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    25 Essential Cooking Tools Every Cook Needs In Their Kitchen

    Basics and beyond.

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    We asked the BuzzFeed Community about the kitchen products they don't think anyone should live without. Here are some of their best responses!

    1. A countertop toaster oven that can make anything from pizza to chicken nuggets to yes, even cookies — all while saving a little $$ on your energy bill, because you don't have to heat up the big oven for a small meal.

    Hamilton Beach / Target

    "A toaster oven!"


    The cookies are the most appealing part IMHO; you could just keep store bought cookie dough around (or even individually portioned in your freezer), then whenever you needed a single freshly-baked cookie, you could have one in less than fifteen minutes (if it's a frozen single-cookie portion, just add a few minutes to the typical baking time).

    Get this large, six-slice toaster oven on Amazon for $49.99 or at Target for $49.99.

    2. A set of heat-proof (up to 600°F!) silicone spatulas for mixing, scrambling, and serving 'til your heart's content — oh, and for scraping every last bit of buttercream out of the bowl, too.

    "A good silicone spatula can help with everything from mixing batters to creating the perfect scrambled eggs. AND clean up is a breeze!"


    "Silicone cooking utensils like spoons and spatulas. They don’t melt as easily as regular plastic ones, plus they’re one solid piece so food can’t hide and get stuck anywhere. Really easy to clean!"


    These are the ~best silicone spatulas~, according to America's Test Kitchen and Cooks Illustrated. Get the set of three on Amazon for $27.97 (two colors).

    And if you're looking to stock up on supplies for cleanup, check out our picks for the best kitchen sponge on BuzzFeed Reviews!

    3. A bench scraper that can transport your whole pile of chopped ingredients from the cutting board to your pot in one (or two...) fell swoop(s).,

    "Bench scraper or dough scraper. I have one in drawer by stand mixer, one where I do my mise en place, and a couple of back ups. I use one every time I cook: to transfer chopped food to a pan or container, clean up, or cut some foods (like dough)."


    "A bench scraper for transporting cut ingredients easily and quickly." —foonathaniel

    Get one on Amazon for $9.99.

    4. A y-peeler sharp enough to glide right over potatoes, cucumbers, or apples as effortlessly as an gold-medal figure skater on the ice.

    "A y-peeler!"


    It's easy to hold, it protects your hand, and most importantly of all, it lets you work quickly, so you get to eat ASAP.

    Get it on Amazon for $8.99.

    5. Or a peeler ring that fits right into your palm so you know your fingers are (almost) always completely protected from the sharp blade.,

    "This peeler that slides onto your finger and fits in your palm. It’s so much easier than a peeler you have to hold by the handle."


    It's also easier to use for some people with limited elbow and arm mobility. You're not entirely free from potential harm, though: don't get the hand that's holding the vegetable!

    Get it on Amazon for $10.15.

    6. A slicer, spiralizer, and core-remover for pineapple, if it's your favorite fruit or you eat it quite a bit when it's in season.

    "Pineapple slicer and de-corer...amazing."


    Skip the grocery store's marked-up pre-cut pineapple and slice your own whole ones instead! Get it on Amazon for $7.29.

    7. An adjustable-height mandoline slicer that makes cutting precise slices of veggies as simple as waving your hand.,

    "A mandoline slicer! I cook a lot of veggie based dishes in my house and this makes the prep so much faster."


    It can also julienne, crinkle-cut, and grate; just be careful, the blades are sharp! (Some people buy cut-resistant gloves especially for their mandoline; get those for $10.99 on Amazon).

    Get a multipurpose mandoline on Amazon for $29.99.

    8. A Microplane grater and zester for making the most delicate, flavorful, finely-grated pieces of ginger, citrus peel, and cheese in basically no time at all — but is probably most useful if you cook with garlic.

    "A Microplane grater and zester's the only way to grate and prep garlic and zest citrus!"


    Garlic cloves take like, less than thirty seconds to grate completely (I own and use one of these!). Get one from Amazon for $12.80.

    9. A set of good, sharp knives to make it easy tackle almost any chopping, slicing, or dicing task you make it your mission to achieve.

    "A good set of knives... They don't have to be super expensive but they have to be decent!"


    "Most essential is a good sharp kitchen knife. Don't mess with dull knives!"


    This 18-piece set comes with a sharpener, so you can keep them in tip-top shape no matter how many fruits and veggies you chop. Get it on Amazon for $54.99.

    And check out our picks for the best chef's knives for BuzzFeed Reviews!

    10. Or a smaller set of three truly essential knives that TBH will prep almost anything perfectly well.,

    "Stop buying the wooden knife blocks and kitchen utensil box sets from big box stores. You need a good if not great chef knife, paring knife, and serrated knife." —emilytowandaa

    Get a set of three colorful ~good~ knives (a chef, paring, and serrated) from Amazon for $10.56, or upgrade to a ~great~ set (that has a bigger serrated knife, among other features) for $79.95.

    11. A sharpening stone for keeping all your new precious knives at the very top of their game.

    "A three-sided sharpening stone because a dull knife is very deadly."


    "A knife stone. Gotta keep those knives sharp or you’ll wind up hurting yourself."


    Get one on Amazon for $23.70.

    12. A pair of kitchen shears that'll make it easy to chop fresh herbs, trim meats, cut up big leafy greens like kale, and spatchcock chicken, among other things.

    "Kitchen scissors! Handy for everything."


    "A good pair of scissors! They things help me a lot when I'm doing all the food preparation."


    Get them on Amazon for $7.95+ (five colors).

    13. A silicone baking sheet liner — it'll help provide ~even heat transfer~ to your cookies while they bake, so they come out evenly and perfectly done batch after batch.


    "My Silpat! Baking is my passion so I couldn’t live without the silicone pan liner." —mehganr

    Get one from for Amazon for $24.95+ (several different sizes available). *whispers* ...Or, get a set of three off-brand mats with well over 1000 five-star reviews for $13.52, also on Amazon.

    14. A non-stick rice cooker so you can make perfectly done rice without even really trying — and steam veggies at the same time.

    "One of the best things to have in a real "adult" kitchen is a rice cooker. They're so easy to use and I promise the rice is 100 times better than when it's made on the stove. If you've never tried it, I really encourage you to at least get a little cheap one and you will be astounded by the difference in the quality of the rice and how much easier it is to clean up."


    You just rinse your rice, put it in the pot, add water, and go. Get it on Amazon for $18.99.

    15. A basic blender, because life's better with boozy slushies, custom salsa/pesto, midnight milkshakes, and whatever other crazy concoctions you decide to create.

    "A good blender. Can be used to make salsa, smoothies, milkshakes, margaritas, frappuccinos, and more! Making those things at home saves you money!"


    Get this blender on Amazon for $79.

    16. And an immersion blender that you can stick directly in your pot of pasta sauce or vegetable soup — or use with a tall glass to make single-serving smoothies.

    "An immersion blender! I didn’t realize how much I used my mother’s until I moved out. Now it’s on my wish list for my birthday. I hardly ever make mayonnaise or blended soups now because it’s such a hassle to pull out my traditional blender. I miss you, immersion blender!" —Klaraadad

    "A stick blender/immersion blender. I lucked out finding my stick blender at a thrift shop for $5, and I use it all the time. Such a great multipurpose tool!"


    "An immersion blender (aka a stick blender). I've had mine for almost 10 years and I use it almost every day."


    Get one on Amazon for $29.99.

    17. An Instant Pot, especially if you work or are busy all day, then come home and want a quick but delicious dinner in the evening.

    "My InstaPot!!! On nights when I’m getting home from work and giving my husband a break with the cooking, the InstaPot has become my lifesaver. A FROZEN SOLID CHICKEN IN AN HOUR??? With MINIMAL effort?? Sorry folks, you can’t beat that."


    Get it from Williams-Sonoma for $129.99 (and free shipping), or Amazon for $99.94 (free two-day shipping for Prime members, as always.)

    18. If you really, really love a delicious, single cup of coffee, an espresso maker — it'll basically turn one corner of your kitchen into the perfect little Italian coffee shop.

    "My favorite is an EspressoWorks espresso machine set I got on Amazon—it's an absolute game changer. Much better than any Nespresso/Keurig machine. I love that I can grind my own beans and froth/steam my milk so I can get it exactly the way I want. Perfection every time."


    You can make lattes, cappuccino, or just sip it straight, and make one or two shots at a time. Plus it comes with a small grinder, scoop, and milk frothing cup. Get it on Amazon for $219.99.

    19. A stand mixer to make all sorts of kitchen tasks a thousand times simpler, whether you're baking a cake, making fresh whipped cream for strawberries, or even just need to shred some cooked chicken.


    "A KitchenAid stand mixer! Can be used for so many unexpected things—including shredding chicken! Plus there are so many extra attachments."


    "Yes! I adore my KitchenAid!"


    Get a red 5-quart for $259 or a white 4.5 quart for $189 on Amazon. Or from Target, get the ice blue 4.5 quart for $349.99 (4 colors available) or a white 4.5 quart for $199.

    20. An enameled dutch oven that'll be your home base for soups, stews, pastas, sauces, chilis, braises, and sometimes even roasts and breads.

    "My enamel dutch oven gets me through rainy days, holidays, and every day in between."


    Enameled = it has an enamel coating over the cast iron, so you don't have to think about keeping it seasoned. Get this top-rated one from Amazon for $51.99+ (six colors).

    21. And a cast-iron skillet — it makes it easy to cook a little on the stovetop, then pop in the oven to brown potatoes, simmer beans, or bake chicken thighs.

    The Wanderlust Kitchen /, Jo Cooks /

    "A good cast iron skillet, like a Lodge. You can cook just about anything in it."


    You can find our pick for the best cast iron skillet in three different price points on BuzzFeed Reviews.

    Get a 10.25-inch Lodge pre-seasoned cast-iron skillet on Amazon for $17.98 (10 sizes available at varying prices). Get the recipes for the Tuscan White Bean Skillet from The Wanderlust Kitchen and for the Skillet Shepard's Pie from Jo Cooks, and browse other delicious skillet dinners.

    22. A compact food processor that'll do (almost) all the work of dicing and mincing for you while taking up the least storage space possible.

    "Proctor Silex compact food processor/chopper. Cheap, easy to use and clean and totally makes garlic, onion and herb chopping a breeze. Changed my life in the kitchen." —Jael Terrance, Facebook

    And when you're done, you can just pop it in the dishwasher so it'll be ready for the next meal. Get it on Amazon for $14.85.

    23. An electric kettle — besides making afternoon tea and pour-over coffee in a jiffy, it can also get water boiling for pasta faster than your stove.

    "An electric kettle is great for so much more than tea. It's super fast to get hot water when you need it for cooking, and without getting another burner hot or messing up a pan."


    For the pasta shortcut, start a little bit of water on your stove in your pasta pot and fill your kettle with water. Then, once the kettle water's boiling — which will happen slightly faster than on the stove! — add it to the pot.

    Get this gooseneck electric kettle on Amazon for $32.99.

    24. An instant-read thermometer that'll tell you precisely when your prime rib's done exactly the way you like it.

    "A digital meat thermometer, I use it every time I can easily tell if your meat is done without slicing into it and drying it out."


    Get one on Amazon for $9.99.

    25. A pizza stone to upgrade the crust on your homemade pie, help frozen pizza cook more quickly and evenly, and re-heat your leftover slices so they taste fresh and crispy again.

    "A high quality pizza stone for sure! We use ours for lots of things besides pizza."


    It's shown on a grill, which you can definitely use for a fancier fire-cooked pizza, but it also works perfectly well in the oven!

    Get this set Amazon, which comes with a stone, a pizza cutter, and a ~pizza peel~, (which makes it easy to pull your pizza out when it's done) for $22.88.

    You, after eating all the incredible food you make in your well-equipped kitchen:

    BBC /

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    Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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