Five Essential Kitchen Equipment Items I Can’t Live Without

When The Green Palette Kitchen moved with me to Southport two years ago (and yes, “moved” with me from NYC to Fairfield, to Southport) I suddenly had a brand new space and nothing but my imagination to fill it. My husband Mark, the handy guy that he is, built it himself, and I was left to be very strategic about how to outfit it.

I didn’t want to make the mistakes from kitchens’ past – taking old hand me downs from my mom (some of which I still use) or getting caught up in the latest gadget (hello Instapot!). The space was all mine, but I needed to be mindful about how to utilize the space.

I thought about the obvious of course: measuring spoons cups, mixing bowls. I buy these by the dozen, especially for my healthy cooking classes where we are cooking full meals. But what about the bigger investment pieces? The ones people in my classes not only ask me about but that I use all the time. Below are my all-time favorite pieces of kitchen equipment that I cannot live without – at home or for classes. Full disclosure first: if you click on these links and buy from here, I will receive a very little stipend as an affiliate. But I would promise that I would only recommend products that  I would happily use myself!

I wax poetic about my Vitamix and often tell the story of how it took me so long to buy one, since, let’s be honest, they are not cheap and I didn’t know if I would be using it all that often. Turns out I do, at least a couple times a week. I give very few pieces of kitchen equipment the privilege of sitting on my counter, but this one has taken first place. I use it to puree soups, make sauces, blend smoothies, make salad dressings. I think it might even blend rocks, it’s that powerful! By the way, Vitamix has an amazing warranty, I have broken my blender a few times from overblending, and they have replaced parts for free.

People ask me all the time whether or not you really need a food processor as well as a blender in your kitchen, and I would say the answer is yes. A food processor has a bigger, wider blade, making it useful for bigger chopping that the Vitamix just cannot do. You can also slice, grate, knead dough. A food processor does a lot. I love my Cuisinart, the last one I had lasted about 20 years. My food processor also gets an honorable mention on my kitchen counter, I use it that much.

I started collecting my All-Clad cookware pieces when I went to cooking school, and that was too many years ago for me to count! All-Clad does not break, chip, peel, or break down in any way. All-Clad is the top of the line for pots and pans and for good reason. They are heavy bottomed and have a lifetime guarantee. Worth every penny.

I am all about saving time in my kitchen. Like you, I am busy – kids, career, and life! Any way I can shorten my chores I will, and the Cuisinart Mini Food Prep helps in so many ways. Chopping garlic, blending a smaller sauce, salad dressings. A very worthwhile tool to have in the kitchen.

The reason I am not a huge fan of the Instapot is that I have enough equipment, with all the promises that the Instapot claims – slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker. I’m not looking to reinvent the wheel in my kitchen or add in any more. So, for now, I will stick with what I have, and that includes my rice cooker. I love anything that can do the work for me, and with a rice cooker, you can make a pot of whole grains, walk away and forget about it.


Though I don’t typically use a slow cooker in my cooking classes because we would be in class all day, I have to add in my love for my All-Clad Slow Cooker. Soups, stews, braised chicken, tomatoes sauces, and especially bone broths (yes, I leave the slow cooker on for 20 hours, overnight). I use mine so often that I have had to replace the insert and All-Clad very generously replaced it for free.

These are my favorites, what are some pieces of kitchen equipment that you can’t live without? Share in the comments below!

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