Kitchen Essentials


Here are some of my favorite kitchen gadgets and ingredients. Some items are on the pricy side, but I acquired them over many years. Keep in mind that you don’t need to run out and buy everything at once!  I try to check these links periodically but if you notice something not working, leave a comment so I can fix it.

For an extended list of products and cookbooks I use at home, visit my Amazon Store!





  • Plugra European-Style Butter
    It has more fat and makes every thing taste better. Many grocery stores carry it, you just have to look closely.
  • Shallots
    Try swapping out onions with shallots in a recipe. They elevate the flavors and are standard in restaurant cuisine.
  • Vendage Wines
    I always keep 2 bottles of wine in the refrigerator: Vendage Chardonnay and Vendage Cabernet. These are the wines we used at culinary school and I think they do a great job at a reasonable price. I use a wine vacuum seal to keep them fresh until needed. They’re perfect for sauces.
  • Homemade Stock
    It’s not difficult and it will last forever in the freezer. Store-bought stock is really broth, and it’s full of sodium.
  • Cacao Barry Cocoa Powder – Extra Dark
    24% cocoa fat!


  • The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity
    I reach for this this book more than any other cookbook, though it doesn’t actually contain recipes. It includes thousands of ingredients, alphabetized and cross-referenced with with other compatible ingredients. It’s the perfect reference tool for kitchen creativity.
  • The Best New Recipe
    I use this cookbook for reference on a weekly basis.
  • The Perfect Scoop
    I’m a bit of an ice cream addict. This book has some of the most delicious, unique recipes I’ve ever tried. The milk chocolate stout ice cream is worth the price alone.
  • Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating
    This is the book that started me on my food journey. It has fantastic recipes, but it’s mostly an encyclopedia of top quality ingredients. Learn about balsamic vinegars, olive oil, bread, cheese, rice. Read about their regions, how they’re made, which brands to buy. My description cannot properly do this book justice. Just get it. Also, the Zingerman‘s website sells top notch ingredients. I trust their selection of oils and vinegars over anyone else.

  • lisa gusto

    I love this list! The Vitamix blender is on my christmas list!

  • Pingback: Williams-Sonoma Holiday Giveaway | Savory Simple()

  • theveggievore

    Oh my goodness I adore my VitaMix! I have the CIA Professional serious and practically hug it each time I pull it out. :)

  • Christine

    My number 1 kitchen essential is my baking sheet. I know — that sounds simple, but it’s true! You can use it to bake cookies, scones, sponge cake sheets, pizza, veggies… hmm. Actually, I guess having an oven precludes the ability to bake anything, so my number 1 kitchen essential must be an oven!

  • herekarenwine

    homemade stock!!!! <3

  • yumyumyummers

    it’s a three-way tie — wok, immersion/stick blender & pizza stone. i love my stirfry, smoothies and homemade pizza! :)

  • Tutti Dolci (@Tutti_Dolci)

    Nice Vendage mention – my dad is the director of wine making for that brand, so he gave your comment 2 thumbs up! :)

  • marisa rosemellia

    One of my kitchen essentials is a Microplane! I use it so much more than I thought I would.

  • thekalechronicles

    I agree with Marisa — I love my microplane — in fact, I would call it my best “new” tool (meaning something I didn’t grow up using). I love my dough cutter, too: it makes it so much easier to divide yeast doughs without tearing the gluten.

  • Mrs Chow

    My current blender is a cuisinart from the WS outlet. I use it everyday to make a fruit smoothie for breakfast, so I guess it is my favorite/most used kitchen tool. It gets the job done, but I dieeeeee for a vitamix :)

  • Robin Scott

    I love the Pampered Chef garlic press. Press the clove skin on and all!

  • jujuskitchen

    I live in Ann Arbor, Michigan where Zingerman’s is. I have been a loyal customer for years, I have the book you mentioned and I frequently attend their baking classes.

    • Savory Simple

      I’m so jealous! I would love to attend their classes.

  • Maura O’Brien

    Right now, I think my favorite kitchen essential is my All-Clad steamer insert; I’m always draining or rinsing something and it seems to always be in use — lettuce, raspberries, pasta, cooked veggies!

  • CorkAndSpoon

    Oh my goodness, I have the Zingerman’s Guide! I love that thing! The first section I read was on Balsamic Vinegar. After I finished, I immediately went to my pantry to see what I had…good to go with all the right markings and bottle shapes :-) ~Ruth~

    • Savory Simple

      That book seriously changed my life!

  • Stacy

    I can’t live without my cutting board and favorite knives!!

  • Charlie McDonald

    Your blog is amazing :) You must put so much time and energy into it. You must love cooking :)

    • Savory Simple

      How did you guess? :)

  • billkard

    I really enjoyed this article. The information couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. I’ve been searching for a new food processor and
    the stuff I found out will make the decision that much easier. Thanks alot.

    • Savory Simple

      I’m glad it was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Deira

    I’ve heard so many good things about ‘The Flavour Bible’. I guess it’s about time I bought a copy (my go-to kitchen bible is ‘On Food and Cooking’ by Harold McGee. I have a feeling these two would be perfect partners on my book shelf). Thanks for the list, some very useful pointers :)