13 Essential Kitchen Tools and Appliances Everyone Should Have

So you’re moving into your new home or apartment and you need to stock up on all the essentials for your cozy new abode. When you’re starting with a slim arsenal, your kitchen can be one of the toughest rooms to properly stock, because there are so many items that are easy to forget until you’re in mid-meal prep and realize you don’t have them.

We’ve compiled a list of 13 items — from utensils to appliances — that are must-haves for a fully functioning kitchen. Pick up all the items from our list of essential kitchen tools and appliances and get the most out of your new digs.

13 Kitchen Tools and Appliances Everyone Must Possess

Appliances

Slow Cooker

appliance slow cooker

If you’re only going to invest in one countertop appliance for your kitchen, make it a slow cooker. They’re so insanely versatile and they make cooking hearty, fulfilling meals so simple it’s basically lazy. You can use a slow cooker to make everything from pot roast to chicken wings, and all you have to do is chuck your ingredients in and wait a few hours.

Sandwich Maker

sanwich maker appliance

For anyone who’s into bread, bagels, English muffins, or Pop-Tarts, a kitchen feels all-too-bare without a sandwich maker. We recommend getting a versatile model with wide slots so you can cook thicker bread and bagels when it strikes your fancy. If you don’t own a sandwich maker now and planning to buy a new one then check out the list of best sandwich maker.

Microwave

appliance microwave

It’s likely your new home or apartment will already have a microwave or planning to buy microwave, it’s usually worth an upgrade if it’s an old model — and it’s definitely a must-buy if there isn’t one, you can consider to buy microwave oven online.

Cookwares

Skillet

utensil skillet

Every kitchen needs a skillet. From fried eggs to toasted sandwiches to ground beef and veggies, you’ll be using this baby for nearly every stovetop meal you make in your new kitchen. We recommend at least a 12-inch skillet, preferably made of stainless steel with a non-stick interior. We also suggest looking for one that comes with a lid, which can be great for simmering and steaming.

Stock Pot

stockpot

A stockpot is built for making soups or stews, boiling potatoes, and cooking pasta. The best are thick and sturdy, with multi-ply designs that help hold in heat. Opt for one that’s at least 8 quarts, and make sure it has a lid as well.

Saucepan

For times when you don’t need something as big as a stockpot, it’s helpful to have a medium-sized saucepan on hand. You can use it to cook up canned soups and veggies, or just to make smaller portions of the recipes you might otherwise use your stock pot for. Get one with a lid and a coated handle that stays cool to the touch.

Sheet Tray

If you can cook it in the oven, you can probably cook it on a sheet tray. If you plan to make anything from cookies to pizzas to finger foods to bacon, a high-quality sheet tray is endlessly useful. Plus, you can slide it under deeper dishes like roasting trays as a fail-safe for errant dripping. Look for the kind that’s made for restaurant use — they’re large, durable, and long-lasting.

Utensils

Knife Set

knife set

You could get away with one large knife, but you’ll thank yourself later if you go ahead and spring for a set. One that comes in a knife block is even better since storing it on the counter is both safer and will save you drawer space. Find a set that includes a large chef’s knife (usable for most slicing and dicing), a paring knife (best for smaller and more detail-oriented tasks), a serrated knife (perfect for cutting bread or tough-to-crack fruits like watermelon), and a honing steel (to keep your knives properly sharpened). Prices vary widely, but you’ll want to invest in a high-quality set that will last you a long time.

Large Spoon

large spoons

Another super versatile tool, a large spoon can be used to stir, scoop, and serve most things you’ll whip up in your new kitchen. There are lots of options, from wood to plastic to metal, but we like a nice silicone version since it’s highly heat-resistant, easy to clean, and doesn’t pick up stains from your food.

Measuring Spoons

Unless you have the nimble fingers of a Michelin-star chef and can pinch up a perfect ¼ teaspoon easily, you’ll need a set of measuring spoons. Find one with easy to read measurement labels and a ring that you can clip open for individual use and easier cleaning.

Measuring Cup

Yes, you should get both measuring spoons and a measuring cup. Why? Well, for starters, the classic Pyrex measuring cup (you know, the one that seems to be in literally everyone’s kitchen) can measure larger quantities. It’s also microwaveable and has a pour spout, so you can use it to melt things like butter or chocolate and pour them right into other ingredients.

Spatula

spatula

You don’t need us to list all the uses for a spatula to know you’re definitely going to need one. Your spatula is going to be a heavy hitter in your kitchen, so get one that’s sturdy and durable. We also suggest picking up a pack of spatulas, which usually come in a variety of sizes — perfect for the myriad ways you’re going to use spatulas.

Can Opener

Chances are you’ll need to open a can of something-or-other at some point, so be sure to stash a can opener in your utensil drawer, too. We really dig one that doesn’t cause hand cramps and won’t leave jagged edges at the top of the can.

Conclusion

Fully stocking a minimalist and efficient kitchen with utensils and appliances don’t have to be frustrating or cost a lot of money. By purchasing only high-quality multi-purpose items that have a strong value proposition, you can end up with a fully stocked kitchen that will last a lifetime.

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