There’s nothing worse than not being able to cook the mouth-watering recipe you found online – because you don’t have the needed kitchen tools. Luckily for you, we’ve got the ultimate kitchen essentials list to prevent that awful moment.
Also, we have done a lot of the hard lifting for you and have linked out to some of our favorites & affordable options from trusted stores.
Keep reading for our complete list of Kitchen essentials, including:
- Essential Cookware pieces
- Essential Kitchen Utensils
- Other essential kitchen items
Table of Contents
Kitchen Essentials: What Should Every Kitchen Have?
Here are kitchen essentials that every kitchen should have:
- Essential cookware (Skillet, saucepans, roasting pans, etc.)
- Essential Utensils (Chefs knife, Spatula, Whisk, etc.)
- Knife sharpener
- Prep Bowls of all sizes
- Cutting boards
- Can Opener
- Toaster & Kettle
- Can opener
- Measuring Cups
Of course, a lot of the items named above are categories of Kitchen essentials. To ensure that you don’t miss any you need for your next meal, we broke down all of these kitchen essentials in detail below and gave you some of our recommendations.
Cooking and getting dinner on the table without the essential cookware pieces every kitchen needs?
Yep, that would be pretty hard – let’s take a look at what cookware pieces every kitchen needs.
Our all-in-one set recommendation: 23pc Full Essential Cookware Set
1. Skillet/Frying Pan
Eggs? Bacon? Omelets? We don’t think any of us could survive without our favorite fried classics, and that’s precisely why every kitchen needs a frying pan. You may also want to consider getting a Sauté Pan which is very similar but has a lid on top.
For most of our frying tasks, you can use them interchangeably. But this isn’t always the case, so make sure to check your recipe. And if you are a fry fanatic, you may want to consider adding both to your kitchen collection.
Our Skillet recommendation: Non-stick 2 piece skillet set for under $30
Our Sauté Pan recommendation: Chef’s Classic Stainless 5-1/2-Quart Saute Pan
2. Small Sauce Pan
A saucepan is one of the cookware essentials that you’ll probably use daily. Veggies, pasta, or rice are just a few of the classic foods you’ll need it for… and we don’t know about you, but we cook these very often and use our saucepans almost every day – so we’d assume that that’s the case for you too.
We recommend getting a small saucepan when you are just boiling water, making a sauce, or cooking yourself. Our next cooking essential will be what you need when you have guests around.
Most affordable high-quality saucepan: Stainless Steel, Aluminum-Clad Straight Sided Saucepan with Cover
Premium Recommendation: All-Clad Sauce Pan with Lid, 3-Quart, Silver
The large stockpot is essential for all great cooks. It’s also quite versatile as you can use it for stock, soup, chili, pasta, and so much more. It’s also one of those cooking essentials that you’ll NEED if you have lots of guests around – because there are not many things worse than not being able to fit all the food in a saucepan.
Affordable 16 Quart Stockpot with Lid, Stainless Steel (4.8 out of 5 stars based on 1990 reviews)
4. Dutch Oven
The Dutch oven is one of our favorite kitchen essentials because it’s so versatile. While it’s used primarily for braising, you can also use it as a skillet or a large saucepan… So if you do at one point need several of them because you have guests round, your Dutch oven can be the support.
We recommend that you go for something that’s at least 5 or 6 QT to make sure it’s big enough for all purposes.
Our recommendation: 6 quarts enameled cast iron Dutch oven.
5. Roasting Pan
Roast Chicken? Roast potatoes? Again, you will need a roasting pan for endless delicious recipes, especially if you love large meats and veggies. Also, keep in mind that roasting and braising CANNOT be interchanged, so you will definitely need a roasting pan for your kitchen.
Note: If you are vegetarian, we probably wouldn’t consider a roasting pan a kitchen essential. You can use alternatives like our next item instead!
Baking Equipment Essentials
Who doesn’t love baking? Let’s look at what equipment is essential for a good baking session.
1. Baking Sheets
Whether you’re a vegetarian, a meat addict, or whatever your diet may be – baking sheets are essential. Most baking recipes you put into the oven will need them. Plus, some pizza, some chicken, etc., the list goes on and on.
Our recommendation: Check out this Affordable 3-piece baking sheet set
Note if you are a Pizza-lover: You may want to consider getting a Pizza tray too.
2. Muffin Pan
Nothing makes a weekend more fun than baking your favorite muffins – so don’t forget the muffin pan in your kitchen. Otherwise, you may end up with muffins that have a strange shape… And again, that destroys the presentation aspect (especially important when you’re showing off to Guests or on social media!)
Our choice: Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick Muffin Pan
You might occasionally get away measuring by eye. But it can seriously mess up that recipe you found online and have never tried before. So, yes, a good glass measuring jug is essential.
Looking for an affordable option? OXO Good grips angled measuring cups is just $8.99 (at the time of writing)
4. Rolling Pin
Whether you’re cooking your own pizza or cookies, you’ll need a rolling pin to create a flat, circular shape. Rolling pins are very affordable too, check out the Farberware classic wood rolling pin, which costs just $12!
When looking for mixing bowls, we suggest going for a set rather than purchasing them individually. This way, you can be sure to get several sizes for a more affordable price. Our recommendation is this set of 6 nested bowls.
Essential Kitchen Utensils
Now let’s look at which Kitchen Utensils are essential enough to make the cut (no pun intended).
1. Chef’s Knife
“The one thing in my kitchen that I can’t live without is a good, sharp chef knife. You can do anything with a good knife.” – Executive Chef Rahaf Amer of the Nashville-based wine bar and restaurant Salt & Vine.
A sharp chef’s knife won’t only make your life a lot easier – but it will also help you keep the beautiful presentation thanks to your smooth cuts. Again, if you’re having guests, it’s always nice to show off the presentation of your meals.
I have used many Chefs Knives over the years, but I’m very happy with the ZWILLING 8-inch chefs knife.
2. Metal & Silicone Spatulas
No kitchen is complete without spatulas.
Yes, that includes both metal and silicone spatulas. Why do you need both?
The metal spatula is essential for flipping and tossing endless foods such as eggs over easy, baked salmon, roasted veggies, and countless others.
You’ll need your silicone spatulas for folding egg whites into cake batter, or stirring boiling mixtures, so you’ll use them frequently too.
Mixing ingredients with a whisk is one of the most fun (and essential) tasks in your kitchen. We recommend going for a medium-sized whisk like the one linked below, as this will be suited for most purposes.
Tongs are essential kitchen utensils where you don’t realize how much you need them until you start using them. You can use them to flip just about anything (meat, fish, etc.). Or you may use them to pick up foods like waffles, your Salad, or baked potatoes.
Check out our tongs recommendations here: Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs
5. Slotted Spoon
Another essential kitchen utensil is the slotted spoon. It’s a large spoon that has little gaps in the middle.
When you’re cooking solid foods like meats, you’ll want to pick them up without the liquid. And that’s exactly what you’ll need the slotted spoon for, as it lets the liquid slip through its openings.
Our recommendation: MJIYA Silicone Slotted Serving Spoon
6. Stirring Spoons
Every kitchen needs an excellent stirring spoon. We recommend one that is heat resistant and dishwasher safe. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself having to invest in another too soon.
Our recommendation: Baker Boutique Nonstick Kitchen Spoon (2pc set)
Your slotted spoons will not be suited to serve dishes like soups, stews, sauces, or any other liquid-based dish. For this, you’ll need a ladle, which is much longer than a traditional spoon, making it perfect for serving these use cases.
8. Measuring spoons
The good thing about a set of measuring spoons is that they come in all different sizes out of the box. And they’re perfect for measuring ingredients like oil or dry ingredients like sugar and salt. So, no matter what your diet, you will use your measuring spoons a lot.
Our recommendation: Affordable Premium Heavy Duty Measuring Spoons
9. Can Opener
Whether it’s beans, tuna, or whatever else it may be. Not opening a can of food is very frustrating, so we recommend investing in a strong can opener that will be enough for all your needs.
If you’re looking for a simple yet effective option, we recommend this can opener on Amazon.
Glasses & Cups
Every kitchen needs an excellent selection of glasses and cups. Take a look at our list of essentials below.
1. Large, Medium & Small Glasses
Having glasses of all sizes is essential, especially if you love an occasional alcoholic beverage or even a smoothie. We recommend getting large, medium, and small glasses so you are equipped for all occasions. Check out our recommendations below.
Love your early morning coffee? Well, you’ll need a set of coffee cups. For a start, we recommend just getting a set of plain coffee cups so you have enough in your home. Of course, you can add a special one with print to your collection later on.
You May Also Like: The Best Cheap Espresso Machine 2021
There’s nothing like Friday night wine and Amazon Prime after an exhausting week of work. Check out our recommendation for an affordable yet classy wine glass set.
Other Essential Kitchen Items
Of course, there’s a lot more to a good kitchen than Utensils and cookware. Let’s take a look at what other essential kitchen items every house needs.
Don’t burn your hands! We all know the pain. So make sure to invest in a pair of oven gloves or mitts that will make taking your food out of the oven so much easier. And ensure that they are heat-resistant ones too.
Having a flat and sturdy surface to prep on is essential for all cooks. Without a good cooking board, things can get messy quite quickly, or your plates will get scratched. Cutting boards come in all materials ranging from plastic to wood or even glass.
Recommended: Gorgeous Bamboo Cutting Board Set
Whether it’s toasted cheese, egg salad, or any dish that contains cheese sauce, you’ll need a grater. We also recommend getting a fruit grater to make it a lot easier to make your favorite fruit salads.
Having a good pepper grinder adds more flavor to your kitchen. Check out our favorite pepper grinders on Amazon below.
We recommend getting a large pepper grinder, so you won’t have to refill it as much.
Toaster & Kettle Set
No kitchen is complete without a toaster and kettle set. So, no matter whether you’re a tea or coffee person, make sure your kitchen is not missing these two kitchen essentials.
Yeah, you may get away with regular scissors in some cases. But overall, you’ll need a pair of kitchen scissors for snipping herbs and especially for breaking down poultry.
Our recommendation: 2-Pack Kitchen Shears
Again, this one is only for the Pizza lovers – but if that’s you, you’ll definitely need a pizza cutter. It’s just not the same feeling cutting your pizza with knives, and it does sacrifice the presentation aspect.
We Recommend: Pizza Cutter With Cover
A colander is another kitchen essential. No matter your diet, you’ll need a colander to strain foods like paste or rinsing vegetables.
A knife sharpener will save you lots of money in the long run, as you won’t have to invest in additional knives.
Knife sharpeners start at as little as $10 and will help your cuts stay nice and smooth, so it’s definitely a kitchen essential.
Summary List of All Items
Finally, we wanted to give you a checklist that you can use to make sure you have all the kitchen essentials you need.
- Skillet frying pan
- Small Saucepan
- Large Stockpot
- Dutch Oven
- Roasting pan
- Baking sheets
- Muffin Pan
- Glass Measuring Jugs
- Rolling Pin
- Mixing Bowls of All Sizes
- Chefs knife
- Metal & Silicone Spatulas
- Slotted Spoon
- Stirring Spoons
- Measuring spoons
- Can opener
- Glasses of all sizes
- Coffee cups & mugs
- Wine glasses
- Oven Gloves/Mitts
- Cutting boards
- Pepper grinder
- Toaster & kettle set
- Kitchen scissors
- Pizza cutter
- Knife sharpener
We hope you have enjoyed this guide on the kitchen essentials every house needs.