The Only First Home Kitchen Essentials Checklist You’ll Need To Turn Your House Into A Home
Home is where the heart is, and the best way to the heart is through the stomach. So wouldn’t you agree that the kitchen is essentially the heart of the home?
Most new homeowners would agree that shopping for kitchen essentials is a stressful activity because of the sheer number of items retailers will have you thinking you need.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Shopping for new kitchen tools for your first apartment or home is fun when you know exactly what you need, and we are here to help you get there.
Even though we’ve prepared a little list to help you discover the kitchen essentials you’ll need, you don’t have to buy them all.
It’s only here to help you narrow down the list further, so you can have a fun and enjoyable experience when it comes to buying basic kitchen essentials for the heart of your very first home, the kitchen.
Top 37 Essential Kitchen Tools To Complete The Heart Of Your New Home
Kitchen Knife Set, Your Food Preparation Foundation
1. Chef’s Knife
A chef’s knife is the cornerstone of any kitchen, be it in a commercial kitchen or a home kitchen. Its functional design gives it the ability to cut through various food preparation tasks from slicing and dicing, to chopping vegetables and carving meats with precision and accuracy. If you had the option to purchase only one type of knife for your kitchen, a quality chef's knife is definitely a great purchase.
2. Serrated Knife
A serrated knife is somewhat special because it doesn’t bear the usual straight or curved sharp edge. Instead, it has a jagged blade with deep and pointed serrations that allow it to slice through food and ingredients that are hard outside and soft inside without crushing them. Think food like bread, cakes, and delicate ingredients like tomatoes and aubergines. It's also often referred to as a bread knife in casual contexts.
3. Paring Knife
Paring knives are essential for intricate tasks that require you to peel, core, and cut with precision. It’s a dainty knife with small, nimble blade and palm-sized handle to help you carry out cutting tasks that can’t be done with larger knives like the chef’s knife.
4. Vegetable Peeler
Vegetable peelers are underrated little kitchen tools that allow you to effortlessly peel vegetables and fruits quickly and safely.
While several types of vegetable peelers are available, I’d recommend getting a Y-shaped vegetable peeler just like the one in the photo if this is your first peeler purchase for two reasons: it’s suitable for both left and right-handers, and it often has a wider handle which gives you a more comfortable grip. (Trust me, a comfortable grip is truly heaven-sent when you’re peeling heaps of fruits and vegetables!)
5. Knife Sharpener
One of the most dangerous things you could allow in the kitchen is a dull knife. A dull knife naturally needs more pressure put on it to cut anything, which increases the likelihood of the knife slipping, which means injuries.
Which is why maintaining the sharp edge of your kitchen knives is vital for safe and efficient cooking. A knife sharpener in the form of a whetstone will help you keep your knives in tip-top condition for precise knife-work and safety in the kitchen.
Essential Cookware To Cook Your Daily Meals
There’s a reason why cookware is often tied to the phrase “pots and pans”. A stockpot comes under “pot”, and it’s a versatile piece of cookware that allows you to cook broths, soups, stews, comforting dishes like a Seafood Risotto, and large batches of meals.
You’ll want to get a stockpot that can be cooked on the stovetop and the oven. This means keeping an eye out for a stockpot with a lid made entirely from stainless steel, or a combination of glass with a stainless steel knob. Don’t forget to also make sure that the handles are made from stainless steel too! A perfect example would be the stunning Cosmo Casserole, a non-stick casserole pot that functions exactly like a stockpot.
Another great alternative is to get yourself a cast iron Dutch oven, which can be used on the stovetop and in the oven. The only downsides are its typically large price tag, the need for extra careful handling and regular seasoning, and its hefty weight. It’s an option I’d be more comfortable recommending to a veteran home cook over a casual home cook.
7. Nonstick Pan
Much like a stockpot, every home needs a pan to sear, fry, and sometimes even bake delicious dishes like this scrumptious Healthy Berry Crumble. It’s truly an underrated kitchen essential for busy homeowners to quickly cook up a hearty dish.
Since this is your first home kitchen, it’s best to stick to a simple nonstick skillet or sauté pan like the Cosmo Fry or the Cosmo Pan to ease into cooking instead of a cast iron skillet, which typically requires greater maintenance and care. Another plus point is how you’ll only need little to no oil to cook dishes on a nonstick skillet, which means healthier cooking. How awesome is that!
I’ll let you in on a little secret. A saucepan is basically my go-to kitchen essential for days where I’m craving instant ramen because it can also double as my dinner bowl right after I’m done cooking. This means less washing!
Saucepans are simply fantastic for cooking anything that is mostly liquid, like cooking pasta sauce, soups, or single portions of stews, broths, and instant ramen. If you’re not a fan of using the microwave, you can even use your saucepan to heat up tea, milk, and water (well now that just sounded like a recipe for a comforting milk tea).
9. Sheet Pan, a.k.a. Baking Sheet
A baking sheet is a real workhorse in the kitchen. You’ll find baking sheets in various designs ranging from a baking sheet with higher sides which makes it appear like a tray, or a baking sheet with flat edges which makes it look just like a cookie sheet.
The most versatile and space-saving option you could go for is a baking sheet with slightly raised sides, because this will allow you to roast vegetables, meat, bake cookies, biscuits, and more. All with just one baking sheet.
Cooking Utensils, Your Little Kitchen Assistants
10. Slotted Spoon
Almost every kitchen will have a tough time without this handy little tool. A slotted spoon is essential to help you lift and strain foods from liquids, serve vegetables, draining pasta, rice, or fried foods without the excess liquid or oil.
A ladle simplifies the process of serving soups, stews, and sauces in large quantities and precise portions with its deep, rounded base. Some even use it to stir soups, stews, or sauces as they cook if they don’t want to add a stirring spoon to their kitchen arsenal!
Be it flipping pancakes, scraping bowls clean, scrambling the perfect omelette, a spatula is one of the most indispensable and versatile kitchen utensils. The best kind of spatula you can get for your kitchen is a silicone spatula because of its heat resistance and non-stick properties, making it simply perfect for stovetop use.
Whisks are a must-have to blend, aerate, and emulsify ingredients. Just imagine how many hours you’ll waste whipping cream or mixing pancake batter if you didn’t have a whisk!
14. Kitchen Shears
Kitchen shears share a similar appearance to scissors, but they are heaps sharper so you must handle it with care. That said, their sharpness makes it perfect for food preparation tasks like cutting herbs, trimming fat and tendons of meat, or even opening tough packaging!
Psst…did you know that you can even use them to cut up rotisserie chicken? It’s one of the easier ways to do so over using a carving knife!
15. Garlic Press
No garlic, no flavour. If you can’t do without garlic in your meals, then you certainly can’t do without a garlic press! A garlic press allows you to easily mince garlic quickly and cleanly in one swift press. All without leaving a strong scent on your fingers and hands.
16. Bottle Opener
The best kind of bottle opener functions as a corkscrew, bottle cap opener, and can opener. Get yourself one that can do at least 2 of the three listed functions for a true kitchen essential you won’t want to be without, especially when your friends bring over a wine bottle of your favourite vino!
17. Measuring Cups & Measuring Spoons
Perfect cooking and baking results call for precise measurements. Which is why every kitchen essential list worth its salt will definitely tell you that you need measuring cups and measuring spoons. Because how else will you accurately measure your dry and wet ingredients like flour and water?
Kitchen Accessories For A Truly Enjoyable Cooking Experience
18. Glass Mixing Bowl
Mixing bowls are a kitchen essential, but there’s a reason why we’re going with a glass mixing bowl here. The traditional mixing bowl is often a ceramic one with distinct motifs on its exterior and a clear, almost creamy, smooth inner surface.
Sure that’s gorgeous, but we want something practical that won’t take up heaps of storage. A glass mixing bowl grants you two functions in one - it can serve as a mixing bowl that allows you to easily check whether your mixture has been mixed properly, and it also serves as a serving bowl for stews, salads, and soups while looking absolutely stunning.
Just make sure to get a thick, heat-resistant glass mixing bowl as they last longer than non-heat resistant glass mixing bowls.
19. Cutting Board
A cutting board is an underrated kitchen essential that helps you maintain your kitchen countertops and overall food hygiene. They come in various materials such as plastic, glass, and wood, but the most practical one is a wooden cutting board. Its soft surface preserves your knife’s edge, so not only does it protect your countertop from damage, it will protect your knife too!
20. Salad Spinner
Skip washing vegetables by hand and get yourself a salad spinner. This nifty kitchen essential washes and dries salad greens efficiently with one swift spin.
Here’s a little hack: I’d recommend getting a salad spinner with a detachable stainless steel basket. That way, you’ll have a salad spinner and a basket that can function as a colander when you need one!
21. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum foil is a versatile kitchen accessory especially when it comes to cooking and preserving food. Unlike plastic cling wraps, aluminum foil is highly recyclable, making it a better disposable alternative. Some uses for it include covering baking dishes to wrapping food for storage.
22. Paper Towels
While it isn’t the greenest option, paper towels are a basic kitchen essential you must have when it comes to absorbing spills, drying hands when no tea towels are in sight, and to clean surfaces of cream and oil-based spills.
23. Ice Cube Trays
Just because they are called ice cube trays, doesn’t mean that they are only used to make ice. An ice cube tray is a fantastic kitchen tool that you can use to freeze herbs, sauces, and even baby food portions for easier storage at the end of your batch cooking sessions and meal prep!
Essential Tableware For The Home & To Entertain
24. Dinnerware Set
Now that you’ve cooked the food, you have to serve it. Which is why dinnerware is a non-negotiable kitchen essential. The most basic must-have pieces are a dinner plate, a side plate, and a bowl, and these often come in a set of 4 or more.
To identify how many dinnerware sets you’ll need, simply identify how many people there are living in your home, and how often you entertain to get a rough idea. You ultimately can’t go wrong with a classic, clean and crisp white porcelain dinnerware set as they pair beautifully with almost every home and kitchen aesthetic.
25. Cutlery Set
A set of cutlery is a must, because how else will your dinner guests comfortably enjoy the delicious food you’ve prepared? While plenty of beautifully designed cutlery can be found almost everywhere, the best are still a timeless stainless steel cutlery set that consists of a table spoon, dinner fork, and dinner knife.
Avoid those with colour motifs, gold, or copper coloured cutlery because they tend to be rather demanding when it comes to care. Stainless steel cutlery are the absolute best because they require minimal to almost zero care and maintenance to stay stunning for the years to come.
When it comes to drinkware, you’ll essentially need only two types: mugs and wine glasses. Because your mugs can serve you in the form of coffee mugs, hot water mugs, and even tea mugs, while wine glasses are perfect for red wine, white wine, and the occasional bubbly.
Ideally you’d want to get mugs and glassware that are dishwasher safe to make cleaning up that much easier. It would be an incredible plus point if the mugs were microwave safe, so you can enjoy fun recipes like mug cakes or have an easier time heating up your favourite beverage.
Kitchen Essentials For Cleaning & Organising
27. Food Storage Containers
A good set of food storage containers is the hallmark of a well stocked kitchen. These will keep your home organised and your food and ingredients fresh for a longer period of time. The best food storage containers come with an airtight lid, can be stored in the freezer, can be heated in the microwave, is oven safe, and dishwasher safe.
Ideally you'll want those that come in a rectangular or square form as they allow for easy storage compared to round containers.
28. Kitchen Textiles
Kitchen textiles are a broad term for basic kitchen tools such as oven mitts, tea towels, aprons, and dish cloths. They are essentially kitchen tools made from fabrics for kitchen safety, cleanliness, and convenience during the cooking and cleaning process.
29. Dish Rack
A dish rack is a simple but underrated kitchen essential when it comes to air-drying dishes dishes quickly while keeping countertops tidy and dry. Once you’ve experienced having one, you simply won’t be able to do without!
30. Dishwasher Detergent
If you have a dishwashing machine at home, you certainly cannot miss out on getting dishwasher detergent! An ideal dishwasher detergent would be one that won’t leave visible residue and dry your dishes with spots or streaks.
Kitchen Appliances That Make Your Cooking Tasks Much Easier
31. Electric Kettle
Electric kettles are a must-have in every home. You can boil water quickly and efficiently for a quick mug of hot coffee or have hot water for your instant ramen in no time with an electric kettle. This is a non-negotiable, you simply must get one for your home!
32. Food Processor or Stick Blender
Food processors allow you to make short work of your chopping, pureeing, and blending food preparation tasks. All you need to do is to select from one of the available blades and pop your food in before activating it to get the ingredient texture you need!
Alternatively you could get an immersion blender, also known as a stick blender. This handy little gadget helps you to easily blend and puree ingredients even as it cooks on the stovetop. It’s a brilliant alternative that takes up little space in your home and kitchen.
Specialty Kitchen Tools
33. Muffin Pan
If you’re an avid baker who loves whipping up cupcakes, muffins, or even savoury pasta bakes in batches, a muffin pan would be a fantastic and versatile addition to your baking kit.
34. Rolling Pin
Much like the muffin pan, a rolling pin is a highly essential kitchen tool if you love baking. If you don’t, then it’s not truly essential for you as its uses are tailored more towards baking recipes. A rolling pin helps you roll out dough for pastries, pizzas, and cookies, while also ensuring even thickness for your baked goods.
35. Stand Mixer
No baker would be caught without a stand mixer in this current century. A stand mixer is an essential kitchen appliance for home cooks who love to bake because it efficiently mixes, kneads, and whips ingredients, saving you countless hours and effort in the kitchen.
36. Milk Frother
Coffee enthusiasts, rejoice! The milk frother is the unsung hero in a home kitchen. You either use it often or never at all. My personal favourite is a mini handheld electric whisk that creates frothy milk for coffees and lattes. Some even use it to whip up small batches of creamy desserts and beverages!
There’s actually a bit of a debate on whether a blender is a kitchen essential, or if it’s situational. I’d be more inclined to say it’s rather situational, especially if you already have a food processor as they function similarly. That said, if you enjoy your daily smoothies and the occasional milkshake, a blender is definitely a kitchen essential for you.