My love of kitchen appliances + utensils runs deep. Today I am rounding up the best of the best… my kitchen essentials that I use on a regular basis.

I could get lost in a specialty cooking store. There are so many products, utensils + cookbooks to fuel my inspiration. Over the years, I have filled my kitchen + downstairs storage room with a plethora of kitchen utensils + small appliances. Some are only pulled out a couple times a year (I’m looking at you panini press!) and others come out a few times a month like my food processor, mandoline, waffle maker, potato ricer + rolling pin.

However, I do have a couple dozen kitchen essentials that are work-horses come meal time. These items are used + reused multiple times each week, sometimes even in the same day. My piece de resistance is my le cruset but I also have quite a few more affordable items that I reach for regularly. All of the items listed below are the exact brands + versions I use. They are my tried + true kitchen essentials that I would recommend to a professional chef or an at-home cook.

le cruset: a cast iron french oven with exceptional heat retention. Great for braising meats, simmering sauces, big pots of soup or frying foods.

wooden spoons: they will never scratch your pots or pans, + do not leave a metalic taste in your foods. The best part, they are environmentally friendly.

chef knife: the most used knife in my kitchen hands-down. I would love to invest in a even nicer one but mine is great for any task involving slicing, chopping, julienne cuts, breaking down large cuts of meat + even smashing garlic.

microplane: the fine sharpe blade of a microplane is perfect for adding citrus zest to salads, dressings, marinades + more but I also use it to grate parmesan cheese on top of my pasta.

tongs: if I’m barbecuing, flipping bacon or working with heat, my sturdy stainless steel tongs are always in-hand. I also have a couple smaller pairs that I use for serving-ware.

cutting boards: I am obsessed with my oversized boo’s wooden cutting board + regularly condition it to keep it sanitized + strong. However, I also have some smaller wooden boards + a couple silicone options for poultry + meat.

strainer: a big colander is great for washing veggies or draining pasta but I’ve found I reach for a hand-held option more regularly.

linen towels: a big stack of quick absorbing but neutral kitchen towels are always in the drawer next to my sink. I use these guys to dry dishes but to also line baskets with sliced bread + to pull hot items out of the oven.

baking sheets: any + all sizes welcome in my book, they only get better with age + a few stains too.

salt cellar: I keep a pretty bowl with kosher salt next to my over 24/7 to season my food while cooking.

pepper grinder: fresh ground pepper just tastes better than any shaker variety. When I visit specialty cooking stores, I love to stock up on higher-end varieties too.

mixing bowls: my collection includes glass options with lids and a set of nesting stainless steel ones with silicone bases because they don’t slip.

spatulas: flipping pancakes, straining noodles + the perfect scrambled eggs all require 1 essential utensil, a silicone spatula. Done + done.

cast iron pan: my dad made me a converter to love cast iron. It gets super hot but evenly distributes heats. My 12″ pan will definitely outlive me by decades too. It will look as beautiful as it does now with very little maintenance.

small bowls: pretty little prep bowls are great for mise en place, ideal to hold small snacks + to help divide eggs.

measuring cups: I am no baker but cooking still requires measurements. So, I use both liquid measuring cups + stainless steel options on the regular, especially when I am recipe testing.

Photos by Jenna Sparks. Follow her on Instagram


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(left to right: stainless steel bowls  /  cast iron pan  /  boo’s wood cutting board  /  microplane  /  dish towels  /  chef’s knife  /  spatulas  /  pepper grinder  /  strainer  /  le cruset  /  liquid measuring cup  /  pyrex bowls  /  silicone cutting boards  /  tongs  /  wooden spoons  /  small prep bowl  /  measuring cups  /  baking sheets)



Written by Jaime
South on Broadway is a Denver based food + lifestyle blog for lovers of food, fashion and design. a destination for daily inspiration

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