Everyone who loves to cook and bake loves kitchen utensils and appliances, and it shows! Most kitchens are filled with gadgets to hull strawberries, peel apples, pit cherries, grate cheese, zest lemons, juice citrus, chop vegetables, puree fruit, make milk shakes, etc. What about that deep-fryer you had to have that now has to be dusted off from time to time? It’s hard to resist a kitchen shop, and it’s even harder to say “no” to a utensil or appliance you don’t yet have. The bigger question, however, is what are those “must-have” utensils and appliances -- those kitchen gadgets that you would have a hard time doing without?
It’s different for everyone. Each person has their favorites, depending on how they spend their time in the kitchen. The following list will give you a well-stocked kitchen.
- A good set of cookware and bake ware. We all start off with wedding gifts, Mom’s hand-me-downs, and/or an inexpensive set. When able to choose your own, however, make sure to buy good quality cookware -- it will last you forever. You will want at least two non-stick frying pans with lids (small and large), two sauce pans with lids (small and large), and a Dutch oven with lid. For bake ware: You will need at least two cookie sheets (shiny aluminum or stainless steel will provide you with the best cookies), a glass 9x13 baking dish, a glass 8x8 baking dish, one or two loaf pans (metal ones are better for baking bread), one or two glass pie plates (9-inch), two 9-inch cake pans, and a set of glass casserole dishes with lids. If you want to add to your list: cupcake tins (normal size, as the papers are easier to find for them), a spring-form pan, a pizza stone, a roasting pan with rack, pizza pan, stock pot, a lasagna pan, angel food cake pan, Bundt pan, etc.
- A set of mixing bowls that can go in the microwave (Pyrex are tried and true).
- A set of basic cooking utensils: spatulas, turners, wooden spoons, a whisk or two, basting brushes, a set of measuring cups and spoons (including a glass 2-cup size), a cooling rack, a rolling pin and a non-stick rolling surface, a good set of knives with a sharpener, a cheese grater, kitchen shears, tongs, candy thermometer, can opener, a cork screw, soup ladle, vegetable peeler, instant-read thermometer, pizza wheel, cheese slicer, egg slicer, large slotted spoon, a cake spatula (for frosting cakes), ice cream scoop, meat mallet, a masher, and a funnel. For those who make cookies, a cookie scoop is imperative.
- A mixer – a stand mixer is great, but a hand mixer works well, too.
- A blender.
- A food processer.
- A washable cutting board.
- At least one kitchen timer.
- A crock pot (slow cooker).
- A large strainer (one that fits over one side of the sink is great).
- A microwave.
- A vegetable steamer.
- Large electric griddle (or non-electric that fits over two burners).
- Oven mitts in a convenient place.
- Freezer containers and a sharpie to label them.
- Parchment paper to line your cake pans and non-stick aluminum foil to line your cookie pans.
- Apple slicer and corer (if you use apples much at all, this is a wonderful time-saver!)
- A spoon rest.
- Vegetable scrubber (gloves or brush).
- A full apron to protect your clothes.
- A utensil cannister so that you have easy and quick access to your most-used utensils.
- Hanging hand towels so you can quickly dry your hands.
- Grill utensils (turner and tongs at least).
- A bottle of olive oil with easy pouring spout within easy access of the stove.
Don’t bother buying a cookbook – the Internet is the best cookbook you could ever find!
A word of wisdom to any men who may read this – don’t ever get your wife a cooking utensil or appliance for a gift (it’s an unwritten rule!)
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