Starter Kitchen

Starter Kitchen

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.

Stove Top:

Large Non Stick Saute Pan

large pan

 

– 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.

Medium/Small Non Stick Saute Pan

small pan

– 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.

Medium Pot

small pot

 

– Great for mac and cheese, ramen, heating up soup, making rice, boiling water for tea. This is your all around basic and necessary pot.

Large Stock Pot

stock pot

– Perfect for pasta (you need lots of room for your boil), or more ambitious projects like stew or fresh spaghetti sauce.

Utensils:

Large and Small Silicone Spatulas

spatulas

– 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.

Whisk

whisk

– 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.

Flat Spatula

spatula flat

– Flipping eggs, turning burgers, lifting lasagna. I like to a few flat spatulas around the house.

Cutlery:

Chefs Knife

chefs knife

 

– 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…

Knife Sharpener (instructional guide)

steel

– 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!

Tools:

Measuring Cup (liquid)

measuring cup

– 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

measuring spoons

– 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

measuring cups

– Measuring cups should be used for large amounts of dry ingredients. Flour, rice, sugar, beans, etc.

Colander

solander

– 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.

Grater

grater

– 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!

Cutting Board

cutting boards

– 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!

Oven:

Casserole Dish

casserole dish

– You can use a casserole dish for more than just casseroles. It’s perfect for baking chicken, lasagna, or tater-tots!

Baking Sheet

baking sheet

– A basic baking sheet is also perfect for tater-tots, but it can also be used for cookies, or chicken, or pretty much anything.

Misc:

Dish Towels

dishtowls

– 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.

Oven Mitt

oven mitt

– However, dishtowels are no replacement for a good oven mitt. These protect your hands and are fire retardant in case of an accident.

Convenience:

Spoon Rest

spoon rest

 

– 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.

Brie

Brie is a fair-weather foodie. She wouldn’t go as far as to say she has a love/hate relationship with food, because she loves food and food clearly loves her; it loves her so much that it holds on as tight as it can and never lets go; mostly in the middle region. Her cooking style involves a lot of butter or garlic or onions, things that have “creamy” or “cheesy” in the title, also anything that you could add bacon to. She’s been making the noms since she was tall enough to reach the counter, and has been eating for even longer*. Brie’s passion for cooking-slash-baking will fluctuate however, usually correlating with how sick she is of doing dishes. Never-the-less, her passion for eating (sushi, take out Chinese, hole in the wall diner-y type foods) is as constant as the sun, the moon, death, and taxes. She also sometimes talks in the third person; don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.
*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…

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