Kitchen Essentials: The basics
Kitchen essentials is not a comprehensive list, but a list of useful everyday cooking essentials to get your kitchen stocked for all daily cooking your needs.
It doesn’t matter if you’re beginning from scratch, fresh out of school, or a seasoned cook and want to see if you can improve your kitchen essentials, here’s a short list of basic essentials for your kitchen. Everything from pots and pans to cooking utensils, measuring tools and food prep, you cannot go wrong adding in these everyday kitchen basics.
Using these kitchen essentials help cover basic kitcken skills you need to boil, simmer, sear, fry, mix, measure, cut, strain, and serve. Think you already have most of these basics covered? Then check out our holiday gift guide for the home cook packed with even more stuff to fill your kitchen.
1. Nonstick Cookware Set
Invest in a quality nonstick cookware set. You will use these items every day so quality over quantity. You’ll use skillets for everything from sauteing vegetables and meat, pan-frying seafood and meat, and cooking eggs.. Pots are great for making pasta, sauces, and gravies. You’ll want a couple sizes so the 5 quart and larger compliment each other.
- Our pick: All-Clad 10-Piece Cookware Set
2. Knife Set
Your knife set is another must have tool that you will be using multiple times daily for slicing, dicing, cutting, and chopping. Wise to invest in a higher quality set that will last longer (and hold up when you inevitably put them in the dishwasher).
- Our pick: HENCKELS 15-Piece Knife Set with Block
3. Measuring Spoons
When you start following recipes a must in the kitchen to get the perfect measurements of seasoning, liquids, and herbs. The set you buy should have 1 tablespoon, 1/2 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1/4 teaspoon and 1/8 teaspoon. Should also be noted that measurements in most recipes (and preferences) are a little forgiving, it is good practice to follow the original recipe’s measurements and season it to taste from there.
- Our pick: 6-Piece Plastic Measuring Spoons
4. Mixing Bowls
You will want an assortment of mixing bowls to assist in cooking things like cakes, cookies, sauces, or coating items. Also great for eating cereal.
- Our pick: 3-Piece Stainless-Steel Mixing Bowls
5. Measuring Cups
Most of the time you will use measuring cups to make sure you’re getting the perfect ratio of rice to water. Measuring cups help you follow a recipe’s exact directions ensuring you get the perfect result.
- Our pick: 6-Piece Plastic Measuring Cups
A colander comes in handy for draining cooked pasta or if the drainage is fine enough to wash the rice. A 5-quart colander can hold up to 1 pound of cooked pasta.
- Our pick: Stainless Steel Colander
7. Cutting Board
Chopping, cutting, and mincing are regular tasks during meal prep and for this you’ll want something durable and easy to clean. If you’re like us you might like the ease of tossing this plastic cutting board in the dishwasher.
- Our pick: Plastic Cutting Board
You donlt know you need cooking spoons until it’s too late. These are great for ladling soups, sauces, and stirring. We prefer wood or silicone for these because they’re often used in your nonstick pots and pans. Metal ones will scratch the coating and that’s no fun.
- Our pick: 3- Piece Wooden Utensil Set
Every once and a while you need to perfectly blend spices or liquids and for this we use the whisk. Not used everyday, but an essential part of the kitchen tool kit.
- Our pick: 11-Inch Balloon Whisk
10. Silicone Spatulas Set
These are great for frying, sauteing, or flipping with your nonstick cookset. You will use these nearly every day so make sure you get a set you like and that will last.
- Our pick: 3 Piece Silicone Spatula Set
11. Metal Utensil Set
These are great to use with serving as well as applications where you need the utensils to withstand some serious heat. That’s why we like stainless steel as it stands up against heat and dishwashers!
There’s always a need to use from flipping hot meat to spreading potatoes out on a hot baking sheet. You’ll be glad you have a pair of tongs handy.
- Our pick: 12-Inch Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs
That’s it for the basics of what I think every basic kitchen should have. To summarize, here’s a quick list of everything you’ll need.
TLDR: Quick Shopping List
- Nonstick Cookware Set
- Knife Set
- Measuring Spoons
- Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups
- Cutting Board
- Silicone Spatulas Set
- Metal Utensil Set