Russell's Pro Tips

Six Essential Kitchen Tools

Are your kitchen drawers and cabinets overflowing with tools that are never used? It may be time to pare down to the most frequently used items that will meet your basic cooking and baking needs. These six kitchen tools straight from our friends at GE Appliances are essential to stock your kitchen with:

Cutting Board with Chef's Knife and VeggiesChef’s knife

Chop, dice, and cut like your fave cooking-show star with this knife. Opt for the 8-inch version–long enough to be versatile but small enough to handle even for the novice cook. Use it to prep vegetables, slice fruit, and cut up meat. Tip: Inspect the handle-to-blade construction for a long-lasting connection.

Chopping board

Offered in plastic, bamboo, or wood, a good-size cutting board–about 13 x 9 inches–enables you to handle most prep tasks. Some cooks favor plastic because it’s super easy to care for, while others like the hard-as-nails surfaces of wood and bamboo (which require a bit more TLC).

Mini food processor

Long ingredient lists are a drag. What’s not? The way that a mini food processor makes quick work of all that chopping and prep for everything from homemade pesto to tomato sauce. Most of these appliances have just a few parts that are dishwasher-friendly–another bonus.

Measuring CupsMeasuring cups

Plastic options are price friendly, metal cups are supremely durable (get a version with the numbers etched in, not stamped, so they don’t wear off), and glass is see-through (but prone to breaking if filled with super-hot items). Plunk down a few extra dollars for heavier ones that can sit firmly on their own when full or empty, which frees up your hands to pour ingredients.

Silicone mats

They feel weird. They roll up. They’re virtually indestructible. And durable silicone mats, used to line cookie sheets, also keep sheet pans and other dishes from burning. Plus, they minimize cleanup.

Hand MixerHand mixer

Behold, the mighty power of the hand mixer–it’s content to sit unobtrusively in your cabinet until you need extra power to mix, whip, and beat to your heart’s content. Even better? Find a version that has different beaters, such as ones for kneading.

Everyone’s cooking and baking needs vary, so take this list as a good place to start, then add in the kitchen tools you use on a daily basis!