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, we 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, as good quality as you can afford 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 our 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 we hope you will find helpful.

Handheld Utensils

Handheld cooking utensils
  • Wooden spoon
  • Swivel peeler
  • Spatula
  • Manual whisk
  • Chef's knife
  • Paring knife
  • Tablespoon
  • Teaspoon
  • Turner
  • Large serving spoon
  • Grater
  • Lemon juicer

Pots and Pans

Frying pans
  • One small and one heavy based, large non-stick frying pan
  • One small and one medium non-stick saucepan. A set of three, small, medium and large is ideal
  • Casserole dish
  • Large roasting tin, ceramic or non-stick

Light Utensils

  • Kitchen scales
  • Mixing bowls (at least one large and one small)
  • Chopping boards
  • 500ml measuring jug