These Kitchen Tools Are Absolutely Essential for Meal Prep

Go from procrastinator to prep expert with the right equiptment.

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January 09, 2020

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Photo by: fortyforks/Getty Images

fortyforks/Getty Images

We're going all-in on meal prep this year. Seriously, we're calling it out as a major trend for 2020! Whether your goal is to prep veggies when you get home from the grocery store or make a week's worth of meals on Sunday, we have all the kitchen tools you'll want to keep on hand to go from procrastinator to prep expert. These seven products are all you need to take the stress out of prepping lunch or dinner for the week ahead.

$23.95 for 2

Sheet pans are our secret to fast, simple meals that are done in a matter of minutes. They're an ideal way to cook large quantities of meat or roast loads of veggies all at once. We also use them as trays to gather all our ingredients before getting started. This brand is our very favorite.

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If you only bring one kitchen utensil (aside from a chef's knife) with you to meal prep, it should be a set of tongs. These guys are ideal for tossing veggies, combining grains with mix-ins, even stirring up soups. Stainless steel tongs will get you a better grip than coated ones, and this pair is so affordable.

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Lining a sheet pan with aluminum foil makes cleanup a breeze. Keep a roll in your kitchen drawer at all times. You'll use this for so much more than just meal prep.

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Our favorite Dutch oven is great for big-batch cooking of soups, stews, grains, legumes and more. The best part? You don't even have to divvy up the batch if you don't want to. Let the pot cool a bit on the stove, then stick it in the fridge with the lid on and grab a serving or two as you want it.

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While we love a make-and-store meal in the Dutch oven, it's almost impossible to meal prep without good storage containers. We love these versatile Rubbermaid Brilliance containers for storing pre-cut veggies, liquids, leftovers and more. Even when you prep your ingredients days in advance, these crystal-clear containers help make sure that you won't forget about them.

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Meal prep generally starts with lots of chopping, dicing and slicing, so a solid cutting board is a must-have. This set from OXO has no-slip rubber on the sides, so you won't risk your board slip-sliding all over your countertop while chopping onions.

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Ask any of our test kitchen chefs and they'll tell you the most-important kitchen tool you can own is a chef's knife. Break it out every time you start to meal prep and you'll question why you ever registered for a 12-piece knife block in the first place.

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