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75 Essential Kitchen Items for Home Chefs: Make Restaurant Quality Meals at Home

By : | 0 Comments | On : September 19, 2020 | Category : Cooking Tools

Kitchen Essentials for Home Chefs

Like many home cooks, I used to dream about recreating restaurant quality meals at home, thinking I lacked the specialized equipment to achieve professional results. After some research though, I realized you don’t need fancy equipment to make a delicious meal! There are a lot of restaurant tricks that are easily adaptable to the home kitchen. Here’s my list of essential kitchen equipment for home chefs:

Prepping Tools:Utensils:Pots and Pans:
Knife SetServing SpoonsStainless steel skillet with lid
MandolineRubber Spatula SetDutch oven
Mise BowlsWooden SpoonNonstick skillets
Mixing BowlsSpiderSauce pots
Cutting Board SetBalloon WhiskLarge stock pot
Cookbook HolderFlat WhiskRoasting pan with rack
Manual Citrus JuicerTongsCast iron skillet
Rasp GraterSalad TongsDouble broiler pan
Box GraterMetal Fish SpatulaSheet pans
Garlic Press & Peeler Nonstick SpatulaSplatter screen
PeelerLadleStrainers
Bench Scraper Wire cooling rack
Bowl Scraper 9×13 pan
Spiralizer Steamer basket
Specialty Tools:Baking Equipment:Cleaning & Safety:
Espresso MachineStand MixerFire Extinguisher
Food ProcessorHand MixerFirst Aid Kit
High Power BlenderLiquid Measuring CupsPaper Towel Holder
Air FryerSilicone Baking MatCompost Bin
Instant PotScaleKitchen Towels
Pasta MachinePie PlateInstant read Thermometer
Electric JuicerMuffin TinCutting Glove
Waffle IronPastry BrushApron
Electric GriddlePastry BlenderOven Mitts
Immersion BlenderRolling PinPot Holders
Rice CookerMeasuring SpoonsPot Handle Cover  
Cold Brew Coffee MakerMeasuring Cup Set 
Pizza Stone  

Keep reading, I’ll go into some more detail about each one of my recommendations below.

Prepping Tools

Knife Set

The number one thing every home cook needs—a good set of sharp knives. This knife set includes all of the essentials including a chef knife, carving knife, bread knife, utility knife, paring knife, and a sharpener.

Mandoline

Having a mandoline makes prepping vegetables easy. This model has five different blades, allowing you to slice, shred, or julienne large quantities of veg quickly and easily.

Mise Bowls

Sorting your prepped ingredients into tiny glass bowls prior to cooking helps keep you clean and organized. Using these glass bowls for mise en place will have you looking like a professional chef in no time!

Mixing Bowls

A good mixing bowl set is a must-have for cooking, baking, and storage. This versatile glass set is safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and freezer.

Cutting Boards

Having a set of three cutting boards on hand allows you to prevent cross contamination. These are made of non-porous plastic, so they’ll clean easily and won’t retain stains or odors.

Cookbook Holder

This adjustable stand makes following recipes easier while keeping your cookbooks clean. It also works great with tablets!

Manual Citrus Juicer

Fresh squeezed citrus juice elevates everything from salad dressings to cocktails. This 2-in-1 model works well for both limes and lemons.

Rasp Grater

Just like fresh citrus juice, citrus zest adds a ton of bright flavor to any dish! A rasp grater is useful for zesting as well as grating things like ginger, chocolate, or Parmesan cheese.

Box Grater

Box graters are essential for grating cheese and vegetables like carrots or cabbage. This one has six different sides, offering a variety of sizes, plus it’s comfortable to use with its ergonomic handle and non-slip bottom.

Garlic Press & Peeler

Using fresh garlic really elevates a dish, but peeling and mincing garlic is such a chore. Luckily this garlic press and peeler set makes it a breeze!

Peeler

These Y-shaped vegetable peelers work well for virtually all your fruit and vegetable needs. This set of 3 peelers is convenient for switching out peelers that become dull or rusted over time.

Bench Scraper

Bench scrapers handle a variety of tasks from cutting and portioning dough to transporting prepped ingredients from cutting board to pan. This one has convenient measurements along the bottom edge for consistent cuts.

Bowl Scraper

Flexible bowl scrapers allow you to slide along the curved edge of a bowl, ensuring you’re able to use every last bit of dough or batter.

Spiralizer

Spiralizers easily turn vegetables into noodles and other fun cuts. Perfect for making healthy and delicious meals on paleo or gluten free diets!

Utensils

Serving spoons

Large serving spoons are essential for finishing and plating dishes. This stylish set includes a serving spoon, a slotted spoon, and serving fork, and is perfect for the transition from the kitchen to the dining room table.

Rubber Spatulas

I use a rubber spatula for nearly everything I cook and bake. They’re so versatile, and this set includes different shapes for different tasks, including folding, flipping, icing, mixing, and getting the maximum yield out of your condiment jars.

Wooden Spoon

Wooden spoons are the perfect tool for scraping all the brown bits in sauté pans to create flavorful, restaurant quality sauces. This corner spoon features one squared corner and one rounded corner to most effectively complete this task in any type of pan.

Spider

A spider skimmer is a great utensil to keep on hand for deep frying or making delicate pasta like ravioli.

Balloon Whisk

Whisks are necessary to aerate batters, whip egg whites, and get all the lumps out of a sauce. I use this model by OXO Good Grips all the time—it has a soft, comfortable handle with a non-slip coating.

Flat Whisk

A flat whisk is a unique multi-use utensil that is quite useful for home cooks. Flat whisks allow you to get into the corners of shallow pans when making pan gravy and can also be used like a spider to remove poached items from their cooking liquid.

Tongs

Restaurant cooks and home cooks alike use tongs constantly for flipping and grilling, so you’ll probably want to invest in a couple pairs, like this set of 2 featuring a 9-inch and 12-inch pair.

Salad Tongs

Salad hands are the perfect tool to toss salads more delicately, and they make for attractive serving ware too.

Metal Fish Spatula

Metal fish spatulas feature a thin, flexible metal edge to easily slide under delicate items prone to sticking. And they can be used for much more than just fish—chicken, pancakes, just about anything that needs flipping!

Nonstick Spatula

It’s crucial to have nonstick utensils to use with your nonstick cookware to prevent scratching. This nonstick spatula is heat resistant up to 400 degrees and dishwasher safe.

Ladle

You’ll definitely want a ladle in your utensil crock to serve up hot soups, stews, and sauces.

Pots and Pans

Stainless Steel Skillet with Lid

Invest in a high-quality skillet like this one from All-Clad and you’ll be whipping up restaurant quality sautés and pan sauces for years to come. This model is oven and broiler safe up to 600 degrees! Stainless steel skillets are indispensable because they are versatile, durable, and distribute heat evenly.

Dutch Oven

Enameled cast iron Dutch ovens are also extremely versatile, allowing for stovetop or oven cooking. Since cast iron is a great heat insulator, they’re great for deep frying too!

Nonstick Skillets

Newer nonstick cookware is made from scratch resistant hard-anodized aluminum, making it a lot safer than Teflon coated cookware of the past. Nonstick skillets are great for making delicate items like eggs.

Sauce Pot

Sauce pots of various sizes are an important staple for home chefs. This 2-quart model is a great size for a variety of tasks and has a beautiful brushed stainless exterior. 

Large Stock Pot

You’ll want at least one extra large stock pot for handling tasks like boiling water for pasta, boiling lobsters or corn on the cob, and of course making homemade stock from bones. This model holds up to 12 quarts and comes with a glass lid.

Roasting Pan with Rack

A large roasting pan with a rack is necessary for making impressive, evenly cooked roasts with a crisp golden exterior.

Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets are excellent heat insulators, making them a good choice for a variety of dishes, including fried chicken, burgers, cinnamon buns, and cornbread. They’re so versatile!

Double Broiler Pan

A double broiler set up is needed to slowly melt chocolate or cheese fondue over simmering water. This pan makes it easy with two pieces that fit perfectly together and comes with a glass lid, too!

Sheet Pans

Baking sheets are essential for cookies but are also perfect for full sheet pan meals! I recommend these aluminum pans by Nordic Ware for even browning.

Splatter Screen

Pan frying can be messy, so get a splatter screen to help control the grease! This one is 13 inches in diameter, so it should be large enough to cover all your frying pans.

Strainers

Every home cook needs a few different sized fine mesh strainers to handle a variety of tasks. This set allows for larger tasks like sifting flour or rinsing rice, as well as smaller tasks like refining juice or straining custards into individual ramekins.

Wire Cooling Rack

Wire racks are useful for an assortment of kitchen tasks—from cooling cookies to draining excess oil from fried foods. You’ll use them constantly, so why not get a set of 2?

9 x 13 Pan

This pan can be used for cakes and casseroles alike. The nonstick coating makes cleanup a breeze!

Steamer Basket

Steaming is one of the healthiest cooking methods, so every home cook should have a quality steamer basket. This model has is able to adapt to different sized pans and collapses for easier storage.

Specialty Tools

Espresso Machine

To really level up your entertaining, try investing in a home espresso machine. This Breville model is easy to use and creates perfect foamed milk lattes and cappuccinos every time, for restaurant quality coffee drinks right at home!

Food Processor

This Cuisinart food processor is truly a workhorse in the kitchen. Simple to use and clean, it comes with different blades to shred, slice, and chop large quantities in seconds!

Blender

Invest in a high-power blender that’s able to fully puree and pulverize, resulting in a smooth creamy texture. Use it for fruit smoothies, blended cocktails, or creating velvety smooth soups.

Air Fryer

The latest trend for home chefs, air fryers allow you to make all your favorite crispy fried foods at home, using a fraction of the oil. It’s much healthier, and less mess too!

Instant Pot

Electric pressure cookers like the Instant Pot are the ultimate time saver! This 6-quart multi-functional model acts as a pressure cooker, slower cooker, rice cooker, steamer, and even a yogurt maker. Pressure cooking allows you to cook foods in a fraction of the time compared to conventional cooking methods.

Pasta Machine

Every home chef should have their turn at cranking out handmade pasta. This manual pasta machine works with different pasta cutting accessories to make different kinds of pasta including fettuccine and spaghetti.

Electric Juicer

If you find yourself juicing a lot of fruit, I would consider investing in an electric juicer. This model is even able to juice harder fruits and vegetables like carrots, celery, beets, and kale, to make nutrient-rich juices.

Waffle Iron

No brunch is complete without Belgian waffles! This waffle maker is easy to use and features six settings for customized browning control.

Electric Griddle

Electric griddles are convenient for cooking a variety of foods and save valuable space on your cooktop. Presto makes a great model with an easy-to-clean nonstick surface and drip tray.

Immersion Blender

Immersion blenders, also known as stick blenders, are super useful for blending soups and sauces without having to take out and clean your blender.

Rice Cooker

Rice is notoriously tricky to get right, but rice cookers ensure perfectly cooked rice every time. This model by Aroma is highly rated and holds up to 8 cups of cooked rice.

Cold Brew Coffee Maker

For all the iced coffee lovers out there, a cold brew maker is a must-have! Cold brew is smoother and less acidic than traditionally brewed iced coffee.

Pizza Stone

A pizza stone is absolutely critical to achieving a crispy pizza crust in a home oven since home ovens don’t get as hot as brick pizza ovens. For high quality pizza at home, check out this pizza set that includes the pizza stone plus a pizza peel and wheel cutter!

Baking Equipment

Stand Mixer

This stand mixer will help you achieve all your baking goals. You’ll be able to effectively cream butter and sugar with the paddle beater attachment or knead bread doughs with the dough hook. 

Hand Mixer

If you don’t have the room or budget for a stand mixer right now, a hand mixer can handle most of the same tasks. Hand mixers also allow you the added flexibility to whip mixtures while simultaneously heating, which is useful for mashed potatoes or certain custard-based desserts.

Liquid Measuring Cups

Liquid measuring cups have a curved spout making it easier to pour liquids precisely and without spilling. These Pyrex glass measuring cups are dishwasher and microwave safe.

Silicone Baking Mat

Silicone baking mats are an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to parchment paper. They fit standard sheet pans to provide a nonstick baking surface and prevent over-browning, easy to clean and reuse again and again!

Scale

When it comes to baking, accurate measurements are vital, and the best way to measure consistently and accurately is to weigh your ingredients. This compact kitchen scale measures in both grams and ounces with a weight capacity of up to 11 lb.

Pie Plate

Every home baker wants to make a show stopping pie. These glass pie plates from Pyrex make it easy to monitor browning while cooking, and the beautiful crimped edges make for great serving ware too.

Muffin Tin

Muffin tins are necessary for making muffins of course, but they can also be used for cupcakes and breakfast egg cups.

Pastry Brush

To take your biscuits, pies and pastries up a notch, try brushing them with butter or egg wash to create a beautiful shiny and deep golden-brown exterior. I recommend this silicone pastry brush from OXO because it’s easy to clean and the silicone bristles won’t scorch, clump or break off into food.

Pastry Blender

Pastry blenders cut in small uniform pieces of butter to create flaky-textured baked goods. Try this pastry blender next time you make pie crust or biscuits and you’re sure to have impressive results! Pastry blenders can also be used to mash foods like avocado for guacamole.

Rolling Pin

Every baker needs a good quality rolling pin. This wooden rolling pin has comfortable handles and is durable and moisture-resistant.

Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are essential for accurately measuring ingredients in baking. I recommend these because the measurement marks are engraved, so you don’t have to worry about them rubbing off with continued use.

Measuring Cup Set

This set includes 4 measuring cups in ¼, 1/3, ½, and 1 cup sizes. They come on a removable ring and nest inside one another for optimal storage.

Cleaning & Safety

Fire Extinguisher

Every home cook should have a fire extinguisher on hand as a safety precaution.

First Aid Kit

In case of cuts or burns, home chefs should be equipped with a fully stocked first aid kit like this highly-rated all-purpose kit.

Paper Towel Holder

This paper towel holder has a helper arm, making it easy to tear off a sheet with one hand and contributing to a cleaner kitchen.

Compost Bin

Composting is an environmentally responsible way to get rid of your food scraps. This 1-gallon bin sits on the countertop for a week without attracting insects or omitting odors.

Kitchen Towels

Restaurant cooks use side towels in a lot of different ways that are useful for the home kitchen as well, including cleaning spills, transporting hot plates, and covering doughs to prevent from drying out. This pack of 12 is made from machine-washable absorbent cotton.

Instant Read Thermometer

Thermometers are vital to the home chef in order to make sure proteins are cooked properly and comply with food safety regulations to prevent food poisoning.

Cutting Glove

Cut resistant gloves are a good way to prevent injury in relatively inexperienced home chefs. They are especially useful when working with a mandoline or box grater.

Apron

Aprons help keep your clothes clean and protect you from hot splattering oils. These aprons are water resistant and feature pockets to hold tools and recipe cards.

Oven Mitts

These oven mitts offer heat protection up to 450 degrees and are extra-long to protect bare forearms from burns as well. They also have a nonslip silicone grip as an added safety measure.

Pot Holders

Your countertops also need protecting from hot pots and pans! These woven cotton potholders also function as spoon rests to keep countertops clean.

Pot Handle Cover

These silicone covers easily slip over the handles of skillets to prevent hand burns from touching hot handles. They’re com

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