When you first start cooking on your own, whether it’s in a new apartment or your first home, or if you just learned how or are learning how to cook, you will need a basic supply of first kitchen essentials.
In order to feel successful in the kitchen, you need the correct tools! There are several kitchen essentials for every new cook, new apartment, or a new home.
This list will give you some great ideas to add to a bridal registry or ask for them as a house warming present. Asking for these kitchen tools on your registry is a great way to build up your kitchen supplies. You can also invest in some good quality kitchen items yourself.
However you do it, you will never regret having your kitchen stocked with good tools. If you get high-quality items, many of these tools can last you years and years. Some can even last for your lifetime.
Essential Items For Your First Kitchen
A Good Set of Pots and Pans
Personally, I think for the new cook, a great set of non-stick pots and pans are ideal. My favorite pans are the Calphalon brand. A new cook should try to get a nice set like this one. I got a brand new set before I got married over 17 years ago, and I STILL have the stockpot and it’s going strong.
However, if you don’t think you have the ability to invest in a full set of cookware at once, you can pick a few of the main essentials to build from. When you get basic cookware separately, you will want to make sure you have a good saucepan, a heavy-duty non-stick skillet, and a great stockpot.
Cast Iron Skillet
I highly recommend a cast-iron skillet, too, if you have the ability to get one. Luckily, there are fantastic pre-seasoned cast iron skillets from Lodge that are very affordable. If you know how to care for your cast iron skillet, it will last your entire life and maybe even your children’s entire lives. These things are durable.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a dutch oven for a long time. It made my life more difficult! I always stayed away from buying one as I assumed it was going to be super expensive. But, they don’t have to be expensive! You can get a decent quality dutch oven for a fair price, like this one!
Half Sheet Pan
Half sheet pans are a necessity! You can use them for important things, like cookies, for sheet pan dinners, or for roasting your vegetables.
If you don’t have good knives, being in the kitchen will be super frustrating. TRUST ME! There is nothing worse than a dull knife. This is the exact block of knives that we own.
If you can’t afford the whole block of knives, you can buy one or two great knives to get started with.
You need mixing bowls in various sizes. My favorite mixing bowls are my stainless steel bowls. I even use my big stainless steel bowl as a double boiler over my stockpot for melting chocolate.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
You need the right tools for the job. Make sure you get dry measuring cups and wet measuring cups.
Dry measuring cups are meant to be filled up and then leveled off with a straight edge. Let’s face it, if you filled it to the brim with water, you are sure to spill a drop or two. Liquid measuring cups typically have a pour spout. To get the optimal outcome as a new cook, use the proper tool for measuring!
A Whisk. Or two, or three.
My whisks are my favorite things ever. (Seriously, you can’t whisk something and NOT feel like you are a great chef!) I have a few in different sizes. I have stainless steel and I have a silicone-coated whisk. The silicone whisk is VERY important so you won’t scratch your non-stick skillets that you’ve invested so much into!
Yes, cutting boards, plural. I’m very very OCD about my cutting boards. I suggest a wooden one and a plastic one.
Use your plastic board for cutting up meats. If you plan to cut meat on a plastic board, get a nonporous plastic cutting board.
Please be careful not to contaminate your foods. Dedicate one board for meats only. Please be safe in the kitchen – you can read about food safety at the FDA website.
Good Utensil Set
I would just purchase these as one big set. Get silicone or silicone tipped so you won’t damage your cookware.
You need tongs. They help to pick up hot things, transferring foods, flipping bacon….. Just trust me and get tongs. I suggest silicone tipped ones so your nice non-stick pans don’t get scraped or scratched.
Spatula. Or Two.
Again, go ahead and get the plastic or silicone tipped spatulas! I have several different ones, and I do have metal ones for my cast iron skillet. I love this flexible silicone spatula.
You don’t want to be stuck unable to open your cans. I’m old fashioned. I like the regular old crank kind. Nothing electrical or fancy. (And in the zombie apocalypse you’ll be able to open your cans of beans to makeover your fire. Random, I know.)
I guess you don’t need to have a vegetable peeler if you have the right knife, but I prefer the vegetable peeler and think it’s easier. (My mom and grandmother BOTH just used a knife and made it seem easy peasy, but I just can’t do it.)
Of course, there are plenty of other kitchen tools that would be helpful in the kitchen, but this is what a new cook can start with and have a solid arsenal of kitchen essentials.
If you enjoyed this list, I have a great list of instant pot accessories you shouldn’t live without!
Is there a kitchen essential you can’t live without? Anything you would suggest for a new cook or a new apartment or home? Does this help you with ideas for your bridal registry or housewarming party?