Create Your Favorite Greek Dishes With These Kitchen Tools
Greek cuisine is an art form – and a delicious one at that. From flavorful salads and stuffed grape leaves to Gyros and Souvlaki and everything in between, the key to crafting authentically Greek dishes are the tools you use to create them.
15 Kitchen Tools Needed for Greek Cooking
From kitchen knives and graters to wooden spoons and mortar and pestles, here are 15 essential kitchen tools you'll need to create your favorite Greek dishes whenever the craving strikes.
Kitchen Knives and Cutting Boards
Ah kitchen knives – probably the most essential kitchen tools of all. It would be very difficult, if even possible, to neatly debone a shoulder of lamb or chop up some peppers with your bare hands. Kitchen knives are a must for breaking down ingredients into smaller pieces, carving finished meats, slicing bread and more. Here are just a few types to keep on hand when planning a night of Greek cuisine:
Chef’s Knife: If you were allowed only one knife in the kitchen, it would have to be the chef’s knife. It’s usually the go-to knife for various tasks, from slicing and dicing to chopping and mincing, making it a must for creating the famous Greek salad.
Knife Knowledge 101: Top Uses for a Chef's Knife in the Kitchen
Santoku Knife: The Japanese-style chef knife, the Santoku knife is another great multipurpose tool to have on hand, thanks to its unique blade and Granton edge. This is the knife to reach for when preparing Greek seafood and recipes that call for perfectly uniform cuts.
Knife Knowledge 101: Top Uses for a Santoku Knife in the Kitchen
Paring Knife: A favorite of many home cooks and professional chefs, the paring knife is ideal for peeling (or “paring”) fruits and vegetables, and for other small or intricate work. Use this knife to core tomatoes and devein shrimp for Greek dishes like when making baked shrimp and tomatoes.
Knife Knowledge 101: Top Uses for a Paring Knife in the Kitchen
Boning Knife: When it comes to Greek cooking, the boning knife is a must. Lamb is often the centerpiece of Greek meals, and the boning knife is perfect for either breaking down a whole lamb, or for cleaning and trimming the meat. Great for making precise cuts that can be cumbersome to perform with your chef knife. For instance, this knife can be useful when making Kleftiko (Greek roasted leg of lamb) since you should trim some of the excess fat and make small slits in the meat before roasting.
Knife Knowledge 101: Top Uses for a Boning Knife in the Kitchen
Utility Knife: Perfect for mid-sized ingredients, the utility knife is handy for cutting cheese, tomatoes, cured meats, and more. Serve a block of feta and an assortment of meats and olives on a platter with this knife on the side, or use it to create an assortment of Greek cheeses paired with wine.
Knife Knowledge 101: Top Uses for a Utility Knife in the Kitchen
Bread Knife: Due to its length and serrated edge, the bread knife can seamlessly saw and cut through bread without crushing its delicate insides – granted it has the right edge. Use it for horiatiko psomi (crusty country bread), for example, or vasilopita (Greek new year’s bread) to get the perfect slice.
Knife Knowledge 101: Top Uses for a Bread Knife in the Kitchen
Good Cutting Boards: What would good knives be without a good cutting boards? And with all of the slicing and dicing you'll be doing to create your Greek meals, a good cutting board or two is a must. Opt for one made of wood, like this Acacia wood cutting board from F.N. Sharp. Contrary to popular belief, wood is actually a more sanitary option for cutting boards, compared to plastic – plus, it's better for your knives.
Mortar and Pestle
Credit: @Nathan James
One of the most ancient kitchen tools in the world, the mortar and pestle produces an extremely flavorful result—whether you’re pounding fresh garlic, fresh herbs, or grinding spices. Why use this when you can use pre-ground spices or electronic gadgets? The flavor and freshness retained in the finished product when using a mortar and pestle are second to none. This is especially important for dishes where the herbs will be left uncooked, as found with some Greek appetizers, salads, and garnishes.
Olive Oil Can
Credit: @Della’s Cuisine
Olive oil is used in almost all foods served at a Greek table. An olive oil can is a convenient tool for dispensing this flavorful oil. It can be used with one hand only, and the spout makes it easy to control how much you drizzle or pour. You can also find spouts to fit any bottle if you prefer to keep your olive oil in its original bottle.
Credit: @The Banville Family?
Just like in Italian cooking, wooden spoons are a must in the Greek kitchen. Since wooden spoons do not conduct heat, they are great for stirring sauces without effecting the flavors of the ingredients. They also don’t react with acidic ingredients like metal tools do, which is really important for Greek cooking since lemon is an essential ingredient.
Credit: @The Surface Library
Just like olive oil, cheese is an integral part of Greek cuisine, so a cheese grater is a must. Find a good cheese grater that can handle soft cheeses as well as firm cheeses. This tool is also useful for zesting citrus and grating vegetables, like the cucumbers used to make homemade tzatziki sauce.
To get the best aroma out of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, use a spice grater. Many spices are available in whole form and grating them yourself will ensure a more fragrant and flavorful baklava.
Credit: @Tarzian West
Greek recipes always call for freshly ground pepper, and a pepper grinder makes it convenient to use this spice. Use one with an adjustable grind so you can go as fine or as coarse as needed.
Credit: @Ла Кузин
For a real Greek dining experience, you must use skewers when making souvlaki. This simple dish consisting of small pieces of marinated meat is not the same without skewers.
Skew Up Some Chicken for This Recipe: Greek Lemon Chicken Kabobs
Making traditional sauces such as latholemono (oil-lemon), avgolemono (egg-lemon), and bechamel is easy with a whisk. This is definitely a tool you want to have on hand in preparation for a Greek feast.
Test Your Whisking Skills With This Recipe: Greek Rice Pudding
Some Greek recipes have many steps and several components and thus require the use of multiple saucepans. Additionally, Greek food is usually cooked in large quantities, so make sure you have enough large saucepans on hand.
Metal Baking Pans
Credit: @Anna Beard Coon
Baking pans and tins are required for Greek sweets and for many savory Greek recipes as well—from moussaka to spanakopita.
Spit Roaster or Rotisserie
Credit: @Daci & Daci Bakers
To pull out all the stops, get a spit roaster (if you don’t happen to already own one). This cooking tool is used in Greek cuisine to roast whole lamb or goat.
Credit: @Naturally Creative Home
Honey is a staple in Greek desserts, so a honey dipper is a must. It can also be used to drizzle honey over Greek cheese, or anything else that calls for honey. It also adds that quintessential honey-related look to the table, making mealtime more fun!
Credit: @Heather Home PH
Greek cuisine is known for both sweet and savory pastry dishes like baklava and spanakopita (spinach pie). When creating Greek dishes, the pastry brush is great for brushing oil or butter onto phyllo dough, greasing pans, and coating vegetables with olive oil.
Straight Wood Rolling Pin
Credit: @Vermont Rolling Pins
Just like the pastry brush, a rolling pin is a must when it comes to creating Greek dishes. Use this for rolling out dough for Greek desserts and various pastry dishes – its straight form makes it possible to apply even pressure across the dough.
With these cooking tools and these essential Greek ingredients in your kitchen, you’ll be able to create amazingly authentic Greek dishes. If you’re new to Greek cooking, we suggest keeping this list handy to help you get started on the right foot. And if you’re a seasoned cook, keep this as an inventory list to see if there might be something you’re missing that can take your cooking skills to the next level.