Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Things Every Home Needs: In the Kitchen

This post is part of a series titled "Things Every Home Needs"

Declared "the heart of the home" by some, the kitchen is a place where a lot happens. Mainly, food-making.

Note: Included is dinnerware, even though that could fall under the dining room category. Also, I have noticed that day-after Thanksgiving sales usually have good deals on kitchen supplies.

Now, I am not a fancy chef. Basic, simple meals are made in my kitchen. So, this is a very simple kitchen list. I'm sure Rachael Ray has tons more kitchen supplies, some of which I don't even know the name of or how to use. Also, I have paired down the quantity of kitchen supplies, of course it is nice to have more of anything, but I put a quantity that I think works well.

Here we go:

Stovetop Pots/Pans:

Tip: make sure none of the pots/pans are bigger than your biggest burner or smaller than your smallest burner. Make sure all have lids.

1 Soup Pot. I have this one, it works nice. If you have an electric stovetop, make sure the bottom is flat and not lipped-in (this advice applies to all pots/pans I have accidently made these mistake with a stock pot - it causes the pot to take longer to heat up).

Frying pan(s). Or they might be called sauté pans. Anyways, get at least one. Highly, highly recommend two. Get one the size of your biggest burner with about 2" sides for your first pan, and get a medium-size one or one that is the size of a different burner for your second frying pan. Remember: get one that comes with a lid.

Medium-Size Pot. This should be a 3-4 quart pot. This size pot is my favorite, great for everyday use. Two would be nice, but one is just fine. Jazz it up with a green handle.

Small Appliances:

Electric Beater/Mixer. Those stand-up Kitchen-Aid ones are nice, but pricey. Just get a basic handheld one.

Slow Cooker. More important than a blender, but not important enough to have right away if you're just starting out.

Blender. While this isn't completely necessary I would recommend one.

Toaster. An absolute must.

Little Things:

Big Serving/Stirring Spoons. At least 2, but one is fine if you have serving spoons that come with your eating utensils.

Punch Ladle. Good for punch, obviously, and good for scooping runny soups/sauces.

Wisk. One medium-size. For mixing pudding.


I recommend 2 of this style, one for pancakes and one for eggs. But 3 would be nice. These can be plastic or metal.

Rubber spatulas. Get one big one (for a task like scraping brownie mix out of a bowl) and one small one(for scraping the last bit of tomato soup out of the can).

Measuring cups and spoons. Plastic or Metal. Buy ones that are separate like this, not one like this because it is harder to pack down brown sugar and you would only have one measurer to work with

Meat Tenderizer. Good for flattening meat, smashing up ice cream toppings, and crushing ice.

Cheese Grater. Not high on my most-used list, but comes in handy a few times per year. If  you get one, make sure it is one that has multiple grate sizes.

Scissors. Doesn't have to be kitchen sheers, although these are nice. A regular pair of scissors will cut things fine.

Can Opener.

Potato Peeler.

Meat Thermometer.

Tongs. For flipping meat while grilling and serving hot dogs. Not completely necessary, but handy.

Bottle Opener.

Ice Cream Scooper. Completely optional. A spoon will accomplish the same task.

Cutting Board. You can easily get away with just one cutting board, but two would be nice. Make sure your cutting board(s) is small enough to fit in your dishwasher, but don't waste your money on a little-bitty cutting board.

Rolling Pin.

Timer. Only necessary if your oven or microwave doesn't have one.

Bigger Stuff:

Colander. A nice metal one.

Bowls. Highly recommend Pyrex. These can be used for mixing up stuff (like cookie dough), used for serving, and used for storage. Get ones that come with lids.

Serving dish. Highly recommend a basic white Corningware bakeware dish with a glass lid. I pull this out for fancy dishes. Only need one but two is nice. Corningware is safe for the oven too.

9x13 Aluminum Pans with Aluminum Lids. This is another must-have. For oven-use and everything else. Casseroles, meats, desserts, etc. Get at least 2. Three would be nice, but no more than three.

Boiler Pan. Your oven might have came with one.

Muffin/Cupcake Tin. Not completely necessary but nice. Could live without for awhile, but would be nice to have.
Bread Pan. Same amount of usage as a muffin/cupcake tin.

2 Cookie Sheets. They should be what I call medium-size. Big enough for a frozen pizza. I like Air-Bake cookie sheets or another brand of insulated cookie sheets.

1 Giant Plastic Bowl. Does not have to have a lid. Great for big family gathering dishes (like fruit salad) and Halloween candy, if you get a lot of trick-or-treaters. While this is not completely necessary, it is pretty inexpensive.

Food storage containers. Just save butter containers, lunch meat containers, and containers from the deli. In addition, you could get Tupperware or these Pyrex storage containers (oven-safe and microwaveable!).


Towels/Washcloths. At least 4 towels, 6 would be nice. It is nice to have 2 towels out at a time. At least 2 washcloths, 3-4 would be nice.

Hot Pads/Mitten. Get a pot holder/mitten combo. At least 4 of these, but only 2 have to be the hot-pad mitten combo. Also, I like the idea of red or green pot holder because they are festive under dishes at Christmas gatherings or just get neutrals or whatever color you prefer.


Plates. regular size and dessert size. Think about the size of your family gatherings and if you use real plates or just use paper plates each time. Medium-size plates are nice to have because they visualize a smaller portion, but completely not necessary.

Glasses/Mugs. It is okay to have mugs and no glasses. I find they are more durable. But you might want glasses for special occasions on hand. I would not recommend just glasses because what about dipping those Oreos in milk?

Forks and Spoons. Make sure these are a normal size. Fork prongs should not be too long.

Knives. Butter knives. Steak knives. One paring knife. A big knife with a jagged edge for slicing a watermelon or a big hunk of meat.  

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