Maybe your kitchen is empty except for a few bowls and the odd piece of cookware. Or, maybe you’ve got your entire kitchen set up but you’re missing out on a few of those essentials that could really take your cooking skills to the next level. No matter what your current kitchen setup, everyone who takes a look at this list of kitchen essentials will find something they’ve been missing.
Handheld kitchen essentials
Those top chefs you see on TV who are slicing and dicing their vegetables or cuts of meat are quick and nimble because of their Chef’s Knife. Pick one up and you’ll never have to worry about sawing your way through kitchen prep again.
Check out the WUSTHOF Classic Ikon Chef 8-Inch Knife and notice the curve of the knife. That curve makes chopping tiny pieces of garlic or ginger easier.
Measuring cups and measuring spoons
I used to have plastic measuring cups and spoons, but I’ve found glass and stainless steel measuring spoons and measuring cups hold up much better in a busy kitchen. I keep several sets on hand, just in case one is in the dishwasher.
You just can’t have too many mixing bowls, and some of the bowls I’ve collected over the years are so nice to look at that I keep them on an open shelf. Anyone just starting out could use at least three mixing bowls to hold whatever you’re making or baking, and be sure to check out copper mixing bowls if you’re setting up a modern farmhouse kitchen.
Have you ever tried to mash potatoes without a potato masher? It can be pretty hard to get the right consistency if you don’t have one, and scraping out a bowl with a spoon isn’t as easy as gliding a silicone spatula over the bowl to empty it out. You also need a whisk with a strong handle for whipping cream or making roux for mac and cheese.
Cutting boards aren’t just for protecting your counter tops, although they do that and they do it well. Some cutting boards, like the Brilliant Organic Acacia Round Cutting Board look great too. It’s cut from a slab and gives you the perfect rustic accessory in the kitchen.
If you have a great knife why would you need a cheese grater? Grated soft and hard cheese means you can melt your cheese to perfection, so a cheese grater is an essential.
If you’ve ever tried to strain pasta in a pot just by tipping it over the sink and holding to the lid, you know that using a colander makes it much easier.
Cast iron pan
Beyond cookware, there’s one essential pan that every at-home chef or casual cook needs. A cast iron pan is an amazing kitchen accessory you can use for baked mac and cheese, cast iron brownies, seared steak, and so much more. This will be your favourite pan.
Small appliance essentials
Not everyone will use every small appliance I have listed, but these are essentials you can use to really expand on your cooking skills.
Toaster or toaster oven
Toasted bagels or a nice piece of sour dough are a great way to start your morning, so a toaster is a must-have. If you’d like to have an extra oven in the kitchen, you may want to consider combining your toaster with a mini-convection oven and purchasing one of the latest toaster ovens.
The Cuisinart Combo Steam and Convection Toaster oven gives you the best of all worlds. It has steam you can inject into whatever your baking, and when you don’t want to bake with it, it offers you a variety of toasting options too.
I can’t imagine life before a stand mixer, and it’s one of the small appliances I recommend to anyone. A KitchenAid stand mixer will whisk, beat, and blend your cookie dough, bread dough, and cake batter, and it whips cream to perfection too.
Coffee maker or espresso machine
Every kitchen needs a coffee maker, kettle, or espresso machine. I have a full coffee bar in my kitchen, and it’s one thing I’ve never regretted setting up. When everything you need for coffee is right where you need it, every morning starts off great.
If you’d asked me a few years ago what a pressure cooker was, I wouldn’t have had a clue. Now the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker is my go-to appliance for everything, and I use it at least 4 days per week for breakfast or dinner. It reduces your cooking time and makes the most delicious meals in a hurry.
A pressure cooker can double as a slow cooker, so you get two appliances in one. You can even make a cheesecake in your pressure cooker, and it will be the best cheesecake you’ve ever had.
It goes without saying that you need the standard large appliances in your kitchen. Some large appliances are more versatile than others, and that’s why they make the list of top kitchen essentials.
I predict 2018 will be the year of the smart refrigerator. Yes, they’ve been around for a few years, but if you take a look at a few of my CES announcements for Samsung and LG, you’ll see that these refrigerators are finally coming into the mainstream. I think you’re going to start seeing them in many kitchens and could very well become one of our kitchen essentials.
They have Google integration, inner cameras for you to see what’s inside via an app on your phone, and large LCD screens on the front panel to schedule family events, show photos, and even order groceries.
You can find the Samsung Family Hub online right now, and keep an eye out for other smart refrigerators you can add to your kitchen this year.
There’s a real difference between a range with an oven and a range with a convection oven. A convection oven distributes the heat evenly throughout your oven, and that means if you’re a baker and you want to bake three trays of cookies at one time, you can do that. Convection also offers different multi-level cooking options, and everything you bake will come out perfectly.
Those are just a short list of kitchen essentials. You can keep adding to this list of small appliances and kitchen gadgets you’ll use every day, and there are some great choices available on Best Buy right now.