Must Have Cooking Essentials


    Cooking is a necessary life skill! Learning to cook or doing other chores in the kitchen becomes enjoyable or even therapeutic when working in a comfortable environment. To successfully develop your kitchen into a conducive workspace, it is important to stock it with essential cooking tools that can make cooking for your loved ones and cleaning up after easier.

    However, stocking up on essential cooking tools does not mean going on a buying spree. Buying every kitchen item, you find remotely interesting won’t make your work easier around the kitchen. In fact, the clutter that results from buying sprees might even make working in the kitchen messier or more difficult. 

    To maximize the use of kitchen space and save money, you need to be smart in your kitchen tool choices. This post will take you through the must-have cooking essentials.

    diced meat and knife on top of a chopping board

    Good quality Chef’s knife

    A good quality knife, in capable hands, can do wonders in the kitchen. Whether chopping up some spices, dicing veggies, or carving up some meat, you need some good quality knives to make neat cuts. High-quality knives like carbon-plated stainless steel can be costly, but it’s worth the extra expense.

    These types of knives can stay sharp for a long time and deliver clean cuts. However, a knife’s quality isn’t the only thing you should be concerned about. You also have to get the feel of it; by that, I mean you should be comfortable using it.

    Handling the knife is just as important as the knife’s quality. You should be able to get a firm grip on your knife’s handle. And it should be balanced in your hand, not too heavy and not too light either.


    Tongs are relatively cheap and easy to find. Most big box stores carry a selection of tongs that you can choose from.

    It’s a very versatile tool to have in the kitchen as it serves as an extension of your hands.

    Tongs can be used in food preparation. You can use it to turn the food you’re cooking into a hot pan or grill. Aside from their use in food preparation, tongs can also be used when serving food. It’s an easy way to pick choice parts in potlucks or family meals. 

    chopped veggies on a metal skillet


    Skillets, also known as frying pans, are flat-bottom pans. It is usually used to brown, sear, or fry food. 

    There are different types of skillets, and you may choose what’s available for you or what suits your cooking preference.

    Electric or non-stick skillets may be the choice for people who prefer cooking styles that match their fast-paced lifestyle, while others prefer cast iron skillets for their robustness and versatility. If you do opt to buy a cast-iron skillet, just remember to season it first properly.


    Saucepans come in different sizes. It is typically used for cooking pasta, stews, and sauces. It is generally designed for stovetop use and is ideal for cooking liquids in small to medium batches.

    Dutch Oven

    Dutch ovens are typically used for cooking stews, braised meats, and soups. It can either be made from cast iron or clay. Furthermore, they are designed to be deep pots with heavy lids, which makes them ideal for low-heat and slow-cooked dishes.


    Spatulas are a type of broad and flat utensil used to spread or lift food items. They are frequently used to flip burger patties and other meat cuts on barbeques. 

    Also, they are often used for cooking breakfast classics like scrambled eggs, hash browns, and pancakes. The blade of these utensils is often made of either metal or plastic with wooden or plastic handles.

    chopped vegetables in a casserole pot over a stovetop. 

    Casserole pot

    As the name suggests, this type of pot is usually used to make casseroles. Casserole pots can be made of glazed ceramic or metal. It is a versatile piece of cookware that can be used in either ovens or stovetops, depending on the type of casserole pot. In many recipes, it can also be frequently used interchangeably with Dutch ovens.

    cookies spread on top of a baking tray.

    Baking trays

    Baking trays are indispensable for those that like to bake. If you’re unfamiliar with them, they are flat rectangular metal pans used to bake pastries like bread, pies, or biscuits. Also, they are made of rigid material to withstand high temperatures inside an oven.


    Ladles are indispensable when cooking stews, soups, or other liquid food items. This type of utensil is used to stir food during cooking and then ladle food over plates when serving. 

    The designs of ladles vary, but it is usually made up of a long handle to insulate the hand from heat and a deep bowl at the end to scoop up liquids.

    different-sized measuring cups

    Measuring cups

    Measuring cups are kitchen utensils used to measure dry and wet ingredients.

    This tool is an absolute must-have for bakers. Baking is the most precise type of cooking hence the need for measuring cups to follow the recipe accurately. Measuring cups are also useful tools for those who are only beginning to learn to cook.

    an electric whisk


    Whisks are used to mix or blend ingredients into a smooth consistency. The design of a whisk usually includes a handle and a series of wire hoops at the end. A whisk can be manual or electric.

    This utensil is a mainstay for bakers. It is typically used to mix flour with eggs, butter, or sugar.

    The end of whisks may vary depending on its intended purpose. The ends are usually made of metal, but whisks intended for non-stick cookware may feature softer plastic ends to prevent damaging non-stick glaze.

    Wonder Pot

    Wonder Pots is an exceptionally helpful tool for those that want to bake but lack access to an oven. Wonder pots bypass the need for an oven because you can use them for baking cakes using the heat from a stovetop. This type of pot is constructed out of aluminum and contains a center hole.

    The hole and the material it’s made of are meant to mimic the cooking environment inside of an oven. The aluminum allows heat to spread evenly while the pot’s center hole disperses the flame’s heat around the inside of the cake. This configuration makes sure that the cake is evenly cooked.

    Whether it’s your first-time cooking or you’ve been at it for years, it is still important to keep these essential types of cookware in your kitchen. Having the right cooking tools at your disposal is an important part of cooking good food! 

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