20 Kitchen Must Haves
We all have those items in our kitchen that we use daily and could not live without. What about new cooks, what would I recommend for them to have in their kitchen?
I have created a list of my top twenty must haves for a kitchen and an additional ten that are great to have but not necessary for every day.
20 Must Haves
1. Mixer (hand mixer or stand mixer)
I love a stand mixer. My favorite is the KitchenAid. I have had one for many years and it is versatile. There are so many great attachments you can purchase to go with it making it a true power house in the kitchen.
2. Large Oven Safe Saute Pan with Lid
When I first started cooking I didn’t have an oven safe saute pan or skillet. So often I would find myself burning the outside of my chicken while trying to finish cooking the inside. I love to start chicken or pork on the stove to brown it and then finish it in the oven. The meat is so tender and juicy this way.
3. Small and Medium Saucepans
Great for warming pasta sauces, cooking vegetables and everyday cooking.
4. Large Pot for Soups, Chili or Pasta
If you want to make soup from scratch you will need a large pot. I love this one as it has a pour spot for draining pasta water.
5. Immersion Blender or Regular Blender
I got an immersion blender years ago for Christmas and I wondered how often I would use it. The answer a lot more often than you think. The newer ones come with the chopping attachments and are especially great for those with small kitchens.
6. Cheese Grater
A cheese grater is definitely an essential. It can be used for so much more than cheese. Want to make zucchini muffins use the greater to shred the zucchini. Making a teriyaki rice bowl and want shredded carrots in it use the cheese grater.
7. Good Chef’s Knife
Most people think that buying a knife set is very important. However, you will find that the knife you use most is your chef’s knife. It is worth investing in a good one that will last you a long time. I find a comfortable size for me is an 8″ but some cooks want a 10″ knife. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable with the knife.
8. Cooking Utensils
Cooking utensils are essential. You need a slotted spoon, solid spoon, spatula and a pasta fork. Nylon and silicone are your best options as you will be able to use them on all cookware.
9. Liquid Measuring Cups
Some cooks use dry measuring cups for liquid ingredients. However, it is important to have separate liquid measuring cups to make sure you are getting accurate measurements for your liquid ingredients.
10. Pyrex Glass Baking Dishes
I love these baking dishes. So great for brownies, oven fajitas, roast chicken and so much more.
11. Bakeware Set
Every home kitchen needs bakeware. A sheet pan can be used to make a cake, roasted veggies or even a sheet pan shrimp boil. Cake pans, muffin tins and loaf pans just add the ability to make so many things from your own kitchen. You can even make the ever so popular banana bread.
12. Dry Measuring Cups & Spoons
As important as liquid measuring cups are dry measuring cups. This is a great set that includes some smaller measurements which can be a little bit harder to find. If I am cutting a recipe in half I always find I am looking for the 1/8 tsp.
13. Mixing Bowls
We have all used a mixing bowl. A great versatile item that can be used to scramble eggs, mix batter, make pizza dough and so much more.
Tongs are great tool in the kitchen for picking up meat, pasta and roasted veggies. I have a few pairs including some small and large ones.
15. Meat Thermometer
Have you ever cooked chicken and wondered is it done? I started using a meat thermometer about ten years ago and anytime I am cooking in a kitchen without one I feel so lost. I like the proof of the temperature to ensure that the chicken or pork is cooked all the way.
16. Kitchen Scale
A kitchen scale is great for those recipes that list the ingredients in weights instead of measures. However, I find I use mine mostly when I am splitting up large packages of meat I got from the grocery store. A family pack of hamburger or chicken is almost always cheaper by the pound than the individual packs. A scale and some Ziploc freezer bags makes it easy to buy in bulk and divide into the portions for your meals.
Want to make home made whip cream? You will need a whisk for that. I love a larger whisk as I find them easier to use.
18. Kitchen Shears
Recently I made a recipe of spatchcocked Cornish hens (where you remove the back bone). The easiest way to do this is by using kitchen shears. Also great for cutting homemade pasta.
19. Wooden Spoons
Over the years I have come across quite a few recipes that call for a wooden spoon to be used. They are really great to use when melting cheese for fondue.
20. Pot Holders
A good set of pot holders are a must. No one wants to drop a towel while trying to get a hot pan out of the oven. I love these as the come up a little ways on the arm to give better protection.