Essential Equipment

Essential cooking equipment


There is such a plethora of cooking equipment out there to choose from and deliberate over. These items range between anything from a wooden spoon to super high-spec food processors and gadgets for blending to retain nutrients, juicing and many gimmicky and, frequently, unnecessary to the everyday cook, items. Of course, every individual’s reason for wanting to cook is different, and therefore, what is an absolute necessity for one may be a luxury or superfluous to another.

In this compilation therefore, I have aimed to pare down this unending list into a shortlist of those items that every person who wants to transform their cooking experience from a chore into a pleasure, will find necessary. Some of the items will also only make a significant difference if they are invested in, such as a good quality chef’s knife. Other items, such as wooden spoons, although available in a range of designs suitable for different applications, will not inevitably be expensive.

So here is a brief guide to those essential items, which will set you off on the right foot if you are teetering on the brink when it comes to cooking. The guide has been split into categories according to the type of utensil, which I hope you will find helpful.



  • Wooden spoon
  • Swivel peeler
  • Spatula
  • Manual whisk
  • Chef’s knife
  • Paring knife
  • General purpose knife
  • Bread knife
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Turner
  • Large serving spoon
  • Grater
  • Lemon juicer
  • Tongs
  • Pestle and mortar
  • Pot stands for hot pots
  • Measuring jugs: 1L, 500ml and 250ml
  • Chopping boards

Pots, pans and oven trays


  • Large, heavy-based frying pan
  •  A set of three, small, medium and large saucepans with lids
  • Casserole dish with lid
  • Rectangular oven dish
  • Non-stick baking tray
  • Large roasting tin, ceramic or non-stick
  • Flat non-stick baking tray

Baking equipment


  • Mixing bowls: small, medium and large
  • 20cm square cake tin
  • 20cm round cake tin
  • 12 hole muffin tray
  • 1lb (900g) loaf tin
  • Cooling rack
  • Small glass bowl for dressings


  • Jam and other jars
  • Kilner and other air-tight glass storage jars
  • Tupperware and similar tubs and boxes
  • Cake tins

Small and medium-sized appliances


  • Toaster
  • Kettle
  • Food processor
  • Stand mixer
  • Digital scales
  • Stick blender and accoutrements
  • High-powered blender
  • Mini blender such as Nutri Bullet



  • Set of eight dinner plates, side plates, pasta bowls, breakfast bowls and sugar bowls (useful for using to serve small portions)
  • One set of cutlery, although if possible it’s good to have two sets, because you will often need to use an odd knife or fork throughout the day during food preparation, which can leave you with an odd number when it comes to laying the table
  • Large decorative bowl
  • Medium-sized serving platter or large plate
  • Serving bowls for placing on the table
  • Several large serving spoons