It’s that time of year when newlyweds are setting up first-time kitchens, graduates are finding a place of their own, people are transitioning, re-organizing and re-shuffling. And kitchens are a first priority.
I was reorganizing my kitchen earlier this year and came across utensils I’ve accumulated over 25 years of marriage. I couldn’t believe how they had withstood countless moves and a lot of years.
In fact, one of my favorite utensils is a stainless steel mixing spoon with a broken wooden handle. It wasn’t new when I acquired it. It was my mother-in-law’s before me. The handle is notched in just the right spot to rest on my pots and pans. It doesn’t look great, but it’s essential!
Other items were beyond their lifespan and had to be replaced.
As my niece prepares for marriage in less than a month, I began thinking about kitchen essentials and which items, in my mind, were really necessary for setting up a first-time kitchen. Or, for pairing back, setting up a second or vacation home, or even downsizing.
Setting up a first-time kitchen is incredibly expensive. With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list I thought would provide a foundation.
What would be on your “essential list?” I would love to hear about them in the comments below!
Our List: 15 Kitchen Essentials
OXO Good Grips 9-inch Tongs with Nylon Heads
OXO’s ergonomically designed Good Grips line has revolutionized many kitchen tools, from can openers to vegetable peelers. Tongs may seem less immediately essential, but being able to easily and precisely grip hot foods is a major plus. This model locks for storage and features heat-safe nylon heads that won’t scratch nonstick cookware.
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
Nothing sabotages a salad like soggy greens, and this easy-to-use spinner does the drying job better than most. A push button creates rapid and forceful spinning action, and a brake stops the motion whenever you want to check your results.
Cuisinart 6.5-Quart Digital Slow Cooker
Slow cookers are an essential staple for savvy home chefs. They help seal in moisture for delectable soups, stews, and braises, and also offer a great way to cook less expensive, tougher cuts of meat. For family-size meals, we love Cuisinart’s large 6.5-quart digital cooker, which brings the device into the new millennium with a programmable 24-hour timer; high, low, and stay-warm settings; and a dishwasher-safe bowl.
OXO Good Grips Swivel Peeler
Whether peeling a Granny Smith apple or a fruit with an even tougher skin, the swivel peeler by Oxo is an essential tool in any kitchen. Its flexible, rotating stainless-steel blades make peeling simple by contouring to almost any surface shape. The built-in potato eye remover is durable and can easily carve out blemishes without digging.
OXO Good Grips 4-inch Pizza Wheel and Cutter
You can rely on this wheel to make a complete cut through your pizza pie on the first run, thanks to its beveled stainless-steel blade. It works equally well with other pie doughs, and you can use without fear of cutting yourself, thanks to its built-in thumb guard.
Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware, Pizza Pan, 16-inch
The Calphalon Nonstick Bakeware 16-inch Pizza Pan is designed for years of use. The interlocking nonstick layers provide a durable finish, as well as keep your pizzas from sticking. The heavy-gauge steel core makes the pan sturdy, while evenly distributing heat and eliminating underdone or overcooked spots. The pan is perforated to help evenly cook crusts, allowing air to circulate for just-right results. This pizza pan is oven-safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, dishwasher safe, and backed by a full lifetime warranty.
Pyrex Prepware 3-Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set
The Pyrex 3-pc Mixing Bowl Set is designed to make stirring and mixing quick and easy. The round shapes gives you the space you need for full range stirring and is ideal for all of your cooking and baking needs. Set includes: (1) each 1-quart, 1-1/2-Quart, and 2-1/2-Quart Glass Mixing Bowls.
Pyrex 3-Piece Glass Measuring Cup Set
Add a measure of consistency to your kitchen with sturdy and easy-to-read Pyrex glass measuring cups. Whether you are preparing a multi-course meal or simply a snack for one, Pyrex offers products which make food preparation a little easier, from beginning to end. Microwave and dishwasher safe.
Accmor 11-Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Spoons/Cups Set
100% Stainless Steel so that your cups and spoons will last a lifetime – no flaking, rusting or BPA in your food. The handles are thick and sturdy with no welded parts, nest compactly and are dishwasher safe. Accurate & Precise Measurements in 11 variations- 6 Spoon Sizes – 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 3/4 tsp, 1 tsp, 1-Tbsp, 1/8 cup, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, and 1 cup.
Ice Cream/Cookie Scoop, Danibos 3PCS Stainless Steel With Trigger Cookie Spoons Set
I can’t imagine my kitchen without these. I use them for everything from cookies to ice cream to muffins — anything I have to scoop. Made of stainless steel, the set of three includes a small (ball diameter: 4 cm), medium (ball diameter: 5 cm) and large (ball diameter: 6 cm).
KitchenAid Classic Nonstick 5-piece Bakeware Set
This 5-piece set includes everything you need to get baking: a 9-Inch x9-Inch x2-Inch square pan, 9-Inch x5-Inch x3-Inch loaf pan, 9-Inch x13-Inch x2-Inch cake pan,12-cavity regular-sized muffin pan and the 10-Inch x15-Inch x1-Inch jelly roll pan. It’s all nonstick as well, to cut down on mess and cleaning time.
Farberware Classic 3-Piece Bamboo Cutting Board and Serving Set
This Farberware Classic 3-Piece Bamboo Cutting Board Set includes a 11 by 14-inch, 8 by 10-inch, and 8 by 5-1/2-inch cutting boards. These bamboo cutting board have a reversible cutting surface perfect for every food prep, from slicing fruit to chopping veggies. Also, use these boards to serve appetizers, serving bread, cutting pizza or displaying cheese and cured meats.
Neet® 7 Piece Stainless Steel Cooking & Serving Utensil Set
The 7 Piece Stainless Steel Utensils set uses a high-grade stainless steel.
Pyrex Basics Clear Oblong Glass Baking Dishes, 2 Piece Value Plus Pack Set
A kitchen staple for more than 80 years, Pyrex bakeware is as relevant today as it was in 1915. Made of a durable, high temperature material, Pyrex bakeware is classically beautiful and versatile enough to use in the refrigerator, freezer, oven, microwave, dishwasher and on the table in style.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 11-Piece Cookware Set
The kitchens of France were the inspiration behind the elegant Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Cookware Collection. Chef’s Classic features stainless steel and pure aluminum encapsulated in the base for fast and even heating. Guaranteed with a lifetime warranty.