If you make food at home, you probably have the basics covered: pots and pans, cutting board, mixing bowls, et cetera. But have you ever walked into your kitchen thinking there’s something missing… but you don’t know what?
Well, we asked our editors about their favorite kitchen tools, and let’s just say, you might just find your answer in this list. Whether you’re a parent, recent college grad, tiny apartment owner, eco-conscious meal-prepper, or are just plain busy, we’ve got you covered.
I use these shears for absolutely everything: herbs, vegetables, fruit, meat, destroying credit cards, cutting food wrappers, trimming flower stems… the list goes on. You might ask, “Can’t you use a knife?” The answer is yes, but why dirty a knife and cutting board when you can turn your meal into an art project and cut everything up like construction paper?I suggest hand-washing (because I don’t have a dishwasher), and these will last you for years. I’ve had mine for more than six years, and they’re still sharp enough to cut through the worlds stalkiest asparagus stems like butter. And if you need additional convincing, it has an integrated bottle opener and nutcracker.— Sarah Argus, digital designer($15.95; amazon.com)
Before we moved in together, my then-boyfriend and I had a month-long layover in his old apartment. I threw everything into storage and rolled into his place with some clothes, a hair dryer, and my Cuisinart mini food processor. The bare necessities. And in those 30 days, I used that puppy to whip up perfect pesto, blend silky tahini dressing, and chop ingredients for guacamole in seconds.This machine does literally everything, including helping me wow my new roommate with some lazy culinary magic. Ten years (and a wedding) later, that same processor is still kicking—I made a mean chimichurri with it yesterday. Because let’s be real: If your meal doesn’t have an epic sauce, are you really even eating? — Dria de Botton Barnes, editor in chief($32.99; amazon.com)
My boyfriend and I love pizza (duh, we’re human), and we use this Kitchy pizza cutter wheel on our homemade pies every week. Yep, EVERY WEEK. The circular blade is long enough that you can cut into a deep crust without compromising your pepperoni placement, and it comes apart completely so it’s not a nightmare to clean. Plus, the snazzy plastic cover hides in the handle while you’re cutting and slides over the blade when it’s time to go back in the drawer. I guess you could use it to slice other things, but with a food as perfect as pizza, why would you eat anything else? — Jamey Powell, associate fitness editor($12.95; amazon.com)
The Spiralizer takes up too much damn cabinet space, but it has dramatically cut down on my refined-carb intake while keeping me really very happy—and for that, I will be forever grateful. Prior to owning one of these bad boys, one of my go-to weeknight dinners was whole-wheat pasta topped with that fake Quorn chicken, some poached broccoli, wilted spinach, and tomato sauce. That’s still a totally great dinner, but if you’re trying to lose weight by going low carb (and I am!), a diet that involves several pasta dinners a week is probably not going to get you there. (N.B.: I’ll still eat cacio e pepe at a restaurant every once in a while because that dish is magic, and I like myself).Anyway, I bought one of these Spiralizers a while ago, and sweet Lord, is it extremely easy to handle. I am not someone who can be trusted with a mandoline, so this is a good fit for my level of klutziness: You just spin a little wheel, and the thingie does all the work, turning a zucchini into a big helping of fresh zucchini noodles in like 30 seconds.Granted, yes, the end result might not actually be pasta, but it does have a really pleasing texture, IMO. Just remember to press the water out of your zoodles with a couple of paper towels before sauteeing in a little oil—if you don’t, they’ll make your sauce all watery. — Jess Novak, senior lifestyle and beauty editor($24.99; amazon.com)
Bee’s Wrap is an eco-friendly kitchen essential you’ve probably never heard of before, but that’s why I love spreading the word. As a home cook, you rely heavily on cling wrap or plastic bags to preserve your goods. I had no idea how wasteful, expensive, and unsustainable all that plastic actually was until I was recently gifted Bee’s Wrap by my cousin, who has an environmental science degree.These handy all-natural beeswax wrappings can preserve anything from bread to cheese to veggies just as well as plastic alternatives. Just hand-wash, dry, and reuse… simple as that. I haven’t bought plastic wrap in weeks. — Emily Burton, editorial intern($18.00 for a set of 3; amazon.com)
It seems a little excessive to love a single-use kitchen gadget this much, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t obsessed with my Crate & Barrel dual citrus squeezer. Talk about a serious cooking (and cocktail-making) game changer. I never realized just how annoying it was to squeeze the bejesus out of a lemon wedge by hand to ensure no drop of juice was left behind until this tool came into my life. This handheld piece of genius has multiple compartments to accommodate citrus of all sizes, and the grip is fantastic—you’ll feel like you’ve unleashed your inner Hulk. — Alex Colkitt, audience development manager($16.95; crateandbarrel.com)
I have a closet for a kitchen, so any gadget that takes up counter space is out. Yep, no blender, no food processor, no mixer. But I’ve found you don’t actually *need* any of those things, not if you have a KitchenAid hand blender. I use the stick-like tool for everything—homemade mayo, soups (blend right in the pot!), matcha lattes, smoothies, dressings, you name it. Not to mention it fits in a drawer, is super easy to clean, and is way cheaper than the iconic KitchenAid mixer. — Jay Blades, head of content development($40; amazon.com)
This kettle has ruined any other method of boiling water for me. It heats water to exactly the temperature I need and then maintains that temperature for up to an hour. No more scalding hot tea that I “let cool” for “5 minutes” and proceed to forget until it’s cold leaf water. I can pour and drink basically immediately. Plus, the gooseneck spout is handy for my millennial penchant for both brewing fresh pour-over coffee and watering my houseplants (with unboiled water, of course). — Jenna Haufler, associate video producer($67.67; amazon.com)
I realize that herb scissors seem like a ridiculous purchase, but I’ve probably used them only a handful of times to slice up cilantro, parsley, and other garnishes. What are they *really* great for? Instantly transforming any meal I’m eating into baby food. Seriously. When my son was just old enough to eat real food but nowhere near ready for legit bites, I just tore into any pasta, chicken, or veggie dish with these bad boys and had “homemade” baby food seconds later—no pureeing, extra cleanup, or equipment required. — Lauren Berger DuVilla, executive editor($9.95; amazon.com)
I never had a paring knife until I realized how often I tap into my grandmother’s drawer of them whenever I cook in her kitchen. Then I bought one, and it made my life 60 percent easier. At least.The Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife is small, sharp, and nimble. I use it for everything from slicing bananas to mincing garlic (when I don’t feel like getting a big knife dirty) to taking the seal off yogurt containers when my hands are too slippery to grip it all the way.I have a Polly Pocket-sized kitchen, so there’s nothing in there I don’t really need. But my paring knife is the only kitchen tool I truly use every single day—even on days when the most cooking I do is opening a container of yogurt. — Caroline Olney, platforms editor ($7.55; amazon.com)
You know how fun it is to painstakingly slice cucumbers into identical rounds? No? That’s probably because it’s not fun—it’s actually kind of terrible. Not to mention dangerous. I’m over chopping, is the point I’m trying to make. My dad gifted me this mandoline slicer after I served him a pitiful rendition of cucumber salad a few summers ago and it. is. life changing. You can slice or julienne just about anything—carrots, beets, onions, tomatoes, garlic, citrus fruits, apples, a block of cheese, I could keep going…Thanks to adjustable thicknesses I get those paper-thin slices that would normally take me 20 minutes in about 30 seconds. And if you’re on the clumsy side, like I am, the safety features (an oversized food-pusher and protective coverings for the blades when you’re done slicin’) mean even the most disaster-prone can use this magical device and come out looking like a chef. Mandoline slicer, if you’re reading this, I love you. Like, so much. — Ashley Sepanski, branded content editor($45.26; amazon.com)
This beloved spatula is one of those tools that once you use it, you simply can’t go back to life without it. Whenever I’m cooking or baking, if this guy is in the dishwasher, I’ll take it out and hand wash it, which is a true testament to my love for it.It scrapes any bowl clean with ease, but it’s also the perfect hybrid of actual spatula and scraper, meaning it’s perfect for sautéing, baking, literally anything. I’ve had it for five wonderful years, and it still looks brand-spanking new. — Jess Siler, chief of staff ($16.60; amazon.com)
This might just be a me thing, but if I didn’t have the Ozeri kitchen scale, I probably would’ve made everything in the history of me making edible things wrong. Numbers make my brain all fuzzy, so when I’m following a recipe or even just measuring out servings, I rely on the scale to tell me exactly how much more of something I need to add or take out. It’s really accurate and has some cool features like converting units and subtracting the weight of containers. — Brandon Doerrer, platforms intern($14.06; amazon.com)
The one kitchen tool I can’t live without is my pastry brush. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a master pastry chef to get down with this bad boy. I use it for absolutely everything. Marinating a fillet of fish? Use this instead of a spoon, and the marinade won’t just slide right off the fillet for once.Trying to evenly cover roasting veggies in olive oil? Instead of going in with my hands and mixing everything up, I use the brush to evenly distribute the oil on all the veg. It keeps my hands clean and helps me use wayyy less oil. It’s also insanely easy to clean and to store in even the smallest kitchen (trust me, I have one). 12/10 recommend! — Suze Kaufman, assistant platforms editor($9.95; williams-sonoma.com)