I love my kitchen tools, they save me extra time by allowing me to work SMARTER and not HARDER in the kitchen. People often ask me how I get veggies sliced so thin, or how I make sauces so quickly… BOOM! Kitchen tools. No wizardry or prodigy talent over here, just smart tools to make me efficient. I’m sharing my favorite top 10 kitchen tools under $50 to help you “chef it up” now too.
My Most-Used, Favorite Tools:
Slicer (or basic mandolin) – I use this constantly to slice red onion (because no one wants to crunch down on a thick piece in their salad – gnarly!), radishes, potatoes, etc. – it’s great to slice your veggies thin for raw applications or for cooking them, let’s say you want some potato rounds or chips!
Chef Knife– Of course, everyone needs a solid Chef Knife. Skimping out on this is a mistake and you really don’t have to, because this guy isn’t that expensive and it’s a trusted brand. Keeping your knives sharp is KEY so you can actually cut – and if you think dull knives are safer, you’d be mistaken. Not that you should use one knife for everything, this one comes darn close. I use it for chopping veggies – just protect those fingers.
Kitchen Shears– Another cutting apparatus I can’t live without. I cut up chicken, shred meat with it, it’s so handy when you make chicken soup from scratch with a whole chicken, cut veggies, it will often cut through bone as well if you want to try your butchering skills out. Of course, it’s there to open packages, cut through twine, so on and so forth – don’t be shy, these certainly aren’t and it’s a huge time saver.
Cast Iron Pan– If you only have room for one cast iron pan, this is the one! The shape is very versatile and it cooks everything like a dream. Don’t treat this like a normal pan, for deets on how to care for your cast iron pan, here’s a great resource. I make so many things in here, it’s hard to even list it. Just keep in mind that if you make something stinky like fish in it, you’re not washing it with soap to care for it, so you’ll want to scrape it off while still warm to get the stank off! Or you might just designate one for fish and one for pancakes so you don’t wind up with a baby of the two!
Hand-held Frother– I use this DAILY, if you like steamed milk/creamer or simply want to blend up your coffee or matcha on-the-go without a blender… meet your new best friend. Battery-operated and more powerful than it looks, I pack this up with me everywhere I go for my morning drinks.
Stovetop Espresso Maker– Fancy, expensive espresso makers are nice and all, but not at all needed when you have a Stovetop “Moka”. Once you try it, you’ll love it and there’s no filters or tins you need to keep buying for it so it’s a pretty economical choice. You can replace the little filter that’s fixed in it if it breaks or gets stuck but I’ve had mine for 2+ years and I’ve been good to go!
Lemon Juicer – I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to not choke on lemon/lime seeds in my food and drinks! Not to mention, I’m not the strongest squeezer as it turns out, so this is another daily tool on my counter for my morning lemon water and for all the dishes we cook where lemon gets squeezed over (Greeks, am I right?). This cutie also has a lime option so it’s 2 in 1!
Food Processor – Nice cream, pesto, aioli, mayo, ground nuts, seeds, bread crumbs, cauliflower rice, saving your eyes from chopping onions… on and on – my food processor is an ANGEL because I’m always grateful for the convenience. You need one, DONE. This size is smaller and great for smaller tasks but if you envision needing a larger one, go for it.
Tongs– Oh how I love these! Sometimes a spatula or spoon won’t cut it, you need to precisely pick things up or toss them without barreling over your food – tongs are a must.
Butcher Block – While you’re over here chopping with your beautiful chef knife, you’ll need to protect your counter! A good butcher block is also a must.
*Bonus for Meat Eaters: Meat Thermometer– Stop guessing, under- or over-cooking, or cutting up your meat without letting it rest to make sure it’s done, all you need is this! You’ll never go back, trust me.