Best Kitchen Cookware

If you’ve ever attempted to purchase cookware for a new kitchen…

…or simply tried to improve the quality of tools in your current kitchen…

…you’ve probably found that stocking up on high quality kitchen essentials is much more difficult than it should be.

And this makes sense, doesn’t it? Nowadays everywhere we look there’s someone telling us to buy their product that will supposedly make our lives easier. I’m sure all of the following sound familiar:

  • Cooking TV show hosts recommending their products
  • Branded cooking sets from your favourite celebrity chef
  • Kitchen stores stocking unusual, “one-trick-pony” items
  • Infomercials aggressively selling cheap gizmos
  • Kitchen websites promoting every item as a “must-have”

and so on. Instead of all this increased choice making our lives easier, it’s made it that much more difficult to separate the quality from the junk. So we decided to test all the kitchen equipment we could get our hands on to solve this problem and make stocking a minimalist, high-quality kitchen as easy as possible.

Here’s what we learned…

The Best Minimalist Kitchen Essentials: Cookware, Utensils, Equipment, Tools, Appliances & More

When we started our cooking journey, we were full of confusion and frustration as we began our search for the best cookware and essential kitchen tools for minimalist cooks. When you start with no knowledge, the learning curve is immense.

But after years of refining our cooking techniques, creating and testing simple recipes, learning how to plan our meals, and building a customizable meal planning service for busy folks like us, we learned exactly which tools one needs (and doesn’t need) to stock a fully functional and multi-purpose minimalist kitchen.

Note: We’ve tried to make it easy to navigate this kitchen essentials list and find what you need right away. For this reason, we’ve organized our recommendations in to general categories (click to jump to any category):

  • Preparation Tools & Essentials
  • Cookware & Bakeware
  • Cooking Tools & Kitchen Utensils
  • Appliances
  • Other Kitchen Essentials

And each of these categories contains items that are categorized into recommendedpremium, and budget picks. That is, except those rare items that combine such high-quality and great value that they stand alone as a clear winner.

Let’s dig in to the best high quality and versatile kitchen essentials that provide the most value for your money.

Cookware Categories

(click to jump) Preparation Tools & EssentialsCookware & BakewareCooking Tools & Kitchen UtensilsAppliancesOther Kitchen Essentials

Preparation Tools & Essentials

(click to jump) Chef’s Knife Cutting board Can Opener Measuring CupsMeasuring Spoons Mixing Bowls Colander Vegetable PeelerPotato Masher Whisk Salad Spinner Grater ShearsCitrus Juicer Garlic Press Paring Knife Bread Knife Honing SteelKnife Sharpener

Chef’s Knife

If you’ve only ever used a cheap chef’s knife for your cooking needs, switching to a high quality knife will be a night and day difference. Seriously, when we upgraded to a high quality chef’s knife we couldn’t believe how much sharper, heavier, and easier it was to cut and chop with the quality knife.

And since you can use a chef’s knife for all of your cutting needs (and use it every time you cook), one high-quality purchase will serve you for years to come.

We’ve tested several different chef’s knives with different price points and designs, and though we used to recommend the German-made Wusthof chef’s knife, we now recommend the Global G2 8-Inch Chef’s Knife. It’s an absolute workhorse; it comes at a very reasonable price, is lighter and easier to handle and maintain than the Wusthof, and we’re sure it won’t disappoint you.

Chef’s Knife (Budget)

Coming in much cheaper than our recommended or premium options, the Victorinox 8 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife is a steal of a deal. With a five star Amazon rating over 4,500 reviews, it’s the only chef’s knife you should consider purchasing under $40. You simply can’t go wrong with this starter chef’s knife.

Additional Resources

Purchasing a quality chef’s knife is a great first step. But, you’ll want to learn how to use it properly and how to take care of it so it lasts you a lifetime. For general knife education, check out:

  • The 4 Knife Cuts Every Cook Should Know
  • An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives

For supplementary knives and knife tools, click the following to jump:

  • Honing rod
  • 2 stage knife sharpener
  • Paring knife
  • Bread knife

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Cutting Board

One of the most basic tools you need in your kitchen is a good cutting board. You’ll be using it every time you cook (just like your chef’s knife) so it’s important to choose one that’s durable and well designed.

The OXO good grips cutting board is dishwasher safe and is built from odor-resistant polypropylene – meaning it will last a long time. Pick this inexpensive cutting board up and you won’t regret it.

Cutting Board (Premium)

Now if you’re looking for the Ferrari of cutting boards, look no further than this Proteak edge grain cutting board. If you haven’t tried a cutting board like this before, it’ll be hard to understand just how different – and how much higher quality – it really is. But we can confirm that upgrading to a cutting board like this will bring you joy in the kitchen every time you use it.

You have to take better care of this cutting board than our plastic recommendation; by cleaning it immediately after use and avoiding the dishwasher. But this item is unique and will last you a long time, so if you’re ready for an upgrade from the usual plastic cutting boards most home cooks sport nowadays, this one gets our vote.

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Can Opener

It’s not often that a piece of cookware brings you joy every time you use it. But that’s exactly what this can opener from Kuhn Rikon does! This is a 5-in-1 can opener that pulls tabs, crowns caps, unscrews tops, and opens jar lids and cans safely, easily, and cleanly.

We have one of these beauties in our kitchen (Mealime green, of course) and it is an absolute pleasure to use. We actually look forward to opening cans, believe it or not. Pick up this multi tool today and you won’t regret it (just read all the great reviews!).

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Measuring Cups

Measuring cups are used for precisely measuring the volume of liquid or solid cooking ingredients. You may not think that measuring cups can be anything special. Any set will do, right? Well as it turns out, great design can extend all the way down to measuring cups. This stackable set of measuring cups from Kitchenmade has all sorts of smart features that eliminates the small frustrations that measuring cups often bring about.

With high quality one-piece stainless steel construction, a thin profile and pouring lip, nesting capabilities, and a 5 star rating over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, you can’t beat the quality of these measuring cups. Pick these up today and never replace your measuring cups again.

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Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are used to precisely measure smaller amounts of liquid or solid cooking ingredients than measuring cups. This set of 5 stainless steel measuring spoons from Prepworks contains measurements of ¼ tsp all the way up to 1 tbsp. They’re magnetic and nested so you can put them away easily without losing any of them (which can often happen for the smaller spoons).

They’re also designed to be double sided to accommodate both liquids and solids and are dishwasher safe. After testing different measuring spoons, we settled on this set ourselves and use them in our kitchen every single day. Highly recommended!

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