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  • Dana Tutela

15 of My Favorite Kitchen Items

Updated: Apr 2

broken egg on floured surface with metal measuring cups

We live out in the country with the nearest grocery store 25 minutes away. There is no food delivery to our neighborhood. There is no Uber Eats and no Door Dash. Therefore, I cook A LOT. With all of this cooking, I find certain items in my kitchen make my life easier. They make cooking faster and more efficient. I hope you find this list of my favorite 15 kitchen items useful!

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In no particular order, here are my top 15 favorite kitchen items:

microplane with lemon and herbs

Microplane-  This is one of those random items in the kitchen that I grab almost every day. I use it for zesting lemons and limes, grating cloves of garlic, shredding parmesan cheese over pasta, cinnamon sticks over applesauce, etc. It’s so handy and it goes right in the dishwasher! Love it!

red tiny tongs

 Tiny Tongs-  I’m assuming most kitchens have a set of tongs, but what makes these different are their small size. They are perfect as a serving utensil for bread rolls or taco toppings or handling little items like cheese sticks. They might seem silly, but I use them all the time!

red cast iron cookware with orange slices

 Cast Iron Cookware-  I’m not ashamed to admit that I might have too many pieces of cast iron cookware. I use Le Creuset, Staub, Lodge Cast Iron, just to name a few. I even buy a new piece for each of our three daughters every Christmas so that they can have a crazy collection someday just like mine! I realize they are on the expensive end, but they are the jewels in my kitchen. I use them on the stovetop over high heat and then move them right into the oven for even more heat. They are amazing. I feel like a real chef when I make dinner with these!

silicon spoon with metal handle

Silicone Cooking Utensils with Metal Handles- Like most people, I keep a crock filled with cooking utensils next to my stove. It’s filled with whisks, spatulas, spoons, slotted spoons, and mashers. For my cooking habits, the silicone ones with metal handles get the job done well without ruining my pots and pans. They also hold up well in the dishwasher and abuse from cooking. One word of caution, the metal handle heats up if you rest it on a pot or pan while cooking. They’re still my favorite, though!

cutting board with mortar and pestle, salt and pepper grinders, garlic, cooking utensils

Electric Salt and Pepper Grinders- These have become one of my most loved items in the kitchen. When I’m cooking, I don’t want to waste time using both hands on a pepper grinder, especially if my hands are already in something like batter or raw meat. I hate stopping, washing my hands, adding the salt/pepper and then getting back into it again. Therefore, I have learned to use my left hand for ‘dirty work’ and keep my right hand free for handling recipes pages or utensils or my electric grinders. One handed freshly ground salt and pepper is awesome!

Olive Oil Cruet-  Similarly, when I am cooking and need to drizzle some olive oil into a pan, I don’t want to stop, wash my hands, open the bottle, pour and close it each time. A cruet makes it so much easier. Again, using my one clean hand, I can grab and drizzle the oil and set it back down without missing a beat. The one pictured above is Le Creuset with an olive branch pattern on it. SO pretty and functional.

ceramic dish with coarse salt and measuring spoons

Salt Pig- In addition to the aforementioned grinders, I also keep a salt pig on my counter. The electric grinder is fantastic, but sometimes I need coarse kosher salt at the ready. This makes it easy to grab (with my clean hand!) and sprinkle it where I need it.

Metal Measuring Cups- My husband gave me metal measuring cups years ago, and they are the absolute best. Since they are metal, they can go in the dishwasher without melting in shape. The size markings never fade, and they nest perfectly for easy storage.

metal measuring cups and spoons next to basil

Metal Measuring Spoons- These are like the little sister of my measuring cups. Again, they last so much longer than plastic ones and take up less space. I love this particular set because they fit inside spice jars!

stainless steel pots with glass lids on stove top

Calphalon Pots with Glass Lids- I found these on Amazon several years ago when setting up our lake house. I wanted something of good quality that wouldn’t break the bank, and these fit the bill. They are solid and cook evenly. They can go in the dishwasher and in the oven. What I love the most, though, are the glass lids. I love being able to see what’s happening in there without taking off the lid to peek and messing up a nice simmer. The lids also have two different sized strainers built into the sides. You can make pasta and use the lid to drain off the hot water when it’s ready. No colander needed!

colorful aprons hanging on blue wall

Apron- It doesn't matter how careful I am when I am cooking, I will ruin my clothes if I do not wear an apron. I put one on every single time. Some are homemade. Some are purchases. Some are gifts from friends and family because they know I have a weird thing for aprons. Regardless, the ones I love the best are soft, have long ties to wrap around the back and tie in the front, and have pockets. If you look behind my pantry door, there are easily 6 hanging on the hooks. The rest are in storage bins that I rotate through seasonally. Like I said, I have a thing for aprons!

stainless steel mixing bowls with black lids

Metal Mixing Bowls with Rubber Base and Lids- By now you know I like my one-handed time-saving cooking gadgets. These bowls are sturdy and stay in place while whipping up some yumminess in the kitchen. They also can go in the dishwasher. I especially love the fact that they can act as storage containers, too. I use them for mixing a salad together. Just put the lid on and store in the fridge until it’s time to eat. The metal keeps the salad nice and chilled even after removing. Leftovers get popped right back in the fridge-easy peasy!

shun knife set in wooden knife block and oranges

Shun Knife Set- Again, this kitchen item is at a higher price point, but it is so worth it. They are unbelievably sharp and must be well cared-for. When we first married, my husband gave me a new knife to add to the knife block every birthday or anniversary. At first I thought it was a little weird, but the more I learned how to cook-the more I appreciated these amazing knives! At a minimum, a high quality santoku chef knife will always be in my knife block. I use it every single day, multiple times a day.

Knife Sharpener- This obviously goes hand in hand with the knife set. If they’re dull, they’re ineffective and DANGEROUS. This little gadget is perfect for sharpening regularly. Every couple of years I take them in to get professionally sharpened, but in the meantime, this works great.

Oxo Dish Brush- After all of the cooking and feasting, comes the cleaning. I can not stand to do dishes, but they aren’t going to clean themselves, right? That’s where this scrub brush comes in handy. Once again, my one handed time saver is on the list. Fill it with dish soap, press the button and start washing. No need to stop, grab the dish soap and squirt it on the dirty dishes with wet slippery hands. It’s so handy! My mother-in-law liked mine so much, she asked for it for Christmas one year! I’ve tried other brands and shapes, but this one works the best. It gets into all the curves and corners easily and lasts the longest. I love it!

There you have it! These are 15 of my favorite kitchen items. They make my time in the kitchen easier by helping me cook faster and more efficiently. I hope you find this helpful!

If you're interested in more of my favorite kitchen products, check out my blog post:

navy blue kitchen 11 fav small appliances

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