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15 Must-Have Kitchen Tools to Cook Like a Pro

A set of clean cookware, dishes, utensils, and appliances on a kitchen counter in front of a white wall in Springfield, IL.

If you want to become more useful in the kitchen and try your hand at preparing more adventurous dishes, you’ll need all the proper tools. Perhaps you’ve just moved to a new place, or you realized there are a few holes in your collection of kitchenware. Never fear because we have a list of 15 must-have kitchen tools to help you cook like a true professional and enjoy the process—like one of our expert chefs at Loukinens’ on 4th. You can trust that our advice comes from years of successful experience. Continue reading our blog for must-have kitchen tools to complete your kitchenware collection.

Measuring Cups & Spoons

One of the most important items you will need in any kitchen is measuring cups and spoons. Most recipes require specific measurements for key ingredients to get your dish’s ideal flavor. Therefore, we recommend a complete set of measuring spoons, a set of cups for measuring liquid ingredients, and a separate set for measuring dry ingredients.


Mixing bowls will come in handy. Look for sets of bowls that will fit inside one another to save you space and provide convenient storage and accessibility. Quality mixing bowls will be inexpensive, versatile, and sturdy enough to last a long time. They are worth the investment, and you will get so much use.


Food preparation requires proper knives for cutting different kinds of food, from vegetables to meat. At the very least, we recommend getting three essential knives: an 8-10 in chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife. They will all come in handy, and if you invest in the best quality you can afford, they will last for many years.

Knife Sharpener

Once you have your knives, you’ll also need a knife sharpener to keep them sharp. A sharp knife is much safer than a dull knife, so you’ll want to ensure all your knives stay in good condition. Manual sharpeners are very affordable, with coarse grits, fine grits, and slots for your different knives. They will work with both Western and Asian blades.

Cutting Boards

To avoid cross-contamination when cooking, we recommend investing in two cutting boards for raw and cooked foods and produce. Dishwasher-safe plastic cutting boards will work for both, though you could also use a wooden board for your cooked foods and produce. But, again, get what you’re most comfortable with and use caution.


You’ll want large and small nonstick skillets, stainless steel skillets, and large and small saucepans for quality cookware. A stockpot and a wok will also help prepare quick dishes in your kitchen. Visit our blog page for more helpful tips.


Standard-size 9×13 baking pans are helpful for any meal. We also recommend getting 8-inch square glass baking dishes. Specialty pans are great for roasting, baking, and making pizza. Whether roasting a chicken or baking a delicious cake, you need suitable pans to get the best results.


Every kitchen should have a variety of utensils so you can make many different recipes. The essential tools we recommend most highly include wooden spoons, a vegetable peeler, a meat mallet, tongs, a slotted spoon, a ladle, and nonstick spatulas. Getting a wire whisk and a rolling pin would be a worthwhile investment if you want to bake. 


Regarding colanders, we recommend ones that are large enough to fit a lot of pasta and have feet so they can stand on their own. Make sure it fits in your sink and has proper handles, and it should work perfectly for you.

Instant-Read Thermometer

Another handy kitchen gadget is an instant-read thermometer. It is essential to ensure your meat and poultry are cooked safely and made to your personal preferences. They are very affordable and found in any supermarket in the meat section.

Storage Containers

Every kitchen needs a set of storage containers. You’ll want a safe way to store your delicious leftovers from the wonderful meal you made. They’re also helpful for keeping unused ingredients or freshly washed fruits and vegetables. Look for ones that are dishwasher and microwave-safe.


If you love making smoothies or milkshakes or even sauces and salad dressings, you’ll want a high-quality blender in your kitchen. You can buy one specific to your needs, whether you want a standard blender or one that can operate at high speeds.

Slow Cooker

Most experienced cooks will tell you that every kitchen needs a slow cooker, also known as a Crock-Pot. It’s the perfect tool for busy families who don’t have much time for meal prep. You can throw ingredients into the cooker before work, and your dinner will be ready for you when you get home. Be sure to buy the size that suits your family.

Electric Hand Mixer

Electric hand mixers are also a great kitchen tool, especially if you enjoy making baked goods or specialty drinks like whipped coffee. This tool is easy to use, affordable, and comes in various colors to complement your kitchen décor.

Vegetable Steamer

Eating more vegetables is easier when you have your vegetable steamer. This tool steams vegetables in the microwave and is convenient because it is much faster than the stovetop. In addition, the vegetables will be kept warm, and they can go directly to the table when you’re ready to eat.

Enjoy a Cook-Free Evening at Loukinens’ on 4th

Of course, even if you have a beautiful and fully stocked kitchen with cooking tools, you may not feel like cooking every night. So when you’re craving delicious food, a lovely ambiance, and an exceptional staff to wait on you, come on down to Loukinens’ on 4th. We’ll treat you to a beautiful dining experience. Contact us today through our webpage or phone number: 217.670.1363.

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Casual, Upscale Dining in Downtown Springfield, IL

Visit our restaurant in Downtown Springfield, IL for a dining experience that’s sure to impress. Chef Loukinen, creates menu options that are designed to delight your eyes and stimulate your palate.
Loukinens' on 4th 517 S. 4th St. Springfield, Illinois 62701

Locally-Owned, Surprisingly Affordable!