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The Best Kitchen Utensil Set

Updated on May 5, 2021
MarleneB profile image

Being a food fanatic, Marlene enjoys having the right tools to prepare delicious meals.

The chef's knife is a hard working tool in the kitchen.
The chef's knife is a hard working tool in the kitchen. | Source

What Kitchen Utensils Are Best?

I have the fortunate opportunity to consult with a friend, Deagon B. Williams, who is also an international award-winning chef. When asked what kitchen utensils a chef considers essential, Chef Deagon is helpful with a sure and definitive answer. You see, there are certain utensils a chef absolutely must have in the kitchen in order to prepare the culinary delights we desire from them.

The best kitchen utensil set is one you put together yourself instead of purchasing ready-made packages. In order to have the most functional kitchen, you want to analyze your style of cooking and determine what tools work best for you. Minimally, Chef Deagon suggests utensils that work for all kitchens. The utensils mentioned are utensils that, in Chef Deagon's words are, "... the five things that we use all the time and would cry without." We certainly can't go wrong using the same utensils used in the kitchens of professionals.

Meet the chef and then discover the best kitchen utensil set to use in your kitchen.

Deagon B. Williams is an award-winning international chef.
Deagon B. Williams is an award-winning international chef. | Source

Bio: Chef Deagon B Williams

Deagon was born in California, but her cultural and culinary training ground was Paris, France-where she moved as a teenager in order to undergo formal culinary training. She came of age grappling with her own culture and cuisine while living and learning another. Deagon earned her Grand Diplôme d'Études Culinaires at l'Ecole de Cuisine, La Varenne, and then apprenticed with Michel Comby and La Maison du Chocolat.

As a chef, Deagon ran a 25 person kitchen staff with a daily changing menu as well as created new businesses from scratch. In order to build organizational expertise, Deagon studied systems and organizational theory-earning a BA in Sociology at Mills College. Next, she sought to deepen her understanding of business and economics by earning an MBA-also at Mills.

Deagon then became Client Services Manager at the Center for Culinary Development, where she worked on business development and food marketing for multinational corporations.

The Best Utensils to have in Your Kitchen Utensils Set

Chef Deagon mentioned five things every chef must have in the kitchen. These things are: a good rubber spatula, a good metal spatula, a good set of short tongs, a good paring knife, and a good chef's knife. A bonus utensil to have is a top-of-the-line food processor. Notice the word "good" in this series of utensils. You want to select utensils that function well in the kitchen and will last a long time.

Rubber Spatula:
A rubber spatula is a cooking utensil with a rubber head. The handle can be found with various materials such as plastic, metal, or wood. Many cooks use a rubber spatula when mixing baking ingredients and when they are cooking with a pot or pan that is easily scratched by metal. A rubber spatula is great for scraping the bowl to get the last bit of batter or dough out of a mixing bowl. And, nothing beats a rubber spatula for spreading icing on cakes.

You can buy rubber spatulas in sets that include a number of spatulas of different sizes, shapes, colors, and lengths. And, if you are going to use your spatula for cooking with heat, be sure to use a spatula that is labeled to be a “high heat” spatula.

Most rubber spatulas can be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning but be sure to read the label to be sure.

Metal Spatula:
A metal spatula is a cooking utensil with a metal head and metal handle. In many cases, the handle is made with a rubber or silicone cover to protect the hand from heat. The metal spatula may have a solid or slotted plate. A metal spatula is usually used for grilling those delicious foods we plan on cooking on the BBQ this summer. The slots allow juices from fruits and vegetables or fat from meat to drain off when flipping or transferring the food.

Most metal spatulas are made with stainless steel and can be placed in the dishwasher, however, to prolong the life of your metal spatula, it is better to wash it by hand.

Short Tongs:
Chef Deagon says about chefs and tongs, “We do everything with a pair of tongs in our hands.” The most versatile tongs are made of stainless steel and have a strong spring to produce the effective push that opens the tong when needed. Some tongs have a rubber or silicone handle to make them easy to grip and handle. And, because there is nothing exciting about having food stick to the tongs, now there are tongs made with nylon heads which make them nonstick and heat resistant.

Chefs use tongs for turning food. The bowl of the tong can be used the same as a spoon which is great for basting and serving generous portions of food. The trick is to make sure you do not let the juice or oil slide up the arm of the tongs and down the arm of your body.

Most rubber tongs are dishwasher safe, but to preserve the longevity of your metal tongs, it is better to wash them by hand. Almost all types of the heavy-duty tongs have a ring that slides down to lock the tongs together for easy storage.

Paring Knife:
Every cook needs a good knife. Chef Deagon recommends that a cook has two good knives. One is a paring knife. A paring knife is often called a peeling knife. It is typically made of stainless steel. A paring knife is a general purpose knife that is used for small intricate work like peeling vegetables, slicing small fruits, coring, and creating garnishes. A paring knife generally ranges in size from 3 inches to 5 inches.

Chef’s Knife:
The other knife Chef Deagon recommends is a chef’s knife. A chef’s knife is often made of stainless steel and can do a number of things, such as slicing, dicing and julienning. A chef's knife generally ranges in size from 8 inches to 10 inches.

Food Processor

The bonus utensil used for food processing.
The bonus utensil used for food processing. | Source

Food Processor:
A food processor is a utensil for preparing food. Chef Deagon recommends Cuisinart®. The professional version of a Cuisinart is called a Robot Coupe®. Both the Cuisinart and Robot Coupe usually come with a stainless steel chopping blade with variable speeds to chop, shred, slice, dice, and knead dough. The container is made to be shatterproof, as well as heat and cold resistant. Both of these utensils perform the same tasks; however the Robot Coupe is designed to prepare food with speeds that allow chefs to produce hundreds of dishes in minutes.

Which Kitchen Utensils Should You Buy for Your Utensil Set?

Food preparation can be a lot of work, and with the proper utensils, you can prepare food with ease. Hand utensils are quite useful, but I say the daddy of all kitchen utensils is the food processor which saves time by automatically slicing, dicing, chopping, and blending the foods for me.

The following table shows customer rated products. Each utensil is rated by customer feedback and reviews from CHEFS® valued customers. CHEFS is an online kitchen product outlet that sells kitchen utensils to the professional culinary world as well as everyday people who cook at home.

See the chart below for a list of the essential utensils recommended by Chef Deagon, along with the price range and the best rated brand for each utensil.

Kitchen Utensils Price Range and Best Rated Brands

Price Range
Best Rated Brands
7.5" to 19.5"
$8.95 to $34.95
OXO Brand
13.5" to 19.5"
$11.98 to $24.95
Le Creuset Brand
9" to 16"
$3.75 to $8.45
Edlund Brand
3.25" to 4"
$4.45 to $89.95
Wusthof Brand
8" to 10"
$49.95 to $129.00
Wusthof Brand
Food Processor
14-Cup Capacity
$139.00 to $325.00

Note: Although Chef Deagon suggested "short" tongs (9"), the longer sized tongs are shown in the chart for comparison purposes. Prices gleened from a search of over 100 products and various brands.

Food Network Stars Share What Kitchen Tools They Must Have

It seems other chefs agree with chef Williams. Food Network Magazine interviews chefs and find 50 favorite kitchen tools that chefs must have in their kitchen. Listed below are five of my favorite Food Network television stars and their favorite kitchen tool.

To read what other professional chefs say their “must have” kitchen tool is and why, visit the Food Network article titled, “Chefs’ 50 Favorite Kitchen Tools.”

Five of My Favorite Food Network Television Stars Share Their Kitchen Must-Haves

Television Show
Kitchen Must Have
Alton Brown
Food Network Star
Panini Press
Paula Deen
Paula's Best Dishes
Ann Burrell
Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell
Food Mill
Mark Murphy
Serrated Paring Knife
Melissa d'Arabian
Ten Dollar Dinners
Electric Knife

Food Network Television Stars

Utensils Come in All Shapes and Sizes

I am happy to discover that my kitchen includes the essential utensils recommended by a professional chef. During my research, I discover that utensils come in all shapes, sizes, material, and price ranges. I find utensils made with steel, silicone, rubber, plastic, wood, and realize I have a lot of choices when it comes to utensils. Additionally, I see where it makes a difference between slotted and unslotted, short or tall, and flexible or solid.

I am grateful to Chef Deagon for sharing her expertise regarding the best kitchen utensils that should be included in a well-devised kitchen utensil set.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Marlene Bertrand


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    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      7 years ago from USA

      Hi Rajan. After talking to my friend, the chef, I wanted to run out to buy a whole new set of kitchen tools, especially sharper knives.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      7 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Though not much of a cook, I know that these are the basic essentials for a kitchen. Thanks for sharing this useful and interesting hub, Marlene.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      8 years ago from USA

      Hi alocsin. My chef friend suggested, similar to what you mentioned - that it doesn't matter what the set looks like. Just buy the knives that do the job you need them to do. They don't have to match. I do like your idea of purchasing a knife holder. In fact, if the handles do not match, that is a plus because the handles would be visual aids to help me know exactly which knife I was grabbing. Thank you for your feedback and for your additional tip.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I like the idea of putting together my own knife set, since I'm a do-it-yourself type of guy anyway. You can always buy one kitchen knife block or holder if you want a unified appearance for them. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      8 years ago from USA

      Thank you all for your comments.

      Hi Brett! Until I spoke to my friend the chef, I was not fully aware of the importance of using the right tool for the job at hand. Now that I actually use a paring knife for paring, preparing food seems a whole lot easier.

      Hello lemonkerdz! The right tools make a difference. There are several wonderful food processors on the market. Kitchen Aid is one of them. And, while the money-back guarantee is awesome, once used, it is difficult to prepare extra fabulous meals without a Kitchen Aid or any other food processor.

    • lemonkerdz profile image


      8 years ago from LIMA, PERU

      Nice hub, It really is worth spending money and getting a good set of knives. i got a set of Sabatier and have never looked back.

      Food processor: a must. Kitchen aid do some great ones with offers and money back on top of that.

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      8 years ago from Asia

      Interesting hub. I never really noticed the utensils until I moved to Korea and suddenly only had about 6-7 utensils to use ... time to go shopping lol.

      Shared, pinned, up, useful, and tweeted

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      8 years ago from USA

      Hi PegCole17, for me, I think the most important tool is a sharp knife. Chefs often talk about a "good" sharp knife as being critical. Even people who are not chefs think it is critical. I remember once my parents came to visit. My mom asked to help in the kitchen. She selected a knife to chop up some onions. The knife wasn't very sharp. So, she asked if I had a sharper knife and I didn't. Long story short - she placed the knife down on the counter and said, "I can't cut with this." Mind you, this is the knife I have used for years. Anyway, mom left the kitchen. But, the next day I went out and invested in a sharp knife... and a knife sharpener.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      8 years ago from North Dallas, Texas

      Thanks for the rundown on the essential kitchen gadgets and utensils that make up a good kitchen. Now I know what to ask for on my birthday! I'm missing a good chef's knife and have been making do with a dull one. The tongs are my favorite and I use them for practically everything. Good info.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      8 years ago from USA

      girishpuri - Thank you for your positive comments. I had to consult with a chef to make sure I got it right. My husband does all the cooking around here (well - most of the cooking), so he's more aware than I am. In the process of doing this hub, I learned a few interesting things about the kitchen myself.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      8 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      I don't have much knowledge about Kitchen utensils, but my wife is crazy for her kitchen, She enjoys the most in her kitchen only, i it with every women ?

      Very nice hub and useful for my wife, but not good for my

      interesting and useful, thanks

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      9 years ago from USA

      Oh thank you, Ruchira. You are right. In fact, what kitchen would be without a knife? But, the thing I learned is that we should invest in the best knife we can afford because it will serve us the best in the way of function and longevity.

    • Ruchira profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Marlene, this was an interesting hub. Spatula and knives are the everyday use in a kitchen and am glad you highlighted the best one!!

      many votes

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      9 years ago from USA

      Hi Denise, isn't it fun to read all of this week's topic inspiration hubs. I am seeing and reading about some really unique kitchen tools. Thank you so much for your positive feedback.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      I'm learning so many cool things here on this weeks WTI Great info Rated up/U/I and, I'm happy to report that I do have (own and operate! LOL) these named gadgets by Chef Deagon. Yeah, I'm on the right track for becoming a culinary expert, hee hee.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      9 years ago from USA

      Thanks, AlanRimmer. The truth is, as long as you have the hand utensils, you can still do everything the food processor does. But, the food processor is a huge bonus for saving time.

    • AlanRimmer profile image


      9 years ago from Southwest UK

      Thanks for a great hub, it's good to know my kitchen is fairly well equiped even though the food processor is still on the wish list.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      9 years ago from USA

      Hi moonlake and unknown spy! After talking with the chef I realize I have all the hand utensils and then some that I really don't need. Thank you so much for your positive comments.

    • unknown spy profile image

      Life Under Construction 

      9 years ago from Neverland

      Thank you so much for sharing these info Marlene. All my votes. Wonderful hub!

    • moonlake profile image


      9 years ago from America

      Well I guess my kitchen is in order I have all of utensils you mentioned. Thanks so much for sharing your information voted up on your hub.

    • MarleneB profile imageAUTHOR

      Marlene Bertrand 

      9 years ago from USA

      I know... After talking to Chef Deagon, I discovered that I have a lot of superfluous utensils in my kitchen. I'm sorting through my own kitchen, as well, right now.

    • profile image

      Arlene V. Poma 

      9 years ago

      Marlene, I am trying to organize my kitchen, and have been for years! I find your Hub very helpful when it comes to sorting through my kitchen utensils. Thank you for the tips. UP+++ and everything else! I'm on it!


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