Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target. All opinions are my own.
The further I’ve gotten along into cooking school, the more I have found new tools to make working in the kitchen a little easier. It’s amazing how much more fun and efficient making something delicious can be with the right tools. I’ve put together a list of my top 10 favorite Kitchen Essentials from my favorite store where I do most of my kitchen shopping- Target. If you’re a home cook like me definitely have a look at Target’s amazing Kitchen section the next time you’re shopping. Summer wedding season is also in full swing. As couples put together their registries, Target is a great place to register for gifts with amazing style for an affordable price. Registering for the right kitchen tools can help a couple have what they need to make dishes that shine as two cooking styles become a team. 🙂 These essentials are a great addition for any homecook but would also be wonderful gifts for or items to add to a wedding registry for couples.
My Top 10 Cooking Essentials for Faster, Easier Cooking
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1. Kitchen Aid 3 Piece Knife Set When I began cooking school, the instructor said that there’s no reason to spend a fortune on knives but to instead invest in a sturdy chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a utility knife. This set of 3 from Kitchen Aid has all of those and is a great buy for Kitchen Aid quality for around $30. Almost anything that needs cut or chopped in the kitchen can be done by these 3 knives.
2. Cake Boss Mixing Bowl Set This set of 3 mixing bowls by Cake Boss Buddy are not only pretty but extremely functional. They come in 3 sizes so can handle whatever you’re mixing up and my favorite feature is the pouring spout on each. These bowls help eliminate splashes and spills are you’re transferring your mix to your dish, are dishwasher safe and they look great on a counter. Another great value for around $30.
3. Chef’s Set of 4 Non Slip Cutting Boards I have always used wood cutting boards because honestly I thought the plastic ones were “cheap”. Then I used them in class. The plastic boards are non slip which makes for safe cutting and then when you’re done chopping, they are flexible and can make a cone as you transfer your ingredients with no mess. Was such a game changer! An affordable gift or addition to your own kitchen for less than $20 for a set of 4.
4. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer I have the classic version and I use it for all of my baking and have recently started making my own doughs and breads with the dough hook. It’s sturdy and so versatile with it’s huge assortment of attachments that can be purchased separately. At $250 this is a great investment for your kitchen or a group gift for a wedding. A Kitchen Aid will last for generations.
5. Menu Chalkboard This menu chalkboard will look great hanging on your wall but will also help you plan your menu for the week which is great for newlyweds (or anyone) staying on a budget. It’s also a nice gift that can be personalized as well. Having a menu board will also help you know what you’ll be cooking so you will be sure to have the ingredients on hand.
6. Prep Bowls These little silicone prep bowls are only about $10 but they make a big difference in the kitchen. I had never used prep bowls until I started cooking school but it is so handy to have all your ingredients in the little bowls and then BAM add them to your recipe. They’re dishwasher safe and super for cooking efficiently.
7. Ninja Chopper Cooking school has really improved my knife skills and I am so much more confident knowing the proper way to chop different ingredients, but sometimes it’s nice to let a gadget do the work. This Ninja Professional Chopper is only $25 and can chop most anything but also purees too. I have used it to chop sun dried tomatoes but I have also pureed my homemade spaghetti sauce from this post.
8. Oil Squeeze Bottles These little bottles are only $2.50 each but it’s another trick I learned from cooking school. It is SO much easier and faster to squeeze oil into a pan when it doesn’t have to be measured such as for browning and sauteeing than trying not to overpour from a bottle. I have one for olive oil and grapeseed oil and keep them right by my stove.
9. Cake Boss Measuring Cups You can’t do any cooking without measuring tools and I love my spoons and cups by Cake Boss Baking. They match my bowls, are dishwasher safe, have the measurements easily visible on the cups and spoons and are perfect for measuring wet and dry ingredients.
10. Digital Crock Pot Some people call a crockpot a cook’s best friend and I would be inclined to agree. On a busy day it is such a lifesaver to throw some ingredients in the crockpot, set the timer and have dinner ready at the end of the day. There are also so many delicious crockpot recipes like this Slow Cooker BBQ Pork one of mine that has proven pretty popular on Pinterest and Food Gawker.
What essentials do you want to add to your own kitchen? Target is giving away $25 to one lucky Penney Lane Kitchen reader. Simply visit Target.com and share what kitchen item you’d like to have in your kitchen. Leave a comment on this blog post. Good luck!