Culinista Kitchen®

Kitchen Gadgets

Seasoned shrimp being flipped with tongs in a cast iron on a grill.

5 Must Have Kitchen Tools You Didn’t Know You Needed

by The Culinistas

We may be the ones cooking in your kitchen weekly, but we want you to have the best and the most needed tools, in case you want to take a stab (but careful, the knives are sharp) at a little prep work.


Mandolins are the ultimate slicing tool. Simply glide your produce (be it potato, cucumber, or apple) across the blade over a bowl and watch as thin sheets curl off the bottom side into a nice, neat pile. It’s a very manageable tool if you pay attention: no texting while slicing. Whether you’re shaving fresh zucchini for a beautiful summer salad, or slicing fennel to toss into your baked quinoa dish, mandolins will save you time and energy, while also providing you with identical cuts every time.

Fish Spatula

Fish spatulas can of course handle delicate fish. After cooking a flaky fish fillet, one needs the full coverage to pick it up from the pan and place it on the plate. But this tool is wonderful for many other moments as well. Use it to scramble up ground beef or to flip oven-roasted veggies.  Grill burgers with it and free frittata from its baking vessel. They aren’t expensive and it’s sure to be one of your most used items.


If you love citrus like The Culinistas, purchase a microplane.  This stainless steel saber is ideal for zesting citrus with great ease — from little limes to grapefruits.  It also eases timely tasks like grating fresh Parmesan and making a garlic or ginger paste. Forget mincing, mincing, mincing and get grating, grating, grating!

Fine Mesh Strainer

Use this tool for sifting dry ingredients before baking (which results in lighter, fluffier baked goods), washing fresh berries, freshly squeezing citrus, seed-free, into a salad, making ricotta, and steaming vegetables.  A fine mesh strainer is extremely versatile and you can even use it to poach an egg.  They come in a variety of sizes, so find which works best for you and run with it!

Metal tongs

Metal tongs are essential. Hang them on the oven handle and use them for flipping scallops in a sauté pan, pulling broccoli rabe from the steamer, and properly mixing a big bowl of salad.

A special thanks to Sylvie Rosokoff for the beautiful photograph.