After many years of cooking, I’ve made my own top list of kitchen items that I cannot live without! I have tried numerous kitchen gadgets over the years, and these are without a doubt the best in my kitchen. Before I try out a new kitchen item, I usually do a lot of research. I don’t have a very large kitchen, so every item needs to be useful. Plus, I don’t like being surrounded by a bunch of unnecessary objects that just take up space and have no use. I will update my top list of kitchen items yearly, to include the latest and greatest. So here we go!
The first on my top list of kitchen items is a Vitamix blender. I was on the shelf a long time before making this purchase. I mean how life-changing can a blender be in order for you to cough up upwards of $400? Let me just say that this blender is so ahead of other blenders on the market it isn’t even funny. While I was visiting my parents, I used their Ninja blender to make my morning green smoothie. I ended up chewing my smoothie, not drinking it! With my Vitamix, I can’t really even taste all of the vegetables I add to the smoothie when I make it with the Vitamix. This blender is great for soups, hummus, iced smoothies, and frappuccinos too. It perfectly blends all of the contents, and in my opinion, is well worth the $400. You can buy the Vitamix blender from Amazon or through the Vitamix site.
Try a Green Detox Smoothie, Homemade Tahini, or Blueberry Kale Smoothie with the Vitamix blender.
Le Creuset Dutch Oven
Some of my favorite recipes to cook in a Le Creuset dutch oven is Bamia with Oxtail, Whole30 Vegetable Detox Soup, and Indian Chicken Biryani Rice.
Glass Locking Containers
These are a must-have if you ever reheat your meals! I don’t like reheating my meals in plastic containers because it doesn’t seem safe. Yea they have BPA plastic, but plastic is still a petroleum product and nuking it in the microwave just doesn’t seem like a good idea. In come glassware with interlocking lids. The interlocking lids are made of plastic, so please remove them if you a reheating your containers in the microwave! When I meal prep for the week, I use these glass locking containers. I’ve been using the same ones for over 6 years now. The plastic part of the container doesn’t hold up well in the freezer unless the container has shown it’s freezer-friendly.
I like storing my weekly lunches like a Greek Quinoa Salad or Shorbat Adas Lentil Soup in glass storage containers.
Cuisinart Food Processor
Cuisinart makes a high-quality food processor that will last a really long time. I use a large-capacity food processor for Pineapple Salsa, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, or Fresh Mulukhiyah With Roz.
Mercer Cutting Knives & Sharpener
So I do own Cutco knives, and they are beautiful. They work great. But they are PRICEY! I’ve found a great alternative or supplement (whichever you prefer) to the Cutco knives. I’ve purchased 2 pairs of Mercer knives and LOVE them. I also got a knife sharpener to sharpen them. Traditional knife sharpeners are a bit intimidating, that’s why I needed sort of dummy’s version. I mean it looks cool being able to sharpen your knives like a ninja warrior, but practically speaking, someone might get hurt. Here is my go-to Mercer knife and knife sharpener that has been GREAT!
Pressure cookers are scary for a lot of people. Not to be afraid- get an instant pot! It has been designed where it cannot actually open while it is still under pressure. The instant pot can be used for so many things, and it can really speed up the process of making great bone broths. You can get the Instant Pot on Amazon.
I practically use a cookie sheet daily. I recommend using the cookie sheets with parchment paper for like 90% of the recipes. I’ve read about how Aluminum is not healthy to cook with, so I use parchment paper on top of the cookie sheet. The great thing about cookie sheets is one-sheet meals. They are healthy, inexpensive, and quick. I don’t have any particular recommendation for cookie sheets, but I like this one here that has an elevated wire rack option.
Cast Iron Skillet
Reusable Tea Strainer
These things are so CHEAP but so useful! I really LOVE iced tea, and you can create your own flavors when you purchase tea as loose leaf tea (and it’s cheaper). So my favorite blend is jasmine pearl green tea and peach white tea. I brew that with my reusable tea strainer, then pour over ice. Talk about a party in your mouth that is bright and refreshing! Here’s one of the tea strainers that I have.
Breville Barista Express Espresso Maker
I was a Nespresso owner for over 2 years and a happy one at that. Until the day I walked into Sur La Table and demoed a few of the whole bean espresso machines. Follow that up with a whole year of hesitation and research. And then I pulled the plug and got me one. Let me just say, I will NEVER go without a home espresso machine EVER again. They are worth their weight in gold. My espressos are so much better than any coffee house. I get high-quality whole coffee beans and make my espressos every day.
I've saved the Breville Barista Express machine last for my top list of kitchen items because it is my favorite! I wake up every morning and immediately go make myself an AMAZING espresso. Every home should have one of these.
Summary of the Top List of Kitchen Items
If I was stranded on a desert island that miraculously had an unstocked kitchen at my disposal, these would be the items I'd pack in my suitcase. I use each and every one of them almost daily.
These items are a great idea for wedding gifts and graduation gifts.