The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Essentials

kitchen essentials

Have you just moved out into your own place for the first time? Are you just trying to revamp your kitchen? Maybe you’re shopping for a housewarming or wedding gift.

If any of these sounds like you, you might be making a list of all of the kitchen essentials that any home cook might need.

We don’t all need a double oven or pizza stone, but there are some things that everyone can put to use in the kitchen day-to-day.

Before you take your next trip to the closest Homegoods, take a look at our kitchen essentials checklist for the key items and appliances that every home can use.

For Preparation

The first group of kitchen essentials is going to be for the most time-consuming things that you’ll do in the kitchen: prep work.

Most people have the basics already, right? A Pyrex measuring cup that you accidentally took from your parent’s house a decade ago, a few oversized mixing bowls, maybe a whisk.

Let’s look at some things that will make your next cooking or baking project way easier.

A Good Cutting Board

People who are new to living on their own might not have seen the need for a cutting board yet.

You can just cut everything on a plate, right?

Well, yes, but a cutting board makes everything so much easier. The flat shape is great for keeping your ingredients in place and it’s easier to wipe down after use.

Cutting boards are also made of materials that can handle a bit of damage from a sharp knife. Glass and wood are common choices.

A Knife Sharpener

There’s nothing worse than a dull knife when it comes to preparing your food. Even the nicest knives wear down eventually, and dull knives are actually more dangerous to use.

Keeping a good kitchen knife sharpener on hand will ensure that you don’t have to deal with the struggles of a dull knife.

A Rolling Pin

This is the kind of thing that you don’t realize you need until the very moment that you need it.

Can you DIY some kind of flattening device for your sugar cookies? Sure, but it’s going to be an uneven mess of a situation.

Invest in a good rolling pin to make your baking projects a breeze.

A Food Processor

A food processor that’s also capable of rough chops is a timesaver in the kitchen.

Many people opt to either get a food processor or a blender, but these things serve different purposes. You can easily chop up and incorporate ingredients in a food processor in a fraction of the time that it would take to do it by hand.

A Stand Mixer

Stand mixers are often expensive but they’re not just for baking cakes. A good stand mixer has optional attachments that make it great for everything from meringues to fully formed pasta.

These mixers are worth every penny, but those on a budget may get lucky at a secondhand store.

Cooking: Essential Kitchen Appliances, Pans, and More

When it comes to actually cooking your food, equipment matters! Don’t just rely on a single old pan and the help of your oven when you have other options.

Here are a few things that belong in any kitchen.

A Cast Iron Pan

Cast iron pans are a cult favorite and for good reason. They’re incredibly versatile, they give a great sear, and they don’t take up that much space for how much work they do in the kitchen.

If you get one, just be sure to learn how it’s actually supposed to be used. Hint: they’re not so simple to clean.

A Wok

Woks are seriously underappreciated here in the west. You haven’t had a properly cooked stir fry or fried rice meal until you’ve had it from a wok.

You can use normal pans for cooking these things but the heat is distributed differently. The wok has the perfect balance for high heat cooking without burning. If you’re used to burned garlic in your stir fry, try using a wok next time.

A Ceramic Cookware Set

Don’t resign yourself to thrift store cookware or whatever you can find at your local grocery store. A nice set of cookware has lasting value. You’ll use it for years to come.

There are a lot of different ceramic sets to choose from. They come in fun colors and styles and they make a great gift. Check out this cookware review for thoughts and insight.

An Instant Pot

The Instant Pot got a lot of hype a few years ago and it was for good reason. These little devices are a one-stop-shop for all of your cooking needs.

You can make soups, stews, whole chickens, boiled eggs, and even desserts like cheesecakes and yogurts.

A lot of kitchen products like this are overhyped, but this one is the real deal.

An Electric Griddle

The electric griddle is the product that you don’t know you need until you have it. Then you wonder how you ever lived without it.

The best use of the griddle is for making awesome pancakes on a Saturday morning. If you have a lot of people in your house you’ll get way more out of this cooktop than you would a regular pan.

You can also use them when you have a full stove and need a little bit of extra room on the side.

These Kitchen Essentials Will Amp Up Your Cooking

A basic kitchen is fine, but why not pick up some of these kitchen essentials for yourself or a friend and see what you can cook when you have the right equipment?

These items are great for gifts or for keeping in your own kitchen and they’re all totally worth the cost.

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