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In the Kitchen with Lina: The 5 Top Cooking Tools I Use Every Day

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top kitchen cooking tools include pans

Curious to know my top kitchen cooking tools that I use most often?

Hi all, I’m Lina – Collin’s sidekick who makes all the recipes and crafts here at and now also on our new site,!

I’m lucky enough to have been cooking and sharing recipes here for over four years now, and I often get asked which kitchen items I use the most and feel are worth the investment.

Lena's top kitchen cooking tools include pans, knives, Silpat, mixing bowls, and an air fryer

I love spending time in the kitchen!

I’m not actually professionally trained in the kitchen, but I DO enjoy cooking for my family and also taking yummy food pics! Today I’m sharing some of my favorite must-have items that get lots of use in my kitchen. You may even recognize some as they often appear in my photography when I share recipe ideas.

P.S. It’s was actually tough picking just 5 items to feature, but I honestly asked myself, “What would I be sad to live without?” LOL 

top kitchen cooking tools – Silpat (Photo of Keto Bagels featured HERE)

1.) Silpat Baking Mat

This was a brilliant Christmas gift given to me a few years ago, and I absolutely adore this silicone baking mat! It’s perfect for any type of dough, but it’s especially helpful for stickier types of dough and replaces the need for parchment paper. You can place it on a metal sheet pan, and food NEVER sticks to it while baking. I use my Silpat so often for baking cookies, Fat Head pizza, and even these Keto bagels!

Hip Tip: Consider the AmazonBasics version of this mat. We recently tested it and found it to be a great substitute for the more expensive version.

top kitchen cooking tools – J.A. Henkels Knives

2.) J.A. Henckels Knives

Having a set of good quality sharp knives is a must for any home chef! When I got married about 12 years ago, we used a bunch of gift cards to go in on a nice set of J.A. Henckels knives. I have literally used them every day since, and they’re still going strong! We did have a handle start to separate on one knife 3 years ago, but all I had to do was send it to J.A, Henckels and they sent me back a replacement.

Go HERE to read about this brand’s awesome lifetime warranty!

top kitchen cooking tools – Copper Chef Cookware review (Photo of Broccoli Cheddar Soup Featured HERE

3.) Copper Chef Cookware

I was honestly a little skeptical to try Copper Chef Cookware as some reviews are mixed online, but it turns out that I LOVE this cookware! It’s non-stick, and without the awful coating that quickly flakes off of most non-stick pans. I like that it’s lightweight, can be thrown in the dishwasher, and cleans up easily. I have a few pieces, like this 9.5 inch set, but find myself grabbing the 11 inch skillet the most. It still looks brand new after 6 months of constant use!

top kitchen cooking tools – batter mixing bowls (Photo of Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert Featured HERE)

4.) Glass Batter Bowl with Spout

I use my large 8-cup batter bowl so much, and it’s by far my favorite all-purpose mixing bowl! I like that it’s glass so I can easily microwave recipes when needed, and it’s super convenient to pour using a handle. I know it’s funny to have a favorite item that’s so simple, but I misplaced it for a few weeks after we remodeled the kitchen, and I felt lost without it! HA!

top kitchen cooking tools – air fryer and a plate of chicken wings (Photo of Air Fryer Chicken Wings featured HERE)

5.) Air Fryer

The air fryer is my absolute favorite kitchen appliance right now because it’s so convenient! I love how quickly and easily it gives food a crispy and delicious texture, and it’s fun to cook with!  I use it so often to make fast & simple chicken wings, vegetable side dishes, donuts, bacon, and so much more. I actually talk in detail about the reasons why I love air fryer cooking HERE!

I personally own and LOVE the 3.4-quart Power XL as well as the 6-quart Nuwave air fryer.

Do you have a favorite kitchen tool you use every day? Share with us in the comments!

Written by Lina for Hip2Save. Lina is a proud mom of 2 small kids who loves photography, all holidays, cooking, thrift store makeovers, bargain shopping, and DIY makeovers. Her goal is to create a beautiful life and stylish home on a dime! Check out all of Lina’s DIY/CRAFTS and RECIPES created just for Hip2Save.

Join The Discussion

Comments 74

  1. ClaireM

    Thanks! How do you clean/wash the silpat mat? Is it dishwasher safe?

    • Lina D

      It is dishwasher safe but kinda awkward in my opinion to wash in there, so I just use soap and water to quickly hand wash. Since it’s non stick, it’s easy to clean. Hope that helps!

      • Katie

        I thought you were never supposed to use soap on a silpat.

        • Lina D

          A weak solution of detergent or soap may be used if needed. —from manufacturer.

    • LaToya

      I put mine in the dishwasher …. I just stand them up in between plates … no issues …. so easy to use and clean.

  2. Nicole

    I’ve been skeptical about the copper pans. It seems like I have to replace my nonstick pans every year or two because they dont hold up over time (and I only hand wash them!). I’ve read lots of reviews of people loving the copper pans, but this is the first review I’ve seen after months of normal use. I might finally bite the bullet and try them out!

    • Breanna

      I love my cast iron pans. They never stick and they are so many varieties. They also last forever and never need to be replaced

      • Lina D

        I do too. I love my cast iron.

        My kids are able to easily wash and dry the copper since it’s lightweight. That’s a bonus! Ha! 🎉

      • Raquel

        Breanna, I agree with you. I have 3 cast iron pans. I had to learn how to properly take care of them ( i threw 2 out because i didn’t know what I was doing) but once I learned how to “season” them, they are wonderful! Everything slides right off and most of them time you can just wipe them clean with hot water (no soap) and a papertowel.

        • jlgclassof2000

          I bought a cast iron pan to make yams & the more I tried to clean it afterwards, the more disasterous & hopeless it became! I had no choice but to throw it away. I could’ve sworn I read & followed the instructions, but something definitely went terribly wrong.

      • Jen D

        I can never get the seasoning to stay on my cast iron pan. It always ends up rusting and things stick, I’ve even re seasoned it multiple times following tutorials and same thing. It’s so annoying. I don’t ever use soap on it, I rinse and gently scrub with a dish wand using water while it’s still hot after each use. I live in AZ so there’s about 0% humidity in the air here. I can’t seem to figure out what I’m doing wrong.

    • katie

      They are totally worth it! I was the same way and skeptical and finally bought and it has been the best decision ever! They have held up so well. And I use them everyother day to every day! Best money ive ever spent..,I cook everything now in them!

      • Lina D

        That’s fun to hear Katie! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lina D

      I was too skeptical, and then my mom is a big fan and I saw her pans. I’d just try one and see if you like it. I like the convenience of lightweight and without that awful black non stick coating!

    • Sarah-Rene

      We have Anolon and I love it! They’re expensive but it’s worth it.

      • Lina D

        Oh nice – I’ll have to check that out!

    • Jodi P

      I only use non-stick for eggs and pancakes, or other fragile foods on low heat. I love the Rachel Ray skillets. Otherwise I use stainless steel.

      • Lina D

        Perfect – thanks for sharing!

      • Sue

        You can use stainless steel for non stick too. Just heat the pan prior to using any non stick sprays or oils. Once hot THEN add it.

  3. Tara Painter

    I am a fan of the anchor hocking batter bowl too!!
    I’d REALLY love to know where you found the smaller (matching!) 1 qt version that is in your second photograph, I’d really like to have that size as well!

    • Lina D

      So that one is my fav too! My mother in law found it for me at Goodwill! LOL It’s a Pampered Chef brand —>

      • CMorg

        Pampered chef batter bowl gets loved at my home …love it.

  4. lily

    I love this post…OMG …just making my life easier !!!!!!…Honest reviews

    • Lina D

      Oh thanks so much for reading! ❤️

  5. 50ShadesofLipstick

    I LOVE my Shun Classic 8 inch Chef’s knife…Japanese knives are totally unparalleled when it comes to sharpness. 7 years of daily use and it’s still every bit as sharp as day one! Also love my KitchenAid stand mixer…making fresh whipped cream is a breeze in that thing so I haven’t bought Cool Whip in nearly a decade lol.

    • Lina D

      Thanks for sharing!

  6. LC

    I love the Copper Chef pans too! So easy to clean up!

  7. Ann

    Love this post. Thank you. Love copper Chef, also love Curtis stone cookware from hsn. Never scratches.

    • Lina D

      Oh nice! Thanks for sharing 👍

  8. Regina

    I am in the process of switching to stainless steel pots & pans. What’s the difference between the copper?

    • Lina D

      I think the main difference is the coating. The copper chef has this “non-stick coating is PTFE and PFOA free and won’t chip, peel, or flake into your food.”
      It’s unlike the traditional black coating on non-stick pans that comes off easily – in my opinion.
      I don’t think stainless has a coating at all, which is why you add butter/oil. Hope that helps.

    • Diane

      I bought my first stainless steel pots and pans when I moved into my first apartment as a college student and I still use them every day after 44 years. I even let my husband and 3 kids use them.

  9. mckeeversmom

    Hi Lina,

    I’m wondering if you use metal spoons and spatulas with the copper cookware. I hate always looking for silicone ones in the drawer when I’m cooking and want to give something a quick stir!

    • Lina D

      Oh ya I do use silicone cooking tools when possible. I do have a metal ladle for soup I should replace, but I try to grab silicone if possible to prevent scratches. Hope that helps

    • spi_cy13

      I have two of the Copper Chef cookware pans. I would advise you to NOT use metal spoons and spatulas in these pans. It can damage the copper lining in the pan itself. Stick with silicone and/or wooden cooking utensils.

      • Lina D

        Yes agree! Thanks for sharing.

        • mckeeversmom

          Thank you for the feedback!

  10. Kristina

    This is my kind of post! One year I made a wish list on Amazon with lots of kitchen gadgets and cookbooks so my husband could pick some things out to get me for my birthday. He surprised me and bought me everything on the list!

    I bake with honey and peanut butter a lot and the OXO Good Grips 2 Cup Adjustable Measuring Cup is fantastic. Everything makes it into the mixing bowl, there’s no waste with this cup!!

    • Lina D

      That’s an awesome idea to make a wish list! I’ll have to check out that measuring cup! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Sushi

    Thank you for the post. I just ordered your fav air fryer. Cooking wings in the oven takes too long and my kale chips never taste crispy enough.

    • Lina D

      I agree! I love cooking both those foods in the air fryer ❤️

  12. Amber

    I bought the silicone baking mats at Costco a couple of years ago; they were 3 in a pack and they are so worth it! I used to use parchment paper all the time. Also, the most useful information here is that my Henckels knives have a lifetime warranty – I didn’t know that and we have had ours for 9 years and the handles are separating!! So glad I can call them and hopefully have them replaced!!

    • Erin

      Wow! I have Henckels for star knives that are more than twenty years old. No problems with them! I’d forgotten that they have a warranty!

  13. Rachael

    I love my Kitchen Aid mixer. I use it for EVERYTHING from shredding chicken to making cakes. It was the best gift I have ever received.

    • Lina D

      THANKS for sharing!

  14. sam

    One of my favorite kitchen tools is herb scissors. They sell several different brands on Amazon. I use them all of the time to add fresh herbs to meals…super easy!

  15. Rainbow

    Thank you Lina for this post. Love reading posts like this 🙂
    please comment if used.

    • Lina D

      Thanks Rainbow!

  16. Christine

    I LOVE those glass mixing bowls. The bowls from Pampered Chef come with lids, which makes them even more versatile.

    I love my Wustof 9″ hollow edge Santoku. I bought a World Market serrated bread knife several years ago that was very affordable and it’s the workhorse in my kitchen for cutting into things like citrus and vegetables.

    I also love my cast iron pans — I ditched the nonstick pans a few months ago (they were worn out anyway). I also love the Anchor Hocking working glasses (World Market sells them, among other places) because they make lids for them too. They are great for storage too.

    I also cannot live without my Bialetti cold brew maker. I love going out for coffee, but my cold brew gives coffee shops a run for their money!

    I also love the silicone spatulas for cooking, reusable straws (I have plastic and recently bought a package of stainless steel straws that you guys posted here), and stainless steel drinking cups — I’ve also ditched the plastic drinkware at home, too.

    Lina: I’d love to see an analysis/comparison on those air fryers. It’s hard to tell how big they are and the cooking capacity. Maybe you guys already did one of these? But I’d like to acquire one and I’ve always thought that bigger is better when it comes to stuff like this.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Lina D

      Great ideas and thanks for the air fryer suggestion!

  17. Amber

    I have the same power XL fryer as you also. The biggest problem I have with it is having to open it to check food and the plastic expanding then I can’t get it to shut again to cook. Anyone else haven’t this problem???Tips on how to solve this?

  18. alliekat5656

    What, Lina, no Instant Pot? 😊 I love mine. I use it at least once a week. I can’t get on the air fryer band wagon yet. I’m sure they are awesome, but I like to batch cook and worry these fryers won’t make enough for leftovers.

  19. Olivia

    I absolutely LOVE my Wusthof knives. I have a huge set, and use them all the time. I agree- the hollow edge santoku is awesome! I have a 5” right now, but want a 7” as well. I love to chop with big knives. I am guessing Shun are super sharp as well, but I detest the way they feel in my hands, so I went with Wusthof Classic. I also love my AllClad pots and pans. I am a definite kitchen snob, and always get kitchen stuff as my Christmas and bday gifts so that I have an excuse to get the expensive stuff. 😂

    • Lina D

      Awesome – thanks for sharing!

  20. Nicole S.

    I love the big measuring cup and mine has a lid and it is my go to for a bowl. I love my Rema baking pans which is like the airbake as you never have to worry about burnt cookies or rolls or anything else. I have collected the muffins pans, and loaf pans and even the toaster oven cookie sheet off of ebay as Rema went out of business. I have the 13 x9 cake pan which I dearly love and even the pizza pans and cookie sheets. Target sells the cookie sheets and so does bed bath and beyond under the airbake brand and online you can get the 13 x 9 you can get the cake pan from Bed bath & beyond. I also love my instant pot, microwave and my kitchenaid mixer and my Cuisinart 4 cup food chopper and my kitchenaid pots and pans.

    • Lina D

      Wow-those all sound great! Thanks for sharing ❤️

  21. Janeen

    What a great post (and comments)! I love seeing your recipe posts and this gives me ideas in case I ever decide to become competent in the kitchen! Lol.

    • Lina D

      Aw thanks Janeen for the sweet comment!

  22. Carina

    My favs are my cusinart kitchen machine, my Japanese knives, my omega juicer, stainless steel and iron pans, and stainless steel cups, straws etc.

    • Lina D

      Love stainless cups too! ❤️ thanks for sharing!

  23. spi_cy13

    Hi Lina!
    Thanks for this post! 🙂 I have two questions for you: Which model of J.A. Henckel knives do you have? From Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional “S” Knives to J.A. Henckels International Fine Edge Synergy Knives, it’s difficult to differentiate them. I also see the brands Zwilling J.A. Henckel and J.A. Henckel International on the Henckel website too. Do you know the difference between them? Please help!

    • Lina D

      So mine are so old I’m not exactly sure the exact model. They say Zwilling JA Henkels Germany on them – professional “s” – Sorry I hope that helps!

  24. jlgclassof2000

    My must have #1 tool is my toaster oven (pretty sure it’s convection, but nothing too fancy…it was around $50)! Always has been #1, always will be. I cook lots of frozen foods in it, plus it’s hard to eat an untoasted sandwich once you’ve had a toasted one! And you won’t ever want microwaved leftover pizza once you’ve tried heating it in the toaster oven instead! I’m a big breakfast person, so I use it a lot for bagels, poptarts, french toast sticks, cinnamon rolls, & biscuits.

    • Lina D

      Nice! Thanks for sharing 🤗

  25. Kristine Alexander

    Where did you purchase your favorite kitchen tools?

    • Lina D

      Some have been gifts, cooper chef from Kohl’s, knives Bed Bath & Beyond, Air Fryer Kohl’s, and amazon.

  26. Denise

    Hello Lina I wish i could hire you as my personal chef:)) Thank you for the post!

    • Lina D

      LOL Thanks Denise <3 Thanks for reading!

  27. Jeremiah2911

    Fun and informative post, thank you!! I had no idea Amazon carried stuff like that basics mat, I’ve been thinking about one and this will pay for itself within a 2-3 boxes of parchment paper☺️

    • Lina D

      THANKS – Yes my Hip2Save team members love those mats!

  28. NILELU

    I also have the Henckels knives. I have them for 10yrs or more. I sharpen them n they are great. I have the new green pots n pans n love them. No chipping.

  29. JES

    Love my baking mats, I have the Amazon version.

    • Lina D

      Excellent! Thanks for sharing Jes!

  30. shop4mybabies

    my favorite kitchen item is my microwave. and my cereal bowls. I hate cooking:) and i’m terrible at it!

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