When moving out on your own – whether it’s away from your parents, or out of a relationship, or maybe you’ve always had roommates – it can be a little overwhelming figuring out what kind of supplies you’ll need to be a successful home chef.
With all the advertising blaring in the store isles, online, and late night infomercials telling you that their product is the best and can do everything including julienne fries, it can be overwhelming. You’re not sure who to believe and you’re not even certain that you do, in-fact, need a Romanian gelato ice cream maker that doubles as a dry ice coffee grinder.
Below I’ll cover basic utensils and supplies perfect for outfitting your first kitchen. All these items can be purchased online, and I will provide Amazon.com links, but all can also be price compared at other stores, and in many cases thrifted for gently used versions that cost less and just need a little TLC.
– Large skillets are useful for just about anything. Bacon, eggs, pancakes – basically any breakfast food. Also things like fried rice, sauteed veggies, or basic “deep frying”. This is the item that will probably get the most use besides for your knife.
– This is perfect for a couple of fried eggs, or for smaller jobs that a large pan would be over kill for. I like to saute diced onions for my mac and cheese and a small pan is all I need.
– Great for mac and cheese, ramen, heating up soup, making rice, boiling water for tea. This is your all around basic and necessary pot.
– Perfect for pasta (you need lots of room for your boil), or more ambitious projects like stew or fresh spaghetti sauce.
– Spatulas are one of my favorite kitchen tools. You can mix mashed potatoes, stir your pasta, scrape down a bowl, fold your batter… the uses are endless! It’s handy to have a few options in size so you work on multiple things at a time.
– Whisks are fantastic. Many tools have multiple uses, or you can substitute something else in its place, but it can also be difficult to substitute another tool where a whisk is required. You can whisk your eggs with a fork, but it’s not as smooth. And for something like whipped cream or to stiffen egg whites you need at the very least a whisk if you don’t have a beater.
– Flipping eggs, turning burgers, lifting lasagna. I like to a few flat spatulas around the house.
– There are so many different kinds of knifes that have different properties and uses, but a basic chefs knife is all you need to start. You just need to keep it nice and sharp. Which leads me to…
– So many people own a steel but have no idea how to use one, or forget just forget to. The linked instructions are very easy to read, make sure you keep your knifes sharp!
– Many don’t realize that there is a significant difference between liquid and dry measurements; a measuring cup should be used for larger amounts of milk, water, oil etc.
– Measuring spoons on the other hand can be used for small amounts of both liquid and dry. Spices, vinegar, ketchup, water, baking powder, etc.
– Measuring cups should be used for large amounts of dry ingredients. Flour, rice, sugar, beans, etc.
– Although you can makeshift drain pasta using your pot and a lid, or a spoon against the edge, a colander is ideal for things like rinsing vegetables, beans, straining pasta.
– Box graters are great (har har) because they give you a lot of options, not only is it perfect for shredding cheddar cheese, but you can also do a small grate on Parmesan or fresh nutmeg or zest a lemon!
– Having several cutting board options is vital to kitchen safety. If you designate a board for your raw chicken and don’t use it for your veggies, then you’re off to a great start!
– You can use a casserole dish for more than just casseroles. It’s perfect for baking chicken, lasagna, or tater-tots!
– A basic baking sheet is also perfect for tater-tots, but it can also be used for cookies, or chicken, or pretty much anything.
– Dish towels are perfect for wiping down counters, or brushing dirt off of mushrooms. You just want to make sure that you aren’t using the same towel for those two tasks.
– However, dishtowels are no replacement for a good oven mitt. These protect your hands and are fire retardant in case of an accident.
– I love spoon rest. I can never find the perfect place to put my utensil after stirring my pasta and end up grabbing a small plate in stead. Having a dedicated spoon rest is frivolous, but helps sustain a cleaner stove.
*Fun Fact: When she was 10-13ish, only 1 out of every 5 batches of sugar cookie dough would make it past the butter/sugar stage and end up in the oven instead of Brie’s stomach. #ThisIsWhyI’mFat
P.S. She also set the microwave on fire during the same era while making home-made microwavable popcorn. Pro tip: Alton Brown is WRONG and you cannot put a paper bag with staples into the microwave; things will go badly.
P.P.S Happy ending. Even though to put out the fire she threw a bowl of water onto it and shorted all the circuits, the microwave started working after a week and her mom was non-the-wiser.
P.P.P.S But, I guess not any longer…