Happy couple in bright kitchen preparing lots of vegetables on counter.

15 Must-Have Kitchen Tools Every Cook Needs Without the Clutter

Having the right tools in the kitchen can make cooking more efficient and enjoyable. However, having too much of anything can be overwhelming and unnecessary. 

Streamline your cooking process with the necessary tools to free up much-needed space and simplify cooking. 

Decluttering unnecessary items and keeping the right tools means each tool serves a vital function in the kitchen. Here’s a list of 15 must-have kitchen tools and the corresponding items that can be discarded to minimize clutter while maximizing utility.  

1. A Sharp Paring and Chef’s Knife

chef cutting onion with chef knife cutting board cheese oil on table.
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Toss old cheap knife blocks filled with randomly used knives and invest in a couple of high-quality knives that cover nearly all your cutting needs.

A chef’s knife is indispensable because of its versatility. It can chop, slice, mince, and dice various foods efficiently. On the other hand, a paring knife is perfect for more delicate tasks like peeling and trimming, where more precision is required. Together, they cover almost all cutting needs without cluttering your space with redundant knives. 

2. A Sturdy Cutting Board

A man washes a wooden bamboo cutting board in the kitchen sink under running water.
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Instead of accumulating multiple flimsy plastic cutting boards that can degrade and harbor bacteria over time, invest in a single high-quality thick wood cutting board for longevity and better hygiene. 

A good, sturdy cutting board provides a stable and durable surface for all kinds of food preparation (and decor). It won’t dull knives as quickly as harder materials, making cutting easier and extending the life of your knives.

3. A Large Colander

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Every chef benefits from having a large colander, which offers more versatility and efficiency than multiple smaller strainers. Large colanders are designed to keep food items secure while quickly draining out water, making them perfect for everything from washing vegetables to straining pasta.

Some colanders have features like a cover, fine mesh interior, or extendable handle, enhancing their functionality and allowing them to serve multiple purposes in the kitchen, such as steaming or washing delicate foods.

4. A High Heat-Resistant Silicone Spatula

Metal bowl, whisk and silicone spatula. Making a dessert with whipped cream
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Get rid of flimsy rubber spatulas that melt and degrade over time. You just need one sturdy, high-heat-resistant silicone spatula.

Silicone spatulas are heat-resistant and won’t melt or warp like traditional rubber versions. They’re ideal for scraping every last bit of food from bowls and pans and reducing waste during food preparation.

5. Cast Iron Skillet

Traditional spaghetti bolognese in cast iron skillet.
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You don’t need many pots and pans. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet can replace multiple nonstick pans that scratch easily and often need replacing anyway. It is naturally nonstick, heats consistently, and lasts a lifetime.

6. Stainless Steel or Copper Pot

woman cooking with copper pots.
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Toss old sets of cheap, thin pots that don’t distribute heat evenly. A high-quality stainless steel or copper pot is essential for its excellent heat conductivity and versatility in cooking various dishes, from soup to pasta. The durability of stainless steel can withstand years of use, making it a better investment than cheaper, less durable pots.

7. Digital Thermometer

woman checking temperature meat cooking with digital thermometer.
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Every cook needs a reliable thermometer. Avoid old-fashioned or novelty thermometers, which are less accurate. A digital thermometer ensures precise cooking temperatures.

8. Dutch Oven

woman using cast iron dutch oven cooking.
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Let go of extra slow cookers and crock pots. A Dutch oven is more versatile. It’s known for its ability to conduct heat evenly and its versatility across cooking methods, from stovetop to oven.

It is ideal for making stews, braising meat, and even baking bread, replacing the need for additional specialty pots. It also comes in various colors that make it perfect for serving dishes.

9. Adjustable Measuring Spoon

man measuring salt with adjustable measuring spoon.
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You don’t need multiple sets of measuring spoons. An adjustable spoon can cover all measurements and save drawer space.

10. Microplane Grater

man using microplane grater on lemon.
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It’s time to toss bulky box graters. A microplane is easier to handle, clean, and store and is excellent for zesting and grating finely.

It’s essential for finely grating ingredients like cheese, zest, and spices, providing superior results compared to larger, bulkier graters. Its fine blades produce perfect textures for garnishes and ingredient integration.

11. Nesting Mixing Bowls

Stainless steel nested bowls for mixing.
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Miscellaneous bowls that don’t stack well take up too much space. Nesting bowls save space and come in varied sizes suitable for multiple tasks. They are multi-functional and helpful for preparing ingredients, mixing, and even serving.

12. Immersion Blender

happy smiling young woman cooking food on kitchen at home and using immersion blender.
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You don’t need a large countertop blender unless you frequently make large batches. An immersion blender can blend soups and sauces directly in the pot and is easier to clean and store.

13. Baking Sheet

Little girl and her mother happy smiling baking cookies in kitchen.
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Multiple worn-out baking trays aren’t helping. A single baking sheet can serve multiple purposes, from baking cookies to roasting vegetables. Consider a high-quality aluminum or stone sheet that will last for many years to come.

14. Tongs

man flipping steak with metal tongs.
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Tongs act as an extension of the chef’s hand, providing a safe way to flip, turn, and serve hot food. They’re more precise than spatulas for many tasks and indispensable in the kitchen. 

However, old plastic tongs can melt and are often too flimsy. Silicone or metal tongs are more durable and versatile for cooking and serving. 

15. Rice Cooker With Steamer Basket

Steamer filled with healthy vegetables on counter.
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Steamers take up a lot of room in the kitchen. Let go of separate steamers and try a rice cooker with a steamer basket. This cooker can cook rice and steamed vegetables or fish at the same time, simplifying meal preparation.

Step-By-Step Kitchen Pantry Organization: Functional and Efficient Space Design

woman organizing kitchen pantry.
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Picture this: you’re in the middle of cooking a delicious meal, only to realize that you’re missing a crucial ingredient. You frantically search through your pantry, but everything is in disarray. Boxes of pasta are stacked haphazardly on each other, cans buried beneath bags of chips, and you can’t find that one spice you need anywhere. Frustration sets in, and you wonder why you didn’t organize your pantry sooner. Don’t worry; you’re not alone.

A cluttered and disorganized pantry can be a source of stress for many people. This article will outline some steps to organize your kitchen pantry and turn it into a functional and efficient space. Say goodbye to the chaotic pantry and hello to a beautifully organized space that will make meal prep a breeze.

18 Micro-Habits for a Guest-Ready Home Every Day

woman sitting on couch smiling.
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Keeping your house consistently tidy and clean can often seem like an uphill battle, especially with the lurking anxiety and embarrassment of unexpected house guests. However, all of this can be improved with a few daily micro-habits.

These small, manageable actions help maintain a clean and welcoming home environment and ensure you’re always prepared for surprise visits. With just a few effortless habits, you can go from cleaning chaos to a consistently guest-ready home. Here are 18 practical micro-habits that can help maintain a clean home.

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