Essential Kitchen Utensils: Best tools to have for cooking!

Essential Kitchen Utensils

We often get asked what kitchen utensils we use in our own kitchen for our recipes or produce from the farm, so we decided to put them in a one-stop shop for you! This list contains the best kitchen gadgets that are tried and true from Pleasant Grove Homestead. Being home cooks ourselves, we know how big of a difference it can make to have a few cool kitchen gadgets at home. Having the right tools can make a home cook feel like a professional chef without needing years of experience!  

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The Basic Essentials 

This list contains cooking tools that we use all the time in our kitchen! They are basic staples that everyone should have in their kitchen! 

Cutting essentials

The first order of business is a solid cutting board and knife set. This is the basis for all your cooking needs! 

Eupcerian Cutting Board  

Cutting Board

A high-quality cutting board is a home cook’s best friend! It is something that you will use daily for all of your slicing and dicing needs. We love the Epicurean Cutting Board because it is made from natural paper composite material and is dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning! It is heat-resistant and knife-friendly, so it will not dull your knives like other cutting boards. 

Kitchen Shears 

Kitchen Shears

Kitchen shears always come in handy in the kitchen and are a great tool to have! They are great for cutting poultry, or even to easily snip fresh herbs from your garden. 

Rada knives

Rada Knives are what we exclusively use at Pleasant Grove Homestead! We use them to process nearly all of our own meat and they have lasted the test of time. Rada Knives have sturdy construction with stainless steel blades and stay sharp, we rarely need to use a knife sharpener. The handle is made from stainless steel as well and has a really good grip to it. Having a good set of knives is essential in any kitchen, and it is somewhere that is worth a little bit of an investment to ensure quality and durability. We highly recommend adding Rada knives to your home cook kitchen! 

We are dealers for Rada Cutlery, so stop and see us at farmer’s market in 2024 and we should have a full stock!

Meat essentials

Cooking meat can sometimes feel intimidating, like a full roast, or steak, but having some tools to boost your confidence will be a huge difference!

Meat chopper

Meat Chopper

This kitchen utensil may seem unnecessary, but trust me when I say this is a must-have in every home cook’s kitchen! The design of this meat chopper helps you easily cook and separate ground meat. The design helps you break up the ground meat into smaller chunks so you don’t need to try to separate and chop it up with your spatula. This tool is also great when you need to shred chunks of meat while they simmer. 

Meat Thermometers (Basic or Upgrade)

Thermometer

This is a handy tool to ensure you never have dry meat again! Using a meat thermometer, you can ensure to cook your meat to the perfect temperature that will yield perfect results and juicy meat. It is great to use for any cut of meat including chicken, steaks, roasts, salmon, and more! We use it while roasting, grilling, or pan cooking. This thermometer is a basic model and can be used to check the meat for the right temperature, a great place to start! For some extra money, you can upgrade to this model. The way you use this type of thermometer, is you stick it into the raw meat, and then you can watch the temperature rise as it cooks so you can pull the meat off the heat at the perfect time. This model even has a Bluetooth connection so you can check the temperature straight from your phone

Either of these models is the perfect gift option for a stocking stuffer! People don’t know how much their meat game improves with a meat thermometer. It’s the gift you never knew you needed! 

Other essentials

Here are a few other kitchen tools that we use all of the time in our kitchen and we think will make a big difference for you too! 

Rocking garlic press 

Garlic Press

Something every home chef needs is a garlic press. This will save you so much time from having to mince your garlic for all your recipes! Garlic makes everything better! We love this Rocking Garlic press for its compact size and how it is easy to clean. All you need to do to use it is set the garlic clove on a cutting board, and then place the rocking garlic press on top and push down in a rocking motion. It is so easy and the perfect way to mince your garlic in one swift motion. This makes using our fresh garlic (shop our farm store here!) a breeze. Everyone needs loads of fresh, local garlic in their life as an immunity boost and for the flavor! You’ll easily be able to cook with garlic daily with this tool.

Rotary cheese grater 

Cheese Shredder

Upgrade your cheese grater and save your arm from the massive workout of shredding your own cheese with this handy gadget. We love this for the ease of use and how quickly you can shred the cheese! This rotary cheese grater has multiple attachments, including a coarse shredder for your typical-sized grated cheese, and a fine shredding blade that is great for parmesan cheese. It also comes with a slicing blade that you can use to thinly slice vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, or cucumbers. 

We know not everyone makes their own cheese to make use of this, but store-bought pre-shredded cheese often has anti-caking agents added. You will notice a difference in your cheese-melting game when you switch to grating your own! This tool makes it way faster to manage using fresh grated. It will grate both hard cheeses like parmesan and soft cheeses with ease! 

2 oz Ladle

2 oz ladle

This is a staple on our homestead! The 2 oz sized ladles fit perfectly inside half-gallon mason jars that we store milk from our cows in. The ladles help remove the cream from the top of the milk easily. Small ladles are also great for canning or smaller portions of gravy or sauces. 

Cooking Pans 

Having the right cooking pans in the kitchen is essential for all of your cooking needs! 

Stainless Steel Pan Set 

Cooking Pans

We love this set because the pans have a thick bottom and have even heat while cooking. This set comes in different sizes to fit all of your cooking needs! 

Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillet

Cast Iron Skillets stand the test of time and can be used for years and years with proper care.  They are so durable, we actually just recommend finding a used cast iron to add to your kitchen! You can easily re-season the cast iron to bring new life into it and make it last for even more years to come! We love using a cast iron skillet to get a nice sear on meat. They withstand high heat easily and can be used in the oven, or on the stovetop. It is such a versatile tool in the kitchen! 

Large Stainless Steel Pot

Stock Pot

Having a large stock pot is something we use often at Pleasant Grove Homestead! We use a 20-quart stockpot by Cuisinart that we purchased at Target years ago and has stood the test of time! The entire pot is thick-lined so it heats evenly, which is important! We love this pot for water bath canning, making huge batches of chili for a crowd, and making cheese. 

We do a lot of canning, so a reliable large pot is a must! Want to learn more about canning? Check out our canning course here!

Blenders

Every home cook needs a good blender to create soups, sauces, and smoothies. Below are two of our favorite types. 

Immersion Blender

Immersion Blender

An immersion blender is a great kitchen gadget to add to your home cook collection! It’s basically a handheld blender on a stick that is so easy to use and has easy cleanup. A traditional blender is great, but it does take up space on your kitchen counters, so this is a great way to save some space. This is an amazing tool to have on hand to create sauces, purees, soups, or smoothies. It is also great for making salad dressings or homemade mayo! This Immersion blender comes with some extras, including a chopper, which is useful for quickly chopping onions, vegetables, nuts, or even meats. (Use the copper attachment for our Easy Cucumber Salad recipe!) It also has a whisk attachment to easily make whipped cream or scrambled eggs, and a frother attachment to make foam for coffee or other drinks. Use this Immersion blender for our Squash Soup recipe! 

Ninja Blender

Ninja Blender

A good blender is a must! We use this Ninja Blender at least 2 times a day. The sharp edges of the stainless steel blades will make the perfect smoothies or soups! We love to start our day with a nutrient-dense smoothie that we quickly blitz up in the blender full of fruits and veggies. We also use the blender to make butter in a breeze from the milk from our cows. This blender creates a smooth texture and works super well for all our needs.          

Countertop

Small appliances that can sit on your kitchen counters, or easily be stored away, are a little more of an investment, but completely worth it in our opinion. Each option below helps save a lot of time in the kitchen or makes cooking a breeze!

Instant Pot  

Instant Pot

Every home cook needs an instant pot! Don’t be intimidated by electric pressure cookers, they are so easy to use and cut back on cooking time to give you fast and easy hot foods! We love this Instant Pot because it has multiple uses and can replace other appliances like slow cookers. Some of the modes included are slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, and saute. Recipes typically do not take much time to assemble and it has easy clean up afterwards! We use our Instant Pot to make our homemade healing chicken bone broth recipe

Electric Roaster

Electric Roaster

This is one of the best small appliances for a large family! We love the 24 qt capacity to create large batches of homestead staples such as rendering animal fats for tallow and lard. It is also large enough to roast a turkey or other large roasts. It fits easily on the kitchen counter and is easy to clean. 

Ice Cream Maker

Ice Cream Maker

One of the kitchen tools most popular with the kids! As an owner of a milk cow, I love being able to have ice cream every night! There’s nothing quite like fresh ice cream made at home. This ice cream maker is great because you don’t have to worry about pre-freezing or using any ice. It’s as simple as pouring the mixture into the machine. It’s a fun way to get the kids involved in the kitchen and to try new flavors and new recipes! Since it’s made from scratch and nutrient-dense, you won’t feel bad about eating a bowl every single night! 

Coffee Essentials 

If you love coffee as much as we do, you are going to love the coffee gadgets we use daily! 

Coffee Grinder 

Coffee Grinder

Every serious coffee drinker knows fresh ground coffee beans are the best! We love having this coffee grinder to quickly and easily grind our coffee beans in the morning for a fresh cup of hot coffee. 

Stainless Steel French Press 

French Press

After freshly grinding our coffee beans, we use this French Press for fresh, hot coffee! We love this model because it is easy to clean and is insulated so it will keep the coffee inside nice and hot. Glass French presses tend to break easily, but this stainless steel model gets five-star reviews from everyone we’ve gifted it to.  

Storage 

Storage is important to keep leftovers or meal preps fresh, or to help your freezer items last longer! 

Glass Food Storage Containers 

Glass Containers

We have found that when you can see your leftovers or meal prep you are more likely to use them, which is why we love these glass storage containers! You can easily see what is inside from a quick glance. We’ve had these for a long time, they are durable! You can use them in the freezer or even the oven and are also dishwasher and microwave-safe. They are airtight and leakproof too! 

Reditainer Freezer Containers 

Freezer Containers

We use these for easy storage and they are great for storing portion-sized foods in the freezer. We have also found that if you drop them, they do not crack! They are durable and strong!

Essential Kitchen Utensils

We hope that you find the kitchen utensils and gadgets listed here helpful. We find that having the right tools not only helps get the job done faster and easier but also more enjoyable! Cooking meals for your family should be something that you look forward to! For farm fresh produce and meat for your next meal, make sure to check out our farm store with the link below. Happy cooking! 

Shop our Farm Store!

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