14 Must Have Kitchen Items To Have On Hand

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For those who are inexperienced in the kitchen, especially young people and people who have spent their lives using and abusing their collection of takeout menus, transitioning to a more culinarily robust lifestyle can be intimidating. This is, in large part, due to the mass of must have kitchen items one must acquire to be a proficient amateur chef.

If you are a nascent, yet confused force, in your own kitchen, we urge you to consult the information below. You can succinctly acquire all the equipment you need to begin working with ingredients and producing numerous basic dishes, a process that will help you learn the craft and learn what you like. Once you have completed this segment of the experience, you will be ready to take your hardware to the next level by identifying the must have kitchen items for your delicious preferences.

What Is A Well-Equipped Kitchen?

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First and foremost, a well-equipped kitchen is an environment where you have all the tools you need to successfully work with a wide variety of ingredients. This category of equipment includes the more mundane, but absolutely essential, items that make the preparation and storage of many dishes a possibility: pots and pans, knives and cutting boards, the bare essentials. Without these must have kitchen items, you cannot learn what works and cannot learn what you like.

Once you have established a base of necessary equipment and given yourself time to play around the kitchen, you will have a good idea of what works for you, what you like, and what you are dying to get better at. At this stage, it is time to ramp up your selection of hardware and find some specialty gadgets that enable you to create dishes that speak to your personal tastes and needs.

What Are The Must Have Kitchen Items?

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In order to make your kitchen a workable space for your various culinary projects, you need a bare minimum of must have kitchen items to make various tasks possible and keep you and your food safe in the process. It is possible to economize, but we recommend you acquire a broad assortment of quality tools that will push you to experiment and succeed in the kitchen.


The standard butcher's block replete with knives on the counter is largely an invention of a series of clever marketing campaigns. At the end of the day, you really only need three knives: one long chef's knife, a paring knife, and one serrated knife. You should purchase the highest quality knives you can afford and have them sharpened regularly; with proper care, they will last your whole life. More importantly, a knife that is dull and/or cheap is a greater threat to your fingers than a quality knife.

Cutting Boards

To put your knives to use, you will need cutting boards. You will need two at the very least: one for raw proteins and another for cooked items and produce. Unlike knives, cutting boards can be sensibly purchased very cheaply. If you go with polyethylene, as opposed to the more stylish wood variety, you can abuse your cutting boards indiscriminately and simply throw them in the dishwasher thereafter.

adults in the kitchen

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Mixing Bowls

We recommend you find three mixing bowls of different sizes that can be stored within one another. This will save space and should be sufficient to accommodate all your mixing needs. Stainless steel is our preferred material for mixing bowls, as it lends durability to the product without adding undue expense.

Measuring Implements

To satisfy all of your measuring needs, you will need two sets of cups and a full set of measuring spoons. One set of measuring cups should be specifically for liquids while the other should be for dry ingredients. Measuring cups for liquids should have handles and spouts; whereas, measuring cups for dry ingredients can be easily leveled off with a butter knife.

filled measuring spoon

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The selection of cookware presents the amateur chef with an interesting dichotomy. For those who are relatively new to the kitchen, non-stick skillets are best, as slight missteps in timing will not lay waste to your skillets and your dishes; however, non-stick skillets cannot safely be scratched by metal utensils or steel wool making clean-up and metal spatulas a serious concern.

For those with an adept hand around the stovetop, stainless steel skillets are preferable as they are durable and can withstand abrasive contact from whichever utensils and cleaning products you choose to use.

In addition to skillets, you will need pots, preferably three different sizes: one large pot for soups and broth, one medium-sized pot for pasta dishes, and a small pot for making sauces. If you like having a skillet, you can safely put in the oven, consider finding a cast-iron skillet; they are expensive, but they last a lifetime.


We recommend you acquire a couple spatulas, preferably heat-resistant, non-stick spatulas, a ladle, and a slotted spoon for cooking on the stovetop. For mixing, you will need a wire whisk and silicone spatulas. Other necessary miscellaneous must have kitchen items are a meat mallet, a rolling pin, a good pair of tongs, and an all-purpose grater.

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We recommend a 9x13 inch baking pan for casseroles and the like, a couple of baking sheets which can be acquired cheaply, a roasting pan with an inlaid rack, a slotted pizza pan, and at least one glass baking pan depending on your predilection for sweets.


Of the must have kitchen items we reviewed for this article, a colander is most heavily dependent on the size of your family and your love (or lack thereof) for pasta. Cooks who take it easy on the carbs can get away with a collapsible colander, but pasta lovers with a full house should go for a large colander with feet to mitigate the possibility of losing any of your precious noodles.

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Instant-Read Thermometer

The instant-read thermometer is one the cheapest and most widely available must have kitchen items, although if you so choose, you can find an expensive digital version of the product. They are available for a few dollars in most any grocery store or kitchen supply store in the country, and they make all the difference, especially when you are cooking large amounts of protein.


After all your hard work in the kitchen, the last thing you want to do is let the fruits of your labor go to waste. You can easily acquire a large set of Tupperware without breaking the bank; furthermore, you will be able to enjoy your nascent culinary skills for days after you have exerted all the necessary effort.

What Are Must Have Kitchen Gadgets?

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With the basic agglomeration of must have kitchen items described above in tow, you will have the tools you need to make the most of some versatile kitchen gadgets which can take your culinary skills to the next level.

KitchenAid KSB1575ER 5-Speed Diamond Blender with 60-Ounce BPA-Free...
  • The diamond blending system ensures that all ingredients blend together quickly and efficiently.
  • The Intelli-Speed Motor Control senses contents and maintains optimal speed to power through all ingredients.Volts:120
  • Stir, chop, mix, puree or liquify. Pulse mode works with all speeds for staggered blending. Watts : 550. Hz : 60

Our review found the Kitchenaid KSB1575ER 5-Speed Diamond Blender is the absolute pick of the litter in its category of must have kitchen items. The Diamond Blender can make top-notch frozen margaritas for your adult guests, craft nut butter for your kids' lunches, and everything in between. Furthermore, all the relevant components can be simply tossed in the dishwasher when you're finished blending.

Cuisinart HM-90S Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Handheld Mixer with...
  • Handheld mixer with 220-watt motor and automatic feedback
  • Simple on/off button; 1-touch speed control and 9 speed options,BPA Free
  • 3 low start speeds to prevent ingredients from splattering; snap-on clear storage case

For amateur chefs who love to bake, a mixer must be included in any list of must have kitchen items. Our review found the Cuisinart Power Advantage Plus 9-Speed Hand Mixer was the best available product for carb lovers.

This mixer boasts an intuitive design that yields excellence in any imaginable baked goods from homemade bread to cookies and cakes. Like the Kitchenaid blender described above, you can throw all the relevant parts right in the dishwasher when you are done.

Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Quiet Dual-Stage Slow Speed Masticating...
  • Easy-to-use masticating juicer with powerful motor^Low speed of 80 RPMs; no foaming
  • clogging
  • or heat build-up with 110 volt^High juice yield; auto pulp-ejection function for continuous juicing^Dual-stage juicing...

The more health-conscious amateur cook may be more inclined to include a juicer in his or her collection of culinary tools. Our review found the most versatile juicer on the market to be The Omega J8006 .

 This juicer wastes less of your produce than any comparable product and provides an unrivaled balance of pulp and liquid without compromising the taste of your juice.

Cuisinart MSC-600 3-In-1 Cook Central 6-Quart Multi-Cooker: Slow...
  • One touch switches modes when recipe calls for combination cooking
  • Extra-large blue backlit LCD display with easy-to-read time and temperature settings
  • Removable 6-quart nonstick aluminum cooking pot

For the busy, family-oriented chef, a slow cooker is essential. These must have kitchen items allow hectic days to end with delicious family dinners, even when you have a dearth of prep time. Our review found the Cuisinart 3-in-1 Multi-Cooker to be the best iteration on the market. The product's removable aluminum cooking pot allows you to brown your meat beforehand and simply slide the pot in the slow cooker for optimal taste.


beautiful kitchen

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As you stock your kitchen with the wares you need to succeed in the present and grow as a cook farther down the line, keep the central dichotomy described in this article in mind. First, you must build a base of must have kitchen items, the dull basic equipment that will allow you to prepare dishes, learn about methodology, and cultivate an understanding of your palate. From there, you will know where to look for the gadgets that will take your personal approach to success in the kitchen to the next level.

Last update on 2021-10-21 at 13:17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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