Faced with a huge array of various cooking tools to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start; especially as a novice cook. Some tools you might end up using every day, while others could be cast into the depths of your kitchen drawer, never to be used again.

Food prep tools are essential for making your meals a success without making a meal out of having to prepare them. Save your wallet from unnecessary kitchen gadgets, save time and effort, and check out our run-down of the best kitchen tools to help with meal prepping.


Out of all the food prep tools you might need, these are arguably the most important. A quality saucepan will work for a variety of purposes, including soups, sauces, and pasta cooking.


For pans, a 12-inch cast iron skillet is the best option to invest in and will likely last a long time. For sticky foods like pancakes, it’s also good to have a non-stick steel skillet on standby.

Measuring Tools

While cooking tends to allow for a little improvisation here and there, the amounts used in baking are more precise, so invest in good measuring tools for your kitchen: spoons, scales, cups, and measuring jugs are all useful.

Cutting Boards

Wooden cutting boards can be used for items like bread or cooked foods. Look for something solid; maple, cherry, or walnut are all good options, with a ridge around the edge to catch any liquids.


Plastic boards are best suited to moist foods. They’re also easier to clean in case of cross contamination: get one for raw proteins and a separate one for cooked foods, and get a decent size, rather than a mini version.

A Set of Knives

A proper set of knives is essential in any kitchen. While these come in a range of styles, there are really only three essential knives you need to help get you started: a chef’s knife for slicing, a serrated knife for sawing, and a paring knife for precision cutting.

A Knife Sharpener

Skip buying any fancy mechanical sharpeners (or the added expense of taking your knives to a specialist to be sharpened for you), and go for a manual tool with a variety of fine to coarse grits in order to keep your knives in top condition.

Casserole Dishes

Casserole dishes come in various shapes and sizes, but if you’re buying for the first time, invest in a couple of larger ones, as they make it easier to batch cook, even if you’re only making food for one or two people.

Sheets and Trays

Another kitchen prep staple, baking sheets aren’t just for cookies: they can also be used to spread foods out to dry before frying (like tofu), and perforated sheets can be used for oven-baking pizzas. Quarter or half-sheet trays tend to be the best sizes.

Smaller Items

Finally, a few often-forgotten but important items include a cheese grater, a can opener, and tubs for separate portions, in addition to a few nice extras like an apron to protect your clothes.


Building up your essential items in this way will help to ensure that you have everything you need each time you cook.


Grandma Elle is well-known for her commitment to healthy cooking. She believes that good food should be made not only with delicious ingredients but also with sustainability in mind. Grandma Elle’s food is focused on whole grains, fresh vegetables, nutritious proteins and of course, lots of love!