A versatile spatula is essential for swirling frosting onto a cake, stirring eggs in a frittata, and emulsifying a vinaigrette. Opt for one that withstands high heat.
Adjustable measuring cups and spoons save space in your drawer, while a slotted spoon is invaluable for removing ingredients from liquids. Tongs are also one of the essential kitchen tools for flipping meat, tossing salad, and pulling pasta noodles from boiling water.
Whether mixing brownie batter, breaking up egg whites, or scooping cookies out of the oven, a good spatula will save your hands from messy handwork. You also need one that’s heat-resistant for stovetop use and can protect nonstick pans from scratches. Look for a spatula with an ergonomically-designed handle that widens where you hold it most and tapers for a tight grip near the head.
This heavy-duty whisk makes light work of thick sauces, batters, and other ingredients that need extra air. The stainless steel construction is sturdy, resisting rust and corrosion. And the seamless handle base prevents water from getting into the handle, making this whisk easier to clean and more hygienic.
The elongated shape of this whisk makes it great for whipping cream, egg whites, and most batters. It also allows the whisk to reach into the corners of a bowl or pan easily, which is helpful when combining dry and wet ingredients.
This flat variety of whisk is designed to be used in shallow bowls or to deglaze a pan (by whisking liquid from the bottom of the pan into the rest of the ingredients). It has four silicone-wrapped wires that are highly heat resistant up to 750°F and can even be used on nonstick, ceramic, or tin-lined copper cookware. It’s also good for removing solids from shallow pan sauces and can be used as a spatula to move delicate omelets or chocolate cookies from pan to plate.
A kitchen scraper is an incredibly versatile tool often used to cut, flip and stir. Its flat edge easily slides under foods like brownies, lasagna, and cookies and can also be used to chop firm vegetables, such as onions, carrots, mushrooms, and zucchini.
It can also lift and serve hot foods from pans burning hands, such as burgers, over-easy eggs, and pancakes. It’s the perfect tool for transferring foods from a baking sheet to a serving plate or to help move food around in a frying pan or on a baking sheet without damaging the cookware.
A fish “spatula” is a similar option, with a wider base for turning foods such as fish and burgers. A good fish turner also has slots for dripping grease, so you can use it to remove and drain fat from your meals. It can stir ingredients and scrape burned or stuck food off the bottom of a pan, but it is not recommended for nonstick cookware. If you’re shopping for one, look for a silicone version that won’t scratch or damage your pans.
Measuring Cups & Spoons
Accurate measuring is a vital kitchen tool and the key to consistently preparing meals. Liquids are difficult to measure accurately because they tend to spill, and their small volume markings can be deceiving, especially when viewed at eye level. Measuring cups and spoons allow home cooks to carefully measure liquids and ensure that the same amount is used each time for a consistent result.
Dry ingredients are easier to measure because they can be packed into a cup if the measurements are manageable. However, most home cooks are accustomed to lightly measuring flour and other dried ingredients to the rim before leveling them.
A high-quality measuring set will feature cups and spoons made from durable materials like stainless steel, copper, or enamel-glazed earthenware. They will also feature easy-to-read and clear measurement markings and be dishwasher-safe. Additionally, look for a measuring set that nests together when not in use to save space in your drawers. For wet ingredients, consider looking for measuring cups with pouring spouts to ease the transfer of liquid from cup to pan.
Essentially an extra set of invincible hands, tongs are your go-to for nearly any kitchen task. They can help you turn a dish on the grill, grab food from boiling water and stir a salad. They can even open wine bottles and pinch lobster claws. Many kinds of tongs are available, from light plastic sets to heavy metal and rubber ones.
Utility tongs have a spoon-like end and curved paddles for gripping. They’re great for general cooking needs and are ideal for high-heat tasks like flipping burgers on the grill or removing foods from boiling water. Look for sets with a spring-action opening and closing mechanism and a locking option for easy storage.
Scissor tongs have a more pointed end that grabs foods like corn on the cob and potato slices. They’re also great for grabbing smaller items that can’t be easily gripped with your hands, such as a piece of bread or an egg. Serving tongs are decorative and often used to place food on customers’ plates in buffet settings. They’re also great for grabbing citrus slices or other garnishes.