Whether you’re a professional chef or an at-home cook for a family of five, every kitchen needs the right kitchenware, gadgets, and utensils in order to bring your recipes to life! From amazing colanders , razor sharp ceramic knives and impressive butcher knife sets to baking mats and everything in between, there are a ton of cool kitchen gadgets and kitchen utensils that any cook absolutely must have.
While some kitchen gadgets and kitchenware items may seem obscure or borderline absurd, you’d be surprised just how many different unique kitchen gadgets you probably use on a regular basis without even thinking twice.
For instance, when’s the last time you peeled a potato without a potato peeler or paring knife? How about the last time you pulled out the slow cooker and filled it up with ingredients to let simmer all day while you were at work, shopping, or cleaning around the house?
Granted, not everyone needs a baking mat or an over the sink colander, but they certainly do make cooking far more enjoyable and easier! So with all that being said, let’s take a look at 20 popular kitchen gadgets that should be found in every home.
1. Baking Mats
A baking mat is one neat kitchen gadget! Although they’re made by many kitchenware brands, all baking mats are basically made from silicone to withstand the intense heat of baking, keep your pans nice and clean, and help cookies or anything else slide ride off.
Unlike some kitchen items that aren’t designed for years of use and abuse, baking mats are extremely durable and typically last three to five years before they begin losing their integrity. Simply wash it with soap and water and kiss your parchment paper days goodbye!
With no greasing required, you simply drop your cookies, biscuits, rolls, or anything else right on the mat, which sits on a cookie sheet or baking pan, get it in the oven, and bake whatever you need on the ultimate non-stick surface.
If you’ve yet to discover baking mats, you’re missing out!
2. Boning Knives
A boning knife is one kitchen utensil that every carnivore or fish lover should definitely have in their kitchen tool set. A boning knife is specially designed with a narrow blade and sharp point for the expert removal of beef, pork, poultry, and fish bones.
Typically five to seven inches in length, this ultra-sharp kitchen ware tool is much thinner than a butcher knife, cleaver, and so on.
However, some boning knives are more flexible than others. In most cases, the more flexible a boning knife is, the better it is at working with fish and poultry. Less flexible boning knives, on the other hand, are ideal for boning pork and beef.
Like vintage kitchen appliances, there are many different types of boning knives, all of which have their own special design flare. For instance, some designs feature curved blades for effortlessly fileting fish. Others, like Japanese boning knives, are quite ornate and reflect the best craftsmanship that money can buy.
3. Butchers Knives
Although new compact kitchen appliances seem to hit the market each and every day, butchers knives are popular kitchenware items that have been around for thousands of years.
Today, people around the world use butchers knives to split, strip, and cut meat. While a butchers knife is quite distinctive with its 6 to 8-inch thick blade that’s slightly curved for effortlessly cutting through meat and bone, many people confuse it with a carving knife, which often has a rounded tip and a scalloped blade.
If you and your family fancy yourselves as meat eaters, this is one of the best kitchen utensils you can have in your kitchenware arsenal.
4. Cake Stands
Cake stands are cool kitchen gadgets that may not get used every day, but most people are sure glad to have one when entertaining or on birthdays and special occasions.
To many home chefs and bakers, cake stands secure their beautiful cake creations and provide them with a stylish display. Although cake stands aren’t necessarily the most practical kitchenware you could own, they’re a beautiful, whimsical, and fun way to dress up any dessert table.
From contemporary to classic and everything in between, there’s one of these kitchen gadgets for every style and type of cake you could ever imagine creating. Some styles feature elegant scrolls, greenery, and flowers that compliment timeless and elegant floral cakes. Other styles take a dramatic, geometric approach with suspended plates and plates arranged in interesting and unique ways.
Regardless of your individual style and the type of cake you want to proudly showcase, there’s more than a few of these neat kitchen gadgets out there for you.
5. Ceramic Knives
Ceramic knives are awesome kitchen gadgets that every chef or home cook should have the opportunity of using at least once in their life! Expertly made from zirconium dioxide, ceramic knives are unique kitchen utensils that are ultra-sharp and perfect for making the thinnest of slices or perfect juliennes.
With incredibly hard blades that are sharpened by a grinding wheel coated in diamond dust, ceramic knives are unique kitchen tools that rarely need sharpening and will never corrode.
While these ultra-sharp kitchen gadgets can’t be used for chopping through bone and other hard substances, the superior sharpness and sleek look of ceramic knives make them cool kitchen accessories that showcase beautifully in today’s kitchens and next to modern top of the line kitchen appliances.
6. Chopping Boards
Some people believe that wooden chopping boards house bacteria, while others swear by them and would never use anything else. While this heated debate has been going on for decades, recent research actually shows that wooden chopping boards may in fact be no worse than plastic chopping boards in this regard.
However, like most kitchenware items, not all wooden chopping boards are created equal. In the world of wooden cutting boards and chopping blocks, end-grain products reign supreme.
Made from the ends of pieces of hardwood, end-grain chopping boards allow knives to slide between the end fibers rather than crushing against them and marring them like they do with flat-grain chopping boards. This translates into a much easier bacteria-free solid surface chopping board that can be easily cleaned and remain looking like new for years!
Since wooden chopping boards usually have their own designated space on a kitchen countertop and rarely move, when choosing a quality end-grain chopping board, you should choose one large enough to provide you with ample work space yet not too big to overwhelm your countertop.
There are also various colors, types of wood, and designs to choose from as well. As a substantial piece of kitchenware that you’ll use every day, you shouldn’t be afraid to splurge a little on a quality end-grain chopping board for your kitchen.
As the traditional best friend of butchers around the world, cleavers are also essential kitchen cooking utensils in every farm and family kitchen. Although most of us now get our meat nicely portioned and packaged for us at the local supermarket, if you have a hunter in your family or like to have an occasional tiki party and pig roast, a meat cleaver is one of the most important kitchen utensils you could have in your kitchenware tool kit!
Most people just assume all cleavers are meant for hacking through bone and large chunks of meat, but there are different types of cleavers for cooks of all skill levels to choose from.
For example, similar to our chef’s knives, Chinese cleavers are commonly used throughout Asia for cutting vegetables and virtually everything else. Meanwhile, vegetable cleavers are smaller and are used specifically for chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables.
Basically, a cleaver is a must-have kitchenware item for anyone that cooks!
8. Coffee Grinders
From cute kitchen accessories and funny kitchen gadgets to antique kitchen appliances and other cool kitchen stuff, there are a myriad of kitchen accessories that can easily fill up your kitchen cabinets and make it seem like your bursting at the seams in no time at all.
However, unlike the next “Super Duper Chip Bag Sealer” or “Ultra Pan 2000,” coffee grinders are must-have kitchen gadgets for any coffee drinker.
Coffee immediately begins losing its freshness and aroma as soon as its ground, so naturally most regular coffee drinkers prefer to buy their beans and grind them themselves right before brewing for superior freshness.
There are three types of coffee grinders to choose from: those with electrical blades, burr blades, or conical blades. The type of blade you choose to use depends on how you prefer the texture of your coffee to be.
Coffee grinders with electrical blades typically run at 20,000 or more rpm and produce granulated coffee beans. Coffee grinders with burr blades, on the other hand, run at 10,000 to 20,000 rpm and make an unrefined product. Meanwhile, due to their unique design, conical burr grinders are able to produce a very fine high-quality powder for the best cup of java a person can have.
As far as mini kitchen appliances go, coffee grinders look cool and are must-have kitchen gadgets for every coffee drinker.
9. Frying Pans
A frying pan is one of those essential kitchenware items that’s a staple in every home. This flat-bottomed pan with sides that gently flare outwards is just what you need to fry, brown, and sear any food.
Many people mistake sauté pans for frying pans, but sauté pans have vertical sides and usually come with a lid. Unlike frying, which takes place at high heat, sauté pans are obviously designed for sautéing and other cooking methods involving low heat.
In the old days, frying pans were heavy and made from cast iron. Although cast iron frying pans are still quite popular today, most modern frying pans are made using stainless steel, aluminum, and/or copper. Some of these kitchenware essentials also come with a non-stick Teflon coating.
Graters are popular kitchen utensils that are used to grate and shred foods. Although these kitchen gadgets can be used to grate practically anything, graters are most commonly used to grate cheese and create orange and lemon zest.
Graters are not only quick and convenient, but they produce shreds of food that are thinker in the middle than at the ends.
This may not seem important, but it allows cheese and other grated ingredients to melt better than even shreds produced from a food processor. For example, potatoes grated by hand melt together better than potato shreds made by a food processor, creating much better potato pancakes!
11. Herb and Spice Grinders
A herb and spice grinder is one of those small kitchenware items that can make a drastic difference in the taste and flavor of your food. However, although most kitchen equipment suppliers sell these handy kitchen gadgets, most people don’t recognize the many benefits of freshly ground herbs and spices.
Similar to coffee beans, spices and herbs begin losing their flavor and nutritional value the very moment they’re ground and continue to lose their flavor the longer they’re dried. A quality herb and spice grinder allows you to effortlessly grind fresh herbs and spices as needed for maximum flavor.
Needless to say, these flavor inducing kitchen gadgets are worth shelling out a few dollars for!
12. Kitchen Scales
Whether you want to portion out servings or precisely measure ingredients, a kitchen scale is an essential kitchenware item.
Aside from being used by dieters to control their portion sizes, these nifty kitchen gadgets also help improve the taste of food and baked goods. How, you might ask? Well, unbeknownst to most home cooks, the traditional dip and scoop method of filling measuring cups results in measurements that are off by as much as 10 percent, which alters the texture and flavor of many foods.
Using a kitchen scale to weigh out ingredients, however, results in precise measurements and ensures a dish will turn out the same way every time it’s made.
Kitchen scales basically come in mechanical and digital form. However, mechanical scales have lost popularity over the years ever since the advent of smaller and more precise digital scales.
13. Kitchen Shears
They may look awfully similar to regular scissors, but kitchen shears are extremely strong kitchen utensils specifically designed for the type of abuse that only a kitchen can dish out!
Kitchen shears have stronger fulcrums than traditional scissors, which allows them to easily cut through virtually anything. There are actually many different kitchen shear designs for cooks with different needs. For instance, some of these handy kitchen gadgets have offset blades to cut at an angle and others have serrated blades for extra cutting power.
When looking for this handy kitchenware essential, it may be worth considering a pair with blades that can easily be sharpened. Just in case, you may also want to pick up some replacement blades and a sheath as well, because you’ll likely be using your kitchen shears more often than you think!
14. Knife Sharpeners
When discussing kitchen gadgets and beyond, a knife sharpener is a kitchenware essential that frequently comes up in conversation. Just like chefs and adventurous home cooks have their favorite set of knives, they also have their own ideas on what makes a good knife sharpener. However, they never dispute the fact that they’re a crucial culinary tool.
From manual stone sharpeners and steel sharpening rods to stationary electric models, these kitchen gadgets come in a myriad of shapes and sizes. Although they vary, every knife sharpener is specifically designed to hone and restore dull blades back to their original sharpness.
Since most kitchen knives, regardless of how expensive they are, tend to dull over time, knife sharpeners are relatively cheap kitchen gadgets that are a must in any home with a decent set of knives.
15. Paring Knives
Regardless of whether it’s a cheap drugstore type or a high-end model, a paring knife is one kitchenware essential that’s found in kitchens around the world.
With short blades usually two to four inches in length and straight or curved pointed tips, paring knives are the ideal kitchen gadgets for peeling apples and other fruits and vegetables, mincing garlic and other small items, and trimming a variety of herbs.
Believe it or not, there are a number of different types of paring knives, such as Sheep’s Foot paring knives, Bird’s Beak paring knives, Kudamundo paring knives, and serrated paring knives, all of which have different blade profiles.
Since these kitchenware essentials are usually used while holding an item in your hand and not on the counter, it’s critical to pick a quality paring knife that’s right for the job you’re doing. Thankfully, there are plenty of great paring knifes on the market to choose from.
16. Sauté Pans
From the French word “sauter,” sauté literally means to jump. However, to sauté in cooking terms is to cook food with a little oil over direct heat while quickly moving the food around to caramelize it and keep it from burning.
Of course, in order to sauté, you need a sauté pan! A sauté pan is a shallow pan with a wide, flat bottom and vertical sides. When choosing a sauté pan, it’s important to consider the width, because whatever you’re sautéing needs enough room to move around in order to become properly browned.
A sauté pan must also have a lengthy handle that allows you to effortlessly toss ingredients and move them about in the pan. Since the handles of sauté pans are used and abused so frequently, they should be well-attached, durable, and also heat-resistant.
Copper is a popular choice for sauté pans and many kitchen gadgets because of its ability to conduct heat. However, copper sauté pans can be on the expensive end of the price spectrum and more difficult to keep gleaming like new. Anodized aluminum pans, on the other hand, also do a good job of conducting heat, are easier to clean, and cost less than many copper sauté pans.
If your budget allows, copper is the best option, but you should never opt for a non-stick sauté pan! Not only does the term “sauté” indicate the use of oil, but it also involves the flavors that come from browning and caramelizing ingredients in oil over high heat, which non-stick kitchen gadgets simply can’t replicate.
17. Slow Cookers
Sometimes called “Crock Pots,” slow cookers are smart kitchen appliances that slowly heat and cook food on relatively low temperatures, allowing it to simmer and cook virtually by itself over a long period of time. Thus, these popular kitchen gadgets provide an economical and convenient way to prepare a large amount of food.
Although they originated as large iron kettles used to cook food in over the fire, today’s slow cookers are run by electric and contain several parts, such as temperature controls and a ceramic liner or container that fits into a metal base.
In fact, some modern slow cookers can even be programmed for the food to be ready at a specific time. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!
18. Spice Racks
The use of spices dates back thousands of years, and if you’re like most people, you likely have dozens of bottles of spices and herbs taking up valuable kitchen real estate. Spice racks are popular kitchen gadgets that not only solve this dilemma by neatly organizing all of your spices into one defined space, but they also add a bit of life and decoration to your kitchen.
Spice racks are made in many different styles from an array of materials, including steel, acrylic, tin, and wood. However, all of these cool kitchen gadgets serve the same function, so choosing one boils down to a matter of taste, design, and preference.
19. Steak Knives
When most people think of steak knives, however, they think of the serrated knives with large rounded blades and rustic wooden handles found at their local steakhouse. While there are some high-quality steak knives that fit this M.O., most high-end steak knives are sleekly designed with smooth blades and pointed tips for slicing meat with surgical precision.
20. Sushi Knives
Made from extremely high-quality steel and typically only sharpened along one edge, sushi knives are expertly crafted kitchen tools specifically made for making paper thin slices and working with the most delicate of ingredients.
Sushi knives are traditionally made from the same high-quality steel used to forge samurai swords, providing them with ultra-sharp blades that simply can’t be rivaled. While many companies, such as Shun, sell high-quality sushi knives for a pretty penny, most home cooks will be more than happy with a sushi knife sold by any trusted manufacturer of quality cutlery.
The Top Kitchenware and Kitchen Gadgets for You!
Well, there you have it! A taste of some of the dozens upon dozens of kitchen gadgets and kitchen utensils that can easily fill up your cabinets in no time at all. Obviously, there are many more every day essential kitchenware items that aren’t included on this list, but with these 20 kitchen gadgets and kitchenware essentials, you’ll be able to prepare family feasts, entertain, and pretty much do it all in the kitchen. With the right items in your kitchen tool set, you can turn any recipe into a delicious meal at will!