The Best Utensil Sets for Any Kitchen Task
The types of kitchen utensils you have can be a surprising variable in how pleasurable and easy a cooking experience can be. Having utensils that don't work for you is almost like wearing shoes a size too small; you can walk in them, but it's not fun. Like flatware sets, they're something you'll use every day, so it's vital that they suit your specific preferences and needs.
Whether you're looking to overhaul your utensil drawer, add a few more tools, or even pick out a set for your first kitchen, there's a utensil set for you on this list. We scoured the internet to find the best picks for every need, whether you're looking to save some cash or find the perfect grilling utensils. Kenzo Kishita, a retired chef and founder of Blades Power, a knife buying guide site, says, "A good kitchen utensil set for home cooks has to be durable, have a range of sizes, and be easy to clean. I like sets that come with a variety of spoons, spatulas, and whisks. I also look for sets that are dishwasher safe and have non-slip handles. But the most important thing is that the utensils are comfortable in your hand and easy to grip." After assessing each set for its size, material, cost, and value, we landed on the OXO Good Grips 15-Piece Everyday Kitchen Utensil Set as our favorite. Below, you'll find the best pick for your cooking needs.
- Best Overall: OXO Good Grips 15-Piece Everyday Kitchen Utensil Set
- Best Budget: Glad Cooking Kitchen Utensils Set
- Best for Stainless Steel: OXO Steel 15 Piece Utensil Set
- Best Silicone: Misen Complete Prep Tool Set
- Best Wooden: q.b. Cucina Olive Wood Utensil Set
- Best for Grilling: Cuisinart 20-Piece Deluxe Grill Set
- Best Colorful: GIR 5 Piece Ultimate Tool Set
Best Overall: OXO Good Grips 15-Piece Everyday Kitchen Utensil Set
Best Budget: Glad Cooking Kitchen Utensils Set
Best for Stainless Steel: OXO Steel 15 Piece Utensil Set
Best Silicone: Misen Complete Prep Tool Set
Best Wooden: q.b. cucina Olive Wood Utensil Set
Best for Grilling: Cuisinart 20-Piece Deluxe Grill Set
Best Colorful: GIR 5 Piece Ultimate Tool Set
If you're looking for a high-quality utensil set with a wide variety, check out our "Best Overall" pick, OXO Good Grips 15-Piece Everyday Kitchen Utensil Set. It's got everything you need, plus a few things you didn't even know you needed from a brand that's been a favorite in kitchen wares for decades. If Instagram-worthy kitchen aesthetic is the name of the game for you, look no further than our "Best Colorful," the GIR 5 Piece Ultimate Tool Set for #kitchengoals.
How to Pick the Right Utensil Set
Ease of use
If you're going to invest in a new utensil set, you obviously want it to be easy to use. It's important that the fish spatula is actually pliable enough to get under that finicky fish skin, and the grill fork can stab into the meat well. It's also important to know how the utensils will feel in your hand. If you have a hard time gripping steel, then something without a no-slip handle will probably be harder to use.
What your tools are made of is one of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a utensil set. Stainless steel is durable but will scratch non-stick and enameled cookware. This can be dangerous in the long run and can ruin your pans, making them unsafe to eat on. Silicone is easy to wash and safe for non-stick but doesn't last as long. If you're going to pick a silicone set, make sure it's full silicone and not mixed materials. Former pastry chef and current founder of Caramel and Cashews, a gluten-free recipe site, Carolyn Truett says, "Look for a set that has a silicone handle too. When the silicone top is attached to a wood handle, the trapped moisture attracts mold." Wooden utensils are beautiful and perfect for some tasks but can't go into the dishwasher and often require more upkeep. Nylon is great for non-stick cookware and is dishwasher safe but has a low heat capacity.
For cooking tasks like grilling, it's essential that your tools can take the heat. While stainless steel utensils have the highest heat resistance, they are also great conductors, so heat is often passed onto the cook. Silicone has a much lower heat capacity and can't be used for high-heat cooking. Wooden and other plastic tools also have lower heat capacities, so for high heat tasks like grilling, searing, or wok cooking, stainless is the way to go.
Ease of cleaning
The easiest way to clean your tools is to just toss them in the dishwasher, but some utensils are handwash only, like our Best Wooden pick q.b. cucina Olive Wood Utensil Set. Silicone and stainless steel can be put in the dishwasher, though it's better to handwash stainless steel if possible.
What comes in a utensil set?
What comes in a utensil set depends greatly on which set you choose. Most contain some sort of stirring or serving spoons. Many also come with tongs, spatulas, whisks, and flippers. Still, a few of the more comprehensive sets include some utensils beyond the everyday use ones like a meat mallet or pizza cutter.
What cannot be used to dry utensils?
If you're hand washing your utensils, air drying is always best. Using a kitchen towel or paper towel can spread bacteria or mildew. Often, this method doesn't fully dry the item, leaving water behind to become unsanitary. If you have dishwasher-safe utensils, letting the dishwasher dry them is a great route. If they're still wet when they come out, just let them air dry on a drying rack or set them on a clean kitchen towel.
What is the most useful utensil?
Which utensil is the most useful depends on your cooking and lifestyle, but to me, it's always tongs. They're like extra-strength heat-proof fingers. You can use tongs to mix and stir, flip, and even anchor food that's too hot to cut. A rubber spatula or flipper might also be most useful depending on what you tend to cook, but just a plain spoon is hard to beat on the practicality scale. Many meals and kitchen tasks can be completed with just one good spoon.
How many utensils do I need?
Most cooks can probably get by with just four or five solid utensils, but adding even just a few more can make many tasks much easier. Sure, you could cut a pizza with a chef's knife but using a pizza cutter, a tool made for that specific task, generally goes much more smoothly. Take the advice of registered dietitian from Frugal Minimalist Kitchen, Bril Bell, "Look for a utensil set with the type of utensils you actually use. Some sets come with multiple options that are very similar to each other, like multiple spatulas, or they come with out-of-the-ordinary versions of utensils. Either way, if you're not going to use all of the pieces in the set, you're wasting money and adding unnecessary clutter to your kitchen."
Why Take Our Word for It?
Nick DeSimone researched and wrote this list. They have nearly a decade of experience in professional restaurant environments — not to mention years of home cooking experience. Nick loves to collect tools and utensils for their knife roll used at the restaurant so they've tried out (nearly) everything on the market. Since Nick has trial-tested many different types and brands of utensils for work, they know what works at home as well.