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Having the right tools and appliances in the kitchen can not only create wonderful recipes but also reduce waste and save you money in the long run.
I’ve compiled a list of minimalist kitchen essentials which includes must-have kitchen tools and small appliances that can transform your culinary experience. Whether you are setting up your kitchen for the first time or looking for ways to reignite your spark in the kitchen, keeping your kitchen stocked with the proper tools is the first step to a great meal. Investing in these kitchen gadgets will make cooking fun and simple, something you’ll look forward to doing.
In a minimalist kitchen, you choose quality over quantity. It’s a space where you only keep what you truly need and use regularly. So every tool is either essential or speeds up the cooking process significantly.
The good news is that you probably already have some of these necessities in your kitchen, so there’s no need to spend a ton of money! Furthermore, many tools are dual-purpose, so you can get a lot of use out of them before considering getting another one for your kitchen.
🔪 Must-Have Cooking Tools
A knife is the most used tool in the kitchen. A good knife makes prepping ingredients quick and easy. Investing in a good chef’s knife (or set of knives) is always a great start.
Cutting boards are essential for chopping and slicing your veggies and other ingredients. They’re especially useful if you’re not comfortable cutting veggies or fruits with your hands. They can be made from either wood or plastic and come in different shapes and sizes.
Mixing bowls are versatile utensils. They are great for whisking batter for yummy baked treats or tossing delicious salads. I recommend using a set of stainless steel mixing bowls that fit inside one another and are a great space-saver.
Measuring spoons and cups come in handy for baking goods as well as for cooking meals. They can be used for measuring both dry and wet ingredients. It’s best to buy them in a set that comes with labeled metric measurements. The set saves a lot of storage space because everything fits neatly inside of itself.
A strainer or a colander is essential for washing fruits and vegetables; draining water from grains, pasta, beans; sifting flour, and much more. Make sure to buy a strainer with feet and handles that can easily fit in your sink.
Food storage containers limit food waste by allowing you to store and consume leftovers efficiently. Stainless steel and glass are the safest options for storing food and maintaining freshness. These containers also come in various sizes, making it easy to portion and meal prep.
Mason jars are glass containers that are commonly used for a variety of purposes such as:
- storing your leftover dressings and sauces in the fridge,
- storing dry goods such as grains, pasta, and nuts,
- making pickles and homemade jams,
- keeping prepped veggies in water, and
- making a pre-made layered salad.
A grater is a multifunctional item that is used for grating cheese, slicing vegetables, and zesting lemons. It comes in various shapes and designs such as a flat or box-like surface with sharp-edged holes or blades, lemon zester, or cheese grater.
A mandoline is another versatile tool that uniformly cuts fruits or vegetables into different shapes such as slices, juliennes, and discs. It consists of a flat, typically rectangular, platform with an adjustable blade and sometimes additional attachments for various slicing styles.
A lemon squeezer is used to extract the juice from lemon and other citrus fruits conveniently. It allows you to separate the juice from the pulp and seeds.
A garlic crusher is designed for crushing and mincing garlic cloves. It also minimizes the transfer of garlic odors to your hands.
A nut milk bag or a cheesecloth is an ultra-fine mesh bag used to separate liquid from nuts or seeds pulp. It can also be used to strain the liquid whey from the solid curds to make homemade yogurt or cheese.
Nut milk bags are generally made from organic cotton and are designed to be reusable, making them an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to single-use paper filters or cheesecloth. They are easy to clean and maintain.
A vegetable peeler is used to remove the outer skin or peel from vegetables and fruits. It is often used to create thin strips or ribbons of carrots or cucumbers.
Spice jars or spice containers are used for storing and organizing a variety of spices and herbs. They protect spices and herbs from exposure to light, air, moisture, and heat. This helps to maintain the freshness and flavor of the spices for an extended period.
Every kitchen has a variety of cookware for cooking and food preparation. Common materials used for cookware include stainless steel, aluminum, cast iron, non-stick coatings, and ceramic. The choice of cookware material and design depends on your preferred cooking methods and dishes.
Whether you’re baking a cake, making pizza, or roasting veggies, it’s important to have the right pans for your oven. Common materials used for bakeware include aluminum, non-stick carbon steel, glass, ceramic, and silicone. The choice of bakeware material depends on the specific type of dish you are preparing and your personal preferences.
18. Additional Utensils and Tools
A variety of utensils and tools are used in the kitchen for a wide range of food preparation and cooking tasks. These include :
- Reusable Straws
- Silicone Spatula, Ladle, and Turner Set
- Wooden Cooking and Serving Spoons Set
- Stainless Steel Cooking and Serving Spoon Set
- Silicone Pastry Brush
- Rolling Pin
- Expandable Vegetable Steamer Basket
- Silicone Baking Sheet
- Mini Hand Chopper
- Kitchen Scale
⏲️ The Best Small Appliances
The kitchen blender is an essential and multipurpose appliance in most contemporary kitchens. If you are a fan of making smoothies, dips, sauces, and soups, you will likely want a powerful blender. This high-speed 2000 Watts blender features additional functionalities, such as pulse settings and pre-programmed modes for specific tasks.
An immersion blender, also known as a stick blender is used to purée or blend food directly in the pot or in the container it is being prepared in. It is a flexible and convenient tool that is perfect for blending soups, sauces, and smoothies without the need for a separate appliance.
A food processor is a multifunctional kitchen appliance that is designed to simplify and expedite various food preparation tasks. It can handle a wide range of culinary activities such as kneading dough, pulsing food, shredding fruits and vegetables, etc. It is an investment that can truly elevate your cooking endeavors.
An electric mixer is a compact and handheld appliance designed to accelerate baking tasks. It is used to whip cream for frosting, mix cake batter, and cream butter and sugar. Compared to larger stand mixers, electric hand mixers are generally easier to clean. The detachable beaters or whisk attachments can often be cleaned in the dishwasher or with minimal handwashing.
A sandwich maker, also known as a panini press or sandwich toaster, is a type of kitchen tool used to toast or grill sandwiches quickly and evenly. This versatile device typically consists of two hinged plates with a non-stick surface that encases the sandwich, ensuring even cooking on both sides.
The Instant Pot is a remarkable multi-functional electric pressure cooker that has become a staple in many kitchens due to its ability to effortlessly prepare delicious meals with minimal effort. It combines several kitchen appliances into one, offering a wide range of cooking functions such as cooking rice, making one-pot meals, and much more.
A coffee machine brings the café experience to your home, allowing you to enjoy a diverse range of coffee styles in the comfort of your own space and without the café price tag.
This portable electric grinder grinds coffee beans, nuts, and whole spices into fine powders in a matter of seconds.
An electric kettle is primarily used to quickly and efficiently boil water. But it can also be used to prepare many cups of coffee and tea at a time, which makes it a convenient and time-saving product. Its auto shut-off feature will automatically cut the power supply for protection against overheating and dry-boiling.
Air fryer is super popular nowadays. It cooks food by circulating hot air around it. It’s known for its ability to produce crispy and golden-brown results similar to deep frying but using significantly less oil.
Having a minimalist and effective kitchen fully stocked with cookware doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You can have a fully stocked kitchen that lasts a lifetime (without breaking the bank!) by sticking to high-quality, multipurpose products with a compelling value proposition.
If you have a favorite kitchen gadget that wasn’t on this list, I’d love to know what it is in the comments below.