The Tools for the Job – Kitchen Tools and Gadgets you Really Need

A few posts back I gave some time-saving tips for cooking.  The connection between this investing blog and cooking is that you can save a lot of money and thereby have money to invest if you make a lot fo your meals yourself.  Today I’ll finish this series by discussing what tools and gadgets you really need to cook. Note that this assumes you are starting with a bare kitchen – maybe moving into your first apartment after the dorms in college.

There are always a lot of things out there you could buy.  A lot of gadgets advertise that they will make cooking a lot easier, but the truth is that most of those gadgets only add value if you are cooking in bulk.  For example, if you are making gallons of salsa, it makes sense to pull out the Cuisinart.  If you are just cutting up an onion, however, you’ll spend ten times as much time dragging the thing out and then washing it and putting it away than you will actually spend cutting the onion.  You’ll find that most of the time it is just easier to pull out a knife.

Here are the items that a well-stocked kitchen should have:

  • 1 set of mixing bowls (small, medium, and large)
  • 2 glass measuring cups – 1 cup and 2 cup
  • 1 set of plastic dry measuring cups (1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 1 cup)
  • 1 set of measuring spoons (1/4 tsp. 1/2 tsp. 1 tsp. 1 tbsp)
  • 2 spatulas, two large spoons (one solid, one slotted), a whisk, 2 rubber spatulas, 1 two-pronged fork, 1 set of tongs
  • 2 frying pans (cast iron is best), 4 sauce pans (small, medium, large, and extra-large) with lids
  • 2 baking sheets
  • 1 collander
  • 1 set of knives (1 chef knife and 1 paring knife, perhaps a bread knife)
  • 1 set of wooden spoons
  • 1 grater
  • 1 set of pot holders
  • 2 cutting boards (one for meat, one for everything else)
  • 1 set of cake pans (round)
  • 1 9×13 pan
  • 1 9×9 pan
  • 1 muffin pan

These are nice to have, but are used less often:

  • A blender, a salad spinner, a waffle maker, a toaster over, a crock pot.
  • A pastry cutter
  • An extra spatula (never have enough)
  • An extra small sauce pat
  • A ladle
  • A bread pan
  • Apple corer (metal)
  • Egg slicer
  • Food processor
  • Hand mixer


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Disclaimer: This blog is not meant to give financial planning or tax advice.  It gives general information on investment strategy, picking stocks, and generally managing money to build wealth. It is not a solicitation to buy or sell stocks or any security. Financial planning advice should be sought from a certified financial planner, which the author is not. Tax advice should be sought from a CPA.  All investments involve risk and the reader as urged to consider risks carefully and seek the advice of experts if needed before investing.

Photo credits:  Jim O’Connor, downloaded from stock.xchng.


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