Equipment and Tools I Can’t Live Without

My Essential Kitchen Equipment

These are my favorite tools and equipment.  Each item does contain affiliate links which means that if you click on them and/or buy something I may earn a small commission -at no extra cost to you.  I only recommend the things I actually use in my kitchen.  By clicking and buying these items, you help keep my recipe blog running. Thank you!

Food Processor – Any size works but the bigger you can afford the better. Mine is 16 cups. I can’t tell you how many I’ve gone through over the years. I’m so hard on them. My new one is a Breville BFP800XL Sous Chef Food Processor and so far, so good. I buy extra bowls when I buy a new one now because those seem to be the thing that breaks when I break it. If I don’t buy extra bowls at the time I buy the processor then they don’t make them when I do need them.
silicone muffin pansOvenArt Bakeware OV-SB50-01 Silicone Muffin Pan, 12.8″ x 9.7″ x 1.2″, Red– These are a must have for my Crustless Chipotle Egg Cups. I still spray them with my Misto sprayer before filling them, but the egg cups come out so much easier and little clean up.  Traditional muffin tins stick and take forever to clean up.

Breville BOV900BSS The Smart Oven Air, Silver – I previously owned a Breville Smart Oven which was great.  When the air fryers came out a few years ago, I really wanted one, but I didn’t want another appliance on my counter and I didn’t want to store it. This year I discovered that Breville had a air fryer built into their new Smart Oven Air.  I gave my old one away to a good home and replaced it with this one. It’s wonderful. I love to air fry the Crispy Egg Rolls in it, I can roast veggies, do toast, whatever my big oven can do, this one can too and it doesn’t heat up the house.

Instant Pot – This has quickly become one of my must have kitchen appliances.  This is a rice cooker, slow cooker and pressure cooker all in one! If you use the pressure cooking setting you can make dishes in no time. I actually have two of them – the 6 quart  Instant Pot LUX60V3 V3 6 Qt 6-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Sauté, Steamer, and Warmer– and because I do a lot of cooking and freezing I also have the 8 qt<Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer/div>

Food Scale– Escali 157BO Arti Glass Digital Scale, 9″ x 6.5″ x 0.75″, Black Obsidian If you’re into Weight Watchers, you need a food scale. I use it every day, several times a day. Also perfect for weighing out dough (as in Homemade Slider Buns and Whole Wheat Pizza Dough) so each portion is the same to keep the points consistent. Any scale will do, but I prefer the flat kind.

Kitchen Aid Mixer KitchenAid KSM150PSGR Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield – Imperial Grey – Since I make big batches and freeze most everything, mine is a 6 qt but this one works fine for most everyone.
Food Saver pictureFood SaverFoodSaver Vacuum Sealer 4800 Series 2-in-1 System with Starter KitAgain, I make big batches and freeze. This little baby helps keep everything fresh and portioned out. I write what it is on the outside of the bag, the date and the smart points when necessary. For instance, I buy a bag of slider buns or bread for my Turkey sliders, I will separate the buns into 4 in a package and freezer seal them up. When I’m ready to have one quick turkey slider, I de-thaw in microwave for 20 sec, then put in toaster oven to toast. The rest of the buns stay fresh in the freezer.
Vacuum Sealer Bags Nutri-Lock Vacuum Sealer Bags. (100 Bags) 50 Quart and 50 Pint Bags. Commercial Grade Food Sealer Bags for FoodSaver, Sous Vide – I go through quite a few of these so I don’t always buy the Food Saver brand. It’s nice to be able to order them in pint and quart size, those are the bags I use the most.
Big Freezer in the Garage – This is essential if you’re making big batches to freeze. Many times I will, “flash freeze,” food such as Turkey Sliders, On the Go Crustless Chipotle Egg Cups, cookies for about 10 min then move them into food saver sealed bags. You need a freezer that has enough room to put 2 cookie sheets in there without having to rearrange your freezer every time you do it. I like the vertical or upright freezers better than the chest kind as it’s easier to find your food. Plus I’m only 5’3″ and I have a hard time leaning over the chest freezer to get things at the bottom.

Essential Tools

Of course I have a fully “loaded” kitchen as I love to cook but these are some of my favorites:

Microplane Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater – This is a great grater for lemon/lime/orange zest as well as for ginger and garlic.
Good Sharp Knives with a Sharpener – Mine are J. A. Henkels, my favorite one is the small serrated knife, I can do anything with that one.
Kitchen Shears– Mine are J.A. Henkels. You can use them for just about anything in the kitchen from cutting open bags, to cutting pizza!
Premium Olive Oil Mister and Cooking Sprayer with Clog-Free Filter and Glass Bottle – This is a must for Weight Watchers, allows you to use “just a little,” without counting for points.
Large Non-stick Skillet – Mine happen to be Calphalon but there are other great brands out there as well.  This is also another must in my opinion for Weight Watchers as it allows you to cook with very little oil.
Small Stainless Steel Skillet– This “stick pan,” as I call it at home, allows you to caramelize onions, harder to do in non-stick
12 inch cast iron skillet with silicone handleCast Iron Skillet -Great for fajitas! You can buy one already seasoned but continue to follow the directions for care. The more you use it, the more it becomes non-stick.
Chainmail scrubber on cast iron panChainmail Scrubber This is the best way to clean your cast iron skillet.  Super easy to use!

Garlic Rocker I love using this garlic rocker, but I also use the food processor often if I need a lot of minced garlic.

At least 3 Cutting Boards– I use often will use all 3 when I’m cooking-be sure to use a separate one for meat. I have quite a few of them in different sizes. I like this style best with the handle.
1/2 Size Baking Pans 17 3/4 inches by 13 inches- You can also find them cheaper at Business Costco or restaurant supply stores.  I use them for baking, for prepping the turkey burgers and putting them in the refrigerator, for flash freezing turkey burgers or anything else for that matter. I even have a few of the 1/4 size pans as well.
1/2 Size Parchment Sheets – Makes clean-up so easy, plus nothing sticks. I use these every day! Great for my  Often you can find them restaurant supply stores in full pan sizes and just cut them in half, but you usually have to purchase a large quantity so buying on Amazon might be easier.
Tiny Spatulas – Great when making salad dressings or scraping out garlic
Thermometer – Great for checking meat such as turkey when making Turkey Sliders and checking water temperature when making Slider Buns.
Silicone Baster Brushes – Great for checking meat such as turkey when making Turkey Sliders and checking water temperature when making Slider Buns.