Here’s my list of Basic Essentials In The Kitchen. With this handy guide, setting up your cooking space couldn’t be easier. Use this as a checklist for an existing kitchen or to figure out everything you need for your first kitchen.
Basic Essentials in the Kitchen
As of this writing, my boys are both in college, so I plan to use this Basic Essentials in the Kitchen list in a couple of years, when they finish college and move into their own places. Goodbye meal plans, hello cooking dinner every night of the week. Here’s everything you will need to do just that! The items featured here also make great wedding gifts, housewarming gifts, and holiday gifts too!
Knives and Such
I start with knives because a good, sharp knife is your best friend in the kitchen. If you eat real food, you chop loads of veggies. These are the only two knives you’ll need.
This chef’s knife is the perfect weight and feels great in my hand. I’ve had it for decades and its performance is unrivaled. A high quality knife gets the job done quickly and safely. Using a cheap, dull knife, is dangerous, leading to accidents. So investing in a good knife is top priority when it comes to equipping your kitchen and this one is a must-have.
The only other knife you need is the 4.5-inch serrated utility knife!
With Multiple Sclerosis my hands don’t work as well as they used to. My last TV appearance was in 2013, live on Fox News. My hands are part of the reason it’s been so long. I love this knife because it feels great in my hands, giving me more confidence, skill, and dexterity.
A good chopping board is the perfect partner for the above knives. Bamboo = great because it’s not plastic. I discuss the downside of plastic in my post called 10 Reasons Glass is Better than Plastic. Bamboo is not only durable and easy to clean, it’s a renewable resource since it grows like a weed. Enough said. Grab yourself this cutting board.
The following are the basic kitchen essentials when it comes to cookware like pots and pans. I’ve personally owned all of these items for decades and use them daily.
All-Clad 4 Quart Pot
This pot is also perfect with a steamer basket insert for steaming vegetables like green beans, broccoli, or brussel sprouts, and All-Clad is amazing when it comes to construction, performance, and durability.
All-Clad 2 Quart Saucepan
I’ve owned two of these 2-quart saucepans since 1995, when we were married. They’re in constant use, incredibly durable, and perfect for everything from Cranberry Sauce, to homemade Ginger Licorice Tea.
This is a 2 quart saucepan which is the equivalent of two one-quart mason jars, or eight cups of liquid.
All-Clad ½ Quart Saucepan
I’ve had this little All-Clad “butter warmer” forever and I love it.
Use the 1/2-quart saucepan to melt chocolate, heat coconut milk, and more. It’s fantastic for making little sauces and reductions as well. It’s really cute and has to be one of my favorite things in my kitchen.
Cast Iron Skillets
I honestly don’t know what I would do without these cast iron skillets!
I love the smell that wafts through our home when cookies are in the oven. I love this 12.25 x 8.75″ baking sheet band have three of them because there’s always another batch to test for you! The smaller 16.75 x 12″ baking sheet is perfect for setting up candy in the freezer.
My favorite kitchen tools below will make your life easier and make cooking faster and safer!
Stainless Steel Spatula
Oh spatulas, how I love thee! You flip Pancakes, Latkes, and Keto Crepes. Without you I would not be able to perfect so many of the amazing recipes in my first book, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.
I love this good sturdy spatula because it feels heavy and solid in my hand which makes it so easy to use.
A good wooden spoon is a must in my kitchen for making scrambled eggs, stirring up a pot of Cranberry Sauce, and making Keto Huevos Rancheros Skillet Casserole. This one is big enough to stir up a huge pot of homemade jam too, which makes it the perfect multi-tasker.
These tongs are an essential tool in my kitchen. Whether pulling freshly steamed artichokes or broccoli out of my Instant Pot, or grabbing Latkes that we’re frying up for Hanukkah, tongs are a must-have if you like to cook.
You can also use them to cook steak on the stove top in one of the incredible cast-iron skillets above. Grab yourself some tongs and get cooking!
A spoonula is a baking spatula with rounded edges and another must-have.
You can use mixing bowls for blending batters in baking recipes, but that’s what a food processor is for in my kitchen. I use them for washing, prepping, and staging veggies in a variety of recipes. When the boys were toddlers I kept them on the bottom shelf of this kitchen utility island and they were often used as toys while I prepped meals.
Mixing bowls are for far more than mixing!
Measuring Cups & Spoons
To get good results in the kitchen you need to follow my recipes.
To follow my recipes you need a good set of measuring cups and measuring spoons.
I’ve had this set of measuring cups and spoons for a very long time. It’s well priced and very durable so I highly recommend it!
I use my spiffy kettle to boil water for Weightless Cranberry Tea which I drink as a urinary tract tonic. MS, may bring the rarely discussed, though common condition of chronic UTI. This tea is a little known cure containing an herbal antibiotic, plus cranberry, and soothing fennel. I use Throat Coat, my other favorite, when I have a tickle in my throat. It’s also calming to the digestive system given the main ingredient of licorice.
Although I adore my white kitchen (check out the photo of our cabinets below) I like a good splash of color here and there to liven things up. These pot holders protect my hands when handling hot kitchen equipment.
I’ve had them for years and they’re the best pair I’ve found.
Food Storage Containers
I avoid plastic in my kitchen whenever possible and have for decades, since I ran an environmental consulting company in the early 1990s. Here are some fabulous options for food storage containers for you!
Pyrex Food Storage Containers
These are the perfect food storage containers because they double as baking dishes. I love that they go oven to table to fridge. What’s better than that?
This four piece set will serve you well!
Glass Mason Jars
The possibilities for one-quart mason jars are endless. When not toting around my copper water bottle, I’m drinking water or herbal tea from a mason jar. They’re perfect for food storage too. I have a cabinet for mason jars adjacent to the pantry. Grab yourself some 32 ounce jars, the smaller, 16 ounce jars are every bit as good!
When you’re not using them for drinks or leftovers, they’re the perfect container for flowers freshly picked from your garden.
Basic Essentials in the Kitchen
These are the basic essentials that I have in my own kitchen. I’ll be buying these basics in 2021 and 2022 for my boys when they graduate from college and I set up their kitchens. I’ll be purchasing some other essentials for them too. Stay tuned for my round up of basic kitchen appliances!
Did I miss anything? Leave a comment and let me know what must-have kitchen item you can’t live without!