You don’t need a bunch of fancy kitchen gadgets to create a useful, streamlined kitchen, but there are a few tools will speed up your prep and cook time and make your cooking experience a whole lot more enjoyable. This list comprises the basic must-haves in my kitchen; tools I use almost daily and could – but wouldn’t want to – live without.
- Vitamix – These are expensive, don’t get me wrong. But, let me tell you, it’s totally worth it. I have a smoothie for breakfast probably 6 times a week, and this gal makes it so easy. I like to add vegetables to my smoothies, and this powerhouse ensures I don’t feel like I’m eating veggies as it blends everything so smoothly. 🙂
- Food Processor – I don’t use this daily, but it’s a must for shredding large amounts of veggies quickly for use in salads and soups and it’s essential for making my favorite cookie dough balls.
- Large Cutting Board – This one is my absolute favorite; it’s the Epicurean brand, which uses composite, non-porous materials, and for its size, it’s lightweight. With all the vegetable chopping I do, a large surface makes prep time so much easier. And flip it over to use the groove feature around the edges, making it perfect for cutting cooked meat or a juicy watermelon.
- Global Vegetable Knife – All Global brand knives are great, and this vegetable knife is a great place to start when you’re planning to chop a whole bunch of vegetables. I can’t tell you how much faster and easier prepping food is when you have a good quality knife.
- Small OXO Mandolin – Definitely a sleeper hit for me, this small tool has made eating salads so much easier and more enjoyable. In a minute, I can have thinly sliced carrots, fennel, cabbage, etc. for a salad. Prep time is cut in half and the texture makes salads even more delicious!
- OXO Salad Spinner – I swear by this. It makes washing greens a breeze, and lengthens the time they stay fresh in my fridge.
- Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven – This is my go-to pot for soups and stews. It conducts heat beautifully (great with induction stovetops!), browns everything so evenly, and is oven-safe up to 500 degrees.
- High Quality Sheet Pans – Another staple, I use these for roasting veggies, and sheet pan dinners, such as my 10 minute chicken dinner. I always use unbleached parchment paper between my food and these pans, however, for a non-toxic, non-stick surface.
- Salad Dressing Container – I typically use mason jars to mix my dressings, but I would love one that pours more easily, so I have my eye on this one and this one. If you’re going to start making your own dressings, which I highly recommend, this may be a good purchase.
- Large Saute Pan – I love this one from Caraway. It’s beautiful, non-stick and non-toxic, and it has deep sides to contain all my veggies!
- Stasher Bags – for food storage, I use glass containers, but I also love to use these silicone bags. They are perfect for storing washed fruits and vegetables, and can be washed in the dishwasher.
As I said before, you certainly don’t need all of these, but it’s just what I’ve found works really well for me over the years. If I had to choose just a handful, I’d pick a high quality blender, great knife, cutting board, and a good saute pan. Happy cooking!