Essential Kitchen Tools – Utensils

This is part 1 in a series of the essential tools you need whether you are setting up your first kitchen or looking to downsize or de-clutter.

kitchen utensils

Kitchen utensils are essential to stirring, mixing, brushing, whisking, lifting, flipping and so much more. Here are our picks for every kitchen.

1. Tongs – We love tongs in the Test Kitchen. They can do many tasks including picking up and flipping food, tossing salad greens, squeezing lemons and reaching light items from a high shelf. Look for longer ones so that you don’t get burned flipping your steak on the grill. We love this metal and silicone version.

2. Metal Spatula – Great for lifting and getting under delicate items like cookies, pancakes or fish. Also perfect for flipping burgers on the grill. The metal version won’t melt (like the plastic one), but it may scratch your non-stick cookware, so be careful.

3. Rubber Spatula – Pick a sturdy but flexible one that is heat resistant so it doesn’t melt in your hand. Use it for gently mixing ingredients and scraping clean bowls.

4. Brush – Perfect for brushing sauces on grilling or roasting meats. We like the silicone version since it is easy to clean.

5. Slotted Spoon – Like a mini strainer, use when cooking pasta, deep-frying or lifting any thing from a liquid.

6. Potato Masher – Not only for potatoes, a potato masher does a great job on steamed root vegetables, sauteed chickpeas or lentils and easily crushes tomatoes.

7. Whisk – Essential for whipping up cream or egg whites and whisking together vinaigrettes. Also great for mixing and lightening (instead of sifting) dry ingredients together for baking.

8. Rasp – A fine hand-held grater that is perfect for getting the zest off a lemon (or other citrus fruit) or grating hard cheeses like Parmesan.

9. Wooden Spoon – The workhorse of the kitchen, wooden spoons need to be sturdy for mixing thick batters or scraping (but not scratching) pans.


Photography by Leah Kuhne