Essential Tools for Chopping, Stirring, and Mixing


There are too many great things to mention in one post so we may dig in deeper later on, but here are my key tools for chopping, stirring, and mixing up kitchen creations.


  • A great cutting board – a heavy one with grippers on the bottom. You’ll think, when at the store, that it will be awesome to purchase a cutting board that you can just flip over when dirty and cut on both sides. And sure, maybe that’s a benefit sometimes. But if you’re only going to purchase one, be sure to purchase one that can handle whatever you throw at it.
  • One big knife for chopping stuff.
  • One small knife (called a paring knife but I have no idea why!).
  • One cerated knife for chopping tomatoes and slicing bread – but sometimes I just use a cheap steak knife. It does okay too.

Stirring and Mixing:

  • A plastic spatula – my favorite one is a Giada special from Target, but as long as the plastic is pretty sturdy, it will be fine.
  • Wooden spoons – I like the 3-piece set from Pampered Chef.
  • NOT a whisk – I HATE whisks and I try to never use them. I’ll grab one and start using it, then get all kinds of weird lumps inside and I just really don’t enjoy them. I have one but do almost everything that calls for a whisk with a regular old fork.

Getting Hard-core

  • My Kitchen-Aid stand mixer is the greatest item I own, hands-down. I love it. I have the cherry red one and I received it as a gift from my bridesmaids at my wedding. It can do anything. You don’t need one if you’re just learning to cook, and they are expensive, but they are SO worth the money.

On the Fence

  • Blender – I would love a Vitamix but I have a $24 special from Target. The blender is great for smoothies and beverages, but also does a fantastic job with pancake batters. It’s a useful thing to have in the cabinet but it does take up a lot of space, so I’m not sure if I’d call it an essential or not.
  • My Kitchen-Aid food processor is wonderful. When you are ready, the food processor will help you grate, slice, and chop faster and more consistently. It makes great almond flour from raw almonds and pie crust comes together in a flash. However, a lot of things the food processor does can be done in the stand mixer too, so I’m not sure if I would consider it an essential. However, I use mine all the time and am so happy to have it.

What’s missing?  Are you a whisk-user or a whisk-hater? 

This post is number 9 of my #write31days project 31 Days in the Pink-Briefcase Kitchen.  You can read yesterday’s post here, and follow along with the series each day in October.  An archive of posts is available here, or just click on that big button on the right sidebar. 



  1. Jamie Wright Bagley

    I tolerate whisks. Mostly because sometimes it’s fun to imagine I’m on a cooking show and it’s classier than a fork. ;)

  2. coffeesnob318

    I need a whisk for gravy. The fork just won’t do. But yeah – flat is the way to go.

    I miss my food processor. It died, and so many things take financial priority over replacing it. I have a small, insufficient one.

  3. Nikki

    Ugh, whisks! I almost never use mine. I have a hand held electric mixer that I love, and it was like a 10th the investment of the stand mixer (but one day, when I bake more and have a bigger kitchen). I do love my pampered chef mix and scrape for the plastic spatula. Also, I’m loving the series!

  4. Gay B.

    Add a microplane rasp/grater. You can zest anything, make bread crumbs, mince garlic, and grate cheese. Not quite chopping, stirring, and mixing…

  5. Meagan

    Ooh, microplane is a good one! The paring knife is called that because its original intention was for paring – “to trim something by cutting away its outer edges” (from Google). :-)

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