in a row in just a few seconds. There are plenty of free-standing electric openers out there, but this way, you can hold your can up to the opener and it is done in just a few seconds.

Tea kettles are essential for any kitchen. Credit: Freepik

31. Tea Kettles Are Necessary For Making A Proper Cup of Tea

To the rest of the world, Americans have bad reputation as being the country that boils water in the microwave. This is such an essential part of doing so much more than making tea. You really should get a tea kettle if you don’t already have one in your home. Boiling water is often used in cooking for things like dissolving bouillon cubes, or flavoring your cakes with the essence of tea. You may also have to boil water when you are tempering chocolate, and so much more.

Electric kettles work just as well as classic ones. Credit: Freepik

There are two different types of tea kettles. One  goes on your stove top, and these are usually made of cast iron enamel. KitchenAid makes great kettles for an affordable price. For coffee aficionados, there are also kettles out there that come with a temperature gauge attached to it. The second type  is an electric kettle that will sit on your counter. This should never be put on your stove top, so it might actually free up space that you need to cook other things. Both are great to serve the purpose for we need them for, so it is really just up to your preference.

Credit: Freepik

30. Measuring Cups and Spoons Are Necessary For Following Recipes

When you were trying to follow a recipe, it is essential to get the measurements correct. This is why you need measuring cups and spoons. Usually, dry ingredients are put in stackable scoop cups. this is probably because a scoop style measuring cup is easier to reach inside us a bag or container. Liquid measurement is usually done in a glass Pyrex cup with numbers along the side. Both types of measuring cups will give you the same measurement, so technically, if you have one or the other, you can continue to use whatever you already have available.

Credit: Shutterstock

Don’t forget about your measuring spoons. These usually come in a ring where you can have all the sizes at your fingertips. Just make sure that you buy a set where the numbers are not likely to get worn off or broken. There is nothing worse than picking up an older measuring spoon and not being sure exactly how much it is.

Credit: Freepik

29. Every Cook Needs a Set of High Quality Cookware

If you are planning to incorporate cooking into your everyday life, you should really invest in some high quality cookware. It is possible to find pots and pans at almost any store for roughly $10 a piece. Amateur cooks like to go for pans that have been coated with a non-stick material. The  issue with these types of pans is that they will eventually get scratched, warped, and they have been known to be generally unhealthy to cook with.

Once you have good cookware, you are ready to go. Credit: Freepik

Professional chefs usually go for French copper cookware, or they will buy a heavy duty cast iron like Le Creuset. If you are new to cooking, we do not recommend splashing out hundreds of dollars when you first get started. However, if you have been cooking for a long time, investing in something expensive will seriously pay off in the long run. Brands like Le Creuset are the types of products that are so well made you will hand them down to your grandchildren.

Credit: Freepik

28. Wine Openers Help Remove Corks From Bottles

Some of you out there might be raising an eyebrow,  wondering why you need a wine opener to cook. This isn’t just to have a cheeky glass of wine to calm yourself down at the end of the day. A lot of recipes actually call for wine, so it would be necessary for you to have a bottle opener ready to get your liquid into the recipe. There are some fancy electronic openers out there, but it’s not necessary to go over the top. An old-fashioned corkscrew opener should do just fine.

Wine lovers know how much it compliments fine dining. Credit: Freepik

And, of course, you will probably want to drink wine when you’re making dinner together with your friends. Certain wines are made to pair nicely with certain dishes. Once you get the hang of cooking, it will become a lot more common for you to incorporate wine into an entire meal plan.

Credit: Freepik

27. Everyone Needs Large Wooden Spoons

In nearly every recipe, you will need a large wooden spoon for mixing and serving. When making pasta, you have to put a spoon into a pot of boiling water. It is a very bad idea to use plastic when cooking pasta, because it might melt from the heat. Using a metal spoon would be fine, but they can tend to get hot and absorb the heat of the dish that you are using it with.

Chefs need a selection of large spoons. Credit: Shutterstock

Wooden spoons are great, because it does not conduct heat the way that metal that does. You won’t have to worry about it melting or getting damaged. However, keep in mind that if you leave it in the pot, it still has the potential to burn. But once you get yourself a high quality set of wooden spoons, they should last for decades.

Credit: Shutterstock

26. Stainless Steel Flippers Are Used By Both Beginners and Pros Alike

Whether you are making pancakes, pizza, or  cookies, you will need a flipper to move your hot food off of a pan. Some people will get a cheap flipper from the Dollar Tree that is made out of plastic. This can run you into trouble, because plastic has the potential to melt, and as time goes on it will start to flake and bend.

Large flippers can also be used for outdoor cooking. Credit: Shutterstock

If you want your tools to last a long time, it is better to spend a little bit of money up front to make sure that it is a high-quality item. Stainless steel flippers will wash well in the dishwasher, and it should last you for at least a few years.

Colanders are essential for cooking. Credit: Freepik

25. Colanders Are a Basic Kitchen Item That Belongs in Every Home

Cooking pasta is one of the first things beginner chefs learn to make. It is absolutely essential to strain pasta water through a colander. These come in a lot of different materials, but we recommend getting a metal colander over a plastic one, since it will last longer.

Credit: Freepik

Lucky for you, these are available in almost any home goods store, including Walmart, and they are relatively inexpensive. There is no need to splash out on an expensive item, because they get used for only a few seconds before being put away. Even a cheap colander lasts for a long time.

Cookie trays are used for baking and so much more. Credit: Freepik

24. Cookie Sheet Trays Are Used For Both Baking and Cooking

A really versatile tool in your kitchen is a cookie sheet tray. These are used for so much more than baking. They can be covered with aluminum foil and used to bake meat, or you could use parchment paper and cook empanadas. The possibilities are endless, and it will come up as a tool that you need in recipes over and over again. 

Credit: Freepik

Cookie sheets are very common, and you should be able to find them in almost every store. We recommend getting a stack that comes with more than one, because they do eventually rust and wear down after a few years.

Whisks are essential for beating ingredients together. Credit: Burst by Shopify

23. Whisks Are a Must-Have Kitchen Tool

Most people own a whisk, so if you don’t already have one, it is an absolute must for any level of cooking. These are used for mixing everything from scrambled eggs to homemade whipped cream. And if you don’t have enough money to buy a hand or standing mixer, this is what you would use instead of an expensive electronic contraption.

Whisks are necessary to make light and fluffy pancakes. Credit: Burst by Shopify

Whisks are available pretty much everywhere, even Dollar Tree. However, keep in mind that cheap whisks will need to be replaced as soon as they start to rust. As far as kitchen tools go, people don’t exactly pride themselves in high-quality whisks. So go for whatever is within your budget.

A fine mesh sieve helps you get a fine sprinkle with powdered sugar. Credit: Shutterstock

22. Fine Mesh Sieves Are Used For Sifting and Straining

There are several different sizes of fine mesh sieves, and they are used mainly for baking recipes. Sometimes, a recipe will encourage you to sift your flour to remove any clumps. This can also be done with pre-packaged pancake mix, and it really does help to make them more light and fluffy. It can also be used to sprinkle powdered sugar on top of cookies and cakes to make it appear as though it was kissed with snow.

Sieves help you sift out and lumps that may be in your powder. Credit: Shutterstock

Sieves can also be used in a pinch if you need to steep tea or coffee. And if you are deep-frying something, a larger “spider” sieve is essential for taking your food out of the bubbling fryer. If you plan to make a large variety of foods in your home, you might want to buy a couple different sizes, and keep them with the rest of your kitchen tools.

A basting brush can be used to add butter to vegetables on the grill. Credit: Burst by Shopify

21. Basting Brushes Help Spread Sauces on Meat and Vegetables

Basting brushes are like a paintbrush that is made specifically for food. These are usually used when painting a glaze on top of meats. Some people also use them for adding oil to vegetables that are being grilled, and so much more. Basting brushes are made out of a few different types of materials, and they come in all shapes and sizes.

This basting brush is adding barbecue sauce to steaks on the grill. Credit: Burst by Shopify

We recommend getting a multi-pack so that you can dedicate one brush for meat, and other for other types of foods. Even though you will be cleaning these, you never know what might happen during a busy kitchen mixup. It’s best not to mix anything that touches raw meat with the rest of your food, because you don’t anyone to get sick.

Mortar and pestles belong in every kitchen. Credit: Burst by Shopify

20. A Mortar and Pestle Are Used For Grinding

When most people see a mortar and pestle, they might imagine witches brewing up some sort of spell. Yes, they are used for herbal medicines around the world, but they are also great for the kitchen. Some recipes will ask you to grind several different kinds of spices together into one mixture. For example, if you wanted to replicate KFC chicken, you would need to blend all of the herbs and spices. The mortar and pestle helps you to break down any clumpy bits that may be in your spices, and it’s necessary to break down whole peppercorns or cloves. This takes a bit of arm strength for you to press down into the mortar and pestle, but it really does help to grind things into a fine powder.

Mortar and pestels are used to grind ingredients together. Credit: Shutterstock

If you don’t like the idea of manual labor, you can substitute a mortar and pestle with an electric herb grinder. Most people use these for grinding down whole fresh coffee beans. But if you clean out the machine in-between uses, you can use it for just about anything.

Dutch ovens can be used to make a huge variety of dishes. Credit: Shutterstock

19. Advanced Chefs Usually Have a Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Dutch ovens are one of those items that you think you can skip buying, but once you own one, it becomes life-changing. You can make so much with it. Unlike a regular saucepan, dutch ovens are made of cast iron and coated with a ceramic enamel. This means that the pot will heat up evenly on all sides very quickly. You can also reduce the heat and let your food simmer for longer knowing that it will retain its temperature for longer without danger of burning. Some of the most popular dishes to make in a dutch oven are soup, chili, and stew. Believe it or not, people even use them to bake bread and whole chickens, because they are safe to put in the oven.

Dutch ovens are perfect for making chili. Credit: Shutterstock

Basically, this is such a versatile tool, you might find yourself gravitating towards the dutch oven more than your other pots and pans. The one and only downside is that they can be expensive. America’s Test Kitchen has a really extensive video where they test dozens of different brands of dutch ovens to see what is the best value for money. They concluded that Le Creuset is the best, and you truly get what you pay for. Retail value is usually around $300-$400, but if you wait for it to go on sale, you can find it for as low as $150. However, this is still way more expensive than most brands that sell them for just $30 to $50. Home Goods always sells discounted dutch ovens in their kitchen section, so you should shop there if you have one in your local area.

This soup ladle kind of looks like a dinosaur. Credit: Burst by Shopify

18. Get a Good Soup Ladle For Eating on Cold Winter Nights

Whether you’re opening a can of Cambell’s chicken noodle soup or making it from scratch, everyone can appreciate a bowl of warm soup on a cold winter evening. This is why you should have a soup ladle in your kitchen. It helps you get the perfect proportions of soup into your bowl, instead of fumbling with a smaller spoon.

If you make soup, you need to ladle it into your bowl. Credit: Burst by Shopify

Aside from soup, you can also use a ladle for portioning cupcake batter into muffin tins. It can also be used to make the perfect sized pancakes. They are very affordable to buy, and you might even be able to get a hand-me-down ladle from your mom. These can be found in any Dollar Tree, Walmart, and pretty much anywhere you look.

Rolling pins are essential for any chef. Credit: Burst by Shopify

17. Rolling Pins Are Essential For Baking

When you were a kid, your grandmother probably had a rolling pin to flatten sugar cookie dough. In today’s generation, few people actually own a rolling pin unless they are an avid baker. You would be surprised just how many recipes actually require a rolling pin. Professional chefs usually get a circular wooden dowel that isn’t anything fancy.

Flouring a rolling pin will help prevent it from sticking to your dough. Credit: Shutterstock

Some people really want to go far out and buy fancy rolling pins made out of marble. It’s really up to you how much you are willing to spend on your kitchenware. Just make sure you buy a rolling pin that is heavy enough to stay in place when you are pressing down dough, so that it doesn’t require too much work.

Graters are great for cheese, vegetables, and more. Credit: Shutterstock

16. Cheese Graters Come In Handy For Home Cooking

Sure, you can be pre-grated cheese at the grocery store if you want to save time. But there are so many recipes out there that require you to grate, it actually is essential to have a cheese grater in your arsenal of kitchen tools. You might need to grate orange and lemon rinds, vegetables, ginger root, and so much more. These are not always so easy to find the grated version in your grocery store.

Delicious grated cheese. Credit: Shutterstock

The good news is that graters are relatively cheap, especially if you are just buying a handheld one. They do make a larger four-sided graters that comes with multiple options as to the thickness of the cheese slices you are looking for. As an added bonus, you will find that block cheese is significantly cheaper than pre-grated. So if you are willing to put in the world, your grater will pay for itself over time.

Every chef needs a good set of wine glasses. Credit: Burst by Shopify

15. Everyone Needs a Good Set of Wine Glasses

Earlier in this list, we talked about the importance of having a wine opener if you want to be an amateur chef. While there are plenty of recipes out there that require you to add wine, you will want to drink some of it too! Luckily, wine glasses are actually very affordable to buy. You can find them in stores like Walmart, Ikea, and HomeGoods for affordable prices.  Believe it or not, you can even find them at Dollar Tree for just $1 each.

If you’re hosting a dinner party, you probably want to open a bottle of wine. Credit: Freepik

Your wine glasses don’t necessarily have to be fancy or expensive to make an impression. Just the fact that you own them at all is more than some people can say. If you are new to wine, we actually do recommend that you start out with the cheapest possible just in case any of them break, or you want to buy enough to accommodate a party for your friends.

The essential tools for barbequeing outside. Credit: Burst by Shopify

14. Barbecue Tools Are Essential For Backyard Grilling

In the spring and summer, a lot of people want to take their cooking outdoors to the grill.  There are people out there who try to fumble with the tools that they already have for their indoor kitchen, but this can run you into some trouble. It is best to buy a separate set of barbecue tools that are specially made for your outdoor grill.

If you want to have a backyard barbecue, you need the tools of the trade. Credit: Shutterstock

Earlier we mentioned possibly buying a leather apron. This would be perfect for outdoor grilling, because when you are cooking meat or an open fire, you never know what may happen.  Everyone should try to protect their clothing when they’re dealing with charcoal, fire, and meats that may be dripping with sauces.

Mason jars help to store food for a long time. Credit: Freepik

13. Glass Mason Jars Are Essential For So Many Different Kitchen Tasks

In recent years, mason jars have come back into style among hipsters in the United States. And this is for good reason. Mason jars have been a staple in country kitchens for over a hundred years. These are used for canning fruits and vegetables over the long winter months. But they can be used for so much more than that. If you want to experiment with pickling and fermentation, it will need to be done in a mason jar. Hoping to meal prep green juices and smoothies? You have to put them in a mason jar.

These mason jars can be used to bring a salad to work. Credit: Freepik

There is so much that can be done with these jars, the possibilities are endless. You can even use them as drinking glasses when you take the tops off. The one and only downside is that the metal tops will eventually rust and get kind of gross. This is why you should buy a set of plastic tops either online or in the kitchen section of Walmart.  When you go into a grocery store or a Walmart, Mason jars should only be around $1 per jar in a large multipack. You will pay more if you buy online, because of how heavy they are to ship. If at all possible, buy them in person, and store them in your pantry.

Circular cake pans are essential for any baker. Credit: Shutterstock

12. Cake Pans Are Necessary for Bakers on Any Level

If you plan to do some baking, it is essential for you to have circular cake pans.  It doesn’t matter if you are using box cake, or making it from scratch. Every amateur chef will have to make a cake at some point. You will want to have at least two pans that are the same size. This is because most cakes have a double layer. If you want to make something fancy or like a wedding cake, you will need to buy multiple pans in the same size. Some people even buy graduating sizes so that they can get super fancy with the shapes that they are able to achieve.

Anyone who wants to bake cupcakes or muffins will need one of these pans. Credit: Shutterstock

Cake pans are often used for more than just cake. You can also use them to bake breads, and even use them for quick meals like chicken nuggets in a pinch.  It would also be smart to get at least one or two cupcake and muffin pans as well. These can also be used to cook a lot of different things oh, and once you see enough baking shows, you will realize that they can get creative in how many different things can actually go into a small cupcake pan.

Credit: Freepik

11. Everyone Needs a Casserole Dish

Last but not least, every cook needs at least one casserole dish. These can be used to make ziti, sheet cakes, meat loaf, homemade macaroni, cornbread, and of course, casseroles.  Pretty much every cookware brand has their own version of the casserole dish. Some come with lids and others don’t. However, you can get away with a relatively cheap Pyrex casserole dish made of glass,  and it will last you for years. (So long as you don’t accidentally drop and break it!)

Credit: Freepik

If you are not already making them for your family, casseroles are a great way to feed a lot of people in a short amount of time. Casserole recipes are usually very easy to make, and they’re delicious and filling. In movies, they sometimes get a bad rap, but they are actually great if you know what you’re doing. 

This hand cranking pasta maker is a more affordable option. Credit: Shutterstock

10. A Pasta Maker or Mixer Attachment

If you love Italian food, you may want to consider buying a pasta maker.  You truly can taste the difference between fresh pasta and something that was left dry in the store. Best of all, pasta is very easy to make, even for beginners. It’s a very small amount of effort in order to make the pasta, but it’s going to impress your family and friends. Handmade pasta dough can be cut with a knife, pizza cutter, or a pastry cutter. This is obviously time-consuming, and you run the risk of not making everything uniform. There are pasta cutters that you can buy that are cranked with one hand, while your other hand feels the tough through.

If you have a mixer, you can buy an attachment. Credit: Kitchenaid

This next suggestion for a pasta maker is only useful if you already own a KitchenAid mixer. Earlier on this list, we already mentioned that you should have a standing mixer as some of the essential products for a home chef. Pasta attachments run off of the power of the mixer, so it simply needs to be fed through the machine, instead of cranking it by hand. A lot of people love this, especially since this makes it possible to make large amounts of pasta at once. Keep in mind that these attachments are usually around $100, so they’re far more expensive than a hand-powered tool, which is $40.

This avocado slicer tool does all in one. Credit: Shutterstock

9.

Over the past couple of years, avocado toast has become incredibly popular. Instead of putting cream cheese on a bagel or butter and jelly on toast, millennials have been using avocados as a healthier alternative. Avocados are full of B vitamins, potassium, and healthy fat that helps your hair, skin, and nails. So it’s a great way to balance getting everything you need in a day, especially if you’re trying a plant-based diet. The only downside to avocados is that they’re not the easier thing to slice.  For anyone who is trying to slice an avocado for the first time, they might have some trouble removing the pit or getting everything sliced perfectly.

Perfectly sliced avocados. Credit: Shutterstock

Even if you know what you’re doing, it can be a bit time-consuming to get everything done properly. This avocado slicer is one of those objects that you may think would be silly or unnecessary to have as a kitchen gadget. But for the people that own one, they swear by it. This tool is everything you need in one. It can slice the avocado into two halves, remove the pit, and make perfect slices in one full swoop. This makes it easy to have avocado slices on your toast or salads in just a few seconds.

Some chefs show off by flame broiling food. Credit: Shutterstock

8. A Culinary Torch Help Make Luxurious Desserts

If you’re an ambitious cook who wants to try your hand at making gourmet desserts, you’ll need a culinary torch. This can be intimidating for anyone who has never used one before, but gas torches are actually very simple to use. And as long as you have a fire extinguisher nearby, there is very little risk to using one. There are certain recipes, like Creme Brulee and Baked Alaska that require a culinary torch, because they require you to brown the sugar coating after the dish is already complete. Using fire to caramelize the top gives it a unique flavor that you can’t get in any other way.

Creme brulee is one of the most popular desserts to use with a flame. Credit: Shutterstock

Having a culinary torch makes you feel like a “real” chef, so it’s also like a rite of passage. The only downside to owning a culinary torch is that you’ll spend at least $30 to buy one, but there are very few uses for what you could actually make. Some people enjoy using it for toasting marshmallows to make an indoor s’more, or browning the top of a grilled cheese sandwich. Rather than a kitchen “essential”, it’s definitely more of a luxury. If you pull this out at a dinner party, it will seriously impress your friends, but it’s not practical for everyday use.

A meat tenderizer makes a steak taste better. Credit: Shutterstock

7. A Meat Tenderizer Helps Make the Perfect Steak

Have you ever wondered how some people will make a steak, and it comes out tasting incredibly tender and juicy? Others try to follow those exact same steps in the process down to the same spices, temperature, and cooking time, and yet their steak turns out to be tough and chewy. The magical “secret” is because the first group used a meat tenderizer before cooking their steaks. There are three different types of meat tenderizers, and they all serve a different purpose. One resembles a hammer with spikes on the end, the second is a flat press, and the third looks like a set of needles. 

Tenderizers can be used on all kinds of meat. Credit: Shutterstock

The most popular type of meat tenderizer is a mallet with spikes on the end. You’re supposed to put your meat on a clean cutting board, and beat it with the tenderizer. This softens the fibers of the meat, and makes it easier to chew. It also helps to make it easier to digest in your stomach. While it’s most commonly used with steaks, you can also use this with chicken. This is especially helpful if you have a large, thick, or uneven chicken breast. By flattening out a chicken breast, this get it ready to be fried, and it will cook more evenly.

Do you have old family recipes on hand written cards? Credit: Shutterstock

6. Recipe Boxes Are a Great Way to Hold Onto Family Recipes

A recipe box is a wooden box that is filled with little recipe cards where you can hand write the ingredients and steps to cooking your favorite meals. In the digital age, you are probably wondering why you’d ever need a recipe box. Recipes are easy to find online at the touch of a button, and YouTube also has videos to guide you through making something. However, the problem with relying on the Internet is that you run the risk of accidentally losing that recipe. You might forget which website you found it on, and your food will taste totally different. That’s why it’s important to keep track of those recipes, and write things down.

Recipe boxes are kitschy and cute. Credit: Shutterstock

For those of you out there who collect family recipes, chances are that everything was written down by hand on a recipe card. In my house, my mom has an entire collection of recipes that she collected from my entire extended family. One day, I’ll inherit these recipes, and I’ll buy a new recipe box to put them all in. Sure, you can choose to digitize these recipes by typing them out and leaving them on your iPad. Maybe one day I’ll choose to do that with my family recipes, too. But if you’re in a similar situation, it may be best to hold on to your family recipes, even if it’s just for nostalgia. This might also be a great gift to give to your mom or grandmother.

A cocktail kit will come with all of the tools you need to make great drinks. Credit: Shutterstock

5. A Cocktail Kit Is Great For Aspiring Mixologists

Many of us are not allowed to throw a party any time soon. But that doesn’t stop us from enjoying cocktails at home with our immediate family. A cocktail mixing kit will allow you to make drinks just like a professional mixologist. These kits typically come with a cocktail shaker, jigger, muddler, ice tong, and mixing spoon. You can buy them in the traditional silver, but they also come in copper, gold, or rose gold. If you’re thinking about having a home bar on display, a cocktail mixing kit just makes sense.

Professional bartenders use a cocktail mixing kit. Credit: Shutterstock

However, if you’re on a tight budget, a cocktail mixer kit is one of those things you can skip. It’s not entirely necessary in order for you to make a good drink. In my house, we don’t have a cocktail kit, so we use alternative items like our Nutribullet, spoons, and even shaking the drink in a mason jar. It’s actually not necessary at all, and it should be considered a luxury item. With that being said, it makes a great gift to give someone, since it’s often something that people skip buying for themselves.

Professional chefs use precision plating tools to make their plates. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Plating Tools Help Anyone Who Want to Practice Gastronomy

The top cooking schools in the world teach chefs the art of “plating”, which is arranging a plate to look as beautiful as possible. Some of you out there may have eaten a meal that was arranged with plating tools. But even if you’ve never visited a Michelle star restaurant in person, you’ve probably seen beautifully decorated plates in movies, TV shows, and magazines. These edible objects are meticulously placed on the plate. Some chefs take a very long time putting the food on the plate to make it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. 

Regular spoons can be used to spread sauces. Credit: Shutterstock

A plating kit comes with all of the gastronomy tools you’d ever need, with serving spoons, tweezers, spreaders, and an angled spoon for distributing sauces. If you’re on a budget, skip this one entirely. This is one of those kits that you do not need as an average home cook. Even if you’re trying to copy the style of gastronomy, you can use the spoons, tweezers, and knives that you already have at home. The only thing is that you need to sterilize and meticulously clean these items. You obviously don’t want to use the same tweezers you use for your eyebrows on your food.

Flour sifters are used by bakers. Credit: Shutterstock

3. This Stainless Steel Flour Sifter Helps to Remove Lumps

Earlier on this list, we already mentioned buying a sieve. That can be used for sifting, but a most efficient option is a stainless steel flour sifter. This tool has a handle with a trigger that you press, which sprinkles the clean flower down. At the top of the sifter, you’re left with the hard chunks. By sifting flour, you can make a fluffier cake or baked goods. It also helps prevent you from accidentally breaking a tooth! A sifter is also used if you’re trying to sprinkle powdered sugar on top of desserts. This helps to distribute the sugar evenly, and it ends up looking like freshly powdered snow.

Not all flour sifters need to be made of metal. Credit: Shutterstock


Now, the important question a lot of you are asking- Is this tool necessary to buy if you’re on a budget? I would lean more towards “no”, if you’re a beginner. Growing up, I used a flour sifter a lot, especially around Christmas time when my mom and I were making a lot of cakes and cookies. But we were following recipes from scratch that had been passed down through our family tree. If you’re a beginner who only feels comfortable sticking to box mix dessert, you can skip this one for now. But once you’re ready to start baking from scratch, I highly recommend this, because it truly does make a difference in how your desserts taste.

Hibachi grills are an exciting thing to watch. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Grilling Accessories Help You Make Fancy Meals On The Grill Top

Many of you reading this list may have experienced going to a Japanese Hibachi restaurant in the past. Even if indoor dining is no longer restricted in your local area, many of us are avoiding eating inside of a restaurant. Getting takeout is still great, but Hibachi is all about the experience of seeing the grilling being done in person. This is why some people have actually purchased a grilling plate at home so that they can attempt cooking their favorite dishes on their own. That’s where grilling accessories come in. In order to replicate the experience, you need all of the same tools of the trade.

Grill kits come with all of these tools. Credit: Weselyn

In the link above, we’re recommending an 11-piece grill kit  that includes a melting dome, burger spatulas, scraper, egg rings and squirt bottles. All of these accessories can also be used on your grill outside, even if you don’t have a massive hibachi grill indoors. Whenever you’re ready to host an outdoor party, this is going to impress your guests, and it’s a whole lot of fun. If this is totally new to you, please find a YouTube tutorial that will help you go through the steps in the process to properly doing this advanced grilling techniques. We don’t want anyone to get burned!

Credit: Newline New York

1. Cut Desserts Perfectly With These Cutting Tools

Ever wonder how bakers create such perfectly uniform slices of cake? Most of us assume that they just have steady hands perfected by years of practice. With some people, that’s true. But the vast majority of them use these specially designed dessert cutters. This is their secret weapon that helps to make sure your slices are perfect every time, without possibly slipping up and making a mistake. Some of the circular stainless steel cutters also make it possible to layer a fancy dessert, which looks very impressive. This can be a lot of fun if you plan to host a birthday party, event, or simply want to make things like perfect for an Instagram photo.

There are so many more cutters out there beyond cookie cutters. Credit: Shutterstock

Obviously, in a professional environment, it’s important to make slices of cake all the same size, because it’s only fair to the customers. However, if you’re baking at home, it’s not entirely necessary. This is one of those items that is reserved for advanced bakers and home chefs who are trying to reach the next level. Whenever you’re ready to dive into the world of gourmet cooking, revisit the possibility of buying these dessert cutters. This can also make a great gift for someone in your life who loves to bake from scratch, since it’s one of those kits that very few people can justify buying for themselves. 

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