11 Kitchen Must-Haves Every Home Chef Needs to Make 5-Star Meals

Bright kitchen with white cabinetry

CRIS NOLASCO FOR HOMEPOLISH; DESIGN: ORLANDO SORIA

It doesn't matter what size it is, how on-trend it is, or whether you cook in it that often, the kitchen holds a (very) special place in all of our hearts. Even when we're not cooking something mouthwatering, we just love to hang out there. Who doesn't often find themselves standing at the open pantry staring aimlessly or leaning on the fridge door wondering what your next food move will be? What can we say—it's our happy place.

And this obsession runs from the food we make to the utensils we need to create it. It's gotten to the point where our drawers and cupboards are overflowing with the latest tools and gadgets. So it's high time we streamlined and took it back to the bare essentials. To kick us off, we asked Amanda Haas to share her kitchen must-haves every foodie needs to create five-star meals at home.

Meet the Expert

Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, Traeger Grills Pro Team Member, a Whole Foods Market Culinary Ambassador, and a consultant for Brava ovens and other start-up food brands. Haas has also served as Williams-Sonoma's test kitchen director.

Get ready to toss those things you really don't need and make sure you have everything you do need to make next-level meals.

01 of 11

Quality Knives

Williams Sonoma Shun Premier Chef's Knife
Williams Sonoma Shun Premier Chef's Knife $225 $165
Shop

"You don't need many, but high-quality knives will change your life. I stick to an 8-inch chef’s, a Santoku for veg prep, a four-inch paring knife, and a serrated knife for bread. I'm currently obsessed with my Shun knife for veg prep and love my Zwilling set in white oak because they're functional and look great in my kitchen. If you're going to buy good knives, make sure you buy a sharpening steel and learn how to use it so you keep them in good shape."

02 of 11

Sturdy Cutting Board

Williams-Sonoma Edge-Grain Cutting Board
Williams-Sonoma Edge-Grain Cutting Board, Small to Large $70 – $130
Shop

"I love Williams-Sonoma's maple cutting boards. If you prefer something heavy that you leave out, our thin Epicurean boards are great for easy movement around the kitchen. Both types are easy on your knives, keeping them sharper longer."  

03 of 11

Whisk

Williams-Sonoma French Whisk
Williams Sonoma French Whisk, Small or Large $30 – $35
Shop

"Essential for vinaigrettes, whipping cream, making sauces, etc," Haas explains.

04 of 11

Tongs

Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen Stainless-Steel Tongs
Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen Stainless-Steel Tongs $13 – $26
Shop

"I use our Open Kitchen stainless steel tongs for everything. In my opinion, they're perfect," Haas says.

05 of 11

Reliable Spatula

Williams-Sonoma Fish Spatula
Williams Sonoma Stainless Steel Fish Spatula $42
Shop

"I'm obsessed with the Williams-Sonoma fish spatula. Not only is it thin enough to flip fragile foods like fish, but it's sturdy enough to flip pancakes and pretty much everything else. It's the only spatula I'll ever need."

06 of 11

Dutch Oven

Le Creuset round dutch oven
Le Creuset Signature Cast-Iron Round Dutch Oven $160 – $445
Shop

"I've had my Le Creuset Dutch oven for 20 years, and it functions as my slow cooker, my braiser, my big-batch pasta saucepot, and even my pot for boiling pasta or potatoes. Buy your favorite color. Use it forever and ever," Haas says.

07 of 11

10- and 12-Inch Nonstick Skillets

Ceramic nonstick fry pan with lid
Williams Sonoma Professional Nonstick Ceramic Fry Pan With Lid, 10" $90
Shop

"These can be used for everyday cooking. I love the Williams-Sonoma Scanpan line because they're chemical-free and they're awesome. Food browns nicely in them, yet they're a snap to clean," Haas says.

08 of 11

Measuring Spoons and Cups

Williams-Sonoma Odd-Sized Nesting Measuring Spoons
Williams Sonoma Odd-Sized Nesting Measuring Spoons $17
Shop

"We designed a set of measuring spoons and cups that nest together, so you save space in your drawer and have everything you need in one place," Haas says.

09 of 11

Multi-Purpose Nesting Bowls

Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls
Williams Sonoma Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls $9 – $100
Shop

"We sell the best nesting bowls for mixing, serving salads, etc., because they are deep enough to hold a ton."

10 of 11

Food Processor

Breville Sous Chef(TM) Food Processor
Breville Sous Chef(TM) Food Processor $30
Shop

"Everyone knows I'm #brevilleobsessed, and its food processor is brilliant! Use it once and you'll never go back," Haas says.

11 of 11

Powerful Blender

Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender
Vitamix E310 Explorian Blender $350
Shop

"Vitamix continues to reign supreme with its powerful blenders. I use mine to make everything, including smoothies, soups, chimichurri, pestos, and almond milk," Haas shares.

Related Stories