Kitchen Tools Buying Guide

To make exceptional meals and impressive treats you’ll need the right kitchen tools. We prepare and cook food almost every day, so it’s worth getting a good collection of go-to kitchen utensils that will make your life easier now and for years to come. It’s important to have the cooking tools and kitchen gadgets you need to measure ingredients precisely for the best recipe results, prep your food fast, cook your favourite dishes and desserts, check the temperature during cooking, and time everything to perfection so your homemade creations are always amazing.

1. Cooking Utensils

Make a list of what you make for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at the moment, and what you’d like start making in the future, then jot down the kitchen utensils you’ll need to make each one. This list of common cooking utensils and kitchen tools will help.

For everyday cooking

  • Peeler – to peel vegetables, zest, ribbon, and shave chocolate and cheese
  • Stirring spoon – to stir your ingredients as they cook
  • Ladle or serving spoon – for serving up pasta sauces, stews and soups
  • Kitchen tongs – BBQ tongs to turn meat and salad tongs for entertaining
  • Turner – to flip meat and eggs and transfer food from pans and dishes to the plate
  • Spatula – to scrape ingredients out of bowls and pans
  • Grater  – a cheese grater , veggie grater, chocolate and nut grater in one
  • Masher – to make mashed potato and chunky soups
  • Kitchen utensil set – gives you all the basic utensils in one handy set
  • Colander – to strain cooked pasta and vegetables and wash fresh fruit and veggies
  • Can opener – can be manual or electric
  • Salt and pepper grinders – for freshly ground salt and pepper seasoning
  • Measuring spoons – to follow exact recipe amounts and get the best results
  • Measuring jug – for liquid ingredients. Some digital jugs show the temperature too
  • Kitchen scales – to weigh ingredients precisely for recipe perfection
  • Sieve – to finely strain liquids, sauces and soups
  • Timer – so your creations are cooked to perfection and disasters are prevented

For passionate cooks

  • Whisk – to hand whisk eggs, whip cream, blend mixtures and aerate ingredients
  • Skimmer – to skim off undesirable floating bits from the top of soups and stocks
  • Zester – a microplane grater that’s a cheese grater, lime, orange and lemon zester
  • Mortar & pestle – to crush and combine spices for meat rubs and homemade curries
  • Meat tools – a meat tenderiser/meat mallet and a meat grinder for amazing meals
  • Basting brush – to redistribute pan juices over meat to keep it moist during cooking
  • Cooking thermometer – to check meat and poultry and ensure it’s cooked perfectly
  • Skewers – to make kebabs for the BBQ and create a marble pattern in cakes
  • Pastry tools – a rolling pin and non-stick mat to roll pasty, and pastry bag for piping
  • Flour sifter – to sift all the lumps out of flour so your cake mixtures are evenly mixed
  • Cooking torch – to brown the tops of crème brûlées and other impressive desserts
  • Pasta tools – to make, shape and dry your own homemade pasta
  • Mandolin slicer – to quickly and evenly slice vegetables and cheese

To save time in the kitchen

Add a few of these cool kitchen gadgets to your list:

  • Garlic presses – to mince garlic cloves in seconds instead of finely chopping
  • Herb scissors – to chop fresh herbs over salads and into dishes while you cook
  • Salad spinner – to wash and spin dry salad leaves quickly and easily
  • Pizza cutter – to cut homemade pizzas into same-size slices fast
  • Fruit & vegetable tools spiraliser, avocado slicer, melon baller and citrus juicer
  • Ice cream scoop – for fast, perfectly formed scoops that will impress your guests
  • Jar opener – so you don’t waste time trying to open lids or have to ask for help

For fun

  • Novelty fried egg mould – an owl-shaped egg mould is a wise choice for fussy kids
  • Talking toast – pattern toast stencils with cute messages make mornings more fun

What kitchen tools do you need?

Compare what you’ve already got in your kitchen with what’s on your kitchen utensils list. Now test if things still work well and throw away anything that’s had it and needs to be replaced. Once you’ve crossed the kitchen tools you’ve already got off your list, use this Kitchen Tool Buying Guide to choose the best kitchen utensils for your home.

2. Choose your utensil materials

Consider what kinds of utensils are compatible with your cookware (view the Cookware Buying Guide for more information) and which of these benefits are most important to you:

Silicone kitchen utensils

Silicone spatulas, stirrers and baking tray liners.

  • Won’t damage non-stick cookware
  • Non-stick so easy to clean
  • Won’t absorb food stains
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Long-lasting
  • Hygienic
  • Colourful

Stainless steel utensils

Turners, whisks and measuring spoons.

  • Extremely strong
  • Hard wearing and long lasting
  • Rust proof
  • May react to acidic ingredients like tomatoes
  • Conducts heat so should not be left in the pan
  • Not recommended for non-stick cookware

Wooden utensils

Wooden spoon, wooden spatula, rolling pin, meat mallet.

  • Stays cool while you cook
  • Natural and non-toxic
  • Won’t damage any kind of cookware
  • Long lasting
  • Won’t react with acidic ingredients
  • Quiet to cook with
  • Comfortable to hold
  • May absorb food stains
  • Should not be soaked in water
  • May split if put in the dishwasher

Plastic utensils

Ladles, serving spoons and stirring spoons.

  • Less expensive than other types of utensils
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Can melt if left in or near heat
  • Not as long lasting as other materials

3. Smart Utensil Storage

Keeping your kitchen tools organised saves you time because you can find what you need fast.

Storage tips:

  • Keep utensils you use every day in a jug, cylinder or hanging rack near the cooktop
  • Store utensils used regularly at the front of drawers and cupboards for easy access
  • Use shallow drawers with shelf dividers or drawer separators for your small utensils
  • Keep the utensils you need for different cuisines together in see-through containers:
  • Baking utensils – piping bags, decorations, pastry brushes and cookie cutters
  • Italian utensils – all the tools you need to make homemade pasta and sauce
  • Asian utensils – spice tools, herb scissors and a zester for grating ginger

4. Consider other kitchen helpers - for mouthwatering, slow-cooked meats and quick pressure-cooked meals

These kitchen accessories are also really handy to have in your kitchen:

  • Blender – to blend soups, smoothies and dips really quickly
  • Food processor – does all the chopping, slicing, dicing, grating and more for you fast
  • Mixer – for hands-free, time-saving mixing, whipping, kneading, stirring and beating
  • Cooker – for mouthwatering, slow-cooked meats and quick pressure-cooked meals hand whisk eggs

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