Essential Utensils for the Kitchen in Greek Cooking

Greek cooking doesn't require many specialty utensils, but it does demand durable items for the tasks common to many dishes. Looking around my kitchen, I realize that there are some items I cannot live without, items that might make your experience with Greek cooking a bit easier, more convenient, or authentic. Here are ten to consider.

  • 01 of 10

    I remember receiving a mortar and pestle as a gift when I first arrived in Greece and wondering what I was going to do with it. I now have a few in different sizes and materials. They're not only useful but also decorative as well. They don't need to be hidden behind a cabinet door.

  • 02 of 10

    Several. Short and long handled, rounded spoon shape and flat edged like a spatula. No matter what type of cooking ware used, wood utensils are a must.

  • 03 of 10

    I use a metal can on the countertop for oil used in small quantities, like on salads, or measured by tablespoon. Cans come in various shapes and sizes, and the spouts allow only a small amount to pour, so there's no chance of overfilling that tablespoon.

  • 04 of 10

    Grating spices is a sure way to get the best aroma and flavor, and almost all spices used in Greek cooking are available in "whole" form, like nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and others. The old one I own looks like a miniature cheese grater, and it also looks like it needs miniature fingers to handle. These choices are much friendlier to adult hands.

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  • 05 of 10

    Cooking Greek food means using cheese, and much of it will be grated. A good cheese grater should be able to handle both hard and not-so-hard cheeses without mushing the latter. I use a rotary hand grater, but whether your choice is the basic (mine) or an electric wizard, this is a fine selection from which to choose.

  • 06 of 10

    I don't know of a Greek recipe calling for pepper that doesn't specify "freshly ground pepper." Look for one that has an adjustable grind, ranging from fine to coarse.

  • 07 of 10

    Whisks are important utensils for making sauces that are Greek favorites, like latholemono (oil-lemon), béchamel, avgolemono (egg-lemon), and for simpler tasks like mixing eggs. I suggest a medium size to start, and go from there.

  • 08 of 10

    This rolling pin is ideal for the kinds of doughs used in baking Greek pastries and is the traditional type used in Greek homes. It allows even pressure across the dough. In Greece, these rolling pins are about 30 inches long, but this 20-inch model works well.

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  • 09 of 10

    Whether you use this with a special pot for honey, or a jar or can, this inexpensive little utensil is the best I've found for drizzling honey on Greek sweets.

  • 10 of 10

    I have a few pastry / basting brushes that are well-used. In Greek cooking, they're used for brushing phyllo dough with butter or oil for pastries, coating vegetables with olive oil, lightly greasing pans, and many other tasks. Every kitchen should have at least one ... probably more.