Essential Cooking Tools: A Kitchen Starter Kit

It is hard to narrow down a list to just the basic cooking essentials.  Here are some items, listed in no particular order of necessity, everyone should have in their kitchen.  This list will take you from making ramen in the microwave, to culinary greatness. 

While things like an egg separator seem like a good purchase at the time, they will most likely end up shoved in the back of a drawer and never seen again.  If you want to splurge on a fun kitchen gadget make sure you can use for more than one purpose.  Here are the items most essential for a successful home cook.  


While there are plenty of knives to choose from, there are three basic knives every kitchen should have.  A serrated knife for cutting bread; have you ever tried to cut bread using a knife not serrated? It is both difficult and dangerous. Next is a long 9 to 10” chef’s knife. This is used for anything from slicing onions to cutting meat. The last knife is a paring knife, this is smaller and can be used as a smaller chef’s knife to cut smaller vegetables or for peeling the skin off vegetables.



It is vital to have at least one skillet. It would be ideal to have one larger one and one smaller skillet, then you can prepare multiple parts to a recipe at one time. They are perfect for frying, sautéing or searing. While you can get away with just using skillets, a straight-sided sauté pan with a lid comes in handy. Sauté pans can hold more and is great for searing meats and vegetables or for reducing sauces.



A large stockpot is essential for anyone who makes food as simple as pasta. It is nice and large to boil water for spaghetti but can also be used to make soups, stocks, sauces that make large batches or splatter a lot such as tomato sauce.  A saucepan is perfect for making sauces that yield a small batch or reheating soups.  




This comes in handy for the majority of oven tasks. We love using a baking sheet because it is so versatile and can be used for making cookies, breads, baking fish or baking potatoes among other things.



Every kitchen needs a clean and protected space to cut food on. It is also helpful to transfer what was just cut into a pan, for example adding diced onions to a skillet.



It is crucial to know how much of an ingredient you are adding to your recipe. While it does not matter quite as much in cooking as it does in baking, putting in ½ of a teaspoon of cayenne pepper into a dish is extremely different than accidentally putting in a tablespoon of cayenne pepper. Incorrect measurements can quickly ruin a dish.



We’re not talking about your basic fork and knife. Life can be made so much easier when the correct tools are available for cooking. Go out and get a rubber spatula, a slotted spatula, a slotted spoon, tongs, a wire whisk, a wooden spoon and a ladle.



A set of 3 nesting stainless steel or glass bowls will last forever and can handle any mixing needs. Plastic bowls work just as well, however, they will not last as long.

Everyone might have their own opinion on what is a necessity for putting together a starter kitchen but in our opinion these tools will help you to make a meal that will impress anyone.

By Kylie Mazon 

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