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22 Most Useful Kitchen Utensils For Beginners

22 Most Useful Kitchen Utensils For Beginners
Having the most essential cooking tools in your kitchen will make your life so much easier. To help you know exactly what tools to start out with, we created a list of the most useful kitchen utensils for beginners. This list describes the uses of 22 basic cooking utensils and is perfect for novice cooks or chefs on a budget.

Although the kitchen world comes out with sleek, trendy, and exciting names of kitchen utensils and gadgets all the time, that doesn’t mean you need to buy every single one to be able to cook well. In fact, the most basic tools are all you need to start cooking delicious meals.

22 Essential Kitchen Utensils

1. Non-stick frying pan

Every household needs a non-stick pan for breakfast duty since eggs and pancakes are best made on a non-stick surface. It’s also a super-versatile pan that can be used for searing meats, sauteing vegetables, and making sauces. Just be careful to use non-abrasive tools on the surface. We suggest these non-stick skillet sets. Buying a two-piece set lets you have two sizes around and makes it possible to cook two dishes at the same time.

2. Saucepan

A saucepan is perfect for when you need to cook something with liquids, such as boiling pasta and vegetables or simmering sauces and beans. A 4-quart saucepan is easy to maneuver and handle, and is great whether you’re cooking for one or four.

3. Stockpot

For bigger batches of soups, stews and pasta, you’ll want to have a 12-quart stock pot around. Its base allows for even heating, so your soups cook evenly.

4. Sheet pans

Sheet pans can get a lot of action, including roasting vegetables, baking meats, toasting nuts, and of course, baking cookies. They are also great for making my Pecan Pie Granola.

5. Glass baking dish

Glass baking dishes are perfect for baking things like casseroles and enchiladas in the oven. Because it’s microwave-safe can fit into a microwave for the times you need to pre-cook vegetables, especially when the oven and stove are occupied. 

6. Knives

If you’re cooking, you’re going to be using a knife. If you only have money and space for one knife, get a chef’s knife. Sometimes you will find a set of two which will provide two different sizes like a 8” chef’s knife and 4” paring knife. You will use this knife for 90% of your food prep, so buy a nice one and take care of it.

However, we highly recommend getting a serrated knife and a paring knife as well since they serve different purposes – serrated knives let you slice through tomatoes and bread with ease, and paring knives are great for smaller, more delicate jobs, when a big knife just doesn’t cut it.

7. Dry measuring cups

Even if you like to “eyeball” ingredients, it’s handy to have a set of measuring spoons around for the times you need precise measurements, especially for baking recipes.  

8. Measuring spoons

I personally love wooden spoons. Choose a set that has a variety of wooden spoons so that you can use it for different kinds of cooking. Wooden spoons are not abrasive on your cooking surfaces and they’ll last forever. Just don’t put them in the dishwasher. 

9. Liquid measuring cups

 For liquid measuring cups, we have a few we love. They’re microwave safe and sturdy. When measuring liquid ingredients keep your cups on a flat surface for accurate measurements.  

10. Peeler

When you’re setting up your kitchen with the basics, you want to make sure you have a good, sharp peeler to remove the peels of vegetables, shave off cheese, make lovely chocolate ribbons.

11. Whisk

We use our whisk almost everyday. Especially when baking or whipping cream for your morning coffee. While forks and chopsticks can be handy, a whisk is quicker and more efficient for emulsifying ingredients like vinegars and oils. 

12. Tongs

Tongs are like your extended hands and are super useful in the kitchen! Not only are they used to flip big pieces of food, but they also help move ingredients around in a frying pan or on a sheet pan without the risk of burns.

I love using tongs when cooking with stock pots or when seasoning meats. Tongs make just about everything easy to maneuver in the kitchen.  

13. Cutting board

A good, grippy cutting board will protect your fingers during all your prep work, which is why we are sharing a few of our favorite cutting boards here.

We recommend having a few cutting boards, like this set of plastic cutting boards, to prep various ingredients and prevent cross-contamination. Plastic boards can be placed in the dishwasher for full disinfecting. 

14. Colander

Every kitchen needs a heavy-duty colander for draining out boiled pasta and vegetables. It is also used for draining canned beans and freshly washed veggies. 

15. Bowls

Every kitchen needs a set of prep bowls to help you organize all your ingredients.

If you get collapsible prep bowls, you’ll save a lot of space and have the convenience of covers that can seal off ingredients that are not quite ready for cooking yet.

But glass prep bowls can also double as serving dishes! 

16. Can opener

A can opener is something you don’t want to forget! Canned beans and vegetables make for quick-cooking and are great pantry staples, but a bunch of things also come in cans that require a can opener – coconut milk, curry paste, fruits, crushed tomatoes, etc.  

17. Zester

This may not seem like a very necessary tool to have in a basic kitchen, but it makes a huge difference when you’re looking to up the flavor in your meals. A zester is used for zesting lemons and limes, and grating ginger and cheese.

18. Blender / Stick blender

Blend smoothies, and get extra creamy and smooth vinaigrettes / dressings. A stick blender is so convenient, even its clean up is easy – simply pop off the blade for super quick cleaning.  

19. Salad spinner

A colander may be sufficient enough for drying lettuce, but a salad spinner is a whole lot more efficient.

Salad dressings have a difficult time adhering to lettuce that is still wet and people have a difficult time with soggy tacos and sandwiches.

A salad spinner is the answer to your problems because it will help you get rid of water in a matter of seconds and save on paper towels. 

20. Fine-mesh sieve

You’ll want a sieve with a diameter of about 6″. We love this tool for sifting flour when baking. It can also double as a spider to scoop out vegetables you’re blanching, a colander for pasta, and a drain for stocks and sauces. And it makes rinsing beans or grains easy.  

21. Towels

Not just for drying dishes (although they should be able to do that well). Towels are used for covering bread dough, sweeping flour off a countertop, and as makeshift trivets and hot pads.

Grab these towels they are pretty, durable, absorbent, and large. Last but not least, kitchen linens make up an important part of the daily kitchen experience.  

22. Pot holders

Another pick that’s especially important for the new cook. Battle-hardened cooks might be more cavalier about their fingertips and pull sheets pans out of the oven with the tip of their towel. But new cooks (and clumsy cooks, like me!) should be more careful. 

With these basic kitchen utensils list, you can cook just about anything without spending a fortune to fill your cupboards with appliances you rarely use.  

Rather than buying everything on this list of all kitchen utensils on day one, you can slowly build up a stock of essentials that will make your life a lot easier. 

About The Author

Wanda Lopez

Wanda Lopez a blogger at heart and shares her insight on all things food, recipes, home décor, travel and more at She’s a passionate content editor and contributor for household brands such as Kraft, Publix, Ford, Best Buy and more--all while balancing work, motherhood and all things in between. An educator and avid photographer, she is in love with design, food and the outdoors.

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