However, many beginners often make the mistake of spending thousands of pesos for all kinds of fancy kitchen tools that don’t help much or don’t match their cooking skills just yet. Don't fall into that trap! The first thing you need to remember as a beginner cook is to keep things simple. Get the basic tools and master what you could do with them first before you experiment with more advanced items.

With that said, we have listed 10 basic tools that every kitchen must have below. Take note that pots, pans, and knives are excluded from this list as they are extremely diverse and would merit a separate discussion of their own.


A ladle is a large serving spoon that’s used for soups and sauces. When choosing a ladle, make sure it has a large “scooper,” to make it easy for you to serve liquids, and a bent handle tip, so you can hook it to the side of the pot when not in use.


Tongs are used for turning meat, fish, or vegetables on a skillet or grill. Look for those with a rubber grip and a scalloped tip to ensure a firm grip on your food.

Flat Spatula

A flat spatula is perfect for flipping, lifting, mixing, or spreading food in a pan. The blade should be wide and thin enough so you could ease under delicate items like eggs or pancakes. If you’re using a non-stick pan, it is advisable to get a flat spatula made out of nylon or silicone to prevent scratches. 

Rubber Spatula

The rubber spatula is an indispensable tool for baking. It is used mainly for scraping semi-liquid ingredients like peanut butter, mayonnaise, cream, or cake batter. Choose a rubber spatula that is sturdy enough to stir heavy dough but flexible enough to scrape tight corners so that you can use it  in a variety of baking recipes.


Whisks are used to add air into a mixture or to thoroughly blend ingredients together. There are many different types of whisks out there but the most commonly used one is the balloon whisk. Balloon whisks are made of thin wires and feature a large, bulbous end, hence its name. Aside from eggs, you can use them to lightly mix dry ingredients such as flour or cornstarch as a substitute to sifting.

Box Grater

Box graters feature four different kinds of graters that will help you shred and shave all kinds of food (not just cheese!) into smaller, finer pieces.

Kitchen Shears

Even if you already have several knives to do the cutting for you, having a good pair of kitchen shears is advisable. It obviously does a great job at snipping herbs, cutting through pork or chicken meat, and opening food packaging. What makes them great, however, is that they come with other handy features like a bottle opener, nut and shell crackers, and sometimes, screwdrivers. It’s like a swiss knife – for the kitchen.

Measuring Cups and Spoons

Measuring food items is an integral part of cooking. Make sure you have a separate measuring cup for dry and wet ingredients. As for measuring spoons, choose oval or narrow models so that they can fit even in spice jars. Lastly, invest in a stainless steel measures over aluminium or plastic. They’re much sturdier and can last for a longer period of time.

Sieve and Colander

A sieve features a coarse or fine mesh of wires and is usually used for catching seeds and pulp from fruits or sifting through flour. A colander, on the other hand, is a bowl-shaped strainer that comes with larger, evenly-spaced holes. It is equipped with several “feet” on the base that allow it to stand on its own in the sink unlike a sieve which usually comes with a handle. This one is used mainly to rinse vegetables or a large batch of cooked pasta.

Cutting Board

The cutting board is where most of food prep is performed making it one of the most ubiquitous workhorses of your kitchen. Try to invest in wooden cutting boards as they are generally more friendly to your knives than plastic. Just keep in mind that wooden cutting boards require a good bit of handwashing after use to keep them at their best.