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Must-Haves Kitchen Essentials that We Never Want to Cook Without

Come to a Crate & Barrel office party, and you’ll see that we take cooking and entertaining very, very seriously. As a team of obsessive home cooks, our goal is finding kitchen essentials that make weeknight dinners and party prep simpler and more fun, while also looking effortlessly impressive. While we are always excited about the hottest new thing, there are some tried-and-true staples that we keep coming back to, whether it’s mixing bowls that double as serving pieces or a cookware set that’s both ultra stylish and easy to clean. Read on for the must-have items we can’t stop gushing about.

#1 | Set of mesh colanders

This stylish duo features fine mesh for efficient washing, while the round shape accommodates various tasks. With extendable handles, these colanders suspend over the sink, keeping your kitchen tidy and stylish. Upgrade your culinary experience with this essential kitchen set.

#2 | Pyrex 20-Piece Glass Food Storage Set

We achieved kitchen cabinet bliss in our own Crate Kitchen by ditching the mismatched food storage containers and switching to this sleek glass set of 10 lidded vessels for under $50. Organization is easy with dishes that are both nestable and stackable. Pyrex glass is oven-, microwave-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe and doesn’t absorb food smells and stains like plastic.

#3 | Square end grain cutting board

With end-grain wood, your knife slices with the grain instead of against it to help preserve both your knife and the board. One reviewer raves, “Love this cutting board we got as a wedding gift 10 years ago. Still in daily use.” Plus, the square shape makes a beautiful display piece for charcuterie or decor as well.

#4 | Microplane grater/zester

Once you’ve experienced the lightest, fluffiest grated parmesan cheese possible, you won’t go back to a regular grater. See why this hand-held zester is found in professional chefs’ knife rolls when you use it to zest citrus, shave chocolate, grate nutmeg and get that pillowy grated cheese for pasta.

#5 | Measuring Spoons, Set of 4

What could be so special about measuring spoons? This stainless steel set is about as close to perfect as we can get: heavy-duty, dishwasher-safe, and–a thoughtful touch– stable bases and curved handle ends that allow them to sit upright on the counter for filling in addition to scooping. Brilliant.

#6 | Molcajete

You haven’t had guacamole until you’ve had it hand-made in a molcajete. The rough surface of the volcanic stone more efficiently grinds and releases flavorful oils from vegetable and spices, giving you bold flavor and the perfect rustic texture. Plus this dish goes straight from kitchen prep to tabletop

#7 | Scrub pads

We have been singing the praises of these reusable scrubbing pads to anyone who will listen. Made from textured cotton, they safely remove grit and mess from most cookware and kitchen surfaces. Most impressively, they clean up in either the dishwasher or the washing machine, saving you from a lifetime of smelly kitchen sponges.

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