Items Professional Chefs Say You Must Have in Your Kitchen

Are you moving out on your own and found yourself with unsettlingly empty kitchen cupboards? Or are you still using hand-me-down cookware from your parents? In all cases, it may be time for you to choose the right items for your kitchen.

If you have attempted this before, you may have found that picking the best utensils and tools is a real challenge. To help you navigate this plethora of choices, we scoured the internet for the best and most reliable kitchen tools that offer the best value for their customers. We got you covered whether you’re looking for a chef’s knife, a frying pan, a Dutch oven, a sheet pan or even a melon baller.

Read on to discover the chef-approved items for your kitchen that will make your life better and cooking tastier!

1.) Essential Knife: Chef’s Knife

chef knife

You don’t need the whole knife set to unleash your inner chef. Three will do the job just fine.

The first one is the chef’s knife. Our favorite pick is the Amazon-celebrity Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife. Its laser-tested blade allows effortless chopping, mincing, slicing, and dicing.

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2.) Essential Knife: Serrated Bread Knife

items for your kitchen serrated knife

The second item in the Holy Trinity of Knives is the serrated knife. It can be used to perfectly cut bread, cake, pastries and even more difficult things like tomatoes and pineapple.

The Orblue Bread Knife will slice through thick loaves without any mess.

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3.) Essential Knife: Paring Knife

items for your kitchen paring knife

The paring knife is one of the most versatile items for your kitchen. This small utility knife makes precision tasks like peeling vegetables, coring strawberries, or testing the tenderness of meat much easier to handle,

The Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife is everything we were looking for: a flexible handle, a 3.25-inch razor sharp blade, and non-slip grip. A must! 

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4.) Knife Sharpener

items for your kitchen knife sharpener

Having three knives might be enough, but only if you know how to take of them.

To keep your blade from dulling and your knives sharper — and safer to use because a dull knife tends to slip away when cutting — opt for the PriorityChef Knife Sharpener. It works on straight and serrated knives alike. 

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5.) Stainless Steel Pots and Pans

items for your kitchen pots and pans

Not all cookware is created equal, which is why we want you to choose the best.

For durable, versatile and safe pots, our pick goes to the T-for Stainless Steel Cookware Set. Thirteen pieces are at your disposal: 8 and 10.5-inch fry pans, 3-quart saucepans, and a 5-quart covered stew pot. 

They are also oven-safe up to 500 degrees, dishwasher-safe, and come with a limited lifetime warranty.

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6.) Nonstick Pan

items for your kitchen fry pan

Your omelets are about to become tastier.

The Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Pan is a 10-inch fry pan that comes with a Calphalon’s full lifetime warranty. 

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7.) Cast Iron Pan

A cast iron pan lasts forever. Cooking a steak, getting a sear on a chicken, or caramelizing the surface of red meat or poultry will be so much better with a cast iron pan.

The Lodge Cast Iron Skillet gets our vote, with its 12-inch diameter, pre-seasoned cast iron skillet, and red silicone hot handle holder.

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8.) Rondeau Pan or Dutch Oven

items for your kitchen iron dutch oven

Braising and frying meat, cooking stews, soups, sauces, pasta, and even baking bread — you can do it all with a good Dutch oven.

The one-pot wonder that stole our hearts is the Lodge 5-quart cast iron Dutch oven. Seasoned with 100% vegetable oil, this pan is made in the USA and has lifetime durability.

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9.) Blender

Choosing the right blender can sometimes be a daunting task. How can you be sure you’re picking the one you need? The answer: by reading their specs carefully.

We know that the Hamilton Beach 58148 Power Elite Multi-Function Blender is one of the more moderately priced items in your kitchen to have. It can make smoothies and frozen drinks and mix and make purées, thanks to its 700-watt of blending power, 12 blending functions, and glass no-mess pouring spout.

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10.) Immersion Blender

items for your kitchen immersionhand blender mixer

An immersion blender, also known as hand blender or stick blender, is the perfect alternative to a regular blender.

Whether it’s for whipping small quantities of cream, whisking mayonnaise, or emulsifying a vinaigrette, we choose the KOIOS Multi-Use 12-speed immersion hand blender with turbo function.

This two-cup BPA-free food processor includes a stick blender shaft, stainless egg whisk, 500ml chopper bowl, and 600ml mixing beaker.

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11.) Food Processor

items for your kitchen food processor

This machine is a champ at chopping, pureeing, slicing, and shredding. That’s what you need from a good food processor. And we found the one that would do the job just fine.

The Hamilton Beach (70730) is an electric food processor and vegetable chopper with a bowl scraper has a powerful 450-watt motor with two speeds plus pulse, a ten-cup bowl, and a reversible slicing/shredding disc.

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12.) Crock Pot

items for your kitchen crockpot

We’re particularly excited about this one. The BLACK+DECKER is a programmable crock pot six-quart slow cooker that you can control with a mobile app using the WiFi feature.

You can monitor the cooking from afar, choose one of the three heat settings available, and cook yourself the best dishes you ever made!

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13.) Grill Pan

items for your kitchen cast iron grill pan

Grill pans are ideal for anyone who doesn’t have a barbecue, misses barbecuing in the winter, or wants a mess-free grilling session.

The 10.5-inch square seasoned cast iron grill pan from Lodge takes the prize home. Its grill ribs help collect cooking drippings and give the meat and veggies those sweet parallel grilling lines.

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14.) Measuring Cup

items for your kitchen measuring cup

If you are a fan of baking, measuring cups and spoons are some of the most essential items for your kitchen.

Let’s start with the first. The specs that caught our attention were the ones of the Newness measuring cup. It has three measurement scales: a cup scale, an ML scale, and an ounce scale. It can hold up to 16 ounces. Its stainless steel material is the cherry on top!

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15.) Measuring Spoons

items for your kitchen measuring spoons

Affordable, reliable, and durable. We love the Spring Chef Heavy Duty stainless steel measuring cups set for everything it has to offer.

The spoons have the U.S. and metric measurement markings engraved on them — which don’t fade as easily as on the plastic ones — so your dishes follow the recipe’s instructions to the letter.

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16.) Casserole Dish

items for your kitchen baker casserole

Our top pick for the best casserole dish goes to the Emile Henry modern rectangular baker.

Its clay material offers high heat retention and even-heat diffusion, in addition to resisting scratches.

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17.) Mixing Bowl

items for your kitchen mixing bowls

Mixing bowls are often taken for granted — right until we don’t find any nearby and have to use a slippery and inconvenient pot.

To make sure you’re using the best items for your kitchen, use this beautiful set of three stainless steel bowls that come with handy lids. They are dishwasher, freezer, and refrigerator safe.

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18.) Stand Mixer

Pastry aficionados and bakers at heart, this one is for you. The KitchenAid KSM150PSER stand mixer is the workhorse you’ve been looking for.

It includes a 10-speed slide control, flat beater, dough hook, and wire whip, in addition to 15 optional attachments. Only the good stuff.

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19.) Wood Cutting Board

items for your kitchen wooden board

A wooden cutting board that is so nice it doubles as a serving board? Yes, please!

The organic bamboo cutting board from Royal Craft Board is perfect for chopping meat, vegetables, and cheese. It also has handles for better movement.

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20.) Plastic Cutting Board

items for your kitchen cutting board

If you’d go with a plastic cutting board, the Gorilla Grip reversible cutting board should be your first choice.

This set comes in three pieces (large, medium, and small) that are BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, and non-porous. A steal!

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21.) Smoker

items for your kitchen smoker

A reasonably priced fully enclosed smoker oven with integrated thermostat temperature control and four chrome-coated smoking racks? This tool is one of the items you need for your kitchen.

We didn’t expect anything less from the Masterbuilt 20075315, and we got what we were waiting for.

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22.) Digital Thermometer

items for your kitchen digital thermometer

Eyeballing your food to gauge its doneness will only get you so far. To avoid any bad surprises when cutting your meat or poultry, a digital thermometer is a quick and easy solution.

Our favorite has to be the Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Ambidextrous Backlit Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer. And yes, it does all that. 

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23.) Salad Spinner

items for your kitchen smoker

Say no to soggy salads with the OXO Steel Salad Spinner.

It will dry and clean your veggies, herbs, and berries in the blink of an eye. Bonus points for the one-handed operation feature and patented pump mechanism and brake button.

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24.) Colander

items for your kitchen colander

Forget the days when your rice, spaghetti, and other fine food would fall through the holes of colanders. The Bellemain Micro-perforated stainless steel 5-quart colander has your back.

It is also rust-proof, dishwasher-safe, and is made of high-quality thick steel for more durability.

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25.) Food Storage Containers

items for your kitchen food storage containers

A glass container set is the healthiest option you could pick to store your leftover food.

The Pyrex set of 18 rectangular and round food containers are BPA-free, microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and freezer-safe.

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26.) Panini Press

items for your kitchen panini press

Bring the gourmet grilled sandwich of novelty cafés and restaurants to your table with a simple panini press.

Our favorite is the Cuisinart GR-1 Griddler panini and sandwich press. The handle adjusts to accommodate any size sandwich.

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27.) Cooking Shears

We like to call cooking shears the Swiss Army knife of the kitchen. You are bound to use them at some point — either for their intended purposes or not!

The Moricai Kershaw Taskmaster Shears caught our attention with their 3.5-inch stainless steel blades, nutcracker, jar opener, bottle cap lifter and bone notch features.

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28.) Citrus Juicer

A few drops of lemon can elevate a salad, and a small glass of orange juice can make your mornings better.

To help you squeeze all that sweet juice effortlessly, we are going with the Chef’n FreshForce Citrus Juicer. It is made of durable nylon and stainless steel construction for longer lifetime use. This tool is one of the best items for your kitchen.

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29.) Garlic Press

items for your kitchen garlic press

We used to swear by crushing garlic using a knife. However, after we tried a garlic press for the first time, we saw what we were missing.

The Zyliss Susi 3 is our go-to press to crush, mince, and peel garlic. It also comes with a built-in cleaning tool that cleans all those tiny holes. Finally!

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30.) Baking Sheet Pan

items for your kitchen baker sheet pan

There are some items for your kitchen that can make all the difference in your cooking. A good baking sheet pan is one of them.

We fell for the Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Commercial Baker’s Half Sheet. One look at the stellar reviews on Amazon will show you how customers are satisfied with it. 

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31.) Onion Goggles

You know the adage: don’t cry over spilled milk… and minced onion.

For a tear-safe cooking session, go for the NoCry over-glasses safety glasses. They are much cheaper than other onion goggles out there and still have high quality.

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32.) Microplane

items for your kitchen zester grater microplane

Everyone is familiar with the zester, but a microplane could be something new to many.

It is a grater that “shaves” the food finely and makes it “fluffier”—like citrus fruit zest, chocolate, hard cheeses, fresh ginger, and coconut. Our vote in category goes to the Microplane 40020. We will let the shining reviews speak for this one.

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33.) Wooden Spoons

items for your kitchen wooden spoons

There are are a few items for your kitchen that you can’t live without. The wooden spoons are the first thing one grabs when cooking.

Whether it’s for mixing, sautéing, or stirring, wooden spoons feel like magic wands. We like the three-piece set of OXO Good Grips Wooden Spoons for the solid beech wood and natural oil finish.

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34.) Oven Mitts

items for your kitchen oven mitts

Protect your hands and arms from the heat with these Homwe professional silicone oven mitts.

Their non-slip grip, kitchen and grill versatility instantly sold it for us.

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35.) Whisk

Have you always dreamt of making the softest cakes, fluffiest ganaches and decadent meringues? The answer might lie in one utensil: the whisk.

Our all-time favorite is the OXO Good Grips 11-inch whisk. It is soft, comfortable, has a non-slip handle, and is made of heat resistant silicone (up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit)

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36.) Tongs

A good set of tongs is like an extension of your arm.

Use the Weber 6610 Original Tongs to see how it can make your summer BBQs better than they already are.

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37.) Rubber Spatula

items for your kitchen spatula

You need a spatula that treats your pans, sheets, and casseroles with the care they deserve.

What would that look like? A lot like the award-winning DI ORO three-piece spatula set. These have a silicone, heat-resistant one-piece design. All the things we love.

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38.) Veggie Peeler

peeler

After thorough research, the best value veggie peeler on the market is, hands down, the OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler.

It can peel tough-skinned vegetables and fruits, and it has swiveling twin blades with flexible action and a comfortable non-slip grip.

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39.) Grater

grater

A single grater can take you a long way.

We picked the large Spring Chef Stainless Steel Box Grater for its ultra sharp blades and non-slip base. It also made our list for its 4-in-1 design that allows coarse shredding, medium shredding, zesting, and slicing.

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40.) Ladle

ladle

To scoop your chili or stew out of a pot without spilling all over your new tablecloth, you need a good ladle.

Amazon reviewers swear by the OXO Good Grips Brushed Stainless Steel Ladle. It is sturdy enough to last, has a soft non-slip grip, and is dishwasher safe.

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41.) PepperGrinder

pepper grinder

Freshly ground pepper brings a different flavor to food. Freshly grinding pepper also preserves all the health benefits.

Our pick is the high-quality glass and stainless steel grinder set of salt and pepper grinders from Willow & Everett. This lovely set will be an elegant addition to your dinner table.

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42.) Melon Baller

melon ballerDon’t underestimate a melon baller.

From creating a deliciously colorful fruit salad to scooping ice-cream, it will come in handy in more than one occasion. We love the KitchenAid Gourmet Dual-Sided Melon Baller with its small and medium scoop sizes.

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What do you think of these items for your kitchen? Since you’re thinking about upgrading your kitchen, how about looking for a new and more sophisticated refrigerator? Read all our expert reviews in our next article!

Best Refrigerators Best Refrigerators