Whether you're a beginner cook or you're looking to upgrade your tools and small appliances, here are the must-have kitchen essentials!
Kitchen Essentials For Every Cook
With the right equipment, you can accomplish anything in the kitchen! Whether you're moving out into your own apartment or you're looking to upgrade your tools, this kitchen essentials list is for you. Both beginner and experienced home cooks will love these kitchen gadgets and must-haves! This list features everything that belongs in a minimalist kitchen (like knives, cutting boards, and measuring cups) as well as some extras like appliances I can't live without.
Need to stock a new kitchen and don't know what you need? This list of cooking tools is a great starting point! They're all essentials I use practically everyday in my kitchen.
Liquid Measuring Cups – This set contains 1-cup, 2-cup, and 4-cup measuring cups, complete with various markings. They're made of tempered glass and are microwave and dishwasher safe.
Dry Measuring Cups & Measuring Spoons – These measuring cups and spoons are so useful! They won't take up any space in your drawers because you can hang them up. You can measure everything from 1/8 tsp to 1 cup!
Chef's Knife – A good knife is a kitchen staple. This one is sharp, versatile and great for chopping up various meats and veggies.
Paring Knife – This is the second most-used knife in my collection next to my chef's knife. A good paring knife will keep you with a variety of kitchen tasks.
Cookware Set – Invest in a basic set of pots and pans that includes different sizes and types, such as a saucepan, sauté pan, and skillet. Choose ones with non-stick coatings for easier cooking and cleaning.
Bakeware Set – This is the ultimate bakeware set and includes everything you need! You've got baking sheets (aka sheet pans), a muffin and even a round cake pan to make things like frittatas.
Silpat Baking Mat – Turn any sheet pan into a non-stick surface with this baking mat. It's also a reusable alternative to parchment paper.
Cutting Board Set – These durable cutting boards are great! They're anti-slip and dishwasher safe. You can choose between three different sizes depending on what you're chopping.
Mixing Bowls – This mixing bowl set is the best! They nest together so they save space and they have lids so you can throw them in the fridge easily.
Colander – A colander is useful for washing fruits and vegetables or straining pasta. This collapsable model takes up less space when stored so it's perfect for small spaces.
Silicone Tongs – These tongs are excellent for cooking meat, tossing salads or grilling. They're made of silicone so you can use them with non-stick pans without worrying.
Spatulas – I use spatulas while sautéing food or mixing ingredients. This set of flexible heat-resistant silicone spatulas are super versatile.
Wooden Spoons & Utensils – These bamboo utensils are a great starter set for any kitchen. They're easy to clean and won't scratch any pots or pans. This set includes everything you need, including a slotted spoon.
Garlic Press – I love using a garlic press to mince garlic in a just a few seconds. This one's my favourite!
Y Peeler – Peeling vegetables has gotten so much easier thanks to this peeler! It's super sharp and has an ergonomic non-slip handle so peeling carrots or potatoes won't feel like a total chore.
Lemon Lime Squeezer – Freshly squeeze lemon or lime juice is so much better than the bottled stuff! This citrus juicer is my favourite.
Box Grater – A box grater is perfect for not only grating cheese but also shredding carrots or onions for recipes. This stainless steel one has 4 sides, each with a different type of grating pattern.
Microplane Grater – I love using this tiny grater for zesting lime or grating parmesan. It takes up almost no space at all and grates things super finely!
Meat Thermometer – Using a meat thermometer will help cook perfect meat! This instant read digital thermometer will give you a temperature in seconds. It's also waterproof so you don't need to worry about it getting a little dirty.
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If you want to improve your meal prep game, these small appliances can help! They make cooking so much easier, so you'll be more efficient in the kitchen!
Rice Cooker – A rice cooker is one of the best meal prep tools you can get! You can cook a variety of grains in it, too, like quinoa. All you need to do is have the right water-to-grain ratio then set it and forget it!
Slow Cooker – My crockpot is a staple! I love using to cook hands-off dump dinners like soups and stews. Just toss all your ingredients into it in the morning and you'll have a delicious dinner by the time your workday is over.
Food Processor – A food processor is perfect for chopping up veggies quickly. This one is small but mighty! You can make everything from pico de gallo to salsa in it.
KitchenAid Stand Mixer – This is the quintessential stand mixer! It's excellent for baking things like cookies or making homemade bread or pizza dough. If you're not a big baker, then a hand mixer will suffice.If you're not a big baker, then a hand mixer will suffice.
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Food Storage Containers and Products
Whether you're looking to keep ingredients fresh or store meal prep lunches, these products are a great addition to any kitchen! They'll also make your fridge, freezer and pantry more organized.
Glass Containers – These are my favourite meal prep containers! They're a strong non-toxic option that can be used in the dishwasher and the microwave.
Glass Bowls with Lids – I love using this set of glass bowls when prepping my ingredients for the week! I also sometimes freeze leftovers or extra ingredients I have on hand in them, too.
Stasher Bags – These silicone food storage bags are an excellent plastic-free alternative to Ziploc bags. You can use them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Beeswax Wraps – Ditch the plastic wrap and use this alternative instead! These resuable beeswax wraps can protect the end of cut vegetables so they last longer or cover a bowl.
Frequently Asked Questions
Proper care and maintenance of your kitchen utensils is essential to ensure their longevity and functionality. I recommend washing most kitchen utensils by hand rather than in the dishwasher. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals while cleaning them to avoid damage.
After washing, allow your utensils to air dry completely before storing them as moisture can promote bacteria growth or cause rusting. Make sure to store them in an a clean and dry drawer or utensil holder is ideal when you're not using them.
Moving into your first apartment can be daunting and overwhelming. Consulting this list of kitchen essentials will provide you with guidance for knowing what you actually need to make yourself delicious home-cooked meals. Work your way through acquiring all of the basic cooking tools listed in this post before adding a few small appliances, depending on your cooking preferences and needs. Lastly, you'll want to invest in a set of food storage containers for meal prep and leftovers.
I have a blog post all about pantry staples every healthy kitchen needs! This guide will walk you through how to stock a pantry with basic spices (don't forget salt and pepper!) and ingredients. If you're on a budget, stick to discount retailers or pay attention to the flyers from your local grocery store so you can get things on sale.