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Top 20 Favorite Kitchen Essentials

Countertop appliances and handheld gadgets can quickly get out of control. Not only can they take up valuable space but they can get expensive! I decided to put together a post with my top 20 favorite kitchen essentials along with how I use them. Most of the items in my kitchen have multiple uses making them handy for many things!

KitchenAid 6 qt. Stand Mixer

A must for any home baker. KitchenAid offers many different mixer options available and offers many sales throughout the year. Not quite ready to splurge, keep an eye out for your mixer to go on sale!

Uses:

  • Cookies & Cakes
  • Frosting
  • Whipped Cream
  • Marshmallows
  • Pasta – using attachment
  • Peeling fruit/vegetables – using attachment

Ninja Professional Plus Food Processor

A good food processor is a must! I love this Ninja professional plus, it affordable yet efficient. A perfect mid-range product. This product is also often on sale so keep your eye out!

Uses:

  • Hummus
  • Smoothies
  • Shredding Veggies
  • Chopping nuts
  • Pesto & sauces

Dutch Oven

A Dutch oven is such a versatile product, perfect for braising meats, soups, stews, and much more. My Le Creuset Dutch oven is my favorite and after hundreds of uses still looks brand new! Not looking to splurge, there are plenty of affordable enamel cast iron options!

Recipe Ideas:

Kitchen Scale

Kitchen scales are perfect for measuring dry and liquid goods. They are widely available in a range of prices. I have had my Escali scale for a few years now and its an everyday staple.

Uses:

  • Measuring dry ingredients such as flour, rice, pasta
  • Measuring liquids such as chicken stock, cream, tea
  • Weighing butter
  • Weighing cookie dough
  • Portion ground beef

Zester

Such a small and mighty gadget! I’ve gone through my share of handheld zesters and graters, in my opinion Microplane is the way to go. It’s slim, compact, and stays razor sharp.

Uses:

  • Grating garlic
  • Grating fresh nutmeg
  • Zesting citrus
  • Grating parmesan

Half Sheet Pan

Having a hard time deciding which baking sheet set to buy? I suggest investing in a couple half sheet pans. They are the perfect size if you are looking to line them with Silpat mats or cooling racks. Also the perfect size for baking a batch of cookies or roasting a sheet pan dinner.

Recipe Ideas:

Peeler

Another favorite Microplane piece of mine, this peeler is heavy duty and has stayed sharp over many uses. I have tried many different peelers and this one has given me the most bang for my buck.

Uses:

  • Peeling vegetables
  • Shaving cheese
  • Making decorative garnishes
  • Peeling citrus

Non-Stick Loaf Pan

Another USA Pan favorite of mine, I love how the corners of their pans are not rounded, they leave a perfect corner. They are also very high quality nonstick pans, bread and cake will slide right out with no trouble!

Recipe Ideas:

Stainless Steel Cooling Racks

Cooling racks are a must to avoid soggy cupcakes and cookies, as they allow air to circulate. I have standard size cooling racks that fit perfectly in my half sheet pans, making them perfect for not only baking but cooking as well.

Uses:

  • Cooling cakes and cookies
  • Roasts
  • Coating items in chocolate
  • Glazing cakes

Immersion Blender

Immersion blenders have become more widely available in the last couple of years. I don’t use mine all the time but when I do need it, it comes in handy. Avoid having to transfer stuff to a blender and blend in batches, an immersion blender allows you to blend in whatever bowl or pot you are already using.

Uses:

  • Blending soups
  • Pureeing cooked vegetables
  • Sauces

Cutting Boards

Cutting boards are a very basic kitchen staples, but having the right one can make all the difference. I like to have a variety of large and small cutting boards. I often find myself using larger boards for prep, I don’t want my board to be crowded. I have NSF cutting boards in my kitchen, as I feel they are easier to keep clean. My go to is an 18″ x 24″!

Uses:

  • Prepping vegetables
  • Breaking down chicken or large cuts of meat
  • Chopping nuts or herbs

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls

Having an assortment of mixing bowls will ensure you have the right size bowl for any recipe. I find that I use all different sized bowls, the small ones are nice for combining dry ingredients, large bowls are nice for mixing salads or pasta dishes, and the medium bowls are prefect for everything in between. Bonus if you can find a set that has lids, this makes storing and transporting items much easier!

Recipe Ideas:

Glass Storage Containers

Switching from plastic to glass container was a great choice for me. Not only do they last longer but they don’t stain! Tomato based soups and chili won’t stain your beloved containers. Plus I love that they come in a variety of sizes, I love having the right size container for everything. They can be a little pricing up front but are well worth the investment.

Uses:

  • Meal prep
  • Storing chopped veggies
  • Storing leftovers
  • Storing dry goods

Silicone Spatulas

Silicone spatulas are a staple I could not live with out in my kitchen. I use them for everything, having an assortment of different sizes if crucial. I love the silicone ones because they are heat resistant. Perfect for transferring sauces, scrapping doughs, and stirring sauces.

Recipe Ideas:

Stainless Steel Balloon Whisk

So many options when it comes to whisks, in my opinion if you are going to choose one to add to your collection make it a stainless steel balloon whisk. Perfect for whisking sauces, making roux’s, whipping cream. It is sturdy yet flexible.

Uses:

  • Whipping cream
  • Mixing batters
  • Combining dressings
  • Smoothing frosting

Sauce Pan

A good saucepan can be used for so much, I would recommend finding one with a lid. You can find these in a range of prices, and often time on sale. I love a 3 qt. saucepan, I find it to be the perfect size.

Uses:

  • Sauces
  • Small batches of soup
  • Simple syrup
  • Warming dressings

Silpat Mat

Silpat mats are one of my favorite kitchen additions. Perfect for lining sheet pans while baking cookies . They also offer a handful of different options some having stencils for macarons or perfectly spaced cookies.

Recipe Ideas:

Round & Fluted Biscuit/Cookie Cutters

These round and fluted cutters are some of my very favorite. They are perfect for cutting biscuits, cookies, marshmallows, and much more. My favorite use for my round cutters is scooting freshly baked cookies into prefect circles!

Recipe Ideas:

Rolling Pin

A good rolling pin is good for so much more than rolling cookies! I use mine to roll out doughs, crush candies and nuts, transfer pie crusts, I’ve even used it to flatten chicken breast before. I love a heavy duty solid wood or wood and marble rolling pin. They are easy to clean and stay new forever.

Recipe Ideas:

Glass Measuring Cups

Liquid measuring cups are a must, especially because they don’t measure the same as dry measuring cups. I have had my set of three Pyrex liquid measuring cups for years. They are perfect for more than just measuring liquids, not to mention very heavy duty. I have washed and dropped mine several times and they still look brand new!

Uses:

  • Melting chocolate
  • Measuring’s stocks and sauces
  • Great for ounce and cup options

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