24 Useful Tools

East Van Kitchen's helpful Tools Grid: cutting boards, strainers, knives, reamer, scissors, wooden spoons, tools we love
All you need to cook is heat (+maybe a bit of salt!), but a few good tools can make things a lot more fun+easy in the kitchen! Here are our top 24 essential tools!

Cutting Boards

1 Wood + 1 Plastic. Use a plastic cutting board for cutting fish + meats or strong-flavoured vegetables like garlic, onions or chilies. Save your wood guy for everything else!

This East Van Kitchen: Useful Tools and Utensils- our favourite knife! Porsche chroma 301 10 inch Chef's Knife

Chef’s Knife

This is the most versatile knife, + definitely the one to start your collection with! Buy the highest quality knife you can + keep it sharp! You’ll be using this guy all the time + with proper care it will last a lifetime. If you’re going to keep it loose in a drawer, definitely buy a guard or case to protect your blade + your fingers when you’re fishing around for it!


Paring Knife

Great for fine work like removing the green shoots from your garlic (you don’t want them)!


Filleting Knife

The first time you skin a salmon or even just slice it you’ll be thrilled you aren’t trying it with your chef’s knife again! The long, slim blade of a filleting knife cuts easily through fish without catching in the flesh the way a wider knife will. For the same reasons a filleting knife cuts reasonably well through cheese (though a wire works even better!).


Kitchen Scissors

Super handy for cutting chilies or herbs like rosemary or cilantro into tiny, neatly cut pieces! Also great for trimming chicken, or cutting parchment paper, string, packaging, etc.


Egg Slicer

Neatly cuts a hard-boiled egg into a series of thin slices for eggs on toast or in soups or salads.


Speed Peeler

Great for peeling the hard skin off veg like broccoli, + also for cutting veg like carrots into ribbons for salads! Try peeling thin strips off cold butter + laying them on your toast instead of trying to spread the hard butter across, it’s sure to save you the disappointment of crushed toast with pockets of unmelted butter!


Box Grater

4-sided but we pretty much just use the grater side for cheese, or carrots or beets for salads!



A very fine grater to make lemon or orange zest or grind hard spices like nutmeg.



This hand crank grater is great to have at the table while you’re eating! Load it with feta or parmesan + grate fresh over your pasta!



An indispensable tool for making mashed potatoes or black beans for burritos.


Rolling Pin

This light rolling pin is great for rolling out tortillas + pie crusts, or to tenderize tough guys like lemon grass. Use a heavy marble rolling pin if you want the pin to do some of the work!


Tortilla Press

Slowly combine 2 cups of masa harina with 1+1/3 cups of warm water + a dash of salt. Form into balls about an inch in diameter. Open the press + put it inside a plastic bag so that when you close it both flat surfaces are covered by the plastic. Place a ball inside + press. Open the press + peel the tortilla off. Brown a little on both sides in a dry pan sprinkled with flour on medium heat. Now you can make pretty much anything into a lovely taco!



Endlessly useful for picking, tossing, testing, etc. Use only silicon-coated tongs on your non-stick, cast iron or enameled pans.



The perfect tool to test and serve your soups!


Slotted Spoon

An excellent tool to check on things while they’re boiling!


Wood Guys

A small collection of wooden hand tools is great for stirring, tossing, testing, etc. Stirring hot cereal with a metal or plastic tool feels wrong somehow!


Rubber People

Silicon spatulas are excellent for cleaning the last of a liquid like eggs out of the bowl!


Measuring Cup

Great for measuring dry goods for baking- when measuring matters the most! Otherwise, handy as a big cup!



Whip some air into your eggs in the morning for a light + fluffy omelet or scrambled eggs!



We use this citrus reamer all day to make lemon water! It leaves no juice behind! Great for making fresh orange juice in the morning too!



A series of strainers of different sizes is incredibly useful for washing veg, draining rice or filtering solids out of a liquid. We keep a fine mesh ‘dirty’ strainer designated for straining the solids from pots + pans that have been soaking while doing the dishes as it can be difficult to get a strainer completely clean after sifting dish water!


Can Opener

This classic can opener cuts the lid off so that the lid is sharp but the rim of the can is relatively safe. Avoid cheap Ikea can openers that take the rim off with the lid, leaving the can a jagged finger slasher thirsting for blood!


Knife Sharpener

This is a great two-stage knife sharpener. Pull the blade through the stage 1 for coarse sharpening + stage 2 to hone the blade.

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