A Savory Life: Kitchen Essentials

Cast Iron Pan

There are a few kitchen tools and appliances I can’t imagine living without. Most of them I didn’t even realize I would utilize so much until I owned them. This list is an extensive inventory of what I use on the daily.

Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker. Yes, I’ve joined the InstantPot fan club and I’m not embarrassed to shout it from the rooftops! What sealed the deal for me was when I organized an InstantPot dinner with Chandra Ram and Meherwan Irani at Chai Pani for Chandra’s new cookbook: The Complete Indian Instant Pot Cookbook: 130 Traditional and Modern Recipes. I realized at that dinner that this thing is magical! It Pressure Cooks, Sterilizers, Slow Cooks, Cooks Rice, Steams, Sautés, AND Makes Yogurt. WHAT! I use it at least once a week to make stews, rice, etc. I recently made A Spicy Perspective’s Instant Pot Chinese Sesame Chicken. What a treat!

A good handheld Milk Frother. I LOVE this thing. I use it every morning to froth creamer for my coffee. It’s incredible! It makes the best foam and really enhances my mornings, to be honest. I used to walk to the coffee shop every morning and spend $5+ on a latte. Now I make a latte at home for about a 1/4 of the price and it tastes just as amazing. I have the Zulay Original Milk Frother Handheld Foam Maker for Lattes.

Good Knives. I have spent the majority of my adult life using the same shi*t knife. Until….my mother in law gifted us this Chicago Cutlery Fusion 17 Piece Knife Block Set a few years ago. #adulting. I love these knives so much. Honestly, they are so durable that we’ll have them for the rest of our lives. Fun fact – we lost one a few years ago and just recently found it at the bottom of our compost bin where it had been hanging out for at least 24 months. It was as good as new once we washed it. Now that is a testament to a good knife!

Glass Tupperware. Personally, I’m a fan of Pyrex. This 18-Piece Pyrex set has BPA free lids and is oven safe. We’ve had this set for about four years and I’ve only broken one. Of course it was the huge, beautiful bowl, because that is how life goes. Also, the lids break down over time, which is a bummer, BUT they have replacement lids you can buy here.

Garlic Press. I use this constantly. Honestly, I am tired of peeling and pressing garlic, but it MUST. BE. DONE. Please yall, for your own sake, please don’t buy refrigerated minced garlic. It just AIN’T THE SAME! If you are feeling like you want to save yourself some time, buy the pre-peeled whole cloves. Then you can just pop the cloves into the press and voila! you’ve got crushed garlic. We’ve had the OXO Good Grips Soft-Handled Garlic Press for a few years now, and it works great.

Ginger (and garlic) Grater. This appliance may seem a little silly, but with the amount of ginger I use in cooking I adore this thing. I recently had a friend tell me she only uses powdered ginger because she’s intimidated by fresh ginger. NOOOO! I made her buy this and she’s a happy camper now. I promise you will love your cooking a LOT more if you use fresh ginger. And life hack – peel a huge piece of ginger with and then put it in the freezer. When you need ginger, simply grate the amount you need per recipe and pop the rest of the ginger back in the freezer. We have the OXO Good Grips Etched Ginger & Garlic Grater and it’s GRATE! Get it, get it?

Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers. Another item I didn’t realize I needed until I got these for Christmas. This set of three mesh strainers are SO handy. One is around 3 inches, one around 5 inches, and one around 7 inches. They are excellent for washing rice, beans, and lentils, and also great for sifting dry ingredients. They are made from stainless steel mesh and they are dishwasher safe. I have the Cuisinart Set of 3 and highly recommend them.

Measuring Cups and Spoons. These Simply Gourmet Measuring Cups and Spoons are high-quality stainless steel and dishwasher safe and will honestly probably outlive me. They are super durable and feel great to cook with. Plus, they look nice in photographs 🙂

Food Processor. TRULY THE ULTIMATE TIME SAVER! When I meal prep on Sunday evenings, I literally cut ALL my vegetables for the week with this thing. Carrots, onions, celery, cucumbers, potatoes. You name it! I also slice apples for snacks and even chop chocolate for muffins. Honestly, it’s amazing. I have the Cuisinart 14-Cup Food Processor and although it’s a higher price tag, it’s worth it for the extra blades: a stainless steel Standard slicing disc (4mm), medium shredding disc, and stainless steel chopping/mixing blade. Beware, it is very loud! AKA you can’t do this part of your meal prep when children are sleeping. If you’re looking for a more affordable one, check out this Hamilton Beach Food Processor & Vegetable Chopper.

Wide Mouth Mason Jars. I keep ALL my bulk items (rice, lentils, beans, sugar, etc) in large mason jars, and keep them in a drawer with the labeled lids facing up so that they are easily accessible. I’ve never felt so organized in all my dang life. I buy the 12 Pack of Ball Mason 32 oz Wide Mouth Jars.

Glass Storage Containers. I love these Glass Kitchen Canisters with Bamboo Lids. They look great on our shelves and can house anything: sugar, coffee, cookies, candy, rice.

Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Skillet. I have a Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet and I love it. I use it to sauté veggies, bake frittata, broil Brussel sprouts, braise steak, grill fish, and more. The list goes on! PS – here’s an informative article from Lodge on how to properly clean a cast iron skillet.

I hope you enjoyed the list! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter for your FREE weekly meal plan, delivered to your inbox every Friday.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.