If you want rave reviews for the meals you prepare in your kitchen, it all starts with the right tools. A kitchen utensil set includes a number of tools that come in handy for a wide range of dishes, including several basic utensils that you may need daily. Buying them in a set can save you serious money and make life a little easier.
Not all kitchen utensil sets are created equal, though, so it helps to know exactly what to look for. In addition to knowing what specific pieces you need, you'll want to know what materials work best for kitchen utensils, as well as what other features lead to more functional tools.
Our guide has all the tips you need for choosing the best kitchen utensil set, and our product recommendations completely take the guesswork out of shopping.
Considerations when choosing kitchen utensil sets
There are some basic kitchen utensils that every set should include no matter how many pieces it contains. Essential kitchen tools you'll probably want in your utensil set include:
Non-slotted spatula/pancake turner
If you're on the hunt for a more complete kitchen utensil set that includes nearly every tool you could ever need in the kitchen, you'll want to choose an option that features some or all of these additional utensils:
Slotted spatula/pancake turner
Kitchen utensil sets are available in a variety of materials, including plastic, stainless steel, wood, and silicone. Some sets even feature tools that use a combination of these materials. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, so it's a matter of choosing what best fits your needs.
Plastic kitchen utensil sets are usually the least expensive option, though they're not as strong or durable as other materials. They tend to stain and absorb odors more easily, too.
Stainless-steel kitchen utensil sets are highly durable, rust-resistant, and able to withstand high temperatures. They're easy to clean because they're dishwasher-safe. However, stainless-steel kitchen tools can scratch nonstick coatings on cookware.
Wood kitchen utensil sets typically offer the most attractive appearance. They're also pretty durable and won't scratch your nonstick pots and pans. Wood tools can wear down in the dishwasher, though, and don't hold up as well to high temperatures.
Silicone kitchen utensil sets are heat-resistant, durable, and dishwasher-safe. These tools usually have stainless-steel handles with silicone heads and grips. Silicone tools can have a tendency to stain and absorb odors, though.
Some kitchen utensil sets include a container to hold the tools for easy storage. In most cases, only kits that contain 15 tools or less feature a holder because sets with more pieces would require too large a container.
If a set doesn't include a container, choose utensils with holes at the ends of the handles so you can hang them up for storage if you don't have room to keep them in a drawer.
Kitchen utensil sets vary in price based on the material and how many pieces are included.
Plastic kitchen utensil sets usually range from $10 to $40. Stainless-steel kitchen utensil sets usually range from $15 to $100. Wood kitchen utensil sets usually range from $18 to $60. Silicone kitchen utensil sets usually range from $15 to $65.
Q. What's the best material if I want an eco-friendly kitchen utensil set?
A. Wood is typically the best option if you want environmentally friendly kitchen tools, but it's important to choose bamboo utensils. Bamboo is a renewable wood that's usually harvested in a sustainable way, so its environmental impact is minimal.
Q. What type of kitchen utensil set is easiest to clean?
A. Plastic, silicone, and stainless-steel kitchen utensil sets are usually dishwasher-safe, so you can just throw them in for cleaning when you're finished using them. Always check the manufacturer's instructions before cleaning your kitchen utensils in the dishwasher, though, to prevent damage to the tools.
Kitchen utensil sets we recommend
Best of the best: OXO Good Grips 15-Piece Everyday Kitchen Tool Set
Our take: A comprehensive kitchen utensil set that features high-quality construction and includes nearly every tool you'll need to prepare any meal.
What we like: Nylon handles offer an effective grip, while silicone-coated stainless-steel tools don't scratch pots and pans. It includes a utensil holder to keep tools organized.
What we dislike: This is a pricey set, but the quality and durability may be worth the investment.
Our take: A large number of quality kitchen utensils at a more affordable price.
What we like: This set offers more tools than many sets on the market. It features durable stainless steel and nonstick nylon just like higher-end options.
What we dislike: Some sets have hollow handles, which can collect water and other liquids.
Our take: A comprehensive, quality-made kitchen utensil set that contains the essentials needed in most kitchens.
What we like: The utensils are safe for the dishwasher and made of quality stainless steel. A solid, attractive, and functional set.
What we dislike: Although this set is dishwasher-safe, some users complain that water gets inside the handles.
Jennifer Blair is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.