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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Duggins

Kitchen Essentials I Don’t Cook Without


For every dish, simple or extravagant, that can be envisioned there is a kitchen tool up to the challenge of executing that vision. My years in the kitchen have revealed to me the kitchen utensils I consider essential in preparing a well-crafted meal.


Today, I want to share my must-haves with you! Some of the items listed are basic while others may surprise you; each one has a place in my kitchen and in my craft.


I will post links to specific brands I recommend on certain tools, otherwise the kitchen section at your local store should have everything you need to get cooking!



Measuring Spoons and Cups - With practice, you’ll be able to eyeball and guesstimate with the best of them. Until then, measure away!


Spoonula - An absolute must if that leftover brownie batter on the sides of the bowl has any interest to you: a scraping, stirring and folding legend.


Chef’s Knife - Make sure it is a sharp one at that: dull knives are more likely to cause injury as there is more effort and pressure needed when using them. Safety first, ya’ll!


Paring Knife - This short and sharp blade will be just what you need when precision is required during prep.


Vegetable Peeler - You’ll have your veggies safely peeled to perfection in no time.


Fish Spatula - These thin, angled spatulas aren’t just for delicate fish anymore. One of these puppies will take your flipping game to another level.


Food Scale - Exact measurements, especially when baking, will ensure consistent and enhanced flavors every time.


Microplane - This may seem like just another grater but it will bring the zest to your cooking like nothing else will if I may be so literal.


Citrus Reamer - For all your citrus juicing needs. Quick, easy and waste-reducing compared to giving your fruit a good squeeze.


Mesh Strainer - A great tool for rinsing, straining, fluffing and dusting.


Cast Iron Skillet - This kitchen classic can be intimidating for some as there are certain rules to be followed. I would say the rules are unspoken but casually mention cast iron in a conversation and there is bound to be a concerned citizen ready to advise you - just don’t mention dish soap in the same sentence. Jokes aside, what a cast iron requires in maintenance is more than equaled in flavor.


Dutch Oven - This mainstay rules the kitchen when it comes to versatility. Everything from braising, baking, searing, stewing, simmering, low and slow - it can all be done using this flavor powerhouse.


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