Kitchen tools and equipment

Kitchen tools and equipment

Leiths School of Food and Wine
0 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
Peter Cassidy

We use basic equipment that can be found in any well equipped home kitchen for most of our classes at the school. Here we have listed the most useful items to have in your kitchen. As you move on to more complex recipes, you will probably want to expand your range, but this is a good starting point. Keep in mind that it is worth paying for good quality utensils and equipment: they will perform better and last longer.


Spend as much as your budget will allow on a really good set of kitchen knives. Each one must be comfortable to hold, not too heavy, but weighty enough. Keep them in a knife block, not a drawer. The following knives are most useful:

–Large cook’s knife: You will use this for most of your food preparation.

–Paring knife: For cutting small ingredients – to get close to them for more control.

–Boning knife: A must if you enjoy a bit of butchery. Ideally it should have a rigid blade.

–Filleting knife: A long knife with a flexible blade used for boning fish.

–Pastry knife: A long serrated knife, used for breads, cakes and pastries, which cuts through the crumb without tearing.

–Turning knife: A very short knife with a curved blade, used for peeling, trimming and shaping vegetables.

–Small serrated knife: This is useful for preparing fruit.

–Sharpening steel: A durable steel rod with a textured surface for sharpening knives. Get into the habit of ‘honing’ your knives each time you use them to ensure they maintain a sharp edge.


Good quality kitchen tools make work in the kitchen easier and more efficient. The following are ideal:

–Measuring spoons

–Wooden spoons

–Slotted spoons

–Basting spoon

–Ladles (several sizes)

–Fish slice

–Kitchen tongs

–Rolling pin

–Meat mallet

–Kitchen scissors (a sturdy pair)

–Swivel vegetable peeler

–Apple corer

–Melon baller

–Ice-cream scoop

–Pastry cutters

–Palette knife

–Spatula (heat resistant)

–Fine grater

–Nutmeg grater


–Kitchen tweezers

–Larding needle

–Skewers (metal and wooden/bamboo)


Most of the following items are pretty essential! Trays and tins do not need to be non-stick, but should be solid/rigid enough not to warp when they are heated.

–Scales (a set of good scales is imperative)

–Chopping boards (at least two, for raw and cooked foods)

–Bowls (various sizes, glass or stainless steel)

–Pestle and mortar

–Jugs (including a measuring jug)


–Baking sheets (lipped and flat)

–Shallow baking trays or tins

–Roasting tins

–Wire cooling racks

–Ramekins and soufflé dishes

–Pie dishes

–Casseroles and lids

–Oven gloves

–Oven thermometer

–Muffin tins

–Mini muffin tins

–Loaf tins (500 g)

–Loose-based flan tins or flan rings

–Cake tins (sandwich tin, springform tin, deep cake tin, Swiss roll tin)

–Silicone moulds (such as madeleine and barquette moulds)

–Moule à manqué (tin with sloping sides)

–Dariole moulds or timbales (various sizes)

–Terrines (metal or ceramic)

Saucepans and frying pans

A range of good quality pans in different sizes, from very small to large, is ideal. Saucepans do not need to be non-stick, but a large non-stick frying pan is most useful. Choose heavy-based saucepans and frying pans (with lids) as they will provide a more even heat and hold their heat longer. An ovenproof frying or sauté pan is particularly handy. Note that lids are sometimes interchangeable between larger saucepans and smaller frying pans. The following selection will cover your needs:

–Saucepans (at least three in a range of sizes, from 18–28 cm)

–Frying pans (at least two in different sizes, from 16–28 cm)

–Sauté pan (a deep frying pan, at least 24 cm)

–Steamer (a perforated container that will fit over one of your saucepans under a tight-fitting lid)

–Large stockpot or preserving pan



Paper/lining products

Of the following, the first 4 items are indispensable:

–Greaseproof paper

–Baking parchment/Silicone paper

–Aluminium foil

–Cling film

–Paper cake cases


–Non-stick baking mats (re-usable)

Small electrical equipment

These are the most useful labour-saving small appliances:

–Hand-held electric whisk

–Electric mixer (free-standing)

–Food processor


–Hand-held stick blender

–Spice grinder

–Ice-cream machine

More specialist equipment

These items are beneficial for specific recipes:


–Meat thermometer

–Sugar thermometer

–Blini pans

–Bain marie (special purpose)

–Pasta machine



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