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Essential Kitchen Helpers: 10 Tools that Make Cooking a Breeze

Cooking and baking should be an enjoyable experience, and having the right kitchen tools can make all the difference. Today, we are focusing on the essentials — those indispensable tools that effortlessly streamline the various food preparation tasks while being convenient to store and easy to use. 

A plate of utensils with a heart on it.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

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As you collect these kitchen tools, you’re not just collecting utensils; you’re putting together a variety of culinary options that can turn your kitchen into a fun and creative space for cooking and baking.

In addition to these essential kitchen tools, some several other gadgets and appliances can enhance your cooking experience. Make sure to have good pots and pans.  Blenders, food processors, stand mixers, scales, and specialized appliances are always helpful depending on how and what you cook and bake. Even grilling tools are good to have on hand. 

A woman is chopping vegetables on a cutting board.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Tools for Cutting and Peeling 

Having a versatile set of cutting and peeling tools is essential for both cooking and baking tasks.

The most commonly used kitchen tool, without a doubt, is the chef’s knife. I use this essential tool for chopping, slicing, dicing, mincing, and much more. A good knife is a must-have tool when preparing vegetables, fruits, meats, or herbs. Chef’s knives can be pricey, but budget-conscious home cooks can still find affordable knives that are sturdy, sharp, and have a comfortable grip. 

My ultimate companion in the kitchen is this long Microplane citrus zester. The sturdy handle and sharp blades make it effortless to transform your citrus fruits into deliciously fine zest to add to sweet and savory dishes. This tool is very versatile and goes beyond just citrus. Those ultra-sharp blades are perfect for grating ginger, hard cheeses, chocolate and nutmeg. 

Microplane Classic Zester

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Every kitchen needs a good vegetable peeler to speed up peeling fruits and vegetables. My go-to peeler is a simple and inexpensive Y-blade peeler that can easily peel a carrot or a thick-skinned squash. Need chocolate curls or parmesan cheese shavings? This peeler will do that too. It’s a must-have kitchen tool.

Y Vegetable Peeler

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Strong and sturdy cutting boards are a must in the kitchen. To avoid cross-contamination when cooking, two cutting boards are ideal — one for raw proteins and one for cooked foods and produce. I find the boards that are non-slip and dishwasher safe the best for safety and sanitation. 

Cutting Boards

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Tools for Measurements

Measuring tools are essential for ensuring accurate ingredient quantities and precise cooking temperatures.

You will need one complete set of measuring cups and spoons. Dry measuring cups for flour and sugar, for instance, and come in increments of ⅛, ¼, ⅓, ½, and 1 cup. For liquid measurements,  I like the classic Pyrex measuring cups that measure in cups and ounces for liquid measurements. You will need these tools anytime you make baked goods like cookies and cakes.

Measuring Cups & Spoons Set

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03/08/2024 09:03 pm GMT

Instant-read thermometers make it easy to get accurate temperatures of different foods in seconds. Whether getting the perfect steak temperature or keeping an eye on cold dishes, I can quickly check their temperature with a simple probe. The digital display is a valuable feature that takes the guesswork out of getting precise readings in no time. Thanks to this handy tool, I no longer worry about overcooking or undercooking my food.

ThermoPro Digital Thermometer

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Person whisking flour in a glass bowl.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Helpful Tools to Streamline Cooking and Baking 

You will find these tools have multiple uses for a wide range of cooking and baking tasks.

A multi-purpose bench knife is a versatile kitchen tool. I use it to transfer chopped ingredients, cut dough for bread and biscuits, and slice brownies and cookie bars into clean slices. Additionally, this scraper is ideal for smoothing out icing on a cake. The best part? It’s an affordable kitchen essential you never knew you needed until now.

Pastry Scraper/Cutter/Chopper

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It’s a great idea to have various sizes of silicone spatulas readily available for all sorts of cooking tasks like stirring, scraping, and folding. These spatulas are designed to endure high heat without melting and won’t damage your pans. They’re sturdy enough to handle heavy batters with ease. I prefer spatulas with a seamless design to prevent any food from getting stuck in crevices, which helps maintain cleanliness and hygiene in the kitchen.

Silicone Rubber Spatula Set

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03/08/2024 09:07 pm GMT

Kitchen tools make your life easier when cooking and baking, so I keep these precut parchment paper sheets nearby. These flat sheets fit perfectly in a half-sheet pan for nonstick baking. But I use these sheets for wrapping hamburger patties to freeze and cover pies while baking, and it’s perfect for candy-making. So many uses for a piece of paper. 

Parchment Paper
$16.99 ($0.08 / Count)

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The One Electric Appliance You Need

An essential tool for effortlessly blending ingredients and getting those smooth textures. 

A heavy-duty handheld electric mixer is necessary in the kitchen, from mixing cake batters and mashing potatoes to whipping cream. Stand mixers are ideal, but a hand mixer is a perfect solution if you don’t have room for one or the budget for one. Look for a mixer that has various speeds, includes attachments, and stands on end without tipping over.

5-Speed Hand Mixer

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03/08/2024 09:10 pm GMT
Hands using a pasta fork with a bowl of noodles.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

The Unconventional Tool You Need

When equipping your kitchen with essential tools and gadgets, consider adding a can crusher to the list. It may not be as glamorous as a chef’s knife or as versatile as a vegetable peeler, but it serves an essential purpose in keeping your kitchen tidy

Metal Can Crusher

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Bonus Must-Have Kitchen Tools

We snuck these bonus classic kitchen tools into our list because we believe that they are essential for any cook, whether a beginner or an expert.


A heavy-duty colander is very useful around the kitchen. While it’s most commonly used to drain liquids from pasta after cooking, it has plenty of other uses such as rinsing fruits and vegetables, sifting flour, straining stocks and soups, draining canned beans, and many more, making it indispensable for many cooking and meal preparation tasks.


A pair of tongs is another classic indispensable kitchen tool. Whether flipping meats on the grill or stirring vegetables in a pan, the long handles of a tong allow for safe and precise handling of hot food items. My husband likes to grill and we host weekend barbecues from time to time, and we have a few of these locking tongs in different sizes that we use. From cooking to serving, having a pair or two of some good old tongs is beneficial to any kitchen.

Locking Tongs

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Can opener

Having a good quality can opener in your kitchen is very handy, especially if you stock plenty of canned goods. While many cans now come with peel-off lids, the ring often snaps off, leaving you with an unnecessary problem. When you have a good old can opener lying around, you’ll have an effortless time opening metal or tin cans, streamlining your cooking process. I love my reliable heavy-duty can opener, which comes in different cute colors!

Can Opener

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Sure, you can use forks or chopsticks, but there’s no denying that a whisk facilitates efficient aeration, emulsification, and smooth mixing of batters, sauces, dressings, and various baking and cooking preparations. I bake a lot, and this set of heat-resistant whisks has done wonders for me. So if you constantly blend, stir, whip, or mix ingredients in your kitchen like me, you can’t do without a handy whip! 

Whisk Set

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A sink strainer

When your drain gets clogged, all sorts of kitchen problems follow. To avoid this, invest in a quality sink strainer to catch food scraps and other debris when rinsing food items or hand-washing your dishes. I picked up these stainless steel sink strainers several months ago they’re awesome!

Keep in mind that most sink strainers are designed to fit the standard drain, but it’s still best to check the size of your drain for a perfect fit. 

Sink Strainer
$6.99 $5.36

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03/08/2024 10:17 pm GMT

Portions of this article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.


Monday 25th of March 2024

Thanks! I sent this to my niece who is setting up her first kitchen after being newly married 🙂

Easy Homemade Life

Thursday 28th of March 2024

Congratulations to the newlyweds! I'm happy to hear she found this post helpful.


Monday 18th of March 2024

I just moved out on my own and I'm learning to cook, but I'm also on a budget so I don't want to buy things I don't need. This made it really easy to make a shopping list to get my new kitchen set up!

Easy Homemade Life

Monday 1st of April 2024

I hope you're settling in well! Always happy to help. Thanks for the feedback, Tina! We have tons of other recipes you might also love!