Facebook Pixel Code
 

Best Kitchen Utensil Sets

Updated September 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 127 Models Considered
  • 6 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 190 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best kitchen utensil sets

    Last Updated September 2018

    Tossing, serving, ladling, and peeling – as a cook, you will need to do it all at some point. With the right supply of kitchen tools, these tasks are a breeze. A kitchen utensil set is a handy investment that can help you prepare food and unify the look of your kitchen.

    Not all kitchen utensil sets are the same, however. Some kitchen utensil sets have as many as 29 pieces. If you do a lot of cooking, you may need every one of those utensils. But some home cooks require far fewer utensils.

    If you would like some assistance in finding the right kitchen utensil set for your needs, BestReviews is here to help. 

    The shopping guide below provides the info you need to determine which features, materials, and utensils are most important to you. Above, you can find a matrix that explores our top five kitchen utensil set picks in greater detail.

    The durability of a kitchen utensil depends almost exclusively on the material with which it was made. Stainless steel is the most durable material, but silicone isn’t far behind, and it won’t scratch nonstick surfaces.

    Kitchen utensil sets: the basics

    If you’re just starting your kitchen, we recommend that you equip yourself with the following pieces at minimum.

    • Slotted spoon

    • Serving spoon

    • Spatula (or slotted spatula)

    • Pasta server

    Moving beyond basic kitchen utensils

    These aforementioned basics will get you started, but most people will eventually need to add more to their cooking arsenal. As your cooking skills expand, you may wish to add the following pieces.

    • Whisk

    • Rubber-tipped spatula

    • Rolling pin

    • Potato masher

    • Zester

    • Grater

    • Measuring cups

    • Measuring spoons

    • Nutcracker

    • Ladle

    • Tongs

    • Garlic press

    • Cheese knife

    • Tea strainer

    • Bottle opener

    • Potato peeler

    • Skimmer

    • Slotted spatula

    • Kitchen shears

    • Pizza cutter
       

    Some kitchen utensil sets may include multiples popular utensils – spatulas, serving spoons, and so on. Whether you’d prefer a comprehensive utensil set, a bare-bones set, or something in between depends on your cooking habits.

    Nonstick cookware takes some special care. It’s best to use silicone, plastic, or wood in these pans to prevent scratches on the nonstick surface.

    Kitchen utensil materials

    As you shop around for a kitchen utensil set, you’ll find pieces made of plastic, stainless steel, silicone, and wood. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each material.

    Plastic kitchen utensils

    Plastic utensils are by far the most affordable option, but they’re also the least durable. Plastic doesn’t always have the strength necessary to work with heavier foods like pancake mix or bread dough. Plastic also melts easier than any other kitchen utensil material.

    Stainless steel kitchen utensils

    Stainless steel is durable. It withstands exposure to heat and resists rust. Utensils made of stainless steel look clean and professional, and they can usually be cleaned in the dishwasher. (To avoid water spots, however, hand-washing is recommended.)

    Potential buyers should be aware that stainless steel utensils can scratch the nonstick surface of some cookware.

    Silicone kitchen utensils

    Silicone is relatively new to the utensil scene, but it has proven its usefulness and gained many fans. Silicone is heat-resistant, strong, and safe for the dishwasher. Most of the time, silicone utensils have a stainless steel handle with a silicone head and hand grip.

    Notably, silicone can absorb the flavor of some foods. However, this is less of a problem with silicone utensils than it is with silicone cookware.

    Wooden kitchen utensils

    Wood is the timeless classic of the kitchen. Utensils made of wood look beautiful and help create an earthy atmosphere. However, they don’t fare well in the dishwasher – cracks and splits may occur after exposure to high temperatures. Wood should not be soaked in water, and it should be dried immediately after handwashing.

    Combination kitchen utensils

    Some kitchen utensils are made of a combination of different materials. A spatula may have a silicone head and a stainless steel handle. A spoon may have a stainless steel bowl and a wooden handle. Keep in mind that these “combo” utensils are only as durable as the weakest material used in their construction.

    EXPERT TIP

    Do you cook with a lot of colorful and/or acidic foods? Silicone utensils resist staining due to the non-porous nature of the silicone surface.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Handle design

    Handle design is sometimes overlooked, but it can enhance or detract from your cooking experience. Keep these tips in mind when evaluating a potential purchase.

    • A kitchen utensil with an ergonomically designed handle is easier to hold.

    • A “combo” utensil with a silicone or rubber handle allows you to maintain your grip, even if you have slippery hands.

    • Some utensil handles have a hole, ring, or hook you can use to hang them.

    EXPERT TIP

    Be careful when putting silicone or utensils with rubber handles in the dishwasher. They should not be placed near knives or other sharp objects, as the sharp edges could damage the utensil surfaces.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Utensil set prices

    • Less Than $15: In this price range, you can get a set of basic plastic kitchen utensils or perhaps a combo kitchen utensil set. A combo set may contain some stainless steel, but it won’t have the high quality of some pricier sets.

    • $15 to $50: In this price range, you can find many combo sets that integrate stainless steel with wood, silicone, or rubber. You’ll also find a few higher-quality plastic sets in this range. Many of these sets also include some kind of utensil tree or holder in which to store the pieces.

    • $50 to $100: For this higher price, you can expect to find solid silicone and stainless steel utensil sets, many of which include extra utensils such as measuring cups, measuring spoons, and perhaps even a matching baking pan.

    • Over $100: During the course of our research, we found some large utensil sets (29 pieces or more) made of solid stainless steel at this price point. Designer sets that lend a unique aesthetic to the kitchen can also be found in this range.
    DID YOU KNOW?

    Stainless steel comes in three grades: 18/10, 18/8, and 18/0. The second number tells you how much nickel is included in the stainless steel. The more nickel there is, the more resistant the stainless steel is to rust.

    Tips

    • Know your cooking style. Before buying, take a little time to analyze what utensils you use most often. Bakers may want several spoons and a scraper. Frequent fryers may wish to own several sizes of tongs or spatulas. Those who sauté or fry often should probably look for a heat-resistant set of utensils made of stainless steel or silicone.

    • When shopping, keep your kitchen décor in mind. Your utensils can complement your kitchen style. For example, a colorful silicone utensil set can add a pop of color to your kitchen palette. A stainless steel set of utensils can add a sleek, modern air to your kitchen.

    • To save space, buy only what you need. If you know you’ll never use a tea strainer or zester, it’s probably best to look for a set without those items. You’ll save yourself money and storage space. Carefully check the list of utensils included in a set before buying.

    • Think about how you will wash your utensils. Silicone and stainless steel are dishwasher safe, making them the easiest to clean. You can put wooden utensils in the dishwasher, but it isn’t usually recommended, as the prolonged exposure to heat and water prematurely dries out the wood and causes it to crack. It can also lead to warping.
    If you want to protect your kitchen utensils from scratches and dents, store them by hanging them. This will keep the utensils from touching (and potentially damaging) one another.

    FAQ

    Q. Do I really need to worry about handle design, or would any handle do?
    A.
    If you don’t cook often, handle design might not make much of a difference to you. However, for the serious home chef, the nature of your utensil handles can make the difference between a set you love and one that is tolerable at best.

    Ergonomically designed handles fit the natural grip of your hand, making the utensils easy to maneuver. Silicone handles have a texture you can hold even when your hands are dirty with flour, eggs, or other ingredients.

    The nature of a utensil handle can also affect its durability. Wood handles must be hand-washed, as excess water can damage the wood.  

    Q. I’ve melted many plastic kitchen utensils. What should I look for to prevent heat damage?
    A.
    Your best option would probably be a stainless steel or silicone utensil set. Both are highly heat-resistant, so if you occasionally leave a utensil too close to a burner, it’s less likely to melt.

    Q. What’s the best way to store my kitchen utensils?
    A.
    This comes down to personal preference. Many kitchen sets come with some kind of countertop storage device, such as a stand that the utensils hang from or a canister that holds them. You might choose to hang your utensils from hooks on the wall. Or, if you like to keep your utensils out of sight, a drawer could also suffice.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Alvina
      Alvina
      Photographer
    • Amos
      Amos
      Director of Photography
    • Branson
      Branson
      Videographer
    • Ciera
      Ciera
      Production Assistant
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor
    • Stacey
      Stacey
      Writer
    • Vukan
      Vukan
      Post Production Editor

    BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
    and give us feedback about your visit today.

    Take Survey