As was previously mentioned, it is important to have the proper cooking tools to use with your cookware. In addition, there are other basic tools which will make cooking and baking easier.
Offset: Heat-proof silicone spatulas or plastic spatulas are safe to use when cooking in nonstick pots and pans. Metal offset spatulas are used on scratch-resistant pans and for grilling.
Straight: Silicone or plastic spatulas are used for folding cake batters and for transferring them from bowl to baking pan.
Wedge-shaped: Typically metal or stainless; used for serving pie and cake.
Tongs: Available in a variety of lengths, they are used for turning meat when browning or grilling, removing vegetables from pans, and for serving pasta.
Wooden spoons: Versatile for stirring, mixing and cooking, it is best to have several on hand. They are a low cost item and should be replaced once a year.
Whisks: Use a stainless steel whisk for making dressings and sauces, and stirring dry ingredients.
Vegetable peeler: Choose one that is “U-shaped” and has a steel blade for peeling vegetables and fruit.
Cutting boards: It is best to use different cutting boards for raw meat and poultry and raw fruits and vegetables. The USDA recommends nonporous plastic cutting board for cutting raw protein. Wooden boards are best to use for slicing bread, cheese, fruits and vegetables. Glass cutting boards are not recommended as they can dull knife blades.
Micro plane grater: This tool, with its tiny, razor-sharp teeth, is used for removing the zest or outer peel of citrus fruit and for grating hard cheeses, such as Parmesan.
Basting brush: A dishwasher-safe silicone brush makes it easier to apply a glaze or sauce to protein and brush baked goods with melted butter.
Grater: A four-sided box grater or a hand-held grater is used to grate cheese or vegetables.
Citrus press or small juicer: Handy for squeezing juice from lemons and limes.
Thermometer: To check the internal temperature of cooked meats or casseroles, use an instant-read digital thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of meat or the center of a dish near the end of the cooking time; it is never left in during the cooking process.
Colander: A metal or plastic perforated bowl is used to drain pasta and/or vegetables.
Mixing bowls: Glass or metal bowl sets have assorted sized bowls nestled within each other for easy storing.
Dry measuring cups: Usually in sets of 4, these are best used for measuring dry ingredients, such as flour.
Liquid measuring cup: Transparent glass with clearly marked measuring lines and a pouring spout, this is used to measure liquids, such as milk and water. Not recommended for measuring dry ingredients because it is difficult to measure accurately.