What kitchen essentials can you not live without? If you’re lucky enough to have enough space in your kitchen to store everything you need, then this might not be a question you ask yourself very often. But even if you are short on space, it’s important to know exactly what tools and ingredients will help make your kitchen experience easier, more fun, and more efficient—not to mention just plain tastier! So take a look at this list of kitchen essentials that every foodie should have.
Wooden Cutting Board
Use a wooden cutting board to reduce bacteria. They’re durable and last much longer than their plastic counterparts, as well as being nonporous and therefore easier to clean. Also, they’re more aesthetically pleasing than plastic boards. The only drawback is that they’re a bit pricey; look for ones that have some sort of nonslip surface on them, so your knives don’t slip out of your hands
Since you’ll be using it at least once a day, you want to make sure it’s comfortable to hold and easy to handle. There are different types, including serrated and French (non-serrated), but each will do. Also, make sure it comes with a good sheath so that you don’t cut yourself when storing or cooking. Some nice ones can cost up to $100, but you can find great inexpensive options for as little as $20 online.
Nonstick Frying Pan
If you plan on cooking meals regularly, then a nonstick frying pan is your best friend. Even if you don’t plan on making daily home-cooked meals, chances are good that you’ll need to fry an egg or two now and again (and it will be easier in a good nonstick pan). Get a standard 10 frying pan and forget about it—it will last for years and become one of your favorite kitchen tools.
With a food processor, you can dice veggies for your soup and then whip up a dip to go with it. These multipurpose machines also make pie crusts, pizza dough, and homemade bread crumbs. Some models even chop nuts. Even if you don’t use yours on a daily basis, having one around will save you time when you do need it, and dishes!
Blenders can be expensive, but they’re worth it if you plan on making a lot of smoothies. I use mine at least four times a week and have yet to regret my decision. It’s easy to clean and takes up very little space in your kitchen. Many blenders come with single-serving cups as well, so you can make your smoothie on your way out the door in the morning.
All kitchens need a good coffee maker. Look for one that features a drip, single cup or pod brewing option. If you’re not an early riser and brew at night, look for a model with programmable timer settings so you can wake up to a fresh pot first thing in the morning.
Cookware Set (or set of pots and pans)
You’ll need a large pot (at least 12), a small pot, and a frying pan to make it in the kitchen. A large roasting pan is also helpful if you plan on doing any serious cooking. And while there are many different styles of cookware on market today, most can be classified into three categories: nonstick pots and pans, stainless steel pots and pans, or cast iron pots and pans. These are one of the most important kitchen essentials.
Baking Sheet / Cookie Sheets / Cake Pans
If you’re serious about baking (or cooking, for that matter), you need at least one half-sheet baking pan. Make sure it has a lip to catch any spillover. It’s easy to forget about when you’re pouring your batter in. If you really get into baking, buy an assortment with different-sized pans to fit your needs.
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