Basic Essential Cooking Tools Every Kitchen Needs

Whether you’re a casual or professional chef, a reliable set of kitchen essentials is necessary. Preparing meals becomes less chore and much more fun with the appropriate tools. In contrast to your vintage glassware collection, though, more is not better when it comes to cookware.

It’s best to start simple: A well-organized set ensures that the needed pan or tool is never hidden in a deep cupboard. Based on my experience as a professional chef, recipe developer, and contributor to The Spruce Eats, I’ve narrowed down the kitchen essentials to just sixteen items (or grills). The aesthetics are up to you, but every cook needs a set of essential cooking utensils.


If you use a saucepan frequently in the kitchen, you probably use it practically every time you cook. Eggs can be boiled, cheese can be warmed, grains can be cooked, and leftovers can be reheated perfectly in these pans. Most home cooks can get by with a smaller pan. 

You may have come across the saucier when searching for a saucepan. Similar in form, sauciers are preferable to stockpots when preparing large quantities of sauce due to their gently sloping sides. Yet, in most cases, you can use either one.

Chef’s Knife

A high-quality chef’s knife is well-balanced, has a blade that holds an edge, and is comfortable. The standard length for a kitchen knife is 8 inches, and the blade typically has a slight upward slant near the tip (this “Western” design is wonderful for making a rocking motion with the knife, which is useful when cutting vegetables). Due to the importance of this equipment, we conduct frequent knife tests in our kitchen.


The skillet, or “frying pan,” is a kitchen essential used for anything from searing meat and frying eggs to baking enormous cookies. There are many different materials to choose from when purchasing a skillet (ceramic, cast iron, stainless steel, etc.), but the most versatile and helpful ones can be used on the stove and in the oven. Here are eight skillets that will be useful in any kitchen.

Nonstick Skillet

A nonstick skillet isn’t necessary for every dish, but it comes in handy when needed. Their lack of ability to impart a firm sear makes soft items like scrambled eggs and pancakes ideal. You can easily stir and flip because nothing sticks to your nonstick pan. Moreover, less oil or butter is needed when compared to standard pans.

Sheet Pan

Cookies, roasted vegetables, and one-pan dinners are just a few uses for a rimmed sheet pan. Half-sheet pans are the most frequent size, whereas full-sheet pans are more typical in commercial kitchens. Importance of Construction: Overheating will deform cheap or thin pans.

Mixing Bowls

There is a wide variety of mixing bowls available, but the most important factor to consider when purchasing a set is whether or not it includes bowls of different sizes. What you do with your material possessions is important. Do you wish to use your bowls as dinnerware? 

Think about a group that has a nice design. Preparing to use a hand mixer? Choose a group that has a non-slip base. Here are nine of the best bowls you can buy, from cereal bowls to serving bowls to bowls with lids for easy leftover storage.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

The art and science of baking go hand in hand. That is to say, you can’t wing it when measuring. Accurate measurements necessitate the use of good-quality measuring implements. Accurate measuring requires the use of both dry and wet measuring cups. 

(If you’re short on cupboard space, foldable cups are the way to go.) A good set of measuring spoons shouldn’t cost more than $15 and should be lightweight, compact, and easy to clean. You can’t overstate the importance of measuring spoons and cups if you’ve ever oversalted a dish because you confused the teaspoon and tablespoon.

High Heat Spatula

A flexible spatula is your best friend for kitchen sautéing, stir-frying, and baking. You can’t go wrong with a silicone spatula, also known as a high-heat spatula, for cooking. 

Unlike metal tools, it won’t melt when exposed to heat and won’t harm your cookware. The best high-heat spatulas can withstand temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and are stain-resistant.

Cutting Board

If you have a good cutting board, preparing meals is a breeze. Instead of using glass or other difficult materials on knives, consider using plastic, wood, and cutting boards. 

If you have the room, buying two boards is a good idea: While a plastic cutting board’s easy cleanup and durability make it ideal for preparing meat, a wide hardwood cutting board’s ample surface area and natural beauty make it a better choice for preparing vegetables.


Having a well-equipped kitchen is vital if you want to start cooking more meals at home.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of equipping a kitchen, but you can ease into the process by buying staples you’ll use regularly.

Finally, while it’s true that you should splurge on some things, it’s also important to remember that many excellent cooking implements are available for very little money.