Are you looking to build your cookware collection but overwhelmed by options? An aspiring cook wondering which kitchen gadgets you really need? I have you covered!
Because I receive so many questions from both readers and friends about exactly which bakeware I use, which kitchen tools I find essential, as well as my favorite cookbooks and household products, I created an Amazon store that you can easily browse and shop directly. It has lots of helpful categories, and even beauty and travel recommendations!
Since the kitchen is where I receive the most questions, however, I wanted to include a list of my tip-top picks right in this post.
The items below are ones I use, trust, and love in my own kitchen. I’ve beaten them around, dirtied them up, and scrubbed them clean.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list (see my Amazon store for more!), but I hope you find it helpful, whether you are looking to build a wedding registry, upgrade your cookie sheet, or find a gift for a friend who loves to cook. Please let me know if you have any questions, and have fun!
- Stand Mixer. A true workhorse and faithful companion of any home baker. Plus, it comes in every color you could wish for!
- Slow Cooker. If you’ve seen the slow cooker section of my website, then you know this is one of my favorite kitchen tools. I love the programmable version because it deters overcooking.
- Instant Pot. I bought an Instant Pot a few years ago, and while I was hesitant at first, I adore it now! It makes one-pot cooking a breeze. For recipe inspiration, see the Instant Pot section of my site.
- High-Powered Blender. When making smoothies, a high-powered blender creates ultra creamy and smooth results, and it works well for making soups, homemade nut butter and more. (This more economical blender option is great if you are just starting out.)
- Food Processor. This one has lasted me for more than 10 years and works as well as the day I bought it. I like that it comes with a slicing and grating blade too.
- Immersion Blender. If you like creamy soups, you need this. It blends right in the pot, so you avoid the messy transfer to your blender.
Pots, Pans, & Skillets
I receive the question “what pans should I buy” more than almost any other. Here is what I recommend.
- Classic Dutch Oven. This is an investment piece, but it’s absolutely worth it. This Dutch oven will cook beside you for life. If our house ever catches fire, I’m taking this with me (though to be honest, it would probably survive the blaze!).
- Stainless Steel. I recommend having 1 great saute pan, 1 or 2 skillets, and 1 or two saucepans. Stainless steel is an investment but with proper care, it will last you for life.
- Non-Stick. Sometimes, you just need a nonstick skillet, especially for stir fries and cooking eggs. I truly adore this set (investment but you can tell when you use it). This more affordable set is also excellent.
- Cast Iron. A really great, well-seasoned cast iron skillet is a cook’s BFF. I love that these are oven safe and transition from stovetop to table. I use mine for searing, baking, and anytime I’m cooking something I want nice and brown. I’ve had good luck with this lifetime piece; this is a good, affordable option.
- Wok. For a giant stir fry, I also love my wok.
- Rimmed Baking Sheets. One of the most versatile and important tools in my kitchen! I use these every day for roasting vegetables, baking cookies, and making sheet pan meals.
- Best Ever Loaf Pan. An ideal pan for baking any of the delicious quick breads from my site!
- Standard Muffin Pan. Ideal for making any of my healthy muffins. The lid makes it great for storing and transporting. (I also like this option if you don’t need the lid)
- 3-Quart Casserole Dish. When making one of my casseroles, this casserole dish will come in handy. It’s both beautiful and functional. (This one is beautiful too.)
- Pizza Stone. No matter which of these delicious pizza recipes you make, this pizza stone is easy to clean. (This one is also great!) Even frozen pizza tastes better when you cook it on a stone.
Knives & Essential Gadgets
- Sharp Chef’s Knife. A tool that you’ll use for years! Perfect for chopping vegetables, fruits, and so much more. I’ve used a number of different knives and have had great luck with the ZWILLING/JA Henkels Pro line.
- Fish Spatula. I use this for so much more than fish! Flip pans of roasted vegetables, pancakes, over easy eggs, and more. (And yes, it’s great for fish too.)
- Citrus Juicer. I won’t juice a lemon or lime without it! It squeezes out every drop and keeps seeds from spoiling your food.
- Instant Read Thermometer. The absolutely best way to determine if your meat is properly cooked. I also use it to check fish and even quick breads for doneness.
- Non-Slip Cutting Board. I’ve tried dozens of cutting boards over the years. These are the best.
- Extra Large Cutting Board. I LOVE this one when I’m prepping a large number of vegetables, because it has tons of space, meaning less stopping to wash in between. It’s a surprising time saver.
- Parchment Paper. Parchment paper helps keep food from sticking to your baking dishes and ensures cookies bake more evenly. Plus, it works well when keeping items separated in a storage container during freezing.
- Digital Kitchen Scale. Ensure proper portions every time with a digital kitchen scale. It’s also great for baking—instead of scooping and dirtying measuring cups, you can simply use the scale.
- Mandoline. An easy way to slice fruits and vegetables to an even thinness.
- Vegetable Peeler. Make quick, light work of peeling vegetables.
- Cherry/Olive Pitter. The one specialty use kitchen gadget I actually insist on.
Mixing & Measuring
- Favorite Basic Spatula. A heat-resistant rubber spatula that is perfect for baking, scraping, and stirring.
- Mixing Bowls. These are stackable for easy storage, as well as microwave safe (a bonus for melting chocolate and butter).
- Liquid Ingredient Measuring Cups. You can measure and mix your ingredients in these cups. They’re also microwave and dishwasher-safe.
- Dry Ingredient Measuring Cups. Yes you need both! I love that these are super sturdy. The handles don’t bend while you scoop and they are dishwasher safe.
- Measuring Spoons. Two-sided measuring spoons mean less dishes to wash.
- Batter Scoop. My secret to making perfectly domed muffins and portioned cookies.
- Small Whisk. Say goodbye to splashing all over the counter with this small-sized whisk. I haven’t used a full-sized whisk since switching to this one.
I also would be remiss if I didn’t mention The Well Plated Cookbook. It’s filled with 130+ NEW fast, healthy recipes, and is PACKED with useful kitchen tips, ingredient swaps, and more. It is essential for everyday cooking and is designed to help you get a wholesome meal on the table any night of the week! Read more here.