When I moved into my first apartment, my food was a sad sight and mainly consisted of a collection of used plates, glassware, cookware, and utensils from the local thrift store. I needed a guide to essential kitchen tools, but the internet was not available at the time. So I made my way through as best I could, and eventually what started out as a collection of odds and ends turned into a full, fully stocked kitchen.
With so many products on the market, it’s hard to know what’s essential kitchen tools and what you can only use every now and then. Below are the essentials for any starter kitchen, the items I use in my own home kitchen every day, or at least once a week.
What this list includes: Gadgets and kitchen utensils needed in an everyday, well-stocked kitchen.
What this list does not include: Cast iron pans, Dutch ovens, baking sheets, baking dishes, storage vessels, paper towels and kitchen equipment such as immersion blenders, slow cookers, stand mixers and food processors.
Every kitchen needs three knives: a chef’s knife to do most of your cutting, a serrated knife for slicing bread, and a paring knife for slicing or chopping smaller items. You can buy a knife block that has it all, or you can choose to mix and match.
The Victorinox Fibrox chef’s knife is a great budget option, with a super sharp blade that sounds $47.58.
This knife will be able to meet all your all-purpose cutting needs!
Victorinox also offers a very affordable product, very sharp paring knife.
Available for only $ 8.38 with Prime shipping, and you can choose your color.
I wouldn’t spend too much money on a bread knife, because unlike other types of knives, this one cannot be easily sharpened. The Prime shipping Mercer Culinary 10 inch serrated knife $ 22.28 is the one I got in culinary school.
It’s a excellent knife for slicing bread, as well as cutting tomatoes if your chef’s knife is dull.
If you’re looking to break the bank and get all the knives plus a nice knife block, this Set of 7 Zwilling JA Henckles Twin Pro S knives will cover all your needs.
For $ 329.95 with Prime shipping, you will get four premium knives that are well respected by professional chefs, as well as a set of kitchen shears and sharpening steel.
However, if you are a home cook on a budget and only looking for the basics, this HENCKELS Forged Premio Starter Knife Set has the three knives you need to start your kitchen for just $ 54.95.
2. Cutting boards
To accompany your new sharp knives, you will need cutting boards! They come in all shapes, sizes and varieties. I love my bamboo wood cutting boards for vegetables and my plastic cutting boards for protein.
This set of three bamboo cutting boards comes in three sizes for all your cutting needs.
At $ 24.97 with Prime shipping, this deal is a steal!
Those plastic cutting boards have rubber feet to keep them from slipping on the counter while you are cutting. With grooves to catch juices, you can feel good that your work surface remains free of raw meat juices.
At $ 26.81 for three cutting boards, with Prime shipping it’s hard to say no to this deal.
If you want to go crazy over it, order a cutting board die-cut in the shape of your state. Show your Texas pride with this $ 19.99 Top notch shipping item.
3. Mixing bowls
Mixing bowls are essential kitchen tools. Just try to mix a cake without them! They come in many different materials, but I prefer my glass mixing bowls. They are easy to clean, heat resistant, dishwasher safe and do not react to any food product.
These Pyrex glass mixing bowls come with lids, are microwave, dishwasher and oven safe. Mix, cook and store in this set for only $ 12.96 with Prime shipping.
4. Measuring cups and spoons
Again, try to bake a cake without measuring cups or measuring spoons. You are going to have a bad time. I am looking for a set that is easy to store and washable in the dishwasher.
Metal sets aren’t as sexy as their colored plastic counterparts, but they last longer and are easier to clean.
This metal set has a nifty ring to keep all of your measuring tools together, and they’re stackable to save space. It’s a good deal at $ 12.97 with Prime shipping.
Don’t forget your liquid measuring cup. I love this Oxo Good Grips angled measuring cup for $ 18.37 with Prime shipping, because you can see your measurement from the top as well as from the side.
5. Can opener
While some people prefer an electric can opener, I have found that there is nothing better than a sturdy and reliable manual can opener.
You’re going to have a hard time opening this box without one of these gadgets!
Some people swear by their electric can openers, but I love the OXO Good Grips Soft Handle Can Opener. It’s low maintenance, reliable and only $ 14.95.
From draining pasta to washing vegetables, I use my colander almost every day. I have a plastic one for draining pasta, washing canned beans, and rinsing veggies because it’s easy to clean.
I have a set of fine mesh strainers for heavy filtering, like removing all the sediment from my homemade chicken broth.
The KitchenAid Plastic Colander Colander is classic and functional, and it has subtle hints of pistachio color! It also works great instead of a salad spinner.
At $ 14.79, this is a great colander that will last a long time and has handles for easy use.
These Cuisinart stainless steel strainers are available in a set of three for $ 12.99 with Prime shipping.
They are great for sifting dry ingredients, as well as filtering fine sediment. Added bonus: they stack for easy storage!
7. Vegetable peeler
I not only use my peeler for peeling vegetables, but I also use it for making salads. I love shaved asparagus on my salads! It is much more efficient than using a normal box grater.
I especially like this $ 11.95 Precision Kitchenware Stainless Steel Peeler, as it has two sides – one for peeling and one for julienne cutting.
You can use the julienne side to make noodles from zucchini, carrots and asparagus.
8. Spoons, whisks, spatulas and tongs
All of these things are necessary if you plan to cook anything. Store them in a cute utensil basket like this one $ 20 Mud Pie Utensil Holder.
Wooden spoons are my favorite for making soups and sauces. They are amazingly functional and they look great in my kitchen.
A set like this high quality Lipper International Bamboo Kitchen Utensil Set for $ 8.53 With the free add-on, Prime delivery provides you with all the utensils you need in the kitchen.
Whisks are great for cooking roux soups like okra, or for mixing dressings.
I love this set of three wired silicone whips for $ 12.95 because they don’t ruin my nonstick cookware, and who doesn’t love a splash of color in the kitchen?
As much as I love my wooden utensils, spatulas are still a kitchen staple.
This 9 pieces in bright colors set of silicone spatulas for $ 13.99 is particularly useful for scraping the last bits of the blender or for scrambling eggs.
Tongs may be at the top of my favorite kitchen essentials list. Great for stirring pasta, flipping steaks, and keeping my hands at arm’s length when frying chicken.
They are coated with silicone or stainless steel, and I prefer this steel $ 13.99 because I can take them outside on the grill.
9. Meat thermometers
I have two types of thermometers: one that I can use on demand and one that is useful for roasts.
This ThermoPro Digital Cooking Thermometer is easy to calibrate and quickly reads the temperature of cooked food.
It can read up to 572 degrees F, which means you can use it to measure the temperature of fryer oil.
This high quality ThermoPro digital cooking thermometer is one of the best buys I have ever purchased.
Don’t wonder if this turkey is made for Thanksgiving because with this thermometer at $ 17.99, you can set it and its alarm will go off when the turkey is done!
10. Napkins and pot holders
Don’t forget these must-have kitchen utensils! A good set of napkins and pot holders will spruce up your kitchen and protect you from burns when you take your baking sheet or casserole dish out of the oven.
Those Utopia kitchen towels come in a pack of twelve for $ 17.99 and add a splash of color to your kitchen.
They are not only super soft, but they are also absorbent, which makes them perfect for easy cleaning and drying of dishes.
Simple pot holders like these Kitchen Everyday pot holders are my favorite and they are easy to store in a drawer.
For $ 15.99 with Prime shipping, you get a set of 5 in the color of your choice.
This article was originally published on May 22, 2017.