Cheap and cheerful. Wooden spoons are great for all cooking and baking. When stirring your food in pots and pans you don't damage the pan or taint the flavours of the food.
Garlic is an ingredient that is used in many cuisines and dishes. I find the best way to quickly put it into food is to use a garlic crusher. You don't even have to peel the clove! Stuff the whole thing in and push!
The easiest way to measure liquids when cooking and baking. I also use mine when mixing small amounts, like Yorkshire puddings as I can see the measurements and the high sides mean less spillage! I have a pyrex one which I have had for 10 years and it's still going strong.
I once read that a blunt knife is the most dangerous tool in the kitchen. I'm not sure my fingers agree, with the number of times I have cut them when washing the sharp ones up, however, I can see that a blunt knife is super dangerous when trying to chop something difficult. I'm thinking butternut squash. Ouch. So A sharp knife is certainly the best option when cooking! Here is a knife sharpener that we swear by. We bought it from a food show and have loved it ever since
Washing up is the worst part of cooking in my opinion. Having nonstick pans makes that process so much easier. No scrubbing until your arms ache. Just a quick wipe and the food literally falls off. Even the burnt parts! We have Circulon pans. They are an investment but look great and are brilliant to cook with!
A stand mixer makes baking so much easier. It doesn't have to be expensive either. I had a cheap stand mixer for almost ten years until I upgraded to the KitchenAid (I got a great Black Friday deal that we couldn't resist). Being able to add your ingredients into the bowl and have it mixed for you saves time in the kitchen. Also, when baking bread, the mixer can help with kneading.
S&P Pinch Pots
Having my salt and pepper so close and accessible makes seasoning so easy. Little pots are also cute and a great addition to the kitchen counter. I bought these cuties from a market stall in Herne Hill for £1.50 each.
Cast Iron Pot
A cast-iron pot is great for making so many different recipes. I love making slow-cooked meals such as stews and chillis and also quick soups. The pot is so versatile and great for cooking on the stove and in the oven. I have even baked bread using mine! Such a great investment. You can buy an expensive one such as Le Cruset or a cheaper version. Mine is actually from Sainsbury's from many years ago and it still works so well!
This is a fantastic and cheap kitchen tool that helps with so many different jobs. I use mine to make sauces and dips and blending my soups!
DYMO Label Maker
Ok, so this isn't essential BUT it's something that I love and use ALOT! It's a great gift for the home cook or a stationery lover. I have this label maker which is great for a cheap purchase but you can go next level and buy digital ones too. I warn you though. You may go a little crazy and label everything in sight.