If you ask anyone what their favorite room of any house is, there’s no doubt that most people will gladly answer with the kitchen. The kitchen is one part of a home that will always be there and has always been an important room for cooking, socializing, and coming together with loved ones.
What makes the kitchen such a unique place is the sheer number of accessories, tools, and utensils we invest in that help us to create such a varied range of food. Whether it’s a decadent dessert or a healthy breakfast full of fresh fruits and vegetables, none of it would be possible without a few key kitchen essentials.
If you’re planning on moving to a new house and require a whole new kitchen setup or just want to be sure you’re covered with the kitchen basics, knowing exactly what tools and accessories you need can be a nightmare.
That’s why we’ve compiled this thorough and trusty list of the must have kitchen essentials and exactly what they can bring to the table so that you don’t have to put in the hard work.
There’s no doubt that baking is one of the keys to a functioning kitchen, and there are quite a few things you need to ensure it’s done right. With the risk of burning or undercooking just about everything you make, having these key items can mean the matter of a quality meal or one that just doesn’t make the mark.
Don’t let the name fool you because a casserole dish is useful for a whole lot more than just this one dish. Usually made from either ceramic or glass, a casserole dish comes in a range of sizes and shapes intended to suit all kinds of meals.
Casserole dishes are extremely durable and handle the heat of the oven quite well, so they’re ideal for making your famous casserole, meatballs, desserts, and anything else you can think of. They come with handles built in so that you can easily remove them from the oven with two gloved hands.
We’re certainly a country that loves our pizza, but sometimes there’s nothing better than creating your own a home. A pizza pan is usually a round shaped metal tin that can be placed into the oven to have your pizza cook perfectly on and comes with either high edges or none at all.
Pizza stones are relatively new to the kitchen essentials range and are made from stone or ceramic as a way to give your pizza a more authentic taste. These stones help to cook from the bottom so that your crust is perfectly crunchy just as you’d expect in a restaurant.
If you can think of a food you’ll make in the kitchen, there’s likely a pan out there to make it. Metal and silicone pans are a staple in every kitchen, and they come in a number of shapes and sizes to suit all types of meals.
There are many different size, shapes, and materials to consider when choosing your mixing bowls. Plastic is a popular choice for baking, however, it’s also possible to purchase bowls in glass or metal. For convenience, you should have a few different sizes of bowls available to ensure there is one for different types of food preparation.
With countless recipes to try and thousands of cuisines to experiment with, you need to be sure you have the right cookware for every job. This is one area of your kitchen essentials that you don’ want to cheap on, and the right investment in quality pieces will last your household for many years to come.
As one of the oldest types of cookware possible, it’s good to know that the pressure cooker is still a priced kitchen appliance to have. These handy pieces of cookware use the pressure of steam to cook, and they’re ideal for making everything from rice, beans, eggs, braized meat, and more.
A pressure cooker features a sealed pot that has a lot of steam inside, and the pressure builds up as it goes which helps to cook your food faster. These are ideal for when you have a lot of mouths to feed, but also work just as well for small meals too.
As an absolute staple in the kitchen, no home should be without a few saucepans. These are made from metal usually and feature a long handle and deep bowl on the end. Saucepans can boil water effectively which makes them great for cooking pasta and rice, but you can also create one pot meals with them like spaghetti and soup.
A good kitchen should have a few different sizes of saucepan starting from very small ones which are great for boiling eggs to large ones that can fry a whole turkey inside. Always choose one with a safe handle that won’t burn you when the bottom gets hot.
These beautiful pieces of cookware date back to a long time ago, but they’re still very useful today. A Dutch oven is made from earthenware or iron and is heated by being placed onto hot coals. However, modern Dutch ovens can be placed directly into the oven and some even cooked on the top of the gas burner.
Usually reserved for Asian styles of cooking, a wok is a large, bowl shaped frying pan. These are ideal for keeping all of the ingredients inside due to their high edges, and they allow you to mix vigorously and shake the pan around during cooking.
Woks are usually 14 inches in diameter and made of cast iron, allowing it to get very hot on the bottom while staying relatively cool on top. They feature wooden handles on either side so that you can easily maneuver the pan while cooking.
The pan is one of the broadest terms in cookware, thanks to the many different shapes and sizes they come in. Here are just a few of the more popular pans you might consider adding to your kitchen essentials list.
These are another term for a frying pan and there isn’t much they can’t do. If you’re low on funds and looking to start your kitchen essentials, this is the best place to start due to their versatility.
Ideal for sautéing which means moving the food around as you fry it. They have straight edges when compared to a skillet so that the food stays within the pan as you cook, and they’re generally made from stainless steel and cast iron.
These have been designed to cook meats that come straight from the stovetop and into the oven, and have a locking lid that can help keep everything inside. These are some of the more multifunctional pieces of cookware you’ll find thanks to their ability to work almost anywhere.
Another word for a griddle, these are long and flat pans ideal for cooking up breakfasts like fried eggs and bacon. A grill pan can cook meats to perfection, make ideal hamburgers, and have more room to cook when you have extra mouths to feed.
These are usually the more expensive parts of a kitchen to invest in, but the ones that do the most. Appliances can range from the very small toaster to the mammoth sized refrigerator, and relate to those must have products that rely on power to operate.
No kitchen would be complete without a refrigerator, as these handy devices are where we store all of our food to keep it fresh and cool. Fridges come in all shapes and sizes from the very compact bar fridges to those with double doors and loads of room.
Choosing a fridge should be based on a few factors including how many people in your household, the extra features you might require such as an ice maker, and the layout of where the fridge and freezer are on the unit.
No American home should be without a microwave, and for many of us, this is an affordable and convenient product that we make a priority when starting out kitchen supplies. A microwave can either sit on the countertop or be installed above the range, depending on the space available in your kitchen.
Microwaves use radio waves to heat through food, so whether you want to melt a stick of butter to do some baking or need to cook an entire frozen meal in a matter of seconds, this is one appliance you can’t do without.
One of the most simple appliances of all and loved by many, the toaster is a simple way to turn your bread into delicious, warm, and golden toast.
With different variations available including two or four slice models, bagel slots, and automatic sensors, the modern toaster has certainly come a long way since its first invention.
Not to be confused with a regular toaster, a toaster oven is like a mix between a convection oven and a toaster in one. These can make you the perfect grilled cheese or even bake cookies inside, and they’re great for homes who might not have a standard oven built in.
Toasters ovens usually sit on the countertop if you have space, and have a pull open handle that allows you to see inside and watch the cooking. They’re powered by electricity and some are even small enough to take along on camping trips.
These can be found in almost every home around the world, and they use a circulation fan to rotate hot air inside that can be set to a specific temperature. There isn’t much that an oven can’t cook, and they’re especially ideal for meals like cakes, casseroles, and roasts.
Because a convection oven uses a fan to circulate the air, they’re able to cook more thoroughly and effectively than other types of oven. Although they can be expensive to purchase at first, they usually last for many years and get used almost daily.
There’s no American out there who doesn’t love a bit of deep fried food, and it’s possible now to cook your very own at home without heading to a restaurant. Deep fryers come in a few different styles including traditional oil fryers or air fryers, and even specialized turkey fryers.
The benefits of having your own deep fryer at home mean you can reduce the calories associated with these fatty meals and cook your food to suit your tastes even better. They’re affordable to own and will last for years with the right care, so you should certainly tick one off your kitchen essentials list.
This appliance is one that can take the place of many different jobs in the kitchen, and they’re similar to blenders. A food processor usually features a few varying blades and cutting accessories that can chop, dice, blend, and mix foods together.
They come in varying styles and prices, with some of the higher end models able to do more than the rest. With a quality food processor, you can grate vegetables, knead bread, and even crush ice for cold drinks and cocktails.
These are large pots powered by an electric heating device that allow you to cook meals over a few hours. A slow cooker can be used for all kinds of recipes like soups, casseroles, spaghetti sauces, and more. They’re ideal for preparing food in the morning and then leaving throughout the day to cook, giving you a freshly cooked meal by dinner time.
Most slow cookers come with two or three different heat settings: low, high, and warm. The low is for a longer cook, high will usually take just a few hours, and the warm setting is ideal for when you’re serving up dinner or meals to guests and want to keep the food hot and ready to go.
If you’ve ever tried to cook perfect rice on the stovetop, this is an invention that will make sense to you. A rice cooker is an appliance used specifically to cook all kinds of rice and is a fail proof way of getting your rice done perfectly.
Made of a heat source, cooking bowl, and thermostat, these appliances have you place rice and water inside and they will present you with perfectly cooked rice every time. They save time and effort in the kitchen which earns them the place on our essentials list.
As one of this country’s favorite foods, it’s no wonder that so many homes have access to their very own waffle makers.
Waffles are a staple that can be added to any way you wish, whether you want to make up some gluten free batter and add fruit on top or go for something decadent with whipped cream and sprinkles. They can be sweet or savory and created in minutes, making this a must have appliance.
When you prefer to know every single ingredient that goes into your bread, you’ll want to invest in a bread maker. These appliances make it easy to create all different kinds of bread so that you have complete control over the outcome.
Bread makers work by taking all of the effort out of the process and can help you decide everything from the style of bread you want to what type of baking mode you need. You insert the ingredients, leave it to cook, and the result is fresh and natural bread that you can eat in no time at all.
These are long and flat cooking surfaces that can be plugged into the wall for instant heat. For homes that require a little more space than a standard frying pan, a griddle is a great way to cook more with less effort.
Although commonly found in commercial kitchens, there are many homes that have access to a griddle that fits perfectly on their countertop when they have to feed more mouths.
These appliances do exactly as the name suggests and can roast your meats and vegetables to perfection. For those homes that might not have access to an oven or just prefer to use an appliance specifically made for roasting, you might want to invest in a roaster to get your meat cooked to perfection.
Roasters usually look like large, enclosed countertop cookers and they are not only great for cooking the food but also ideal for serving. If you have guests over for Thanksgiving or events, a roaster can keep the meat warm and tender until it’s time to be served up.
There are a few options for food steamers depending on how you prefer to cook, but a popular way is to use an electric food steamer. Rather than cooking in the microwave or on the stovetop, an electric food steamer lets you steam more than just vegetables so that you can eat healthier meals in an instant.
These steamers are usually designed to be multi level so that you can cook separated ingredients on each one. You simply place the food inside, set it for as long as you need, and you can watch the cooking as it happens thanks to the glass or plastic containers.
As one of the oldest appliances known to the American kitchen, the blender is ideal for making a whole range of things. This appliance does just as the name says and can blend things with ease so that you don’t have to put in any hard work.
A quality blender can replace a few kitchen utensils and is useful for making soups, desserts, juices, frozen drinks, and more. The best thing about a blender is that you can be creative with how you use it, and they’re durable and large enough to fit quite a few ingredients inside, hot or cold.
There’s no denying just how good a fresh juice is for you, and after the huge boom of juices in the 80s these wonderful drinks show no signs of slowing down. A juicer is unique in that it can take whole fruits and vegetables and crush them into a liquid in mere seconds so that they’re immediately enjoyable.
Juicers give you an easy way to get your daily recommended serves of all the best foods, and put them in one simple drink. They are a little bit noisy to use, but the other benefits far outweigh the sound and they’re a great addition to any kitchen.
A mixer is a simple and electric way to do the tough mixing jobs you would usually perform by hand. These handheld devices plug into the power outlet and use a button to turn them on, giving you access to a few different attachments usually that can perform different kinds of mixing jobs.
Mixers work with hot and cold ingredients, so they’re extremely versatile in the types of cuisine they can help to prepare.
Considering the average American drinks 2.1 cups of coffee a day, it’s no wonder that no kitchen should be complete without at least one way to make our favorite drink. Depending on the style of coffee you like and how much time you have in the morning, there are a few popular appliances for making this beloved beverage.
Espresso machines get the most authentic tasting coffee but require a little more work, as compared to the pod machines which usually operate with just the push of a button. For a more old school approach, there are electric coffee makers and filters that let you keep a hot brew on all day.
For the lovers of tea, the number one appliance you rely on is a kettle. These fill up with water and are plugged into a power source to heat them, and once the water has reached the boiling point they turn off again. Some come with whistles or alarms to tell you when it’s done, and they can be made from glass, stainless steel, or plastic.
You’ll be hard pressed finding someone who isn’t a fan of ice cream, and it’s easy enough to make your own at home with an ice cream machine. When you create ice cream this way, you have a say over what ingredients go in and you can adapt it to suit dietary requirements, tastes, and preferences.
An ice cream machine works by churning and freezing the ice cream mixture at the same time, and delivers you with thick and cold ice cream in a matter of minutes. These are great to have on hand for anyone with a sweet tooth who wants a healthier treat without feeling guilty later.
Although some homes come with burners and cooktops built in, there is also the option of purchasing a standalone unit. Whichever option you decide on, this is one of these essential appliances that every home needs.
A burner or stove cooktop allows you to heat saucepans, frying pans, woks, and other cooking utensils so that you can cook basically any meal you like. Some use a mixture of gas and electricity to work, whereas others are simply electric.
If you’ve even cooked anything in the kitchen that caused a little bit of smoke, you’ll understand why a range hood is on our essential kitchen list. These are large fans that sit above the stove or cooktop and whisks away smoke and fumes as it’s created. Not only are they great at getting rid of smoke, but they can even remove grease from the air and help to keep your kitchen clean.
This is one unique part of your kitchen essentials that will not only be used to prepare the food but also to enjoy it. Cutlery can include everything from a boning knife to the cutting board you use them on, so this is quite a detailed area.
With literally hundreds of different types of knives, you could never collect them all for your kitchen. Here are just a few popular knives that might be useful in the preparation and consumption of your food:
Used to describe a heavier duty type of knife, these are usually more expensive but extremely handy for preparing meats and vegetables.
These can remove the bones from fish, poultry, and meat, and features a sharp point to get the job done.
Referring to a multi purpose type of knife, a chef’s knife is able to perform a number of jobs so they’re ideal when stocking up on kitchen essentials.
An electric knife uses a motor to cut and they are great for carving up meats.
With either serrated or straight edge, steak knives are sharp and designed specifically to cut through meat.
There’s often a lot of debate about the best way to store your knives, so it comes down to the individual’s preference. Knife blocks are made from wood and feature small slots that your knives can sit in until they’re used.
A magnetic knife strip is connected to the wall and allows you to stick your knives there using a magnet so you have easy access to them.
No matter if you have cheap knives or expensive ones, they will need to be sharpened regularly so that they continue to work effectively and safely. There are a few options for knife sharpeners including sharpening rods, stones, and hones, so it all depends on which method you prefer.
Not to be confused with a standard knife, a cleaver is like a heavier tool that has a broad blade. These are ideal for chopping meat, so any home that regularly purchases bulk cuts of meat or larger steaks will need to cut them before freezing or preparing by using a cleaver.
These are similar to scissors but used mainly in the kitchen when preparing food. Shears are great for cutting through tough meat and vegetables but can be used anywhere that require a bit of extra force behind your cut.
There are many different types of cutting boards to choose from, including glass, marble, stainless steel, plastic, wood, and bamboo. Each has their own pros and cons so it will depend on your preferences, but the most popular and hygienic is a wooden cutting board.
This is the area where you can have a little fun in the kitchen, with a number of very quirky gadgets available to mix in with the must-have utensils. Depending on your kitchen, there might be some more appealing than others, but the main aim here is to reduce the hard work you put in.
The sheer number of cooking utensils can be scary to see, so it’s best to start with just the basics. Here are a few items that will make it easier for you to cook dinner each night, and once your culinary skills increase you might want to add more.
A metal spatula is ideal for flipping eggs and burgers, where a rubber spatula is better equipped for mixing pancakes and cake batter.
Use to scoop up soups and pasta with ease, these feature a round bowl on the end of a stick.
Ideal for beating cream, eggs, and batters together quickly and easily, this is a must have for any kitchen.
A quality pair of gripping tongs is great for turning meats and tossing stir fries is required, but ensure that they can lock together for safety.
Simple but effective devices, a potato masher features a grid like apparatus on the end that’s used to squash your cooked potatoes into a soft and creamy mash.
When making any type of recipe it will call for exact measurements, so you’ll need some items to do this with.
Firstly, digital scales are ideal for weighing ingredients, and secondly, you’ll need a measuring jug or cups and a set of smaller measuring spoons.
This is an area where you can get a little creative if you like to spend more time and effort in making your meals. As a bare minimum, you should have a peeler for your vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, as well as a metal grater. Look for one with a few different grating settings that can be used for cheese, vegetables, and more.
Although many cans and tins now come with a pull ring handle to get the top off, you’ll always find the one tin you need doesn’t have it. A good kitchen should be prepared with a can opener for tinned tomatoes, soups, and dog food.
These simple utensils work by piercing the lid of a metal can and then turning a handle that allows you to cut perfectly around the inside edge of the can. There are both electric and manual can openers available, depending on how often you need to open a tin and your strength level.
No meal should be without either a sprinkling of salt, pepper, or both, so it’s up to you how you want to serve them. There are traditional shakers, electric grinders, or manual grinders, and it all depends on how you like the end result.
The expert chef understands how important it is to season food, and having a number of spices and seasons available on hand is essential. To keep them organized, you can invest in a spice rack that clearly shows the labels of each so you can keep an eye on when it’s time to refill.
To keep a close eye on everything you cook, you need the gadgets to do so. Thermometers can be used to check the temperature of meats, water, broths, and desserts.
A timer is handy to have when cooking cakes, eggs, and anything else that requires precise timing.
Finally, there are some kitchen essentials that just don’t fit in with the rest of them but are none less important. Here are a few things you can add to your kitchen that will help with organization and cleanliness.
This covers all aspects of linen in the kitchen and includes items like aprons, potholders, oven mitts, and dish towels. These are usually both practical and decorative, so have multiple uses in the kitchen.
There are a number of ways to organize your kitchen nowadays, with separate compartments, drawers, and racks for knives, dinnerware, stemware, utensils, flatware, and storage containers. For keeping food, you can invest in a few quality glass and plastic containers of varying sizes to help keep them fresh.
Although technically not a food, many people keep their cocktail making accessories in the kitchen for when guests come over. These can include things like shakers, stirrers, and reusable ice cubes, adding an elegant touch to a meal when served up with appetizers.
Once you’ve done the hard work of cooking and preparing your food, there are a number of ways you can present the meals to friend and family. There are appetizer trays, serving dishes, and smaller bowls for dips and salsa.
While it might seem like a lot to take in at first, you’ll probably find that if you dig through your kitchen long enough you already have a lot of the key ingredients it takes to have the kitchen essentials ticked off.
When you invest in quality and durable kitchen utensils and accessories, you’re only increasing the range of food you can enjoy at home and teaching yourself valuable cooking skills along the way.
There’s nothing worse than getting half way through a recipe to find you’re missing a key ingredient or don’t have a simple utensil to help you prepare it. By stocking up on this list and getting just a few things at a time, you’ll find that in no time you have a comprehensive kitchen that’s capable of whipping up just about any meal you set your heart on.
Never before has it been more important to cook our own meals at home and take charge of improving our nutrition, and this can be done easily when you have the right gear at home to get started.
Whether you start off small with just a few key appliances like toasters and microwaves or want to cross the entire list off, there’s no limit to what you can achieve with the right tools.