14 Kitchen Tools I Can’t Live Without

cooking utensils
The right tools make cooking more enjoyable.

We all know about the basic things—cutting boards, serving dishes, the right set of knives, the pots and pans we like, etc. But what happens when we really get into cooking and want to expand our kitchen equipment to include the less obvious, but equally useful things?

Wojo’s Kitchen Utensils List

These are 14 such things, things I rarely find in other people’s kitchens and which I deeply miss if I try to cook anywhere but my own house:

  1. 10-Quart Stockpot: When I started to consistently run out of room for soups in my 5-quart, I upgraded sizes and never looked back.
  2. Wok Pan: My wok has, by far, the hottest temperature I can achieve on my stovetop, with a shape that’s ideal for a quick sauté or stir fry.
  3. Electric Kettle: Great for preparing tea, but also when you need to make hot water quickly for something else you’re cooking.
  4. Box Grater: Unlike a regular grater, a box greater usually offers at least four different choices when slicing or grating your stuff, which means more flexibility on the fly.
  5. Slow Cooker: Crockery cooking is one of the easiest way for a busy family to enjoy dinner at home, without all the fuss of evening prep or clean-up. It’s also an ideal method for preparing large cuts of meat or things like pulled pork.
  6. Silicone Tongs: Spatulas are great, but it you want to really control what you’re cooking, a good pair of tongs is the right tool for the job. Silicone is necessary if you don’t want to damage your non-stick pans.
  7. Immersion Blender: Perfect for making creamy soups, baby food, cakes, and countless other things where you need to keep food in its original container rather than transferring to a blender.
  8. Steamer: An excellent way to quickly prepare veggies, fish, eggs, or rice. It has the benefit of being a set-it-and-forget-it appliance.
  9. Juicer: A good juicer makes life a snap when you need fresh lemon or lime juice, or even when you want to make homemade orange juice. We have a manual and electric version, depending on the volume of our task.
  10. Water Filter: Rather than carrying bottled water around, we spent money to get a water filter pitcher and only pay for new filters.
  11. Collapsible Strainer: Strainers are necessary for everything from pasta to vegetables, but I don’t like when they take up precious counter space. A pair of collapsible strainers (preferably at least one with “arms” to hang in the sink) take up little room and are more than capable of the job.
  12. Mise en Place Dishes: Any home cook who wants to keep their sanity will prep their veggies and other food before cooking. Very small glass dishes make separating items simple.
  13. Instant Thermometer: The easiest and fastest way to tell if your meat (or milk for your baby) is
    done to the correct temperature.
  14. Sharpening Steel: If you own a nice knife, but no way to sharpen it, you’ll start to be very disappointed by its performance.

How many do you own? You might be surprised at how easy many of these make your life in the kitchen.

Photo Credit: ktylerconk