25 Essential Tools for a Minimalist Kitchen

Essential tools or a well-equipped kitchen? Are these conflicting ideas?

I must admit…I have some minimalist tendencies. Less is always more.

Also, I love to cook.

However, I have a very small kitchen. It is 10′ by 10’…max. And that includes the footprint of my cupboards and appliances. This limits not what I can cook, but what tools I can use.

And I must have the right cooking tools to get the job done efficiently. It’s a constant balancing act to keep the right tools as well as to not overwhelm my small kitchen.

I keep a minimalist kitchen, fulfilling my goal to own and utilize only the tools that I need to cook in a way that achieves maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.

Here is my list of 25 Essential Tools for a Minimalist Kitchen:

Essential tools: Utensils

  1. Spatulas. Indispensable. I have large, medium, and small. I use them for scraping, for sautéing, and for stirring.
  2. Sauce spoon, slotted spoon, flipper, ladle, wire whisk, pasta fork. I have one of everything. I love the Oneida brand. They look pretty, and are super sturdy.
  3. Knives-3 Wusthof knives, to be exact. I use a long serrated knife for cutting bread, cake and tomatoes. My go-to knife is my chef’s knife. I’m always using it for chopping vegetables, cutting meat, and crushing garlic. A paring knife is kept on hand for peeling fruit.  My bff has been giving me Swiss Army kitchen knives, (they are a thing…and they are awesome too) one by one.
  4. Vegetable peeler. Great for peeling vegetables, and making chocolate curls. I have had several, but I finally landed with an Oxo peeler. It is the best, and definitely worth the price.
  5. Can opener. I have this one and I love it! Good for both big and small cans, and it leaves that nice, not sharp edge. Someday, when I have a huge kitchen, I am going to get one of the counter top openers. The ones with the handles that you push the can against and then ram the handle down to bore a hole in the top. And then crank, crank, crank-its open. A girl can dream…

Essential tools: Additional Utensils

  1. Tongs. A good pair of tongs is very convenient-for frying and serving. These are colorful and get the job done.
  2. Thermometer. It’s just a good idea when cooking meat. My bff also gave me this one. (Obviously, the secret to cooking is to have a BFF that gives you great tools…)
  3. Pampered Chef flipper. The black handled cake flipper thing. I use this for getting cookies off the sheet, and for serving desserts. Its small size is perfect for a whole lot of things.
  4. Scissors. They are just handy to have in the kitchen-opening packages, cutting herbs.

Essential tools: Equipment

  1. Metal measuring cups and spoons. Such a satisfying kitchen sound. A knife tamping down ingredients in metal is aesthetically pleasing to my ears. These are more expensive than their plastic counterparts, but they provide lots of bang for your buck. (pun intended)
  2. IKEA metal mixing bowl. I have their huge bowl. It runs around $15, and it is very handy. I used it to mix up bread dough when I didn’t have a mixer. I use it for big quantity things.
  3. Glass or plastic mixing bowl.
  4. Pepper mill. There is something very high brow about pepper mills. And they are fun. Plus you can’t beat the flavor of freshly ground pepper.
  5. 2 frypans or heavy cast iron skillets. I’ve found that having both a big and small fry pan is sufficient for all my needs. Of course I love Le Creuset, but those are certainly investment pieces.
  6. 2 saucepans. I use my 4 quart pan and 2 quart pan all.the.time. I have stainless steel Farberware. They were a wedding gift, and I use them daily.
  7. 1 big soup pot. A soup pot would hold anywhere from 6 to 12+ quarts. My soup pots are also Farberware. Part of their classics line.
  8. Four cup liquid measuring cup. Two cups is good, four cups is better. You can mix and pour a lot of things in a four cup measure.
  9. Salad Spinner. Not exactly necessary, but definitely makes for a dryer salad.
  10. Juicer. Makes it convenient to use fresh citrus fruit for cooking. This one is a classic.
  11. Cutting Board. I have a composite board, and a plastic board. Both are good for different reasons.

Essential tools: Appliances

  1. A crock pot/slow cooker. I am such a fan of crockpots, so I use mine at least once a week. I have a stream lined version with just 3 settings- high/low/off.
  2. Rice Cooker. Steamed rice is the best. Plus it save hands on time. It can work for you while you are doing something else.
  3. Immersion Blender. This saves a ton of time when making creamed soups. Most importantly, it’s far safer to put this tool into the soup pot, than to pour boiling hot soup in and out of your blender.
  4. Hand mixer. Kitchen Aid, hands down, every time. Mine is my work horse. I’ve had it for almost 18 years, and it shows no signs of giving up the ghost.
  5. Blender. Always helpful for making pestos and hummus. I use this model. It is definitely on the pricier side, but it’s worth it.

These 25 essential tools will streamline your process as you cook your She Plans Dinner menus. Which ones do you still need to add to your kitchen repertoire?