10 Most Useful Small Kitchen Utensils

Part of being a better cook is understanding what utensils out there will actually help you become the best cook possible. These can also help reduce cooking times, increase efficiency and decrease waste.

10 Most Useful Small Kitchen Utensils

As a novice in any skill, our first thought might be to buy a bunch of gadgets we don’t actually need at all, because we think it might speed up the learning process. 

This is rarely true, but sometimes there are some gadgets out there which are just really useful and helpful in the kitchen.

So, take it from a pro, and follow our guide to the most useful small kitchen utensils that actually make life in the kitchen more parasitic and easy, being something you use a lot, rather than just gathering dust on your shelves. 

Keep reading to learn more about cooking, the kitchen, and which kitchen gadgets and utensils we recommend.

1. Microplane

You don’t necessarily need to have a microplane in your kitchen, but they are really useful for quite a few things and can actually fulfill the role of other tools you may already have.

A microplane is essentially a handheld greater, like a cheese grater. You might have seen other grates like box cheese graters, which you likely already have in your kitchen. A box cheese grater isn’t necessarily the best grater for all cheese or food. 

For instance, if you are making pasta, you might be grating Parmesan or some other hard cheese like pecorino. In this case, the large holes of a box grater are way too big and clumps might form in your pasta as a result of it failing to emulsify the larger cheese strands.

A microplane will grate your cheese into an extremely fine dusting or powder that is way more conducive for melting. 

Moreover, you can start using your microplane for things like grating garlic and ginger, which can make a garlic crusher a redundant tool.

Even zesting a lemon or orange is ten times easier with a microplane than a box grater. Plus, a microplane takes up next to no amount of space, and is pretty cheap.

2. Fine Mesh Sieve

A fine mesh sieve is a really great tool and can fulfill the role of many other tools in the kitchen. A fine mesh sieve has the highest level of filtration out of any household sieve, the only other sieve capable of this is the Chinois sieve, but these are rarely used outside the professional kitchen. 

The fine mesh means you can even sift flour for baking purpose, as well as other fine powders.

While this can be used effectively for baking purposes, you can also use a fine mesh sieve like any other colander you may use to drain pasta or other liquids.

A fine mesh sieve can even be used for cheese making, and straining any solids from a drink like a tea sieve, if your cocktail shaker broke you could use it in the same way.

Put another way, a fine mesh sieve is the most effective and efficient sieve or draining system you can own.

You can really put pressure on a fine mesh sieve in ways that you can’t with a colander, so you can really get the most liquid out of something this way, which can be important when dealing with expensive ingredients.

Even soups and stocks can go through a fine mesh sieve and make them clearer and remove debris from them for a professional finish.

3. Can Opener

This one speaks for itself – while most cans and tins might have the little pull top on them, so you can open them without a can opener, you never want to be in that situation where you buy a can that doesn’t have one, and you don’t have a can opener either.

4. Salt And Pepper Grinder

Sounds like a pointless tool, right – well you would be surprised how much having your own refillable pepper and salt grinders can save you money. Often grocery stores sell those plastic grinders, each filled with their own limited supply of peppercorns and salt granules. 

If you just buy two bulk packs of peppercorns and salt, and fill them up on your own, you only have to buy more salt or pepper when these bulk packages run out, saving you money and time.

Plus, they can look way better in a kitchen and on the dining table.

5. Salt Dish

Do you use kosher salt or flaky salt rather than grinding it or shaking it? Then a salt box might be a way to make your worktops more efficient.

When using larger salt grains like this, we often pick them up with our fingers and grind them a little in between them. 

Rather than having to open some cardboard box up every time you want salt, a salt dish can be way more quick, allowing you to salt things easily and quickly – it might surprise you how much more efficient this can be.

6. Rolling Pin

A rolling pin is really useful in the baking world for rolling out dough and even stuff like pasta and pastries.

Simply having a rolling pin will open up way more recipes for you such as pasta, and things like this, that you might avoid without one.

A rolling pin is inexpensive but is also useful for other things such as tenderizing meat, creating breadcrumbs or biscuits crumbs, and for any other thing that requires pressure or force.

A dowel like the one linked is the best, rather than the kind which rolls on its own, this allows for a lot more versatility in the kitchen. 

7. Immersion Blender

Yeah, not everyone has the money or room in their kitchen to get a high-powered blender. This said, an immersion blender, or handheld blender, can do nearly everything a high-powered blender can. Plus, an immersion blender is a lot smaller and easier to store, as well as clean. 

An immersion blender means you can blend soups into a thicker and more luxurious texture, but also use it to blend tomato sauces, and many other baking applications.

Again, simply having an immersion blender will open up a bunch of recipes that you wouldn’t have otherwise. 

8. Vegetable Peeler

A vegetable peeler is really inexpensive and is just a must-have in the kitchen. It allows you to peel vegetables, and fruit, which can be necessary for loads of things.

You can keep your vegetable peels and use them for stock, or you can compost them. 

Some vegetables have skins that just aren’t the best to eat, and sometimes peeling veg can just make things higher quality, look better, and be useful for specific cooking methods.

9. Cocktail Shaker

Do you enjoy a cocktail, and want to make your kitchen ideal for hosting? A cocktail shaker could make your parties and general midweek cocktails way better. Truthfully, if you don’t make cocktails, you can forget it.

But if you make lots of cocktails, a cocktail shaker is a must. 

A cocktail shaker will open up so many recipes and just make all your cocktails way better, and they’re excellent for hosting people.

They are also inexpensive, but if you are into your drinks then they are worth way more than what you pay for them, especially if you use it a lot.

10. Pestle And Mortar

A pestle and mortar, or a molcajete, can gather dust in kitchens. However, when you know how to use them, they can be super effective at creating flavor and boosting your cooking to another level, and have a hugely versatile amount of uses.

A pestle and mortar can be used to create guacamole, pesto, and loads of Asian sauces. The act of pounding affects plant cells way differently than slicing does.

Many Latin people will suggest guacamole has to be made in a molcajete or a pestle and mortar, the name guacamole literally means ‘to pound’ and so does pesto in Italian.

Beyond making sauces, a pestle and mortar can be used to grind spices. Grinding spices seems pointless, but to use fresh spices you grind in a pestle and mortar will elevate your cooking to another level – just try it!

They can be a little expensive at times, but with the right pestle and mortar they can last a lifetime.

Final Thoughts

The biggest thing to consider when buying tools in the kitchen is frequency of use. There’s no point buying something if you never plan on using it again as it will collect dust, take up space, and be a waste of money. 

It can be best to invest in the utensils we know we will use often. If you make pasta a lot, you might want a rolling pine, if you make lots of cocktails you probably need a cocktail shaker. 

While there can be workarounds for most kitchen utensils, if you want to learn new skills and try new recipes sometimes a kitchen utensil will just make this easier and make you more likely to cook from scratch with these utensils. 

Mark Williams
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