Kitchen Essentials

kitchen tools

Want to know what’s in the Satisfying Eats Test Kitchen?? Here are all of the essential or helpful kitchen appliances and tools that making baking, cooking and creating delicious recipes easy and fun. Be sure to read my note to find out why I chose each item.

You don’t have to purchase the items through the links but at least you can see what item I am using. If you are trying to save money (and who isn’t), consider checking out your local Good Will store or even garage sells. The links below are of the actual brands I use. If I couldn’t find the same brand, I shopped around for the closest thing, comparing customer reviews. I hope this helps! Use this list for gift ideas!  This will also be a growing list that I will be adding to. I also put items in alphabetical order so that you can find them easier!

Items in Iitalics BOLD are things I use everyday and I consider must haves!

Happy Cookin’! ~ Melissa

My Favorite Kitchen Tools

  1. Adjustable Measuring Cup– I like to use this measuring cup for mayo and peanut butter. It allows you to get all of it out of the measuring cup.
  2. Angled Spatula– Not only do I ice cake with this but I use it to make my cakes level before baking as well as my Square Sandwich Buns level so the bread is even after baking.
  3. Bakeware Set: This is a great starter set for baking (and a great deal)!
  4. Blender– My favorite is my Magic Bullet. I like it MUCH better than my Ninja. I don’t think I will be buying a Vitamix anytime soon. 
  5. Bread Mold– Use this neat bread mold to form “real” slices of bread!
  6. Box Grater– I love my food processor for grating but a box grater is what I use when I have just a little cheese or just 1 carrot to grate.  It’s easy to clean!
  7. Brownie Pan– I LOVE this pan. It was a great Christmas Present. I use it to make my Copy Cat Little Debbie Brownies and even my Banana Nut bread in the perfect portions.
  8. Bundt Pan– Completely optional but they make such pretty cakes.
  9. Cake pans (2)- I use the 8 inch pans to get more height to my cakes. I also ALWAYS line the bottom of my pans with Parchment paper so I know they won’t stick!
  10. Cake Plate with lid– Nothing makes one of my cakes taste better than having a beautiful Cake Plate to display it!
  11. Cast Iron Skillets– Great for frying burgers or even making authentic “corn” bread.
  12. Chopper– My FAVORITE tool.  I have one from Pampered Chef but THIS one seems great too. Perfect for chopping nuts, onions, carrots, zucchini, etc.
  13. Colander– Either plastic or metal, whichever you prefer.
  14. Cookbook Holder– Stop getting dirty pages and use this handy cookbook stand.
  15. Cookbook– If you don’t have my first cookbook, it is a MUST!
  16. Cookie Sheets– If you don’t have room for lots of pans, be sure to get the Jelly Roll pan with sides. I use these not only for cookies but to make my Square Buns for sandwiches. I actually have a few restaurant size pans but I have a large oven.
  17. Cooling Racks– These are great for cooling cookies, bread and cakes.
  18. “Corn” Dog Maker– This is a cool gadget to make quick and easy “Corn” Dogs.
  19. Countertop Oven– I use this to cook bacon, reheat food and even roast chicken without heating up my house!  I love it for the bacon because there is no splatter and I collect the fat drippings in the bottom.
  20. Cupcake Pans– If you can, have enough pans to do 24 cupcakes at once (even though I have enough to make almost 4 dozen). These are also great when making mini cheesecakes.
  21. Cupcake Wrappers– Great for muffins, cupcakes or for snacks (or these unbleached ones are great too).
  22. Cutting Boards– I have 3 or 4 but having 2 is the minimal. One for veggies and the other for meats. I prefer plastic so that I can be sure to clean and sanitize them well. I like THESE because there is a well around the perimeter to catch any juices or liquids so that they don’t go on your counter.
  23. Decorating tips & bag– Makes it so easy to decorate a cupcake.
  24. Dessert Cup Pans– These are great for making Strawberry Short Cakes and they look just like the ones you buy in the store!
  25. Donut Pan– Turn your favorite cake batter into cake donuts.
  26. Dry Measuring Cups– I like this set that include 1/8th cup (2 tbsps).
  27. Dutch Oven– I Love my Dutch oven for making amazing post roast in the oven or big pots of Taco Soup!
  28. Egg Timer– I love my egg timer. The “egg” changes color when the egg is done. This is also a great way to prepare soft eggs.
  29. Food Dehydrator– Great for making your own jerky, fruit chips and more.
  30. Food Processor– I invested in a Kitchen Aid brand food processor. Perfect for shredding cheese and making NO FAIL mayo! It has a small hole in the mechanism used to press food down that holds about ½ cup of liquid. I use this to make my mayo and it has NEVER failed me yet. Hands free! If the Kitchen Aid is not in the budget, THIS Cuisinart is a great one too and allows you to “drizzle” oil to make mayo.
  31. Glass Jars– The perfect storage containers for the fridge, counter or freezer!
  32. Hand Mixer– I use my hand mixer and whisk MUCH MORE than my Kitchen Aid Stand mixer.
  33. Ice Cream Maker– This 1.5 quart maker is your best deal. It comes with a bowl that must be frozen 24 hours before making ice cream. Don’t make a full batch of ice cream because the longer the machine runs, the more the bowl melts, causing your ice cream not to freeze. I purchased this COMPRESSOR ice cream maker this past summer and I am enjoying it. No bowl, no ice, no planning ahead… Instant ice cream.
  34. Immersion Blender– I use this to make soups, creamy mashed cauliflower and even whipped cream.
  35. Juicer– I have other juicers but I prefer this small handheld one.
  36. Kitchen Scissors– Cutting chicken or whatever else you want to cut!
  37. Kitchen Utensils: Ladle, Slotted Spoon, Big serving Spoon
  38. Knives- I have a set of Cutco knives as well as a few random knives. I also have a nice ceramic knife. These are great but can’t be dropped or used to cut things like bone.  The key is you want to keep you knife sharp. People usually don’t cut themselves on a sharp knife but a dull knife.
  39. Large Spatula– Great for flipping burgers or removing cookies.
  40. Liquid Measuring Cups– I have 3: 1 cup, 2 cup and 4 cup.
  41. Loaf Pans– I have both the slightly smaller loaf pans and regular size. These mini ones are great for making and giving food gifts.
  42. Measuring Spoons– (be sure they include 1/8th tsp as well as ½ tbsp)
  43. Microplane– Great for fresh nutmeg, parmesan cheese or when grating lemon or lime zest.
  44. Mini Cupcake Pans– These are GREAT for bite size cupcakes, biscuits and even cheese cakes! Perfect for parties and portion control.  Don’t forget the mini-liners.
  45. Mini spatula– It’s the perfect size to remove sometimes “stuck” sandwich buns or whoopie pies from the muffin top pan.
  46. Mixing Bowls– You can never have too many mixing bowls!  Be sure you have at least 2 large bowls.
  47. Muffin Top Pan– I own 3 and I use them all the time. These make the best buns for sandwiches as well as Whoopie Pies using cake batter. I also like using them for my scones so that I can place them in the toaster to reheat and this pan makes them the perfect size!
  48. Nut Butter Stirrer– This is a LIFE saver!  No more oil all over the outside of the jar!
  49. Oblong Baking Dish– Every kitchen needs this size pan!  Perfect for “sheet” cakes using any of my cake recipes or making double recipes of desserts like my Southern Pumpkin Delight or Cheesecake!
  50. Parchment Paper– I use this for baking biscuits or cookies so I know they won’t stick.
  51. Pizza Cutter– For cutting pizza as well as making straight lines when making crackers.
  52. Popsicle Molds– Pour leftover smoothies in them for a nice frozen treat.
  53. Popsicle Sticks– Perfect for my “Corn” Dogs.
  54. Potato Masher– I use a potato masher to make “rice” from steamed cauliflower instead of shredding it in the food processor.
  55. Ramekins (6 oz)- These are great for measuring ingredients and I use them for serving dishes for puddings, mousse and crème brulee. I also use these 8 oz ramekins for mini Pot Pies as well as for ice cream bowls.
  56. Round Casserole Dishes– I love these for baking casseroles (like my Green Bean Casserole).  These also include additional plastic lids for storage in the fridge.
  57. Rubber Spatulas– I have about 5, all different sizes.
  58. Scoops– I use these every day! I have 2: 1.5 tbsp3 tbsp and 4 tbsp. Perfect for making meatballs, truffles, measuring hamburgers, forming biscuits, cookies and measuring cupcake batter.
  59. Sieve– I use this to strain the seeds out of my fruit jams or to the leftover coconut pulp from my homemade coconut milk.
  60. Sifter– To make sure ingredients are well incorporated. Get this simple one, it works better with almond flour.  Be sure not to use a sifter that has 2 layers of wire mesh. The almond flour EASILY gets trapped between the 2 layers.
  61. Silicon Mat– The silicon mat can take the place of parchment paper. It is reusable and can be placed in the oven. (Note: Make sure you purchase the right size mat to fit your pans).
  62. Slow Cooker– My life saver! I actually have 3. I make everything from full meals to my wonderful bone broth. This Ninja Model has also gotten good reviews. Check out THIS blog post for more reasons I chose this model.
  63. Smoothie Cups– We drink smoothies EVERYDAY!  Finding a cup with a decent size straw and one that doesn’t fall apart is key.
  64. Spoon Rest– It helps me keep my countertops clean.
  65. Spring-form Cheesecake Pan– I have multiple sizes. 8 inch is the most commonly used.
  66. Square Pans– 1 have a few 8 X 8 inch pans that I line with parchment and use to make my Square Buns.
  67. Stainless pots & pans– Get a good quality set of pans and avoid those with a non-stick surface.  Don’t put frying pans in dishwasher!
  68. Stand Mixer– I have this Kitchen Aid Stand mixer and it is great when making lots of whipped cream, egg whites or cheesecake.  I actually prefer the 5 quart vs. the 6 quart. I have had both and the 6 quart is a bit oversized for most applications.  Be sure to get this Spatula Paddle Attachment to mix and scrap the bowl at the same time.
  69. Steamer basket– For steaming veggies. This is the easiest steamer I have used.
  70. Storage Bowls– These are great for leftovers or the freezer.
  71. Storage Labels– Never forget how long you have been storing a food or what the food is!
  72. Tart Pan– This is my new favorite. In my new cookbook I have a few gelatin-custard recipes that this works perfect. The removable bottom is a must!
  73. Tongs– Perfect for hot bacon and moving other hot foods.
  74. Vegetable Peeler– I prefer the vertical kind.
  75. Vegetable Spiral Slicer– Perfect for “Zoodle” Noodles. Don’t want a big appliance, this hand-held slicer.
  76. Waffle Iron- I have 2. The bigger one makes thicker waffles (or THIS one). I use the thinner waffle maker to make flat breads for sandwiches. Even pour pancake batter into the waffle iron an instant dessert!
  77. Wax Paper– I use this to place on top of dough that I am rolling out. It’s cheaper than parchment so I use it when I can.
  78. Whisk– I own about 4. Perfect for blending dry ingredients and the normal whisking of eggs and batters.
  79. Wide Opening Toaster– Either this SINGLE or DOUBLE is perfect for toasting my Tasty sandwich buns, Biscuits, Scones and even waffles and pancakes.

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  1. Eileen says

    I need to first buy a Crockpot for all those fabulous meals. What do you recomend? and what is the size (volume?) to buy to make a full slow-cooker meal? Also do you think its good to get a three-cooker?

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