Kitchen Essentials For First-Time Cooks

Kitchen Essentials For First-Time Cooks

If you’re learning how to cook or just moving into your first place, it can be tricky to decide what you should have in your kitchen and what you can skip. Everyone needs plates, bowls, cups, and silverware, but what about the things you need to actually cook? Here are the essential items that every kitchen should have.

Measuring Cups and Spoons- These come in either metal or plastic, and they’re incredibly important when it comes to cooking and baking.  It might also help to have a large, glass measuring cup for liquids.  

Spoons- Every cook should have at least one wooden spoon, one slotted spoon, and one ladle.  These will cover all the basics: mixing dry ingredients, mixing wet ingredients, stirring foods as they cook, and serving soups or stews.  

Knives- You should have at least one long, sharp knife and one small, sharp knife for chopping, dicing, paring, and basic cutting.  

Spatula- You’ll need two different spatulas.  One should be a rubber-ended scraping spatula for baking, and the other should be a flat metal or plastic spatula for flipping pancakes, omelets or burgers.

Whisk- If you plan on cooking or baking with eggs, a whisk is important to have.  Whisks incorporate air into the mixture, unlike a regular spoon.

Vegetable peeler- When it comes to getting that pesky skin off your carrots and potatoes, it’s much safer to use a vegetable peeler than to try your luck with a knife.   

Corkscrew and bottle opener- Not every bottle of wine has a screw-top, so make sure you have a corkscrew.  Buy one with an attached bottle opener and you’ll save yourself a few bucks. 

Can opener- Many cans nowadays have pop tops, but not all of them.  There’s nothing worse than realizing that soup you were planning to have is no longer on the menu. 

Grater- It’s true you can buy pre-shredded cheese, but sometimes recipes call for you to shred vegetables, chocolate, or other ingredients.  It’s best to have one on hand.  

Mixer- Unless you have biceps of steel or hours at your disposal, you’ll want at least a small hand mixer.  Or you could choose to invest in a large stand mixer, instead.  A stand mixer will cost significantly more, but a high quality one will last for years.

Colander- You’ll need to strain things like pasta and vegetables, and having a colander on hand will make things much easier.

Frying pan- This will come in handy when you’re making stir-fried dishes, meat dishes, omelets, and many other meals.  

Pots- One large pot and one medium-to-small pot are absolutely necessary in any kitchen. 

Cutting board- Unless you want to destroy your counter tops, a cutting board is a must.  Plastic cutting boards are often easier to clean than wooden ones.

Mixing bowls- You’ll need at least one large mixing bowl.  The bowl can also be used for serving salads or other dishes.

Are you a novice cook?  Here are some other articles that may help you out:
Dictionary of Herbs and Spices
Cooking Terms Glossary
Food Storage Guidelines


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