Essential Kitchen Tools Checklist For Starter Homes To Expanding Kitchens
They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, and we couldn’t agree more. It’s where you get food to get you through the day. It’s where you prepare meals to nourish your loved ones. Cooking is as enjoyable as eating what you’ve cooked.
Cooking at home will save you a ton of money from the usual food delivery or fast-food takeout. Home-cooked meals allow you to eat the exact food that you want in less time and expenses than getting a meal at a restaurant. Besides saving money, you’ll also build up your cooking skills, which is always a life-saver in many situations. Plus, you’ll have more chances to eat healthier when you cook at home.
If you’re starting out as a family or living on your own in a small apartment, you have to be more discerning as to what to include in your tiny kitchen. We’ll help you strategize on what to pick from the store shelves and what to leave behind so that you can save more space, make the most out of the versatility of certain kitchen tools, and cover all bases in cooking.
You don’t need an overwhelming amount of kitchen tools as a start. On the contrary, you can get by with just some tools, and most of them are quite affordable. The following items are versatile tools that are pretty awesome kitchen staples.
Multipurpose Tools For Small Kitchens
We have narrowed everything down to eight items which are good enough to get you through most, if not, all kinds of cooking.
- Chef’s Knife
You might get lost choosing a myriad of knife options in a store, but a general utility knife is good enough to tackle most of your food prep and cooking tasks. You can use it for chopping veggies and fruits, slicing meat, and so much more. If you’re going to buy just one knife for your kitchen, let it be a broad-bladed chef’s knife. A high-quality and versatile knife will last you a long time. You might even hand it down to your children’s children.
- Cutting Board
Invest in a good quality cutting board, as it will be your constant kitchen aid for food preparation. Get one that is lightweight, rectangular, and around ten by sixteen inches which can be used for chopping ingredients or even serving hors d’oeuvres. You can buy a handy cutting board for a few dollars or a more expensive long-lasting artisan item.
- Pan with Lid
A four to six-inch quart pan can be used for a variety of cooking purposes. You can use it to boil water for pasta, simmer soups, make sauces, sauté vegetables and meat, create one-pot meals, and a whole lot of other things. Choose one which is oven-safe so that you can use it for broiling or baking. A pan with a lid will also help you drain water or liquids.
- Cast-Iron Skillet
You may forego using a non-stick skillet and use a cast-iron instead for a variety of cooking. From the usual frying, sautéing and broiling, you could also bake, pan-sear, and roast using a cast-iron skillet. There are good enough skillets costing 20 dollars. High-end pans which may cost more than a 100 dollars can be your kitchen buddy for a long time.
- Multipurpose Box-Grater
Four-in-one box graters will help you on multiple food preparations. Instead of buying the usual cheese slicer or cheese grater which only serve one purpose, you can save money and storage space by going for a multipurpose one.
- Multipurpose Peeler
Scout the kitchen department shelves for a multipurpose tool that can peel, slice, grate, or zest all in one. If you could see yourself using it in various situations, then make it a part of your kitchen.
- Silicone Spatula
You might think that you don’t need a spatula for everyday cooking, but it will actually save you a lot of trouble in the long run. You can use it to handle batter, scramble eggs, mix ingredients, and stir stews or soups.
And of course, you need plates, glasses, and utensils to enjoy the fruits of your labor. There are still dangers to buying plastic dinnerware such as melamine and polypropylene. Even if at first there’s little threat of plastic leaching chemicals to your food, it may pose significant health risks over a long period. If you want break-resistant dinnerware, go for a tempered glass material such Corelle. There are also eco-friendly options such as bamboo, ceramics, glass, and stainless steel.
Tools To Consider When You’re Home Gets Bigger
And by getting bigger, we mean when you’re hosting large parties or getting involved in community events more often. These tools will help you prepare for a feast.
- A Large Pot and a Small Pot
If you’re going to cook multiple recipes (your pan with a lid and cast-iron skillet may not be enough), go for two pots in different sizes. You can use the small pot to cook for yourself, and the large one can be used for bigger meals.
Look for a ladle which has a bent handle that you can hook on the sides of a pot or bowl.
- Locking Tongs
Go for locking tongs with non-slip handles. Scalloped tips will also ensure a firm grip on food. You can use locking tongs to toss vegetables in a skillet or bowl, turning meats on a grill, and so much more.
Go for a solid instead of a wired handle which will prevent ingredients from getting stuck inside. A whisk with thin wires will ensure a reliable whipping.
- Kitchen Shears
A sturdy pair which has tapered and fine tips will help you prep food easily. Buy one that has large handles and feels comfortable with your grip.
- Baking Pans
You only need two baking pans as a start. Go for a 9” by 13” baking pan and casserole-style pan. You might use one more than the other, but if you need to bake two things at once, the two pans will help you get through the baking jitters.
- Baking Sheet
You can bake vegetables, pizzas, cookies, and other pastries using a baking sheet. A baking sheet is a must, especially when you have kids at home. If you’re single, you can also go crazy cooking anything with it for yourself, loved ones, or neighbors.
- Loaf Pan
This is an optional tool. If you’re going to bake bread or meatloaf regularly, then this is a must-have investment.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
Measuring the right amounts or proportions of ingredients will help you make the most out of recipes. Invest on measuring cups which you can use for both dry and wet ingredients. Opt for oval-shaped measuring spoons that fit right into spice jars.
- Paring Knife
A paring knife will help you peel fruits, vegetables, and other small ingredients. Choose a paring knife which best suits your grip. This is like your chef’s knife best assistant in cooking.
- Knife Rack or Stand
This is a “safety zone” for your knives and prevents them from getting all over the place (or hurting someone). A magnetic knife rack will slow down the wear on your knives, but this won’t be a safe option if you have kids at home. A knife stand with closed sides to protect the blades would be a better (and safer) option.
- Spice Rack
Keep your spice rack well stocked. Include herbs to add a healthier and tastier twist to your meals.
- Food Processor
There’s so much you can do with a food processor. It will also be your health buddy as you can process veggies and fruits with it.
- Reusable Food Containers
Preparing your meals beforehand also saves you a lot of money. You can use reusable containers to store your prepped meals, or turn it to lunchboxes for your kids. Do take note that you must not microwave food using plastic containers. Cool your meals first before putting them in these containers. Glass containers are also a recommended option to keep your food fresh in the refrigerator.
- Classic Dinnerware
The classic dinnerware will add a nice touch to your home. Other types of dinnerware to consider are earthenware, stoneware, porcelain or china, and vitrified glass. Choose dinnerware items which fit into your cupboards or cabinets. You can build up your dinnerware collection over time, which will serve your family and guests during important occasions.
Other Tools Which Make a Whole Lot of Difference
These may be optional tools you can add to your growing kitchen over time. They will save you a lot of time in cooking. These items can also make cooking more convenient.
- Slotted Spoon
A slotted spoon will help you separate the solids from the liquids in cooking. Choose a stainless steel handle which won’t get too hot as you cook.
- Garlic Press
This will save you a ton of time in cooking. Choose one that works well with unpeeled cloves and is dishwasher-safe.
- Can Opener
Choose a smooth edge or safe cut can opener which opens the lid with smooth edges. It would also ensure that the lid won’t lower into your food.
A standard corkscrew will open wine or beer bottles. It also takes less space than a two-armed model.
Look for a shatterproof and easy-to-read thermometer to help you cook on the right temperature.
Choose a peppermill with an easily adjustable grind setting. This will allow you to come up with fine to coarse grinds according to your liking. Look for a model which has a large hole to fit peppercorns easily.
There are digital models available which will help you keep track of multiple time keepings, such as checking time for baking in the oven, cooking on the stovetop, and refrigerating food.
- Wire Mesh Colanders
Buy a wire mesh colander with a foot at the bottom so that it will separate your pasta from the puddle in the sink. A small colander will also work in sifting flour.
- Salad Spinner
Go for one with a solid bowl so that you can swish-clean greens and use it for serving.
- Serrated Bread Knife
Look for a bread knife which is at least 8 inches long with a rigid blade. An offset handle will help you slice through bread or sandwiches without hurting your knuckles on the chopping board.
- Potato Masher
Go for a masher with a curved head. It will help you maneuver easily through the corners of pots and bowls.
- Microplane grater
This would most probably be available in your multipurpose tool, but if the multipurpose tool doesn’t have this function you can settle with a one-function microplane grater. It can be used for smaller tasks such as grating cheese, nutmeg, and garlic. It can zest lemons effectively. Choose one which is stainless steel and has razor-sharp cutting teeth.
- Lemon Press
Look for a lemon press with ridges that allow you to grip fruit better. Large ones will help you press limes or lemons in all sizes.
A blender is essential whenever you want to make healthy smoothies, protein shakes, or milkshakes. It also helps you explore juicing or blending options and see which recipes can help you become healthier.
- Tea Sleeves
Eco-friendly and biodegradable tea filters which help you get a good dose of nourishing teas are the trend these days. Stock up on whole tea leaves and use your tea sleeves for an enriching afternoon tea.
- Cookbooks or iPad
Cookbooks have a functional and aesthetic appeal to your kitchen. They are also a great source of information whenever you’re running out of cooking ideas. If you want to save more space, you can use an iPad to store digital cookbooks and recipes. Your iPad can also function as a timer and play your favorite music while cooking.
40. Coffee Tools and Accessories
Coffee is a significant aspect in most homes, and we recommend these coffee tools and accessories that give you a bang for your buck while helping you brew great-tasting coffee.