Essential Tools

14 Mini Kitchen Tools That Give Us So. Much. Joy.

These pint-size whisks, pans, and more brighten up our kitchens—without taking up very much space.

May 11, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten

I have always been enchanted with miniature-size things—especially anything food related. I could watch Tom Brown, a mini-kitchen master, craft pocket-size plates of cacio e pepe on an absurdly small stovetop (with a gas burner!) for hours on end.

So it should come as no surprise that I have amassed a decent collection of tiny (yet functional) cooking tools for use in my own kitchen. Think: mini cocottes for single-serving baked eggs or desserts, the teeniest tongs you ever did see, and the littlest spoon for sugar and salt.

I don't know why, but using them brings me an inordinate amount of joy. And it turns out I'm not only the one—plenty of folks on the Food52 team feel just the same. Here are 14 of the mini kitchen tools that make us so very happy:

1. Little Salad & Herb Spinner (OXO)

"I—along with most everyone—have become more concerned with not only cleanliness, but proper food storage. As soon as I get home from the store, I run all my produce through this mini salad spinner—which holds just enough greens, picked herbs, or berries for our household of two." — Coral Lee, associate editor

Photo by OXO

2. 3-Inch Strainer (Amazon)

"I'm a big fan of this little sieve. Mostly, it gets used for citrus-squeezing (a wooden reamer is my tool of choice but something needs to catch the seeds). It also comes in handy for fishing out a single rigatoni (what's singular for rigatoni?) to check if pasta is done, or a broccoli floret, or a potato chunk, you get the idea. And my husband uses it to strain out the scoby-floaters from our kombucha, even as I judge him from afar." —Emma Laperruque, food editor

3. Silicone Grip Whisk (Food52)

"I'm obsessed with my mini whisk from GIR. It's perfect for mixing up salad dressings, bechamel sauce, and brownie batter alike. Its teeny-tiny shape can fit into the crevices of every bowl and pot I own, and helps me delicately combine wet ingredients without splashing them around everywhere and making a mess." —Brinda Ayer, managing editor

4. One-Egg Wonder Nonstick Pan (Amazon)

"I’m obsessed with this Lilliputian frying pan. The longer I have it, the more uses I find for it: tadkas for my dal, a perfect-size fried egg for my breakfast sandwich, a single Trader Joe's quinoa veggie burger, or the small amounts of whole spices that need a quick toasting. If I can get something in there, I will." — Arati Menon, senior lifestyle editor

Photo by Amazon

5. Mini Waffle Maker (Bed, Bath & Beyond)

There's something so oddly satisfying about making a personal-size stack of waffles with this mini maker, which comes in a handful of fun, bright colors (mine is blue, like in the picture!).

Photo by Bed, Bath & Beyond

6. Mini Whisk & Measuring Spoon Necklaces (Etsy)

Ok, so they may not technically be kitchen tools, but according to Jeremy Beker, our principle software engineer: "My wife has these mini whisk and mini measuring spoons necklaces that she (and I) love." And who wouldn't? They are so darn cute. Even though you can't find the exact ones she has, you can find similar options on Etsy.

Photo by Etsy

7. Staub Mini Round Cocotte (Food52)

"I love my Staub mini round cocottes for entertaining. I like to make individual bread pudding in these for dessert—the personalized dish and lifting of the lid really give it that voilà moment. It's a fancy touch to an easy dish for my dinner party guests (or just myself!)." — Jojo Feld, VP of merchandising and supply chain

8. Translucent Peeler Set (Amazon)

"I think these peelers are technically supposed to be for vegetables, but I love using them to peel the most perfect ribbons of Parmesan—it adds just-the-right texture to my Caesar salads." — Mollie Doherty, account manager

Photo by Amazon

9. Hand-carved Wooden Spoons (Food52)

"I have these mini hand-carved wooden spoons that are my absolute prized possessions from Turkey. This sweet elderly man would sell his hand-carved wooden spoons and bowls once a week in the seaside town I lived in for a few months with my grandma. Every time I use the little wooden spoons—to sprinkle sugar, cinnamon, or gather chia seeds—I think of my friend in Turkey. This baker's dozen of wooden spoons is as close you can get to the set I have, without actually going to Turkey." —Aja Aktay, buyer, home

10. Mini Salt Cellar

"Not a tool, but mini tableware," says our co-founder, Amanda Hesser. We certainly wouldn't mind if this cute lil' kangaroo salt cellar were hopping around the table, adding a dash of seasoning to all sorts of dishes.

Photo by Amanda Hesser

11. Mini Offset Spatula (Amazon)

"A mini rubber spatula to get the last bit of peanut butter out of a jar is A+, but this small metal offset spatula is my all-time favorite. It's great for lifting cookies from a baking pan, leveling off flour in a measuring cup, smoothing the top of a quick bread loaf before baking...I am currently living without mine in quarantine and I miss it all the time." — Anna Billingskog, food stylist

Photo by Amazon

12. Cherry Wood Spoons

"I have some tiny cherry wood spoons that I carved from cherry trees on our property for my daughter when she was first learning to eat. Now they're used as sugar or stirring spoons for coffee and tea. Not really all that little if you think of a six-month old using it." —Tim McSweeney, senior graphic designer

Photo by Tim McSweeney

13. Oven-Safe Glass Ramekins (Food52)

"I find a new use for these ramekins every single day. From prepping spices, herbs, and sauces to serving up mini mug cakes (I've even started using the large one for my dumpling dipping sauce!), these babies are made from sturdy borosilicate glass and can go into the freezer, oven, or microwave then straight into the dishwasher for easy cleanup." — Casey Simring, buyer

14. Metal Mini Baking Whisk (Amazon)

"Alright, so even before my deep love for Binging with Babish began, it's been a weird tradition in my family to gift someone a tiny whisk when they move into their own place. We all have them, and they all hang somewhere in our kitchen on a little hook. It's been going at least three generations and no one really knows where it began. Though when I recently asked my mom where the tradition came from she said, 'No idea, but I know it's about going out and taking whisks.' Which is like, the cheesiest thing I've heard in a while, but I love it." — Kaleigh Embree, customer care specialist

Photo by Amazon

More Mini Kitchen Wonders

Which mini cooking tools bring you joy? Tell us in the comments below!

This post contains products independently chosen (and loved) by our editors and writers. As an Amazon Associate and Skimlinks affiliate, Food52 earns a commission on qualifying purchases of the products we link to.

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Erin Alexander is the Brand Partnerships Editor at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.

3 Comments

Sara May 14, 2020
By far, of my favourite mini tools: a mini spatula. I have (2) and often use both in my day of cooking w/many wash and re-uses throughout.
Multiple uses: from getting fresh chopped veges from food processor, stirring melted chocolate chips and butter in small bowl, cleaning a thick ingredient stuck in a measuring tablespoon (ie. tomato paste) to cleaning out nut butter jars.
Would be lost w/out my 2 mini spatulas AND mini whisks (agree to their necessity as well as stated above!(. :)
 
DaveW May 12, 2020
The Dexter Russell Mini Turner deserves to be on this list.
https://www.restaurantsupply.com/dexter-russell-19660-traditional-series-2-5-mini-turner-with-stainless-steel-blade-and-rosewood-handle
 
swalshwillow C. May 11, 2020
where do i get the kangaroo salt cellar?