The 10 Kitchen Essentials I Can’t Live Without

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After spending years in the kitchen learning what I love to use, I’ve compiled my favorite tools, utensils and gadgets for making cooking enjoyable and easy. Think: mixing bowls with ingenious details, sticky-free garlic mincing, a unique spatula for peanut butter fans and more. And if you’re a fellow coffee lover, I’ve got my go-to items included in the roundup, too.

Food is life.

The 10 Kitchen Tools & Gadgets I Can’t Live Without

I’m not a minimalist when it comes to my kitchen, or in other words, I’m not an Alton Brown who doesn’t like one-hit-wonders in the cupboard. I do, however, appreciate things that really serve a purpose, are easy to use, make annoying jobs easier, save me time…and — bonus if those items also look pretty. It was hard to narrow down to just ten things (+ an honorable mention) that I love, but I just tried to highlight a variety that I truly use often in my kitchen.

1 | Our Place Always Pan

The Our Place Always Pan is SO easy to use...and so beautiful. Safe, magical non-stick coating, gorgeous colors and a spatula that rests right on the pan handle. It's SO thoughtfully made.
Image Credit: Always Pan

Pan

The Our Place Always Pan is SO easy to use…and so beautiful. Safe, magical non-stick coating, gorgeous colors and a spatula that rests right on the pan handle. It’s SO thoughtfully made. Keep it on medium heat (you still get a brown on your food!) and just gently wash after it cools to keep the magic coating in perfect condition!


2 | Ember Mug

My favorite pal every morning is this Ember mug. Keeps your coffee or tea warm for up to 90 minutes without recharging. No more losing it or ruining the taste in the microwave!
Image Credit: Target

Mug

My favorite pal every morning is this Ember mug. Keeps your coffee or tea warm for up to 90 minutes without recharging. No more losing it or ruining the taste in the microwave! Be sure to rinse/wash just after use and don’t leave the mug turned on with just a little bit of coffee in the bottom, especially if you use milk products in your drinks. It just makes it tougher to clean.


3 | Capresso Burr Coffee Grinder

The best thing about this high-quality Capreso coffee grinder? How much quieter it is than the older version. We've had one of these for years and it gives you a ton of control over the coarseness of the grind...from espresso up to French press.
Image Credit: Amazon

Coffee Grinder

The best thing about this high-quality Capreso coffee grinder? How much quieter it is than the older version. We’ve had one of these for years and it gives you a ton of control over the coarseness of the grind…from espresso up to French press. But it also doesn’t sound like it emits the same decibels as a jet engine anymore — and that is reason enough to use it in my book. Lasts forever. Such a workhorse in our house.


4 | Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer Pro

This Breville Smart Oven is probably my most-used kitchen item outside the coffee-making products.  It is so, so useful and worth every penny.
Image Credit: Crate & Barrel

Smart Oven

This Breville Smart Oven is probably my most-used kitchen item outside the coffee-making products. I use it daily to make my yogurt toast and constantly otherwise to reheat leftovers, prove bread dough, bake small batches of frozen cookies, toast naan for our easy dinners with these lentils, air fry tots or fries or chicken tenders….It’s like having a whole second oven for holidays and entertaining, or when it’s hot in the summer and you don’t want to heat up the whole kitchen with the full-sized oven. It is so, so useful and worth every penny. The bottom tray pulls out for easy cleaning but I also just leave one of the included metal trays on the bottom rack when I’m making anything that might drip. I could blather on forever…I love this thing.


5 | Fellow Corvo EKG Electric Kettle

I love how pretty this Corvo electric kettle looks on our countertop. The handle is sturdy and the thing even lets you know when you have it on without water in it. Really, really love this kettle in all the ways.
Image Credit: Crate & Barrel

Kettle

We recently had to replace the electric kettle we had for years and years, and I wanted something with temperature control…and got a freaking work of art in the process. Haha. OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but I love how pretty this Corvo electric kettle looks on our countertop. The handle is sturdy and the thing even lets you know when you have it on without water in it. Really, really love this kettle in all the ways.


6 | Tovolo Jar Scraper Spatula

This Tovolo jar scraper is just one of those things I never knew I needed, and now I can't imagine not having. I have never loved messes and this prevents so much ickiness on the hands when trying to get the last of the peanut butter or mayo out.
Image Credit: Target

Spatula

This Tovolo jar scraper is just one of those things I never knew I needed, and now I can’t imagine not having. I have never loved messes and this prevents so much ickiness on the hands when trying to get the last of the peanut butter or mayo out. It also saves wasting those precious sauces! It was a gift from the hubs for Christmas this year and while I was skeptical when I opened…a spatula…I’ll never be so doubtful again haha.


7 | Open Kitchen Pasta Bowls

We use these pasta bowls for most meals these days and while I think any similar pasta bowl is a great option, I do love this whole line of Open Kitchen dishes from Williams-Sonoma.
Image Credit: Williams-Sonoma

Pasta Bowls

We use these pasta bowls for most meals these days and while I think any similar pasta bowl is a great option, I do love this whole line of Open Kitchen dishes from Williams-Sonoma. These specific bowls don’t have quite as much capacity as some, but they’re perfect for our use, so pretty, and hold up really well.


8 | BonJour Triomphe French Press Coffee Maker

Durable, insulated...we've got two of these French press coffee makers and have used them for years. Perfect for less-than-careful family members...easy to wash, great for travel and camping, and for coffee on the back patio.
Image Credit: Amazon

French Press

Durable, insulated…we’ve got two of these French press coffee makers and have used them for years. Perfect for less-than-careful family members…easy to wash, great for travel and camping, and for coffee on the back patio. We LOVE these things.


9 | Pro Dough Pastry/Bench Scraper

So, so handy, this thing. It of course can be used to cut pastry dough, but mostly I use it to transfer diced veggies from the cutting board into the pan, plate or container. Mine is the same design as this and it has lasted years and years.
Image Credit: Amazon

Bench Scraper

So, so handy, this thing. It of course can be used to cut pastry dough, but mostly I use it to transfer diced veggies from the cutting board into the pan, plate or container. Mine is the same design as this and it has lasted years and years.


10 | Nesting Mixing Bowls With Grater/Slicer

I just got this nesting bowl set a couple of months ago, and it's hands-down my best recent buy. Each bowl has its own lid and the largest bowl's lid accommodates the graters and slicer so your cheese or veggies fall right into the bowl (no more messy countertops when grating!)
Image Credit: Amazon

I just got this nesting bowl set a couple of months ago, and it’s hands-down my best recent buy. Each bowl has its own lid and the largest bowl’s lid accommodates the graters and slicer so your cheese or veggies fall right into the bowl (no more messy countertops when grating!) The lid also acts as a splatter guard when using a hand mixer or immersion blender. It. Is. So. Clever! Comes in a few other neutral shades, too. A really great gift!


Honorable Mention: NexTrend Garlic Twister

Honorable mention because I just got this garlic twister...but I'm SO excited to not have sticky hands when mincing garlic anymore! And look how easy this baby is to clean versus some of the other slicers or garlic presses I've had...THANK YOU.

Honorable mention because I just got this garlic twister…but I’m SO excited to not have sticky hands when mincing garlic anymore! And look how easy this baby is to clean versus some of the other slicers or garlic presses I’ve had…THANK YOU. I’ll be sure to update my review here when I’ve used it!


Hope these are useful if you need some kitchen upgrades, are planning to give any cooking-themed graduation or wedding gifts this year or have a foodie in your life you need ideas for.

Watch my entire video for a closer look at all of these lovely products mentioned above + for easy shopping links. Oh! And don’t forget to check out the other Youtube videos our team has been working on, too (they’re pretty great, friends).

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Fellow kitchen-heads (is that a thing?) I hope this has been helpful in any updates ya need to your own situation. As usual, if you have any more favs leave them in the comments for us! Cheers!

xo,

L

Come say hi over on my Instagram @laurajansenstyle where there are mostly odes to snacks, daily outfits, and other everyday mom life stuff from Portland, Oregon. xoxo

10 COMMENTS

  1. Have you found the Always Pan loses it’s non-stickiness and the paint chips easily? I followed their care directions exactly, and the pan lost the non-stickiness after 3 months. Luckily, they accepted the return and gave a full refund for the pan. I do love their perfect pot and have kept that.

    • I haven’t had that at all with either of mine. I’ve had one of them for almost 2 years now. Maybe it was just that particular pan! I’m so glad they were helpful with the refund. Yes, love the Perfect Pot, too!

  2. Same happened to me, Samara. I loved my Always Pan so much, but after a year of nearly-daily use and following all care directions, it’s ruined.

    • I’m curious to know if you perhaps used it on higher heat? I get asked this all the time but haven’t had any issues! Their customer service is great though if you need to reach out.

  3. The Ember mug is the best! I scoffed when I first heard about it, but quickly realized that it made perfect sense given how frequently I would top off my caffeine beverage or hit the microwave to make it hot. I love mine!!

    • It’s so good, right? And yeah I think it’s helped me not totally overdo it on the amount of coffee, too, since I would top it up more often. I’m traveling this weekend and really miss it. Heh.

  4. I love how coffee-centric this post is. Ha! While I never have the problem of my coffee going cold before I drink it, I love your options.

  5. I’ve been debating getting rid of my 30-year old sad, tired microwave. Do you think a smart oven could replace it entirely. Most of the time I use microwave to reheat leftovers like beans, chicken, rice, etc.

    • I much prefer reheating in the toaster oven or on the stove. I’d say the only thing is reheating drinks is so much easier in the microwave, but if you use it mostly for leftovers and don’t mind it taking a bit longer, the texture is so much better. For those reasons I’d say yes!

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