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20 essential kitchen equipment items I can't live without

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Most of my recipes are very simple, but in order to make them I need the right things at home... as well as my store cupboard essentials and key ingredients, I've shared a list of go-to kitchen equipment I couldn’t make my recipes without.

Claudine Boulstridge from Healthy Family Food Ideas shares her favourite kitchen equipment

Lots of you have asked about the equipment needed in your kitchen to make my recipes, so to help inspire more of you to make my recipes, I wanted to share my list of essential kitchen equipment. You can see a selection on my ingredients and equipment page too.

1. Baking tray

I have some flat ones for roasting vegetables and higher-sided ones for tray bakes, seed bars and one-pan dinners.

Tramontina baking tray that Claudine Boulstridge buys from Ocado

2. Bowls

Bowls are essential for mixing and stirring any mixture. I have some enamel ones that are practical for little ones as they are not fragile and nicer than usual plastic ones.

Claudine Boulstridge recommends buying bowls from Sophia Victoria Joy from Not on The High Street or Rice bowls from Kidly for healthy mixtures and batters when baking with children

3.Fish slice

This is essential for lifting any food out of a pan or baking tray and onto a plate without it breaking or for turning pancakes. I use a plastic ones, rather than metal to avoid scraping your pans, which is a must!

4. Frying pan (small)

I use mine daily as it is perfect for omelettes, scrambled eggs and pancakes, as well as toasting nuts or making sauces.

Showing that it's easy for kids to cook in the kitchen too. Claudine Boulstridge's son preparing a tasty and easy to make recipe using a small frying pan

5. Grater

I use my grater all the time; examples include strong cheddar for quiches, cucumber for duck wraps or even half an onion for recipes that need finely chopped onion.

Claudine Boulstridge from Healthy Family Food Ideas shows her youngest child how to use a grater. Clara grates a cucumber in the kitchen

6. Hand-held blender or food processor

Ideal for quickly chopping onions, garlic and carrots for tray bakes, as well as pancakes mixture, fish cake mixture, instant ice cream, healthy chocolate puddings and more. I have both a food processor and a hand-held blender which I love.

Claudine Boulstridge's youngest kid shows that cooking can be easy and quick whatever your age. Here she uses a hand-held blender from Russell and Hobbs

7. Jug

Perfect for measuring or blending in it and then pouring. I use it for pancake mixture, Hollandaise sauce and many other things.

Claudine Boulstridge's youngest daughter demonstrates how to make a delicious and healthy cake using a pretty Dexam jug

8. Knives

It’s so much easier to cook if you have large, sharp knife (it’s safer too!) I have had my knives for years and they didn’t cost much. I sharpen them just before using them (it takes 30 seconds) with a pull through sharpener and once a year I ask my butcher to sharpen them with a grinder. Chopping herbs, large vegetables and meat is much easier with a big knife and as long as you use the right techniques it is very safe; with a blunt knife you are pushing and are more likely to slip and cause the knife to go into your skin.

Claudine Boulstridge's kids show how to improve your knife skills using  Sabatier knives and protective kid's gloves

9. Measuring Spoons

To accurately measure small amounts of anything from spices, tomato paste, sugar, salt and honey these are indispensable! I use them every single day and not just for my job as a recipe tester. I hope that people making the recipes I create use them too, as there is no better way of ensuring a recipe is successful than measurements being accurate.

Claudine Boulstridge's daughter using Kitchencraft measuring spoons to accurately measure out a recipe that is so easy to make even children can do it

10. Pastry brush

Useful for brushing egg yolks onto puff pastry dishes like my easy salmon en croute and sausage rolls, or brushing butter onto filo, like my savoury super-food strudel. I use a silicone one, as the wooden ones with hair can leave bristles in your food!

Claudine Boulstridge's daughter brushes puff pastry with egg yolk using a pastry brush on her healthy salmon en croute creation

11. Peeler

Get the kids to help! I use a swivel Y-shaped peeler (the blade moves) which is super easy to use and not expensive.

12. Sauté pan (large)

Nearly all of my dinners that aren’t in a slow-cooker are made in an oven-proof, non-stick sauté pan! One-pot dinners are the way forward! I use pans that I bought when I worked in a cookery shop in London years ago. They have a durable titanium non-stick coating which isn’t toxic and lasts forever!

13. Scales

For accurate baking and weighing these are essential. So easy to use and they ensure that your recipes will never go wrong!

Claudine Boulstridge's children make a cake. Seen here is their Salter weighing scales

14. Sieve

I use this daily for our water kefir grains, but also for sieving chicken stock and frozen raspberries to remove pips and much more!

Claudine Boulstridge's children demonstrate using a sieve when making jam or fruit compote. Claudine buys her sieves from Lakeland.

15. Silicone moulds

From frozen yoghurts to healthy chocolates, doughnuts, jellies, egg frittatas and healthy cakes, fun silicone moulds make most food fun! You can freeze things in them, bake in them or chill anything in them for a quick fun snack, meal or dessert.

Claudine Boulstridge swears by silicone moulds when making quick, delicious and healthy food for her children.

16. Slow cooker

I use one several times a week for easy no-effort healthy dinners that are hot when we get home late. It also transforms cheaper cuts of meat into amazingly tasty meals!

Claudine Boulstridge's slow cooker is a great way to quickly make a healthy dinner that pleases the whole family.  She buys hers from Lakeland.

17. Spatula

Perfect for scraping every last bit of batter out of a bowl or mixing food in a non-stick pan without scratching it.

18. Tongs

Essential for turning steaks, kofta and meatballs. I use a silicone coated one so I don’t scratch my pans.

Claudine Boulstridge's kids use tongs (Cuisipro) when cooking in the kitchen

19. Whisk

I tend to use soft plastic/silicone coated rather than metal, so that you don’t scratch your non-stick pans, which is useful for any batter or mixture.

Claudine Boulstridge's youngest child uses a whisk when making a tasty yet healthy and quick to make cake recipe

20. Wooden chopping board or platter

Essential for any chopping but also for displaying food beautifully as a platter! Learn how to assemble one of my platters here.

Claudine Boulstridge's dog Mali watches her daughter cutting up fresh healthy vegetables on a wooden chopping board. Boards are also a great way to assemble festive family sharing platters

Let me know in the comments below if you have kitchen equipment that you can’t live without that I have missed out – I would love to hear from you! And, as always, let me know if you have any questions on cooking with kids I can answer.

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