Inside every good kitchen are tools that make the work of cooking enjoyable. Quality over everything.
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Pots and Pans
Stainless Steel Pans
A simple set of stainless steel pans will last you many years in the kitchen. Unlike non-stick pans that wear out and flake, stainless steel is a much more durable material. Don’t forget to get thick bottomed pans so that your food doesn’t burn easily! This is a simple set that I have used for years and it still looks as good as new!
Ceramic Flat pan– When we moved into our last home, our friends gave us their flat pan. We used it almost daily– it is fantastic for eggs, pancakes, bacon, and anything that is not saucy. It warped. It was so not flat anymore and I knew I needed to replace it. I found this ceramic pan as an alternative to Teflon and we love it! You can clean it with a magic eraser :). It is a bit spendy but worth it.
Cast Iron pan
Cast iron pans are an absolute essential. Not only are you getting the added benefit of iron in your diet, they are also long-lasting tools that, if treated properly, will last you a long time!
Several things: Cast iron should be seasoned prior to use. Don’t use soap to clean it out. Use this tool to scrub it and rinse with water. DRY it immediately and rub it down with some oil like coconut oil or avocado oil.
Chain scrubber for cast iron and Wok
In case you missed what I said in the previous paragraph, this deserves its own paragraph. This tool was a total game changer when cleaning my pans. The interlocking chains gently clean away the sticky messes. (I also use these on my Pyrex dishes!)
I know you’re like girl, why so many pans. But please, hear me, if you’re gonna cook Chinese food you will thank me. I did some intense research before adding this to my wedding registry and it has not failed me yet! I read up on the most optimal metal to use and was sold on carbon steel. Woks can be frustrating if you don’t take care of them. Much like a cast iron pan, you need to season this wok and wash it the same way you’d wash a cast iron pan (don’t forget the chain scrubber). Dry it immediately and add a coat of oil before putting it away. If you have a gas stove, you are highly favored. I’ve got an electric one and this pan still works like a champ for my stir fries and fried noodles.
Large toaster oven
This might sound so extra but honestly, it was a game changer for our kitchen. Not only does this fit my yellow glass dish I can cook dinner in it. It’s not simply a toaster. If I don’t want to warm the whole house up using the big oven or I just have something small to cook, this is perfect. My husband loves to cook his sausage goodness knows what else for his keto meals. If you’re avoiding using a microwave, this is also a great way to heat up leftovers!
You can see my post about why I bought an Instant Pot but to summarize. I love it. I use it almost daily and would replace it in a heartbeat if it died. I bought it to make bone broth and love having the 8qt size so that I can make lots of broth (and soups and all the things)! Be sure to read the user manual to use them safely!
Blenders and Mixers
Without a doubt, one of my most prized kitchen tools is a Vitamix. It makes the creamiest soups and most delicious smoothies. I use it for a lot of things and can’t imagine my kitchen without it. While these are generally a big investment, you can get a certified refurbished unit that comes with an excellent warranty.
**If you’re not quite in the market for a Vitamix yet, a NutriBullet is a good small-scale blender.
An immersion blender is a game changer for blending soups, making dressings, and for blending small amounts.
While it is ideal to have both, a Kitchen Aid mixer isn’t just a countertop decoration in my home. A hand mixer will do just fine for a lot of things so if you’re on a budget, a hand mixer would be my first suggestion. When my recipes call for whipped egg whites, using a mixer is going to save you a lot of effort!
Must Have tools
They’re an investment but Pampered Chef can openers are incredible. I love that I can open a can and not have razor sharp edges to worry about! (If you find another brand that does the job just as well, let me know!!)
We use them for everything. From a cup for our latest smoothie to storage in the fridge and freezer to holding our dry ingredients, these are a must-have in almost every cupboard! We have them in all of the sizes too. I think our favorites are pint and pint and a half wide mouth. PSA Half-gallon jars are not freezer friendly. Note: When freezing jars, only fill 3/4 full to allow for expanding while freezing. We love using a canning funnel when filling our jars.
There are SO many varieties out on the market now. From electric ones, all the way down to a small hand-held spiralizers. Take your pick. I use this one and have been pleased with it. It comes with several plates that give you options from fine to medium to ribbon cut.
Have you enjoyed the frustration of a dull, useless peeler? I was suckered into this peeler at a fair, the price was much higher but I have no regrets. It is a fantastic two-sided peeler. The one side is for peeling, the other side is for a julienne cut. I buy these as gifts and wish everyone could enjoy this kitchen tool! They’re sharp, so, be careful! (I peeled a butternut squash the other night with ease. You’re welcome)
Magnetic knife holder
My parents got one of these years ago and I put one up the minute I moved into my own kitchen. I wouldn’t store knives any other way. I know some don’t prefer them but I love this kitchen tool; the easy access and the fact that they’re up away from the kiddos.