How Many Cooking Utensils Do I Need?

Cooking utensils is a handheld tool used for food preparation and for taking care of common kitchen tasks like cutting food items to size or heating food on an open fire.

How many cooking utensils do I need, whether you are living solo for the first time or in need of kitchen utensils, it can be pretty confusing when it comes to how many of it you need to have at home, and knowing what is essential cooking utensils and what is not is more difficult than it should be.

Having the right kind for cooking utensils in your kitchen will make things really easy and exciting, kitchen stuff is something you don’t start to acquire until you finish college and you are finally on your own then you have to start somewhere but even the most basic list of cooking utensils is dauntingly long.

The kitchen world comes with lot’s of sleek, trendy and exciting kitchen gadgets you can’t help but want in your kitchen however you do not have to buy every one of them, only the most basic tools are needed to start making delicious meals and below is just the right list to get you started.

Basic Cooking Utensils You Need

Moving into your new house or buying your first home, your home definitely needs to be kitted with the right amount/kind of utensils.

Smart and simple cooking requires simple cooking utensils and having the most essential cooking utensils will make cooking very easy and fun.

Below are the essential cooking utensils you should definitely start with.

1. Measuring Spoons and Cups

OXO Good Grips Measuring Spoons with Magnetic Snaps, Stainless Steel

OXO Good Grips 4 Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons with Magnetic Snaps
  • Magnetic handles keep Spoons together for storage and allow for removing one
  • Spoon at a time
  • Designed to make leveling ingredients easy for greater accuracy
  • Handles feature permanent, etched measurement markings
  • Set includes: 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp and 1 T Spoons
  • Sturdy, stainless steel construction, soft non-slip grip, dishwasher safe

Every starter kitchen needs measuring spoons and cups, even if you like to eyeball ingredients, having measuring spoons and cups can come in pretty handy for days when you need to have a precise measurement. While most people cook by weight rather than quantity, it is still very good to get a measuring spoon and cup as it will enable you to rustle up meals without having to convert the recipe’s ingredient.

2. Knives

Cuisinart C55-12PCKSAM 12 Piece Color Knife Set with Blade Guards

Cusinart Block Knife Set, 12pc Cermaic Knife Set with 6 Blades & 6 Blade Guards, Lightweight,...


  • High-Quality stainless steel slades
  • Nonstick coating for easy slicing
  • Color coding reduces the risk of cross-contamination during food preparation
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Set Includes: 8 Chef Knife, 8 Slicing Knife, 8 Serrated Bread Knife, 7 Santoku Knife, 6.5 Utility Knife, 3.5 Paring Knife

There are different types of knees you can buy but in reality, you only need one and the most suitable option would be a chef knife as it is the most versatile knife to own.

We recommend getting a bread knife and a pairing knife as well, you can easily have a chef knife handle the bulk basic cutting, chopping, and slicing needs. Pairing knives are great for smaller, delicate jobs. 

The serrated part of a bread knife will allow you to cut through bread easily where a flat knife would have squashed it.

3. Blender

Ninja Professional 72oz Countertop Blender

Ninja BL610 Professional 72 Oz Countertop 1000-Watt Base and Total Crushing Technology for...
  • The Ninja professional blender 1000 features a sleek design and outstanding performance with 1000 watts of professional power 64 Ounce maximum liquid capacity
  • Ninja total crushing blades gives you perfect ice crushing, blending, pureeing, and controlled processing crush ice and frozen fruit in seconds
  • The 72 Ounce professional blender jar is perfect for making large batches of creamy, frozen drinks and smoothies for the entire family also perfect for large batches of delicious margaritas and daiquiris
  • Blast ice into snow in seconds and blend your favorite ingredients into delicious sauces, dips and smoothies
  • 6 blade assembly allows you to crush ice faster and blend ingredients smoother than other blenders. To clean the motor base, use a damp cloth to wipe clean

Every kitchen needs a blender, some recipes with sauce are going to require you to blend the ingredients together, you don’t have to go for a monolithic appliance that dominates your kitchen, a small and convenient handheld blender would do just fine and get the job done perfectly.

4. Grater

Spring Chef Box Grater, 4-Sided Stainless Steel Large 10-inch Grater

Spring Chef Professional Large Parmesan Cheese Grater, Stainless Steel Metal Box Grater with Handle,...
  • Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Blades with a Non-Slip base to keep grater securely in place
  • 4 Graters in 1: 1) Coarse Shred 2) Medium Shred 3) Fine Shred / Zester 4) Slicer
  • Comfortable, wide handle is easy-to-grip to let you grate quickly without tiring
  • Best to Grate, Slice, and Zest: vegetables, soft and hard cheeses, fruits, chocolate, nuts and more
  • LIFETIME Warranty – Satisfaction guaranteed, Amazing Customer Service. Dishwasher Safe.

A grater is another simple appliance you would need, try to go for one with different surfaces for finer grating and zesting.

5. Whisk

OXO 1244780 Good Grips 11-Inch Better Silicone Balloon Whisk

OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Silicone Balloon Whisk - Red
  • Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle
  • Silicone is heat resistant up to 600f
  • Wont discolor, warp or melt
  • Gentle and safe for non-stick, ceramic and metal cookware
  • Dishwasher safe

Whisk is a quick efficient tool you need in your kitchen, while forks and chopsticks can be handy, a whisk is more efficient for emulsifying ingredients like vinegar and oils.

If you are making sauces, a balloon whisk is pretty good to have around in case of an emergency.

6. Colander

ExcelSteel 731 Colander set

ExcelSteel Colander set, Stainless steel, Colanders , 3 Count ( Pack of 1)
  • Features 1-Quart, 2.5-Quart and 4-Quart sizes
  • Constructed in high quality stainless steel
  • Sturdy base to sit on the countertop and sink with ease
  • Oversized handles makes handling food comfortable
  • Lightweight stainless steel for easy handling

Every kitchen needs a heavy-duty colander for draining out boiled pasta and vegetables, it can also be used to wash vegetables draining canned beans and other large objects before preparing.

7. Peeler

OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler

OXO Good Grips Swivel Vegetable Peeler
  • Swiveling twin blades with flexible action easily peel potatoes, apples and other tough skinned fruits and vegetables
  • Soft, oversized handle designed for repetitive strokes
  • Comfortable non slip grip, even when wet
  • Built in potato eye remover
  • Large hole in handle for easy storage
  • Dishwasher safe
  • The OXO Better Guarantee: If you experience an issue with your OXO product, get in touch with us for a repair or replacement. We’re grateful for the opportunity to learn from your experience, and we’ll make it better

It is easy to ignore a peeler while setting up your kitchen but it comes it really handy, it is a basic kitchen essential, you need a good sharp peeler to remove the peels of vegetables, shave off the cheese or make veggie ribbons.

8. Mixing Bowls

OXO 1169600 Good Grips 3-piece Mixing Set

OXO Plastic Good Grips 3-Piece Mixing Bowl Set - Assorted Colors, Blue/Green/Yellow
  • 3-Piece Set includes 1.5-quart, 3-quart and 5-quart Mixing Bowls
  • 1-1/2-quart size perfect for whisking eggs or salad dressings, 3-quart size designed for use with electric mixers, 5-quart size ideal for tossing salads or serving popcorn
  • Non-skid bottoms stabilize Bowls while mixing, even on a tilt
  • Bowls nest for compact storage
  • Available in three color combinations
  • Dishwasher safe, BPA free

The mixing bowl is another basic kitchen essential you should have on the list, there are good times when you will need to combine several ingredients together, you will need large mixing bowl that can easily handle large quantities of ingredients and leaves enough space for the mixing without spilling out.

9. Cutting Board

Gorilla Grip Original Oversized Cutting Board

The Original Gorilla Grip Oversized 100% BPA Free Reversible Durable Kitchen Cutting Board Set of 3,...
  • NOT ALL CUTTING BOARDS ARE CREATED EQUAL!! Our professional quality cutting boards and cheese servers are both strong and durable to help ensure that they remain in place on most smooth and clean surfaces.
  • MUCH LARGER AND THICKER: Our cutting boards have been designed to satisfy even the most demanding chef needs! The set of three comes with: a large 16 x 11.2, a medium 13.8 x 9.6 and a small 11.8 x 8 size. They are thicker and larger than most other cutting boards and contain deep grooves to catch juices so your countertop stays clean.
  • CLEAN and SAFE: The boards are dishwasher Safe and BPA Free. Plus, theyre non-porous (unlike wood/Bamboo), so they wont splinter, crack or peel. No oiling or maintenance necessary!
  • WONT DULL OR HARM KNIVES: Our cutting boards are a great choice for chopping vegetables and meats and serving cheese.
  • GUARANTEE: No Questions Asked Return Policy. Guaranteed to Hold Gripping Properties for 10 years.

A few cutting boards are highly recommended, it is not of much use if you have a great knife without a cutting board to prepare your food on, your choice of a cutting board depends on you and what you plan to chop on it however it is best to have different kinds of chopping board to prep various ingredients and prevent cross-contamination.

If you’re really into buying the best cutting boards, read our review of the best cutting boards of 2024.

10. Kitchen Shears/Scissors

KitchenAid KC351OHGSA Shears with Soft Grip Handles

KitchenAid All Purpose Shears with Protective Sheath, 8.72-Inch, Gray
  • Plastic guard included: These kitchenaid soft grip handle shears comes with a protective, plastic blade guard
  • Plastic covers included: The blades are crafted from stainless steel that resists rusting
  • Clean cut every time: Each blade features micro serrations for enhanced cutting performance and are extra thick for added strength and durability
  • Comfort grip handle: The handle is shaped for comfort and features a soft grip coating for stability
  • Dishwasher Safe: Hand wash is recommended but these shears are dishwasher safe

These are really versatile and very efficient, they can make your food preparation a lot easier, can be used to cut strips of meat or quickly used to chop off dried fruit or veg.

11. Fish Turner

OXO 1130900 Good Grips Fish Turner

OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Fish Turner
  • Great for lifting, turning and transferring whole fish, filets, seafood cakes and more
  • Sturdy, oversized, stainless steel head
  • Beveled edge helps slide beneath foods
  • Slots in head allow grease to drain
  • Soft, comfortable, non-slip handle

A fish turner can be used for anything, this is quite a handy tool and the wider base of this utensil is great for flipping, fish, burger, over-easy eggs, and even pancakes.

The thin, beveled edge also makes it easy to slide beneath the foods you are flipping and the slots will allow excess grease and fat to drain away.

12. Tongs

Hotec Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs Set of 2

Hotec Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs Set of 2 - 9' and 12', Locking Metal Food Tongs Non-Slip Grip
  • FOOD LEVEL STAINLESS STEEL: The heavy duty Hotec kitchen tongs built with stainless steel, sturdy, heat resistance, anti-rust, anti-corrosion, light weight, easy to handle, like new forever. This tongs for cooking comes with a set of 2, standard 9 serving tongs and large sized 12 BBQ grill tongs.
  • PULL RING LOCK AND UNLOCK AND HANGING LOOP: This kitchen tongs set has locking mechanism, pull the ring for lock and push for unlock, super easy operation. Hang them with the hanging loop after use or put in the drawer by pulling the ring to lock it, space saving.
  • ERGONOMIC HANDLE DESIGN AND HEAT RESISTANT: The handle is cushioned with silicon, good for thumb rest and ensures good grip and control. The metal tong head is super heat resistant. Easy to rinse, dishwasher safe.
  • ENGINEERING FOR SAFETY: 2017 new design pattern for the handle, better protects your hands from cutting by the edge when you grip the handle. Easy to control the handle and to eliminate wobbling & any risk of burning your hands
  • MULTIPLE APPLICATIONS: Basic kitchen utensil, perfect for indoor or outdoor use, great for daily kitchen tasks, grilling corn, flipping burgers/fish, cutting roast meat, or used as BBQ turner or salad server and much more.

When you are setting up your kitchen, you need tongs on your kitchen essential list, they are great for listing things out of the water, they are are your extended hands which helps you reduce the risk of damaging the meat as you might do when using a spatula.

Tongs are super useful in the kitchen and you can move ingredients around in a frying pan or a sheet pan without the risk of a burn

13. Plastic Containers

IRIS USA, Inc. TB-42 12 Quart Stack & Pull Box

IRIS USA 13 Qt Stackable Plastic Storage Bins with Lids, 6 Pack - BPA-Free, Made in USA -...
  • Modular storage designed to meet the storage needs of any room in the house
  • Built-in handle for easy removal from shelves
  • Buckle up latches secure contents inside
  • Stackable to make the most of limited space
  • Dimensions: 16. 49L x 10. 98W x 6. 53H

These are great for keeping foods and leftovers fresh in the refrigerator, make sure you go for plastic containers that are microwave-safe to add even more versatility to them and you can easily have them used for freezing leftovers in the freezer.

14. Measuring Jug

Pyrex Measuring Cups

Pyrex Glass Measuring Cup Set (3-Piece, Microwave and Oven Safe),Clear
  • Set Includes: (1) each 1 Cup, 2 Cup, and 4 Cup Capacity Measuring Cups
  • Set of three lets you measure dry and liquid ingredients separately
  • Durable high-quality tempered glass
  • Easy-to-read measurement marks
  • Resist stains and do not absorb food odors or flavors
  • Dishwasher and microwave safe
  • Made in the U. S. from pure Pyrex glass
  • 2-year limited

Measuring jug will help you measure out your liquid with no hassle and you can store up the liquid with a measuring jug.

15. Sieve

Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Set of 3 Fine Mesh Stainless Steel Strainers

Cuisinart Mesh Strainers, 3 Count (Pack of 1) Set, CTG-00-3MS Silver
  • Strainers come in 3-1/8-inch, 5-1/2-inch and 7-7/8-inch sizes
  • Excellent for sifting Dry ingredients
  • Made from durable, Stainless Steel mesh
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Lifetime Limited

A sieve is mainly used for de clumping flour when baking but it uses are not limited to that alone, it can also be used to rinse finer ingredients like lentils or rice before cooking, this would usually fall through a pasta strainer or colander.


There are also some other cooking tools that fall under miscellaneous equipment such as kitchen foil for baking, tea towels for drying up dishes, baking parchment for doing a lot of baking or a kitchen tool organizer as you are going to need somewhere to put all these utensils.

With all these basic cooking utensils listed above, you can cook just about anything and not have to spend a fortune storing your kitchen up with appliances you rarely use.

Must read: How Much Kitchen Bouquet Should I Use?