10 Kitchen Essentials for Any Amateur Chef

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Whether you’ve just moved out on your own or you’re finally ready to ditch the takeout and use your kitchen, there are certain kitchen tools you need to prepare even the most basic meals.

If you’re buying them all at once, it’s important to know these kitchen essentials so you don’t waste money on utensils or equipment you will rarely use.

If you’re taking stock of your kitchen, it’s good to know what you might still need. We’ll give you the rundown with this kitchen essentials checklist in this article, so keep reading for information you won’t want to miss.

1. 12” Frying Pan

Frying pans come in all shapes and sizes, but for starting out, a good 12-inch pan will do the job. Big enough to cook pancakes or stir fry, and small enough to save space for larger pans and pots to come.

2. 3-Quart Saucepan

Whether you’re making a reduction or boxed macaroni and cheese, a 3-quart saucepan is a kitchen staple. It’s versatile and can be used in many ways.

3. 9×13 Casserole Dish

For both dinners and desserts, this dish gets plenty of mileage. They can be made of glass, ceramic, or metal. They all get the job done, but some are better suited for certain recipes.

4. Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups

Of all the kitchen essentials, measuring spoons could make or break your new recipe. If you try to guess a teaspoon of salt but get closer to a tablespoon, those cookies will be ruined.

It’s also important to have both liquid and dry measuring spoons and measuring cups for the most precise measurements.

5. Knife Set

A basic knife set should include a chef’s knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife. While these are great for prepping food before it’s cooked, it’s also important to have steak knives in your arsenal for guests to use at the table.

If you only have a basic set, you can add this steak knife set to your kitchen.

6. Cutting Board

Sure, you can use a plate to chop your vegetables or trim your cuts of meat. However, doing this could leave scratches on the plate and the upturned sides will make cutting difficult. It’s much easier to simply add a cutting board to your kitchen equipment.

Cutting boards come in all sorts of materials, and all require different maintenance. Buying a good, machine-washable cutting board is best for beginners.

7. Box Grater

Box graters are a handy tool in that they have different types of grating options on every side. Your cheese can be finely or coarsely grated, and you can use the zester side for your lemons, limes, or ginger.

8. Mixing Bowls

Usually in sets of three (small, medium, and large), mixing bowls are another must-have in the kitchen. They aren’t just used for mixing, but also can be for holding prepped ingredients and (if they look nice enough) serving.

9. Cooking Utensils

We could be cheating by lumping all these kitchen tools in one category, but cooking utensils come in many shapes and sizes and all serve important roles.

Spatulas are good for transferring wet ingredients into another bowl or pan. Slotted spoons and ladles are good for pasta, soups, and sauces. Turners (or slotted turners) are necessary when cooking burgers, chicken, and pancakes.

10. Oven Mitts

You could bake the best dish, but if you have no way of getting it out of the oven, you’ve got a problem. Dish towels could work, but if there’s any moisture on them from drying your hands, that heat will transfer immediately from the pan to your hand.

Oven mitts (or at least one to start) are good to have to protect your hands and can double as a hot pad if need be.

Kitchen Essentials Made Simple

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with something new. With these kitchen essentials, you’ll be able to get started baking and cooking and know you have what you need.

For more tips on home essentials and recipes, you can check out our other articles.