Types of Kitchenware

by Shane Grey

Knives, forks and spoons are an essential part of kitchenware utensils.

utensil image by Adkok from Fotolia.com

"Hardware utensils for use in a kitchen” characterizes kitchenware, according to the Princeton University WordNet Database. Such a broad definition begs for elaboration. Although kitchenware encompasses a broad range of cooking and eating tools, it can be broken down into digestible segments. Every kitchen tool has a purpose, whether it is for storage, cooking or eating. Equipped with an understanding of the types of kitchenware, you can outfit your kitchen with the tools required to tackle any eating or cooking project.


Some cultures use hands to deliver food to mouth, but many also employ tools to transfer their edibles. Tools that move food from serving dish to mouth and tools that manipulate the position of food during cooking are called “utensils.” Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online defines a utensil as “an implement, instrument or vessel used in a household and especially a kitchen.” Examples of utensils include familiar eating and cooking tools, such as forks, spoons and knives.

Kitchenware for Cooking

Tools and hardware used for cooking in a kitchen include pots, pans and dishes. Pots, pans and dishes act as a medium between heat and food – food is not placed directly onto an oven rack, instead it’s placed into a casserole or baking dish. Likewise, food does not go directly onto a stove’s burner, it is first placed into a pot or pan. Kitchenware for cooking is made from materials as diverse as stone, as in a pizza stone; glass and ceramics for baking dishes; and metal, such as for pots and pans.

Kitchenware for Storage

Storing foods under refrigeration in airtight containers slows the process of decomposition and keeps food edible for a longer time. Storage kitchenware keeps foods in airtight conditions or low-temperature conditions. As such, most kitchenware for storage features a lid that creates an airtight seal. This type of kitchenware appears as bowls or lidded boxes, sometimes bags or canisters. Materials used to manufacture storage kitchenware range from plastics to glass and ceramics.

Kitchenware for Serving Food

After cooking, food often is transferred to a fresh dish for presentation and consumption. Dishes meant to hold large, shared portions of food are called “serving dishes,” while dishes designed for smaller, personal portions of food are typically called plates. Serving dishes appear in a variety of incarnations depending on application. For example, saucers hold cups, boats hold gravy and platters hold large, main dishes.

Specialty Kitchenware

Special tools and gadgets abound in the culinary world. For example, innovators have created a tool called a garlic press that press garlic into a small mince without a knife. Others have invented machines that grind, slice and dice edible material. Electricity powers much specialty kitchenware, such as the blender, a cutting and liquefying tool, as well as the electric beater, a mixing tool.

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About the Author

Based in Hawaii, Shane Grey began writing professionally in 2004. He draws on his construction experience to write instructional home and garden articles. In addition to freelance work, Grey has held a position as an in-house copywriter for an online retailer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in theater arts from Humboldt State University.