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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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