Learn how to stock your kitchen with all the best meal prep tools. The right tools will make your meal prep easier, faster, and better. Let’s get to it.
Tools for Meal Prep Prep
First up, all the preparation tools.
You don’t just want any cutting board. You want a big, high-quality one. Seriously, get the largest cutting board you can afford and store.
Wooden cutting boards are way better than plastic ones because they won’t dull your knives. However, they need to be cleaned properly because they’re porous (so bacteria can seep into them if you don’t wash them well).
When it comes to cutting boards for meal prepping bigger is better. You’re going to do a lot of cutting, chopping, peeling, washing, and so on. A bigger cutting board will give you more room to do all of this. Ultimately, it will make your prep days a lot easier!
There are hundreds of cutting boards on the market! Check out these two great options:
The Thomas Keller Walnut Cutting Board is huge (16×22″), beautiful, handcrafted, and expensive.
The Sonder Los Angeles Teak Cutting Board is large (18×14″), gorgeous, reversible, and affordable.
Think of how often you use your knives. A quality knife is going to be sharper which (contrary to what you might think) is safer. A sharper knife will provide more control leading to fewer slips (and fewer injuries). You’ll get better cuts which makes for a better kitchen experience.
I’m all for saving money (and am an expert thrifter) but there are things that are worth paying more for and kitchen knives are near the top of the list. But, quality knives are expensive.
If you can’t afford a whole set at once (I sure couldn’t), start by buying a chef’s knife. Choose a timeless pattern so that it’ll be easy for you to buy one new knife at a time.
Knives are one thing I’d suggest you buy in a store. Different people prefer different weights in their hand and different sizes, different handle forms, etc., You’ll really benefit from actually handling and feeling the knife set. If you want to shop online, check out this set or single chef’s knife option.
The Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Forged Block Set is a beautiful set. It comes with 6 knives and a stunning stand at a reasonable price.
The Mercer Culinary M23510 Renaissance 8-Inch Forged Chef’s Knife is a classic chef’s knife that would make a great first purchase.
The most accurate way to measure is often by weight. Not only is it accurate, it’s a lot faster and easier to pour items onto a scale than it is to measure.
Now, you’ll still need measuring cups and spoons (more on that later) but a kitchen scale is an item that you don’t know how much you need until you need it.
Kitchen scales are typically inexpensive. You’ll want to decide how much weight it needs to hold and if you want one that comes with a bowl or not. Check out one of these great options:
This Kitchen Scale with Removable Bowl has a 12 lb (5.5 kg) capacity and can measure oz, lb, lb:oz, g, and ml.
This Digital Kitchen Scale has a 33 lb (15 kg) capacity and can measure lb, oz, kg, g, and ml.
A citrus reamer is the best way to get the most juice out of any citrus. Cut your citurs in half, shove the reamer in, twist it around, strain the juices, and voila! A huge amount of citrus juice!
The 4 in 1 Citrus Tool has a reamer, zester, grater, and sharp knife for peeling. It’s the complete package at an affordable price.
This Handheld Citrus Melamine is a small but efficient (and comfortable to held) reamer. Ideal for kiwi and limes but works for larger fruits, too!
I didn’t know how useful kitchen shears would be until I bought a pair. I’m not talking general scissors that you store in the kitchen, I mean a pair for food.
Yes, you can cut food and once you start you’ll regret all the time spent using a knife (or pizza wheel).
These Multipurpose Kitchen Shears are an excellent cutting tool. They also come with several other features like a bottle opener, nut cracker, peeler, and more.
The Fiskars Non-scratch Kitchen Shears are flat on the bottom to make cutting objects directly on pans easier. Don’t worry, they’re coated so they won’t damage your pans!
A Food Processor
A good food processor will revolutionize your kitchen. It’s really a versatile (and inexpensive) tool. They come in a variety of sizes so be sure to pick them one that will fit the correct amount of food for you.
I have two food processors: a small one (perfect for salsa, guac, dips, pesto, and more) and a medium one which I use for everything else.
The Shardor 2.1-cup Food Processor is perfect for those small batches of food (like pesto and salsa).
The Breville 16-cup Food Processor is a beauty. It’s got a heavy duty motor to match it’s huge size. No burnout worries here!
Put your food processor to good use with when you shred the broccoli and kale in my Brussels Salad Recipe.
Mixing Bowls with Lids
When it comes to mixing bowls there’s a lot of variety. You’re going to need a few different sizes.
I highly, highly recommend you buy ones with lids. If your mixing bowl has a lid, you can use it as storage, you can chill ingredients in the fridge, you can premix some stuff and keep it until tomorrow, and so on. Without a lid you’d be transferring food to another dish (who needs more dirty dishes) or pulling out the food wrap (hopefully reusable, which I’ll recommend to you later).
I also think mixing bowls are best with a silicone bottom. This keeps them from moving and slipping while you’re using them.
This Rorence Mixing Bowls Set of 3 has all the features you want in mixing bowls: lids, pouring spouts, handles, non-slip silicone base. They’re also dishwasher safe.
The Umiten Mixing Bowls Set of 4 is an affordable set of basic mixing bowls. You get four bowls with lids and non-slip silicone bases.
Measuring Cups & Spoons
Every kitchen needs liquid measuring cups, dry measuring cups, and spoons.
You’ll never regret purchasing dry measuring cups that come in at least 6 sizes (1 cup, 3/4 cup, 2/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/4 cup) but 7 or 8 sizes is even better (1/8 cup, 1/16 cup).
Having at least 2 liquid measuring cups is useful – one big and one small.
When it comes to spoons, consider what type of container you’ll be scooping out of. It’s often possible to level spoons as you pull them out of containers but deep spoons don’t always fit.
The OXO Liquid Measuring Cup Set of 3 is a great choice. They have an angled surface to let you read measurements from above!
These Measuring Cups & Spoons are great. There are 8 cup sizes (which is so handy) and there are 7 spoon sizes (plus each spoon has a deep and a narrow option).
Weekly Meal Planner
The best tool to help you meal prep is a plan. Get yourself a weekly meal planner journal and plan out everything you need to do beforehand. From recipes, to shopping lists, to what you’ll eat every day, a weekly meal planner will help.
This is a 13-week combination food log & meal planner.
This is a 1-year meal planner & grocery list (2 pages per week).
Tools for Meal Prep Cooking
Now we’re going to look at the best tools for cooking.
You probably know this as the Instant Pot (which is a brand name). The Instant Pot is the most popular and well known multicooker but it is available in other brands.
Not all multicookers offer the same things. They also come in different sizes. Choose the features and size that will suit your household best!
The 11-in-1 Instant Pot does 11 different things: pressure cooks, sautes, steams, slow cooks, sous vides, warms, air fries, roasts, bakes, broils, and dehydrates.
The 7-in-1 Instant Pot does 7 different things: pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, saute pan, food warmer, and yogurt maker.
Put your multicooker to good use with these 27+ Instant Pot Recipes.
AKA the Crockpot. If you have a multicooker (mentioned above), you definitely do not need a slow cooker in the same size because your multicooker is going to have a slowcooking feature.
However, you might want a slow cooker in a different size. I used to have 3 slow cookers (small, medium, and large). When I got an instant pot, I donated my medium slow cooker (because it’s about the same size). Not too long ago I also parted with my large slow cooker because I only used it once or twice a year.
So I have a small slow cooker and a medium instant pot. I use both of them pretty regularly. If one size will fit all your needs, go with the multicooker. If you need multiple sizes, get one of each.
The Elite Gourmet Slow Cooker is 3 Quarts. It is not digital or programmable.
The Hamilton Beach Digital Programmable Slow Cooker is 6 Quarts.
The Elite Gourmet Digital Programmable Slow Cooker is 8.5 Quarts.
Put your slow cooker to good use with these 13+ Keto Crockpot Recipes.
It’s time to think about what goes into the oven: bakeware!
What is bakeware? It’s your muffin tins, baking sheets, loaf pans, square pans, round pans, etc.,
Everyone needs baking sheets (I have four and regularly consider buying more). But you might not need every piece of bakeware. I don’t think I have any round pans… but you might like to make round cakes or whatever. Buy a set or just grab the pieces you need.
The Farberware Nonstick Bakeware Set comes with everything you need (and maybe some extras) to stock your kitchen.
The Good Cook Set Of 3 Non-Stick Cookie Sheet is a great buy because trust me you’re going to need more than one baking sheet.
Roasting Pans & Casserole Dishes
More stuff to go in the oven! I often use glass casserole dishes instead of the more traditional bakeware above. Either will do so choose whichever you prefer.
A roasting pan is essential and you should definitely get one with a rack. It won’t go to waste!
The Cuisinart Pro 16-Inch Roaster with Rack is a top of the line roasting pan with an affordable price-tag.
The Pyrex Deep Baking Dish Set comes with 3 dishes & lids. They’re deep so you can make whatever recipe you waant in them.
I love these Mini Casserole Dishes with Lids. They’re so fun and great for single-serving size dishes!
Silicone Baking Mats & Cups
Stop wasting your money on parchment, foil, and other “liners” and instead invest in some silicone baking mats and cups.
They’re washable, reusable, and often contain extra bonuses (like sizing and shaping info).
These Silicone Baking Mats (Set of 3) have measurements to help guide you for sizing and shaping cookies, pastry, dough, and more.
The Freshware Silicone Baking Cups are available in standard or large size. They don’t even need a muffin pan, they’ll stand on a baking sheet.
Pots & Pans
A good set of pots and pans will make cooking and cleaning up easier.
A cast iron skillet is a great tool for browning and searing. It can also go into the oven (but be careful not to burn yourself).
The Starfrit Rock 10 Piece Cookware Set is an affordable set that’s non-stick and scratch resistant.
The Uno Casa Cast Iron Skillet Set comes with 2 pre-seasoned skillets (10-inch and 12-inch) and 2 silicone handle covers.
Tools for Meal Prep Storage
And finally, tools for storing all your meals and prepped ingredients.
Glass Storage Containers
Glass is way better than plastic. It’s more durable, won’t contain toxic chemicals, can handle more temperatures, and won’t lose it’s shape.
Make sure you get enough storage containers for everything: meals, ingredients, leftovers, sauces, etc.,
The Bayco 9 Pack of Glass Meal Prep Containers has 3 different styles for conveniently storing your premade meals.
Wide Mouth Mason Jars are useful for meal prep, storage, canning, and much more.
This Dry Food Storage Container Set is stylish and comes with an easy store stand.
You’re going to need some food wrap but the plastic kind is so bad for the environment. Grab yourself some reusable food wrap instead!
The HUNNYBEE Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap Set has 7 pieces (3 sizes) of reusable food wrap.
Last but not least, food bags. Skip the one-use and go for reusable!
These Reusable Food Storage Bags come in 3 sizes. They’re durable and transparent but must be hand washed.
The Best Meal Plan Tools!
There’s a lot of tools for great meal prep and you probably have some of them already. You don’t have to buy everything all at once, get what you can afford.
Don’t forget to keep your eye out for used and sale items!
What do you think is the most important meal prep tool? Share it in the comments!
Check out one of my popular meal plans next:
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