Not sure which kitchen tools you need in your healthy kitchen? This list includes all of my favorite must-have kitchen tools and gadgets because they work, and they work well!
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Part of our journey to a debt-free lifestyle means eating at home. A lot. Restaurants are just so expensive!
Fortunately, I love to cook. There’s just something so relaxing about whipping up a tasty meal while Frank Sinatra sings to me in the background.
But I’ll let you in on a little secret. Cooking is only fun when you have the proper tools.
Seriously, something as simple as a knife can make or break the whole experience!
If you hate cooking, there’s a good chance you’re using the wrong tools. Good kitchen tools and gadgets are designed to simplify the cooking experience so you don’t have to work as hard to get the job done. So if you’d like to improve your overall cooking experience, then it’s probably a good idea to invest in some better tools.
22 Essential Kitchen Tools and Gadgets
I’ve compiled a list of my favorite kitchen tools and gadgets for you so you can enjoy the art of cooking too. I actually went through every drawer and cabinet in my kitchen to make sure I didn’t forget anything!
Some of these tools are multipurpose and some aren’t, but they all serve a very important role in my healthy, mostly plant-based kitchen.
So let’s get to it!
If you only invest in one new kitchen tool, let it be a good knife. You need a santoku knife to make quick work of prepping vegetables and fruits. This 7” J.A. Henckels santoku is my absolute favorite!
Related: How to Choose the Best Kitchen Knife
You should be able to quickly and cleanly remove the skin from vegetables with your vegetable peeler. If your peeler catches, or if you have to use many short strokes instead of a few long strokes, it’s time for a new one. This Kitchenaid Euro peeler is the best peeler I’ve ever used.
Dry measuring cups
Yes, you need dry measuring cups in addition to liquid measuring cups. I’ve actually gone through three or four sets of dry measuring cups trying to find ones I actually like. Most of them are too flimsy or break when dropped (oops!). I was so happy when my mom bought this set for me. They’re super sturdy!
We’re big waffle fans around here. This waffle iron is fantastic! It’s compact and nonstick.
By far the best blender I’ve ever used! I will never own another brand of blender. If my Vitamix broke right now, I would shell out another couple hundred bucks to buy another one. That’s really saying something considering my frugal nature! My Vitamix is probably my favorite kitchen helper on this whole list. I use it almost every day (and sometimes multiple times per day!) to make smoothies and other recipes that require a good blending.
I didn’t know what I was missing until I bought a griddle. Whole grain pancakes are a breeze when I can cook more than one at a time. Who knew?!
I don’t use my food processor all the time, but it’s still an essential for me because it saves so much time when I do use it. It really comes in handy when I make herbed red potato salad and bistro not-tuna salad.
If you want to save time chopping onions (and other vegetables!), this chopper is what you need. With just a few quick pulls, you can get finely chopped onions in a fraction of the time it would take to chop by hand. I love mine!
We don’t drink coffee, but I use this coffee grinder to make my own bread crumbs and to grind flax seeds and chia seeds.
I use my kettle almost every single day. It’s much healthier to heat your water on the stove rather than in the microwave, so a kettle really comes in handy when you want a cup of tea or hot water for your oatmeal.
Fine mesh strainer
This fine mesh strainer serves multiple uses in my kitchen, but I especially like that the mesh is small enough to rinse quinoa.
If you want frozen treats that are a million times healthier than anything you could buy in the grocery store, then you need your own popsicle molds. You can make vegan fudgesicles, fruit juice popsicles, and more when you have your own popsicle molds!
Cutting board and cutting mats
Make sure you have a wood cutting board because plastic ones will dull your knives. You want to get a big one so you have plenty of room to cut. Mine is a custom board that’s 20” x 12”, and that’s a good size. Anything smaller just isn’t practical. Also, make sure you choose a board that’s thick so it doesn’t warp. Mine is almost 1.5 inches thick.
Food safety note: Never place raw meat on a wood board. Wood cutting boards are porous, which means contaminants from the meat get down in the cracks and crevices and can’t be washed away. Keep a separate plastic cutting board for meat.
Special care instructions for wood cutting boards: When your board starts looking dry and dull, wipe it down with some mineral oil. I drizzle mineral oil on my board and then rub all sides with a paper towel. Good as new! Doing this regularly will preserve the life of your board.
I also have a set of plastic cutting mats (similar to these). I don’t actually cut on them, but they’re great for prep work. Typically, I’ll place my veggies on a mat after I wash them and then put the mat next to my cutting board. This keeps the bulk of my veggies from taking up precious space on my cutting board.
We use a lot of lemons and limes in my house, so citrus squeezers are a must! I like this one because it’s metal (plastic won’t last as long and can break) and performs double-duty for both lemons and limes.
If you’re trying to include more plant-based dishes in your meal plan, a Veggetti spiralizer is a great way to create “noodles” with zucchini.
Ah, kitchen shears. Having a good pair of shears is right up there with having a good knife. You need a pair that can actually cut (yes, I’ve had shears that can’t even cut properly) to save time in the kitchen.
A mandoline is another one of those tools that I don’t use very often, but still need for a specific purpose. When I make crispy potato rounds in the oven, I need all of the potatoes to be the same thickness for even baking. A mandoline makes that happen! But be very careful. It WILL cut you if you don’t use the safety handle when you get close to the end of the potato.
I bought the cheapest mandoline I could find at Bed Bath & Beyond several years ago. I think it was around $10-20, so it’s nothing fancy. But it gets the job done!
I use my steamer basket to steam broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. I like this one because its silicone feet won’t damage my cookware.
My very favorite mixing bowls are no longer available, but they’re stainless steel with a rubbery bottom so they don’t slide around on the counter when I’m trying to mix something!
These non-slip stainless mixing bowls are very similar.
Who doesn’t love a good crock pot?! I use mine to make spaghetti squash, soup, and beans.
No one likes a soggy salad. This salad spinner gets all the excess water off of freshly washed lettuce so my salad isn’t dripping wet.
Wrapping it Up
Whew! So that’s my comprehensive list of favorite kitchen tools and how I use them.
Now, this is probably the minimalist in me talking, but I don’t want you to clutter up your precious kitchen space with tools you won’t use. Make sure you’ll actually get your money’s worth before you buy any new kitchen tools. It doesn’t make much sense for you to buy them and never use them!
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- 3 Grocery Shopping Tricks You Need to Try This Weekend
- What to Expect from Lidl (my first trip to Aldi’s competitor)
- Meal Planning Made Simple (plus a free printable!)
- Smoothie Prepping for Busy Mornings
- 15 Plant-based Recipes You Need to Try
- Cheap Healthy Food: Affordable Options for the Savvy Budgeter
- How to Win with Your New Healthy Lifestyle
What are some of your favorite kitchen tools? Let me know in the comments!
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