14 Of The Most Useful Kitchen Tools That People Swear By

Kitchen Gadgets

One of the best perks of my job is being able to interact with my readers. I feel very blessed to have such an incredible community of people who read my blog and follow me on social media! Not only are my readers kind, funny, and thoughtful, but they also often have amazing tips and tricks of their own! Whenever I have a question about the best products or how to do something, I turn to my readers! (I usually pose questions to my readers on my Facebook page, so consider this your invitation to follow along and be part of those conversations!)

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been making an effort to cut down on clutter in my kitchen. Taking an “inventory” of sorts of all my kitchen gear like tools, utensils, and appliances seemed like a good place to start! And while some items were obviously worth keeping, I felt less sure about others. So I thought it might be helpful to poll my Facebook followers, and ask them what kitchen tools they simply cannot live without! I got a lot of helpful responses, and knew that it was information we could all benefit from!

I organized the responses into a list, and that’s what I’ll be sharing with you today! These are the best, most useful tools to keep around your kitchen, according to my brilliant community of readers! You can use this list to help you identify tools you might be missing, or to help you cut down on kitchen clutter.

Related: This One $27 Purchase Will Make You Like Cooking More

14 Must-Have Kitchen Tools, According To You

Cleaning Don'ts

1. A Good, Sharp Knife

While the rest of the list is in no particular order, a sharp knife is first on the list for a reason! Everyone should own a good quality knife, and make an effort to keep it sharp. I used to be one of those people who used any old knife, because I figured it couldn’t make THAT much of a difference. But once I tried using a good kitchen knife that was actually sharp, I realized how wrong I had been all those years!

A sharp knife makes cutting, chopping, and slicing much quicker and easier to do. And even though buying a good knife is a bit more expensive, it will serve you well for years to come! It could actually save you money over time, since you won’t have to replace it every few years. All you have to do to keep your knife in great shape is keep it clean, and keep it sharp with a honing steel or sharpener. Sharpen once a week if you use your knife every day, or every other week if you use it less often.

Related: 7 Useful Egg Gadgets That Are Actually Worth Buying

2. Kitchen Shears

A good pair of kitchen shears can be an unexpectedly useful tool keep in your kitchen. I use mine for all sorts of tasks, like removing food from packages, trimming vegetables, cutting herbs, trimming parchment paper, and more!

Kitchen Gadgets

3. Microplane Grater

If you watch the Food Network at all, then you’ve probably seen someone use a microplane grater. But you don’t have to be a chef plating up fancy dishes to use one! Microplane graters are really useful for zesting citrus, and grating garlic, ginger, and hard cheeses. You’ll save a ton of time on these tasks, which to me makes buying one more than worth it!

4. Cast Iron Pans

Many people said their cast iron pan would be the one kitchen tool they wouldn’t want to live without! These thick and dense pans last forever if treated nicely, and they’re extremely useful in the kitchen. A round or square cast iron pan can be used to cook just about anything, but you can also find grill pans, dutch ovens, muffin pans, and more that are made of durable cast iron.

Kitchen Gadgets

5. Dutch Oven/French Oven

Another popular choice for an indispensable kitchen tool was the enameled dutch oven (sometimes referred to as “french ovens.”) These pots are made of heavy cast iron, which heats up smoothly and evenly making it great for cooking. But what sets these pots apart from regular cast iron items is their enameled surface. The smooth enamel is easier to clean and less prone to sticking than bare cast-iron, and can be just as durable.

People often find that their enameled dutch oven is their most-used cooking vessel. You can use them on your stove to boil, simmer, sauté, and sear, or use them in your oven to bake, broil, or braise. And even after the cooking is done, these pots are pretty enough to use as a serving dish too!

6. Stand Mixer

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the ever-popular KitchenAid stand mixer made the list. These mixers have been a must-have on every couple’s wedding registry list for decades! Stand mixers make it easy to whip up batters and doughs in minutes, and you can whip egg whites or cream with effortlessly.

Kitchen Gadgets

7. High-Powered Blender

A high-powered blender like the ones made by Blendtec and Vitamix can be a big help in the kitchen. You can use it to make soups, sauces, dips, pesto, nut butter, smoothies, milkshakes, and more. This list goes on and one! And the powerful motors in these blenders get the job done in seconds, with very little effort on your part.

8. Instant Pot

I’ve had my Instant Pot for over a year now, and I love it so much I actually bought a second one! This electric pressure cooker has made it so fast and easy to cook foods like potatoes, rice, pasta, soups, large cuts of meat, and more. It can also replace several of your other appliances, like your rice cooker and crockpot! To get the whole scoop on the Instant Pot and why I can’t live without it, check out my blog post at the link below!

Related: If You’re New To The Instant Pot, Here’s What You Need To Know

Kitchen Gadgets

9. Electric Slicer

It may seem strange to keep a deli-style electric slicer in your kitchen, but hear me out! I went through a phase where my favorite snack was roast beef and provolone cheese. I found out that homemade roast beef tasted so much better than the store-bought stuff, but cutting it thinly was proving to be a challenge. So I invested in an electric slicer, and I haven’t regretted it one bit! I use it to slice meats and cheeses at home, and I’ve saved quite a bit of money over time!

10. Air Fryer

Another small kitchen appliance that came up frequently is the air fryer. These devices use heated air to cook things quickly, and they can produce a crispier finished product than other cooking methods. Get the full scoop about air fryers and how they work at the link below!

Related: Curious About Air Fryers? Here’s What You Need To Know

Kitchen Gadgets

11. Scoop/Disher

Whether you call it a scoop or a disher or even a melon baller, people really love these handy tools. You can use them to scoop cookie dough, melon, mashed potatoes, and more into uniform portions for serving or freezing.

12. Hands-Free Can Opener

After years of struggling with manual can openers, I decided to give try out an electric can opener. I can’t believe I didn’t switch over sooner! Hands-free can openers will help you open any kind of can quickly and effortlessly.

Kitchen Gadgets

13. Scrub Daddy Sponge

I’m not the only one who swears by the Scrub Daddy sponge. This little scrubber has its own cult following! The thing that makes it so great is that it responds to temperature changes. Cold water makes it stiff, which is great for scrubbing stubborn messes, and warm water makes it more pliable for everyday cleaning. I use it to wash my dishes, clean my sink, and more!

14. Silicone Popsicle Mold

Popsicle molds aren’t just for making kids’ treats! You can use them again and again to make frozen breakfast pops, frozen yogurt, and of course, popsicles.

Related: These Delicious Frozen “Breakfast Pops” Will Make You Never Want To Skip Breakfast

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Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • If you make homemade bread then a meat slicer is your best friend. It’s a less-mess way of getting even, neat slices instead of awkwardly sized mangled ones. I can slice a loaf of bread in 30 seconds or less.

    • My meat slicer was the first thing I bought when I got married. That was back when we raised and butchered our own meat. Nothing tastes better than properly fed home grown meat. One thing I did learn about feeding hogs. My first few were much too lean, seems you need to fatten them up just before butchering or half the flavor is lost. In all these years I never thought to use it for my bread – had to try it right away – it works great. Thanks for the tip.

  • I may join you soon in the electric can open world because as I age my hands don’t find it as easy to grip the small handles (even on the most ergonomic ones). However I remember someone saying years ago (when they were quite new on the market), when someone asked her what she did while the can open opened? She said “gloated!”

  • Great ideas. I love our kitchen aide mixer. We hadn’t had one for several years because the one my mom had for at least 30 years- when my brothers were little bit the dust. We hardly made cookies for awhile because it was such an ordeal without one. Not sure what brand the old one was, but it wasn’t kitchen aide. My siblings and I all chipped in and got mom a new one awhile back. She loved having one because she could easily make bread ior cookies if one of the kids was fussy. One gadget we have I don’t know what you call it. It’s old. It has plastic cup attached with a little hand crank – I guess that you turn. It’s really great for chopping nuts. It has slits and then you put a bowl underneath to catch them. It’s has to be at least 50 years old. Once you’ve ground nuts using thIs gizmo you’ll never go back to chopping them by hand.

  • Agree with all of the suggestions – i do keep a regular can opener – if the electric goes out in a storm I can still eat food from the pantry.

  • Silicone is the way to go with not only ice pops, but all sorts of baking pans. I have muffin “tins”, bundt pan, cake pans, double boiler pan, etc. My silicone spatula is great for scrambling eggs! And it gets every bit of the egg from the bottom of the pan, so there’s less scrubbing afterwards.

  • I’m not very dexterous with a paring knife so a good quality vegetable peeler is a must have. Not just for peeling veggies, you can also slice onions razor thin. Oh, wait! I may have gotten that too from you, Jillee!

  • Thanks for reminding me I want to try a hands-free can opener! People think it’s funny I own a meat slicer, but it is sooo handy. I made sure before I bought it that it would cut raw sweet potatoes, since they were the hardest things to slice, at least until I met jicama, which it slices handily also. I also own a manual meat grinder, which has saved me money on ground beef. I like the 73/27 ground beef for hamburgers, but I use ground chuck for things like meatloaf, and ground round where it will be added to a soup or sauce. The chuck and round are usually cheaper to buy in chunks and grind them myself.

    • Our meat slicer gets more work slicing homemade bread than it does meat, since I only have to cut roasted meats once every month or two. I slice bread at least once a week (I can’t stand thawed bread from the freezer so I always make fresh. The meat grinder is amazing and saves us so much money!

  • Thanks for all of the tips! I enjoy all your posts. Seeing the photo of the hand pushing the sponge into the drinking glass caused me to physically shudder. I learned the hard way (when I was cut by a broken edge of a glass) that one is to never put their hand into a glass. The pressure can cause the glass to break.

  • Many of these appliances would have been great to have when I was raising my children and cooking for larger groups. Now it’s just my husband and me, so the cooking’s much simpler and only the scrub daddy would be something I would use on a regular basis.

  • Good advice about sharpening tools. Allow me to add that a honing steel doesn’t sharpen, it smooths the edge. Only a sharpening tool like a stone actually sharpens the blade, removes nicks etc. The stone is more important than the honing steel. Stones are cheap at big box stores like Walmart – check the sporting goods/hunting section. Hardware stores stock sharpening stones, too.

  • If your microplane has a plastic cover that slides over the front, you can turn it around and slide it into the back side to catch grated food. Less mess !

    • Glass top stoves are perfect for dutch ovens and/or other heavy, cast iron pots! The glass top is smooth and even, which is important for proper cooking. I have a glass top stove and constantly use my dutch oven pot!! There’s nothing better for stews, roasts and soups.

    • When I bought my stove I was told the same thing. The salesperson was wrong! I’ve yet to find anything I can’t use on it for cooking. The only warning I have about the glass tops is letting anything with boiling sugar land on it. I was making fudge the second night I had it and some of the sugar dripped from my stirring spoon onto the stove, and it left little dips in the top, almost like the hot sugar had eaten through the glass.

    • Also, when cleaning a glass top stove with a razor, ALWAYS make sure the razor is wet to prevent scratching the glass. I find using a razor helpful when the glass gets too cruddy to just wipe up !! I learned about razors on glass windows when removing dried paint…………………………..

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