Most asked question over here on Our Savory Life: What are your top kitchen must haves?
It’s taken me a long time to put this list together. Over 6.5 years I have tried a lot of different kitchen tools and gadgets. Some of them are absolutely essential.
Introducing my: Top 10, Cannot-Live-Without, Makes-Cooking-So-Much-More-Enjoyable list!
Here are some criteria these items had to meet to get on the list:
- I use it multiple times a week (not just once in awhile).
- Have not had to replace it for several years (and am not planning on replacing it for a very long time, if ever).
- If someone came into my kitchen and said, “everything has to go except for 10 items” these would be on the must stay list. They are non-negotiable.
I just want you to know, I take this list very, very seriously. I also take your trust in me for recipes and kitchen recommendations very seriously!
You all are the real deal. I don’t want to mess that up.
Bonus?! Most of these items are on super sale thanks to Black Friday! Great for Christmas gifts or to stock your kitchen!
Best way to go through this list? Create an Amazon wish list and add the items you need! Then you will have them all in one place even if you do not want to get them all at one time!
Here we go: Top Kitchen Must Haves
- Instant Pot/Slow Cooker – I have slowly fallen in love with the Instant Pot. For anyone who wants to cook stews, rice, roasts, yogurt, baked potatoes in less than half the time it would take in a slow cooker – this is for you! It is so versatile. I have also converted several recipes on my site for the Instant Pot. (FYI – at the writing of this, the Instant Pot is on sale from $99 to $67.99. This is unbeatable!) *Not ready to make the leap? This slow cooker is my favorite! It has multiple functions and allows you to brown your meat in the cooker. It is perfection. Right now it is on sale from $299.00 to $127.00!
- Cast Iron Skillet – I use my cast iron skillet for everything! Frying bacon, baked fontina cheese dip, shepherd’s pie, steakhouse steak! It is so great because it can cook on the stovetop and go in the oven. I also love serving up meals right out of it. It will last you a lifetime! It is also on sale right now!
- Wusthof Knives – this really should be number one on my list. If I were to only have one thing in my kitchen it would be sharp, quality knives. Sharp knives make cooking so much more enjoyable. In fact, I am such a fan that I also travel with my knives. These are my personal favorite. I have had them for almost seven years and they are nowhere near needing replaced.
- Dutch Oven – I love making all my soups and stews in my Dutch Oven. These also can cook on the stovetop and go into the oven. Bonus: they are gorgeous so they look pretty on your stovetop and on your table. I happen to have this dutch oven because we used to live by a Le Creuset outlet and once we added Black Friday sale to military discount, it was a steal. But there are so many amazing Dutch Ovens out there!
- Garlic Roller – I talked about this on my Facebook live cooking video. If you love cooking with garlic, this is a lifesaver. It peels your garlic clove with just one roll. It seems silly and simple but I use it for almost every meal!
- Cutting Board – a quality cutting board will make all your chopping and slicing a dream. I have had this cutting board for 6 years and have not needed another one since. It is sturdy and long-lasting. I leave it out on my counter permanently, ready to go, which makes cooking a breeze.
- Pizza Stone – Friday night pizza night is a real thing in the McKoy house. Pizza stones are necessary because they give you that really beautiful, golden crust. Bonus, they only get better over time. This is one purchase you only have to make once.
- Coffee Grinder – for my coffee lovers, this is my favorite coffee grinder. It has different settings (fine to course) so I can choose if I am making my cold brew or drip coffee. I also love it because I can grind my spices in it! Fresh coffee and spices for all!
- Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer – this mixer is so much more versatile than I originally realized. I can shred chicken in it, whip up my sweet mashed potatoes, and also make the creamiest whipped cream all in a matter of minutes. And that is just the tip of the ice berg. Also, on sale!
- Spiralizer – For everyone wanting to go grain free this upcoming year or just wanting to get more veggies in their diet. This tool is a must! It is fun to use and we have completely replaced pasta noodles with this tool. This particular one has over 7,000 5 star reviews! I use it to make sweet potato noodles for my bolognese, zucchini noodles for my chicken noodle soup, butternut squash noodles for my apple and sausage sauté, and even rutabaga noodles for my french onion pasta. There is no end to what you can spiralize with this thing.
Bonus: the Vitamix! We saved up for awhile for this and we use it almost every morning for smoothies! We also use it to make sauces, soups, salsa, and to puree roasted veggies. I hesitate putting this on the list because it is on the pricier side but I am obsessed with it and it has made life in the kitchen so much easier. Also, we got it on super sale during the holidays. Be sure to check out Amazon, Williams Sonoma, Crate and Barrel and Target for amazing deals.
And Bonus #2:
This did not make the list because I do not need it to cook. But it is my companion for every single meal I cook. Seriously, every meal. A wireless speaker. I personally have this one because it is waterproof and shockproof (do not even ask me how much water and liquid I have splashed on this thing) and we got it on an amazing deal a few holidays ago. One way I motivate myself to get into the kitchen is knowing I have an awesome dance mix or my favorite podcasts to listen to while I cook!
Top Five Cookbooks:
Ok, while we are at it – another question I always get asked is, what are my favorite cookbooks? This one is hard to narrow down but after a lot of time, I have an official list!
If the cookbook made the list it means:
- I cook from it All. The. Time.
- It has more than 10 recipes I am obsessed with (I hate when you get a cookbook and only 1-2 recipes are good).
- I have personally given it as a gift at least once.
- Primal Cravings – for anyone wanting to journey into the Paleo lifestyle but are not sure where to start, this cookbook! I have been cooking from it for over 4 years. Some of my recipes were inspired by this book. And I like their more laid back approach to the paleo lifestyle. Don’t miss the recipe on page 110 for Sweet & Sour Split Roast Chicken!
- Barefoot Contessa, How Easy Is That? from none other than the queen, Ina Garten. I literally cooked my way through this book my first year of marriage. There is not even one recipe we did not love. I now own almost all her cookbooks. But this is the one I give to all my friends. You can not go wrong. Ina’s recipes make us all look good! Don’t miss the recipe on page 131 for Greek Lamb with Yogurt Mint Sauce!
- Danielle Walker’s Against All Grain Meals Made Simple – this is another cookbook for anyone wanting to go grain-free but needing it to be seriously delicious, yummy food. I have made so many of Danielle’s recipes for friends who are not paleo and they have been shocked to find out later that the meal was all real ingredients! Don’t miss the recipe on page 152 for Enchilada Stuffed Peppers.
- Deliciously Organic – I got this cookbook in my first year of marriage and it is another one where every single recipe I have tried has been outstanding. I still reach for it! Don’t miss the recipe on page 132 for Mustard Beer Chicken!
- Come & Eat: A Celebration of Love and Grace Around the Everyday Table. Ok, so this my book – am I allowed to do this?! Here’s the thing, it has 21 recipes which are a culmination of everything I’ve learned from my top favorite cookbook authors. The recipes are easy weeknight meals that are paleo-optional and grain free. At least four times out of the week, I am cooking something straight from this book. Don’t miss the recipe on page 106 for our pizza crust. The one we make every Friday night! Also, it’s less than $12 right now which is so crazy because it has been $16.99. I have not seen it drop below $12!!
There you go! I hope this list helped you with some gift ideas or ideas for your own kitchen!
What about you? Anything you would add to the list? Let’s make the ultimate list together!