I’m Moving To My Very First Apartment; What Basic Tools Do I Need In My New Kitchen
Outfitting a kitchen for the first time can be a daunting task. There are so many gadgets, tools, and appliances out there that it can be extremely difficult to know what you’ll need. But don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Before you start your culinary shopping spree, we’ve compiled a list of the most important tools you need to cook nearly anything in your new kitchen. Check it out below!
The single most important item in your kitchen is your chef’s knife. Used for filleting, mincing, chopping, dicing and any other cutting you need, a sharp, reliable, and easy to handle knife is key. Typically ranging from 6-14 inches, this straight (non-serrated) blade is the workhorse of nearly every meal. For your first knife, we suggest a 6-8 inch blade. This is the best size for cutting a steak for presentation, mincing garlic, or cutting down larger vegetables like peppers and onions. *Important Note* It’s critical that you keep your chef’s knife sharp! The leading cause of injuries in the kitchen isn’t a sharp knife– it’s a dull one. A dull knife will result in you using too much pressure and potentially hurting yourself. We suggest getting a beginner knife sharpener that you can easily run your knife through when it starts to dull.
Measuring Cups & Spoons
The last thing you want when cooking is to realize that you don’t know how much of an ingredient to use. A good set of measuring spoons and cups will make sure that this never happens. If you don’t spend much time in a kitchen, you may not be sure of the difference between a tablespoon and a teaspoon. But you’ll learn very quickly if you put a tablespoon of salt in a recipe instead of a teaspoon.
While this may sound like a broad topic, it boils down to utensils you use to interact with cooking food. This may be stirring caramelizing onions, flipping pancakes, or deglazing a pan, but you need tools that won’t hurt your pan or you. These include:
- Several wooden spoons, perfect for sauteing veggies
- Plastic spatula for flipping
- Silicon spatula for scraping
- Whisk for whisking
- Pair of tongs for everything else
Now that you’ve gotten your instruments, you need something to cook in! The skillet is a versatile pan, perfect for everything from searing steaks to cooking pancakes. There are three different types of skillets: non-stick, stainless steel, and cast iron. While each has its own advantages and drawbacks, beginners can’t go wrong with a 12” stainless steel skillet. They cook food easily, make a great crust, and are simple to take care of. We suggest having at least two skillets of varying sizes, so you can have multiple things cooking at once.
Pots are just as important to a functioning kitchen. You can’t boil water for pasta in a skillet! Similarly, pots come in the non-stick and stainless steel variety, and while both are useful, we suggest stainless steel again. Get pots of several sizes, so you’ll have the right one for the job.
Sheet pans are the perfect pan for a wide variety of meals, including baked chicken, roasted vegetables, and cookies. We suggest getting a smaller one for sides and a larger one for full sheet pan dinners.
Dishes & Tools
Your fancy new chef’s knife will be worthless if you don’t have anything to cut on! Get rid of those bendable, slippery cutting boards and invest in a good, wooden one. A good cutting board should be large enough to use without having ingredients slip off, with a groove around the perimeter to catch any juice that might drip off. It also helps keep your knives sharp!
While you can drain pasta with a lid and a pot, a colander makes the whole process easier. This one kitchen tool is perfect for washing veggies, rinsing rice, and a whole bunch of other tasks.
There are few things more useful than a set of reliable, lightweight prep bowls. They’re perfect for every occasion, from scrambling eggs to creating a marinade.
Instant Read Thermometer
While this may sound unnecessary, an instant-read thermometer is key to perfectly cooked meat. Cutting open a steak to see if it’s done is a surefire way to dry it out, but with an instant-read thermometer, you can find out in the most non-invasive way possible.