My Favorite Kitchen Essentials

Here’s a list of my favorite kitchen essentials that all home cooks should have at their fingertips. Get cooking with these fun tools!

My all-time favorite kitchen essentials. I can't cook without these items!

Time to play in the kitchen! These are my absolute go-to kitchen essentials that all home cooks of every level should have. Some items will save you time while others just keep you safe or make your food taste better.

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Silicone Kitchen Cooking Mitts

Silicone Kitchen Cooking Mitts – If you’re a baking enthusiast, I highly recommend a good pair of oven mitts. These bad boys are heat resistant to 425 degrees F, non-slip, waterproof, and they last forever. I have way too many burned gloves or have sizzled my fingers when my cloth mitts got wet. I always use my mitts when baking my classic pumpkin pie for the holidays.

Vitamix 1363 CIA Professional Series

Vitamix Blender – The ultimate kitchen investment, this device will change the way you make smoothies, soups, and sauces forever! It gives you the smoothest and silkiest textures. Try my fruit smoothie when you get a chance.

Microplane Zester/Grater

Microplane Zester/Grater – Everyone should have this amazing gadget! I love adding fresh citrus zest to my meals for extra fresh aromatics and flavor like in my citrus green beans. Just a little zest goes a long way. You can even grate savory ingredients like hard cheeses, garlic, onions, and ginger.

Instant-Read Thermometer

Instant-Read Thermometer – Are you a food nerd like me? or do you like to know exactly when your steak is cooked to a perfect medium-rare? If so, please invest in a good digital thermometer to help you gauge the doneness of food and for general food safety.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

KitchenAid Stand Mixer – Calling all bakers! My first big kitchen investment was my KitchenAid mixer, I love, love, love it! I’ve been able to make fresh coffee cake and even mashed potatoes. She’s a workhorse, it whips, kneads, and you can even add attachments for ice cream, sausage, and food milling. My #1 favorite tool!

Digital Kitchen Scale

Digital Kitchen Scale – Being a Food Scientist, I am obsessed with accuracy and precision! A digital scale is great for weighing ingredients for baking, portioning out food or dough, and converting units of measure like ounces and grams. I’m a big fan of using a scale for baking, as volume measurements are not the same between ingredients and weighing them is much more accurate. Nerdy, yes! Smart, double yes!

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware

All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware – When I graduated from culinary school, I marched straight to Williams-Sonoma and bought my first set of All-Clad frying pans. These pans enable me to make perfect golden brown, crispy crusts on my seafood and meat recipes like pan-seared halibut. I have slowly been building up my collection, adding stock pots and a French skillet. Definitely worth the investment!

Cast-Iron Cookware

Cast-Iron Cookware – Cooking with cast iron feels nostalgic, and it’s a great way to sear meat. I even use it for baking like my incredible blueberry skillet cornbread. If you take care of your cast iron and season it properly these pans will last forever.

Pastry Board with Baking Graphics

Pastry Board with Baking Graphics – Rolling dough for pies, biscuits, and cookies is something I have enjoyed since my parents first let me start cooking in the kitchen. I like to use a pastry board that has inch and centimeter measurements built into it. I can easily replicate important steps so that my sugar cookies come out perfect every time!

Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper

Stainless Steel Scraper & Chopper – One nifty tool that I like to use when I’m prepping or portioning dough for my Chinese steamed custard buns. This tool can quickly help you cut, measure and clean up in the kitchen.

What are your favorite kitchen gadgets and tools for cooking in the kitchen? Leave a comment below, I’d love to know.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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12 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Dennis says

    Be careful of the Silicone Cooking Mitts if they have oil/grease on the surface. Silicone with oil is very slippery combo. I have a pair. Great for handling hot items but dangerous if oil gets on the mitt surface.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Great tip Dennis! It’s definitely a good idea to wash the silicone mitt with soap to remove any grease before the next use to prevent slippage.

  2. Judy Caywood says

    Hi Jessica, Do you have a video where you are using your pastry board. I have never quite gotten how to get those perfect circles on cookies.
    I have the all-clad and love it. Thank you for the link to the halibut recipe. Our son is coming for Christmas and we are fish lovers. I sure hope I can find some very nice halibut or True Cod some where. Thinking of calling Draeger’s Market in Danville to see if they have it as they are probably the only store I trust on fish.
    My son and husband got me the Kitchen Aid stand mixer last year and I am always using it. I’m so grateful to have one. Thanks for all the great tips and I sent this on to my friend too who is looking for oven mitts for her 16 year old son who is afraid to take anything out of the oven. : )

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Judy! I don’t have a video on how to roll out cookies so that is even thickness, but that’s a good idea! I usually use rolling strokes in one direction, then turn the board and repeat, do this until you get the thickness you want. I love that your family got you a kitchen aid mixer, I love mine!

  3. Joan L. Higgins says

    I purchased your cookbook some time ago, and still love getting additional info. on an email. Thanks for all the good recipes.

  4. Luis @kitchenviva says

    Hi Jessica,
    Very nice article. It’s a full package for kitchen. Stainless steel cookware is awesome. Thank you for amazing selection together .

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