Like every other art form, cooking has its own specialized tools. While many people are fine with cheap cookware from TJ Maxx or IKEA, I personally feel like most of that junk isn’t built to last. In fact, I think upgrading to the highest-quality kitchen hardware can make a massive improvement to your culinary creations. It can even save you money because you won’t have to keep replacing broken crap!
With so many different brands and huge price ranges, it’s understandable that you might find it a little overwhelming to select the right additions to your arsenal. For that reason alone, I decided to put this article together and highlight some of the best cookware available to level up your chef game in 2021.
So — if you’re ready to end your Kitchen Nightmares and become a Masterchef, keep reading!
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The importance of a well-made stockpot can never be overemphasized. This American-made stainless steel pot and lid from All Clad is one of the best on the market, easily outperforming its competitors. The aluminum core facilitates even heating, and the polished finish makes clean up and maintenance a breeze. This bad boy can even withstand temperatures as high as 600°F, so it’s safe for use in the oven or broiler if you want to get fancy.
- Best on the market
- Oven and broiler safe
- Limited warranty
- Built to last a lifetime
- Very expensive
- Lid can get hot to the touch
- No non-stick coating
The Le Chef Ultra-Flex Silicone Padded Kitchen Oven Mitt is exactly what you need to handle those hot pies coming out of the oven. These mitts have a silicone exterior and soft cotton interior, giving you unmatched comfort and protection in temperatures up to 485°F. They are resistant to stains and can easily be cleaned by hand or in the washing machine.
- Easy to clean
- Stain resistant
- Protection from steam and high heat
- Ambidextrous fit
- The interior takes some time to dry after cleaning
- Slightly more expensive than typical mitts
The Global 8″ Chef’s Knife is THE top knife available. The blade is made of vanadium/molybdenum-based stainless steel, resulting in superior durability and sharpness. It’s surprisingly lightweight, but precisely balanced for an ergonomic grip and superior feel. Although it may seem expensive, all Global knives are Japanese-made and come with a lifetime warranty.
- Made for professional chefs
- Easy to sharpen
- Solid, one-piece construction
- Lifetime warranty
- Absolutely nothing!
As you would expect, this spoon is great for stirring and mixing. The stainless steel handle and silicone cup make it durable enough for the toughest jobs, yet safe enough for non-stick and cast iron pans. It does not stain or lose its color easily, nor will it deform from high heat.
- Resistant to high-heat
- Won’t scratch non-stick and cast iron pans
- Hard to serve with
- The silicon cup piece is a little thick and shallow
Dreamfarm Barbecue Clongs are unique tongs made for grabbing, cutting, and maneuvering food on your grill. They’re made of stainless steel and have BPA-free silicone tips, so they can easily withstand temperatures up to 500°F and won’t scratch your surfaces. With the built-in blade, you can quickly and safely slice (or slit) your meat as you grill. These bad boys are even idiot-proof, with a click button that activates the opening and closing mechanism so you won’t mistakenly drop your dinner.
- Multifunctional design
- Idiot-proof clamping
- Strong, durable build
- -May rust and warp with regular long-term use.
The Microplane Professional Series Coarse Grater is the world’s best grater, and I’m not being hyperbolic. This kitchen miracle is made with stainless steel and uses Microplane’s patented blades for the best results possible…literally. You won’t find a better manual grater, and it’s only $20.
- Best grater on the market
- Extremely durable
- Praised by professional chefs
- It can lose its sharpness with use over time if used improperly
The OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk is sturdy, durable, and easy to use. It has stainless steel wires that are tangle-free. The rubber handle is soft and can be easily gripped to whisk comfortably for long durations.
- 5 stars on Amazon
The OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Kitchen and Herbs Scissors are the perfect choice for those who are still using a big knife to chop herbs. The blades are made from stainless steel blades with micro-serrated edges, making easy work of anything you need sheared in the kitchen. The top of the grip also has perforated holes, allowing you to easily strip herbs.
- The blades can get separated
- Cheap but durable
The Fox Run Large Serving Spoon is perfectly sized for all your serving needs. It’s elegant design makes it both functional and decorative. Not much more to say about this one, it’s a classic stainless steel serving spoon!
- Perfectly sized (8.75″)
- Heavy, sturdy build
- Nothing at all!
Food thermometers are a necessary tool in every kitchen. They ensure that all your food — whether grilled, fried, boiled, or baked — comes out perfectly cooked. That’s why the Lavatools PT12 Javelin Digital Instant Read Meat Thermometer is one of my most prized possessions in the kitchen. It’s accurate to 0.9°F and quickly spits out a readout in under 5 seconds. This bad boy is even certified by NSF, CE, and RoHS — meaning it’s safe for use in commercial food preparation, as it’s guaranteed free from harmful substances like Lead and Mercury.
- Over 4,000 hours of battery life
- Stainless steel probe
- Built-in magnet for easy storage on the fridge
- Certified by NSF, CE, and RoHS
- F to C switch located under the battery
While there are many things to consider when you’re shopping for kitchenware, it’s important not to purchase something just because it’s the cheaper option. These are tools you will use everyday, so buying for quality over cost can actually save you tons of money in the long-term. You know what they say: go big or go back to the store to buy a replacement!