Food & Home

chopping vegetables on a cutting board

Most-Used Cooking Tools, Kitchen Appliances You’ll Have Forever, and
Worthy Pantry Upgrades

There’s always a significant uptick in time spent in the kitchen during the holiday season (we blame the gingerbread cookies and brie en croûte), and inevitably we start to notice some nagging kitchen inefficiencies—things we swore we’d get to before next year. Here’s your sign to upgrade that kitchen gear now. Invest in a few high-quality, gold-standard items and your time in the kitchen will be more productive and way more fun. Start with whichever kitchen drawer or meal calls to you.

Essential Tools

These are our most loved and most used items in the kitchen.

  1. Knives

    You don’t need a whole fleet of knives to do some serious cooking, but there are three key ones: a serrated knife (for bread and tomatoes), a chef’s knife (for everything from mincing herbs to carving a chicken), and a paring knife (for slicing limes for cocktails or delicately deseeding fresh chilies).

    Recommended Reading:

    Knife Skills Every Home Cook Should Master

    Our Place Knife Trio
    Our Place Knife Trio goop, $145
  2. Nonstick Cookware

    For everyone who doesn’t cook because cleaning up is a drag: Nonstick ceramic cookware can make that part a little easier. No more sticky messes from fried eggs and grilled cheese. This set is equal parts functional and beautiful, with stay-cool gold handles.

    Recipes to try:

    Breakfast Hash
    Truffle Grilled Cheese

    goop Home 10” & 12” Frypan Set
    goop Home 10” & 12” Fry Pan Set goop, $100
  3. Mandoline

    A mandoline produces incredibly satisfying uniform slices. It’s great for delicately shaved fennel in salads, even slices of radish to pickle, and perfect rounds of potatoes for a gratin or chips. We also like using it to produce thin shards of Parmesan to top a Caesar salad with. But do be mindful when you’re using it, as accidents can happen. And don’t be a hero. You might think you have a few extra slices in that nub of shallot or carrot, but it’s not worth the risk. Save those scraps for stock instead.

    Recipes to try:

    Jerusalem Artichoke, Celery, and Pear Salad
    Pickled Red Onions

    Cuisipro Hand Held Mandoline
    Cuisipro Hand Held Mandoline goop, $48
  4. Mixing Bowls

    A must-have for any kind of prep work, these bowls are doubly useful because they have lids, so that extra vinaigrette can get popped in the fridge for future use.

    Recommended Reading:

    6 Easy Dressings to Up Your Salad Game

    Rosti Mepal Margrethe Nested Mixing Bowls
    Rosti Mepal Margrethe Nested Mixing Bowls goop, $60
  1. Zester

    Chefs claim they couldn’t live without this tool. The fine grater does an amazing job of zesting all types of citrus and grating garlic, ginger, fresh turmeric, fresh chilies, hard cheeses, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and even chocolate.

    Recipes to try:

    Gluten-Free Drop Biscuits with Lemon Zest
    Ginger-Chicken Congee

    Microplane Premium Classic Zester
    Microplane Premium Classic Zester goop, $15
  2. Bake Set

    After bingeing episodes of The Great British Baking Show, you may find yourself inspired to start baking and in need of this set. The gold is luxe, a step up from the more industrial stainless steel, and the pieces are both durable and versatile—use them for cookies, galettes, roasted veggies, and sheet pan dinners.

    Recipes to try:

    The Best Sheet-Pan Recipes and Other Ways to Use Your Set

    Nordic Ware 3-Piece Gold Nonstick Sheet Pan Set
    Nordic Ware 3-Piece Gold Nonstick Sheet Pan Set goop, $75
  3. Cast Iron

    One of the most versatile pieces you’ll ever own. If well seasoned and maintained (it’s deceptively simple), it can do it all. Fried eggs, seared steaks, potpies, roasted veggies—not to mention it can handle direct contact with fire, making it a dream for camp cooking.

    Recommended Reading:

    What’s the Best Way to Use and Clean Your Cookware?

    Smithey Ironware Co. No. 12 Cast Iron Skillet
    Smithey Ironware Co. No. 12 Cast Iron Skillet goop, $200
  1. Dutch Oven

    If you’re going to own one giant pot (and you will be so glad you do), consider one that will last forever (seriously, you will be passing this thing on to your grandkids). Use it for big pots of stew and Sunday gravy, and because it’s oven-safe, you can even roast a whole chicken in there. If you’d like to try your hand at bread baking, this is a crucial piece of cookware—the lidded pot traps steam, which ensures your crust will have just the right amount of crunch and chew.

    Recommended Reading:

    The Guide to Baking Bread at Home

    Kana Milo 5.5 Quart Dutch Oven
    Kana Milo 5.5QT Dutch Oven goop, $135
  2. Kitchen Shears

    Breaking down a whole chicken is a no-waste technique that allows you to really use every part. That task is made much easier with a sharp pair of shears. We also use them for cutting flowers and snipping herbs—they’re especially handy for garnishing with chives.

    Recipe to try:

    Chicken with Herbs, Citrus, and Capers

    Zwilling x goop Multi-Purpose Kitchen Shears
    Zwilling x goop Multi-Purpose Kitchen Scissors goop, $60
  3. Cutting Board

    It’s an excellent everyday board and ideal for carving roasts because of its large surface area and those grooves for catching juices. A bigger work surface will make you an organized master chef before you can say “mise en place.”

    Recommended Reading:

    3 Easy-to-Make Main Courses to Make Entertaining Simple

    Epicurean Butcher’s Board
    Epicurean Butcher’s Board goop, $70
  4. Braiser

    Use this shallow version of a Dutch oven for one-pot meals. And it happens to make a pretty serving dish, too.

    Recommended Reading:

    3 One-Pan Dinners That Feed a Whole Family

    Staub 3.5 QT Braiser
    Staub 3.5 QT Braiser goop, $330

Appliances You’ll Use Forever

Some investment pieces will bail you out of a jam several times a week. And for years to come.

  1. The Coffee Grinder

    The real secret to exceptional coffee is in the grind. It should be ground to order with a burr grinder like this one from Fellow. They have impeccable home-brewing gear that also looks very cool. This, plus some really good beans (we’re partial to our blend), makes for a delicious morning routine.

    Recommended Reading:

    The Gear, Tricks, and Beans for Making Excellent Coffee

    Fellow Ode Brew Grinder
    Fellow Ode Brew Grinder goop, $299
  2. Stand Mixer

    Stand mixers are usually reserved for wedding registries or house-warming gifts. And yes, it is an investment piece, but it’s very useful and you’ll only ever have to buy it once. We like it for cake batter, cookie dough, frosting, and making all kinds of yeasted dough. There are several attachments, like a meat grinder and a pasta roller, that you can add down the line as you expand your repertoire.

    Recipes to try:

    Olive Oil Cake with Fresh Berries
    Dark Stout Pretzel Bites

    SMEG Stand Mixer
    Smeg Stand Mixer goop, $650
  3. The Toaster

    Yes, this is a very fancy toaster. The genius move here is that this toaster is designed to toast and steam at the same time—maintaining a moist interior while delivering a shatteringly crispy crusty exterior. Toast is the obvious choice, but it can work wonders on everything from day-old pastries to leftover pizza.

    Recipes to try:

    Superpowered Avocado Toast
    Caponata Toast

    Balmuda Balmuda The Toaster
    BALMUDA Balmuda The Toaster goop, $299
  4. Blender

    A powerful blender has many uses: smoothies, nut milks, vinaigrettes, hummus, pestos, soups, and nut butters to name a few. It’s a miracle for meal prep.

    Recipes to try:

    GP’s Morning “Smoothie”
    Beet Hummus

    Beast Health Beast Blender + Hydration System
    Beast Health Beast Blender + Hydration System goop, $185
  5. Immersion Blender

    Because it’s easier to clean, we like this handheld blender for smaller jobs. It can also be a much safer option for blending hot food—it’s portable, so you can blend directly in a pot instead of undertaking a messy transfer into a blender base.

    Recipes to try:

    Vegan Cashew Tomato Soup
    Creamy Coconut and Spring Vegetable Soup

    SMEG Hand Blender
    Smeg Hand Blender goop, $240

Storage and Organization

Optimizing the way your kitchen runs will make for more efficient and happier cooking.

  1. Reusable Bags

    If you’re cooking a lot, you’re bound to have leftovers—lucky you. These bags are a sturdy reusable answer to single-use plastic bags. We love them for freezer-bound surplus and for keeping cut-up veggies fresh and at the ready for snacking. Bonus: They’re dishwasher-safe.

    Recommended Reading:

    Freezer-Friendly Dinners You Can Make Once and Eat Twice

    Stasher Reusable Half-Gallon Storage Bag
    Stasher Reusable Half-Gallon Storage Bag goop, $20
  2. The Pantry Overhaul

    The Blisshaus system is both aesthetically pleasing and really very functional. You’ll always have a sense of what you have on hand, and you might even better understand what items you use more often than others. This can help you waste less and shop more efficiently.

    Recommended Reading:

    Recipes and Tips For Maximizing Your Pantry Staples
    The Pantry Detox: A Brilliant, Clutter-Free Organizational Approach

    Blisshaus x goop goop Essential Pantry Set
    Blisshaus x goop goop Essential Pantry Set goop, $335
  3. Food Wrap

    Save your scraps: a plastic-free alternative for preserving that half of an onion or bit of leftover cheese.

    Recommended Reading:

    Low-Waste Ideas for the Kitchen, Grocery Store, and Beyond
    10 Easy Swaps for Creating Less Daily Waste

    Snacksheets Reuable Vegan Food Wraps
    Snacksheets Reusable Vegan Food Wraps goop, $18