Back-to-Basics Kitchen Tools Every Minimalist Cook Needs

Too many kitchen gadgets? These are the basic tools you really need.

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various kitchen utensils on wooden table
MaraZe / Shutterstock

Walk into any kitchen store and you’re guaranteed to find an assortment of gear, gadgets and gizmos guaranteed to make cooking easier. However, these tools are often more of a hassle than they are helpful. That’s why we went back to the basics and found the must-have kitchen tools every home chef needs. Each product has multiple uses and is designed to last for a long time. Here are our top picks.

Once you’ve organized your kitchen drawer, try these smart tips from tidying-up expert Marie Kondo.

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Cast-Iron Skillet

If you’re going to own one piece of cookware, make it a cast-iron skillet. When properly cared for, cast iron can last for a lifetime. Plus, it’s the perfect vessel for sautéing vegetables, grilling meats, baking rustic pies and more.

Buy a Lodge cast-iron skillet here.

Learn how to season a cast-iron skillet.

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Spatula Set

If you’re sick of replacing your plastic hamburger flipper, reach for one of these wooden spatulas, instead. Designed with a lifetime warranty, these handmade pieces are up for almost any task, including tossing stir fries, scrambling eggs and stirring stews.

Buy an Earlywood spatula set here.

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Sharp Knife

Every chef knows that their kitchen isn’t complete without a quality knife. This tool is capable of cutting almost anything. For optimal use, plan to sharpen your knife once a week.

Buy a Victorinox knife here.

P.S. This is the best knife sharpener, according to our Test Kitchen.

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French Rolling Pin

If you’re an avid baker, a rolling pin is a kitchen necessity. We prefer the French style for its clean lines and easy-to-maneuver design. Use it to roll pastry, flatten cookie dough or even pound meat.

Buy an Ateco rolling pin here.

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Dutch Oven

This Dutch oven is like the cast-iron skillet’s grown up big sister. The pot’s large capacity means it can be used for almost any task, including boiling water, making soups, roasting meat and even baking bread.

Buy a Le Creuset Dutch Oven here.

Put your Dutch Oven to work and make one of these yummy recipes.

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Mixing Bowls

We love the versatility of glass bowls. They can be thrown in the microwave, freezer or dishwasher, and they work just as well when cooking as they do when storing leftovers. This lidded set features an assortment of sizes to fit all of your kitchen needs.

Buy a Pyrex mixing bowl set here.

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Sheet Pan

A sheet pan isn’t just for baking cookies. This timeless kitchen tool also roasts veggies to perfection and makes meal prep a breeze (hello, sheet pan suppers!).

Buy a Nordic Ware sheet pan here.

Get our best sheet pan dinner recipes.

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Sturdy Whisk

Sure, there are plenty of appliances that can replace a hand whisk. But for true minimalists, it’s more fun to mix dough, whisk eggs or whip cream by hand.

Buy an OXO Good Grips whisk here.

Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Katie Bandurski
As Senior Shopping Editor, Katie connects Taste of Home readers with the best gifts, deals and home products on the market. An avid foodie and a holiday enthusiast, Katie is an expert at cultivating meaningful moments. When she’s out of the office, you’ll find her exploring Wisconsin, trying out new vegetarian recipes and watching Christmas movies.