Kitchen utensils

How many kitchen utensils do you really need?

What’s the ideal number of kitchen utensils?

A client recently asked that question. In the process of combining two households, it appeared to be a very valid question. Just how many kitchen utensils do we need? Mr. Amazing A was focused on the kitchen, his favourite room in the whole house. For him, cooking brought the family together. It was about joy and laughter, switching off from work-related stress. Yet, the question of how many utensils to keep stressed him.

Looking for some advice

If you are googling how many kitchen utensils a starter kitchen should have, you’d be amazed. Forbes has been recommending a Le Creuset Dutch Oven as one of their 11 must haves.

Serious Eats had a few more kitchen utensils in their list: 25. Surprisingly, they also included the Le Creuset Dutch Oven. Was there a special Le Creuset promo running when they wrote their articles? Real Simple also suggests 25 must haves. So is this the magic number? Don’t think so. Who needs a potato masher?! I remember the college days when my loved one and I used a fork to make mashed potatoes.

We were astonished when Mealime mentioned 71 items as must haves. Apparently, it’s all down to the many cooking shows on TV. Hmm, not sure if Jaime Oliver started the trend but he probably doesn’t cook with 71 kitchen utensils!

chef kitchen utensils

And our answer is…

It all depends. Now, I bet this isn’t the answer you were looking for. And neither was it the one Mr. Amazing A hope for. He was looking for a clear cut answer.

What kind of cook you are plays an important factor. If you are the occasional hobby chef (yeah, that’s) us, you can probably improvise quite a bit. Should you be the next Master Chef, you may wish to invest in a few more items which you deem essential.

What can you use instead kitchen utensils

What should we have in our kitchen?

We found 17 must have items that you should keep in your kitchen. There are, of course, many more. There’s no need to go overboard and you can add them as you increase the frequency or the level of your cooking (shown below as “Extra”).

Food preparation

  • Chef’s knife
  • Chopping/cutting board(s)
  • Kitchen scales
  • Kitchen shears/scissors
  • Knife sharpening/honing rod
  • Mixing bowl
  • Paring knife
  • Sieve
Extra food preparation
  • Blender (stir by hand)
  • Bread knife
  • Colander/pasta strainer (drain it covering the pot with a lid)
  • Garlic press (cut it by hand)
  • Grater
  • Measuring cups, jugs and spoons (use the kitchen scales to measure)
  • Rolling pin (use a water bottle as an alternative)
  • Vegetable peeler (peel with the pairing knife)


  • Baking sheet (should be standard in your oven)
  • Frying pan/skillet
  • Saucepans
  • Stirring spoon
Extra cooking
  • Balloon whisk (use a fork as an alternative)
  • Food/meat thermometer
  • Masher (use a fork as an alternative)
  • Oven gloves/pot holders (use tea towels as an alternative)
  • Ovenproof dish
  • Roasting tin
  • Slotted spoon
  • Spatula (use a spoon as an alternative)


  • Ladle


  • Plastic/glass containers
  • Plastic zipper bags


  • Kettle
  • Tea towels
Extra various
  • Bottle opener (use a key as an alternative)
  • Can opener
  • Clingfilm
  • Corkscrew
  • Kitchen foil
  • Baking parchment
  • Kitchen tool organizer

We can’t live without out kettle, paring knife and frying pan. What is the most important item(s) you keep in your kitchen?

Until next time,

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