The Kitchen Essentials That Make Cooking at Home So Much Easier

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Even for seasoned pros, cooking at home can sometimes be a bit of a bummer. It’s much more frustrating, however, when you don’t feel confident in the kitchen or feel as though you’ve set yourself up for success. Having the right tools and equipment can make it a little easier and less stressful.

From cookware to utensils to food storage, here are some of the kitchen essentials that will make cooking at home way easier.

Sur La Table

Beechwood Spoon

A good wooden spoon is an absolute essential in my mind. It won't melt accidentally like a plastic spoon and won't scrape up the bottom of your pans like a metal one. That being said, there are still some specifications, if you ask me. It can't be too shallow or you won't be able to lift anything with it, but you don't want one that's too deep either. You'll reach for it again and again.

Sur La Table

Silicone-Tipped Tongs

I use tongs for just about everything. I always prefer them to a spatula (though you can't use them for absolutely everything) and they're never far from the stove when I'm cooking. I have two metal-tipped sets, but the silicone is even better—it'll give you a little extra peace of mind that you're not scratching your pan while trying to flip or stir.

Crate & Barrel

Kitchen Shears

These are so versatile. You can, of course, cut open food packaging with them, but you can also snip herbs, cut through shrimp shells and chicken skin, and more. Plus, they come apart for easy cleaning when you're done.

Crate & Barrel

Microplane Zester

I will never stop talking about Microplane zesters. They're, of course, great for zesting all kinds of citrus fruits, but they also come in handy for finely grating garlic or ginger, grating hard cheeses and whole spices, and even chocolate.

Sur La Table

Orange Juicer

These little hand-held juicers are the best and easiest way to add citrus juice to pretty much anything you're making, from salad dressings to cakes to sauces to cocktails. Simply cut in half, place the fruit cut side down in the juicer, and squeeze. As a former coworker once told me, the orange one is great to start with because it will also work perfectly with lemons and limes.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Zwilling J.A. Henkels Can Opener

We love a can opener that doesn't leave sharp edges behind. This can opener cleanly opens cans so that you won't risk a cut just trying to get the can open.

Target

KitchenAid Scraper Spatula

Scraper spatulas are another must-have if you're cooking or baking regularly. They're useful when making doughs and batters, of course, but also for safely scraping the bottom of a pot or pan to make sure you get the last little bits.

Sur La Table

Wüsthof Knife Sharpener

Sharp knives are so, so, so important, but sharpening your knives at home can be sort of intimidating if you don't feel like you know what you're doing. These pull-through knife sharpeners can take some of the guesswork out of the sharpening process, ensuring that your chef knives are as sharp as they need to be.

Target

KitchenAid Pivoting Display Digital Kitchen Thermometer

Whether you're an experienced home cook or not, a digital thermometer is a great thing to have on hand. The best way to determine if things are fully and safely cooked is to take the temperature of the food. This thermometer makes it simple.

Target

OXO Food Scale with Pull Out Display

OK, so if you're not a regular baker, you may not feel like you *need* a food scale, but let me tell you, they really do come in handy. If you've hopped on the bread-baking train, you know how easy it makes things. Weighing ingredients gives you a more accurate measurement, so if you're able to follow a recipe that goes by weight rather than volume, it's a good way to go.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Epicurean Cutting Board

These boards are non-porous and heat resistant to 350 degrees, which means they're a great addition to your kitchen. You can set warm things on them without worrying about damage, can feel confident that your board is getting clean after cutting raw meat, and even pop it in the dishwasher to get that thorough clean.

Crate & Barrel

Over-The-Sink Mesh Colander

Everyone needs a good colander. From washing berries and other fruits and vegetables to draining pasta and beans, it can really be a useful tool to have around. This one is a fine enough mesh that nothing will sneak through and also sits over your sink for ease of use.

Crate & Barrel

Bamboo Mixing Bowls

If you've never had the distinctly frustrating experience of trying to make something that requires multiple bowls when you don't *have* multiple bowls, well, then, you know essential mixing bowls can be. These nest into each other, which makes storage a snap.

Crate & Barrel

Batter Bowl

I will never again be able to live without a batter bowl. These little guys are so incredibly useful. They're easy to pour from, which makes them great for batters (of course), but also all kinds of things that require pouring. I use mine all the time and I think it makes cooking so much easier (and cleaner).

Target

Cuisinart 1qt Stainless Steel Saucier

A small saucepan is so useful. There's nothing worse than getting a giant pot out just to melt butter or heat up one serving of soup. This one is not only pretty, but it's also the perfect size for those smaller kitchen tasks.

Williams Sonoma

Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

A cast iron skillet is an absolute essential. They go from stovetop to oven seamlessly and, as long as you take care of it, cook and bake things like a dream. You'll get so much use out of it. Sauté vegetables, sear fish or meat, bake a giant cookie, the possibilities are endless.

Target

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen 5qt Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven

A heavy enameled cast iron Dutch or French oven is another must. You can cook just about everything in one of these, plus you don't have to be quite as careful about cleaning as you do with regular cast iron cookware.

Crate & Barrel

Stasher Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bag

I store everything from cheeses to leftovers to vegetables and herbs in reusable bags. As an added bonus, the Stasher version is also dishwasher-safe and can be cooked in.

Sur La Table

Glass Storage Container Set

Glass storage containers are great because they allow you to easily see the contents of your containers *and* they're dishwasher-safe. I live on leftovers, so glass storage containers are in my regular rotation. Easy to use, easy to clean, win-win.

 

This article was originally published on The Everygirl on August 13, 2020.

 

Read More: 15 Recipes to Make at Home Using Trader Joe’s Ingredients

 

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