hen I moved into my first apartment, my kitchen was a sad sight and mostly included a collection of second-hand plates, glassware, cookware, and utensils from the local thrift store. I needed an essential kitchen tools guide, but the internet wasn’t available back then. So I forged my way through the best I could, and eventually what started as a collection of odds-and-ends turned into a full-on, well-stocked kitchen.
With so many products on the market, it’s hard to know what are essential kitchen tools and what you might only use from time to time. Below are the essentials for any starter kitchen, items that I use in my own home kitchen every day, or at least once a week.
What this list includes: Kitchen gadgets and utensils that are needed in an every-day, well-stocked kitchen.
What this list doesn’t include: Cast iron skillets, dutch ovens, sheet pans, baking dishes, storage containers, paper towels, and kitchen equipment such as smoothie blenders and food processors.
Every kitchen needs three knives: a Chef’s knife to do the bulk of your cutting, a serrated knife for cutting bread, and a paring knife for slicing or mincing smaller items. You can buy a knife block that has all of these, or you can opt to mix-and-match.
The Victorinox Fibrox Chef’s Knife is a great budget option, with a super sharp blade.
This knife will be able to handle all of your all-purpose cutting needs!
2. Cutting Boards
To go along with your new, sharp knives, you’re going to need some cutting boards! They come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties. I like my bamboo wooden cutting boards for veggies and plastic cutting boards for proteins.
3. Mixing Bowls
Mixing bowls are essential kitchen tools. Just try mixing a cake without them! They come in many different materials, but I prefer my glass mixing bowls. They’re easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and don’t react to any food products.
4. Measuring Cups & Spoons
Again, try to make a cake without measuring cups and measuring spoons. You’re going to have a bad time. I look for a set that is easy to store and can be washed in the dishwasher.
5. Can Opener
While some people favor an electric can opener, I’ve found that there’s nothing better than a sturdy and reliable manual can opener.
From draining pasta to washing veggies, I use my colander almost every day. I have a plastic one for draining pasta, washing canned beans, and rinsing off vegetables because it’s easy to clean.
I have a set of fine-mesh strainers for the heavy duty straining, like getting all of the sediment out of my homemade chicken broth.
7. Vegetable Peeler
I not only use my peeler for peeling vegetables, but I also use it for prepping salads. I love shaved asparagus on my salads! It’s much more efficient than using a normal grater.
8. Spoons, Whisks, Spatulas, and Tongs
9. Meat Thermometers
I have two types of thermometers: one that I can use on-demand, and one that is useful for roasts.
10. Towels and Potholders
Don’t forget these essential kitchen tools! A good towel and potholder set will make your kitchen look beautiful and protect you from burns.