Basic Kitchen Equipment You Should Have

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When you move into a new apartment, you probably have a list a mile long of things you need. While some things may be “wants,” – others are necessities. After all, you need a bed to sleep in each night, but that deluxe espresso machine you’ve been coveting – well, it may just have to wait.

One of the spaces in your apartment, which can seem to have a must-buy list that’s a mile long, is the kitchen. But what things do you truly need to get yourself started? Here’s a list that can help!

  • Cutlery – everyone needs utensils to eat with
  • Cups and Glasses – for all of your basic beverage needs
  • Plates – to serve your dinner
  • A chef’s knife – a chef’s knife can handle most of your slicing and dicing needs
  • Medium-sized pot and 10-12 inch pan – if you have just these two pans, you’ll probably be just fine
  • A large spoon (for stirring) – most basic sets of cutlery will not contain a big spoon – so pick one up
  • A spatula – for flipping things, of course
  • Potholders/oven mitts – for those hot pots and pans
  • A glass baking dish (13”x9”) – perfect for baking a multitude of things
  • A baking sheet – for warming up pizza or baking cookies
  • A colander – for draining pasta
  • A can opener – yes, for opening all of those cans

Now, while you will be able to do a lot with these basics, there will probably be some things where you will want to invest some money. Not sure what those items are? Here are a few that the experts recommend!

  • Your Knives: A chef’s knife can do it all, but it’s really designed to chop and slice. You should also consider adding a paring knife (a small knife usually used for produce) and a serrated knife (used to slice things that can be “squished” – like tomatoes and bread). 
  • Pots and Pans in Various Sizes: There are lots of great sets of pots and pans out there that can provide you with various sizes – and not break the bank. You may want to spend a bit more so that your pots and pans are sure to last – especially if you cook at home a lot.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: If you like to follow recipes, these are going to move to your necessity list. 
  • Cutting Boards: Pick up a couple of cutting boards to protect your countertops. Also, think about using one for cutting onions and garlic only (as cutting boards can retain the smell of these things – even when washed), one for meats, and one for everything else.
  • Mixing Bowls: Purchase a set of glass or stainless steel mixing bowls in several different sizes to help with meal preparation. They’re perfect for all of your mixing needs but can also act as a “trash” bowl while cooking. 
  • Food Storage Containers: Pick up a good set of food storage containers. Think about going with glass containers with some heavy-duty lids. They’ll last longer and won’t discolor as much over time.

This list does not include small appliances you may want also. While you’re oven, stove and microwave can handle pretty much everything, you might think about:

  • A coffee pot/machine
  • Toaster oven
  • Blender
  • Slow cooker
  • Small food processor

And try to avoid what Alton Brown refers to as “unitaskers” – those pieces of kitchen equipment that only serve one purpose. These are things like a strawberry slicer or a laser-guided pizza cutter. These items only take up space, and you’ll find that you just don’t use them.

If you’re ready to get cooking in your kitchen, then start by picking up the basics – and then adding some investment pieces and extras. You’ll soon have a fully stocked kitchen and the ability to whip up whatever recipes you desire!

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