(This page is being grown as we speak and is not totally complete just yet. Enjoy what I have so far!)
This is my list of must have kitchen tools that you need to be a home cook. These are all products I personally use in my own kitchen. Many of them have provided me with great success. It’s so important to have quality tools at your disposal. These tools need to work well to make cooking at home a success. Check them out below! This page is full of affiliate links, meaning if you purchase a product through a link I recommend, I will earn a small commission on the sale. With that said, I will NEVER post a product on this page that I don’t believe in and use personally. If you ever have any questions about the products here just email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I will answer them for you.
Let’s start at the beginning. You need solid high quality cookware to cook your food evenly and properly. Investing in cookware will pay off in the long run. You’ll be happier with the food you create and if taken care of they will last your lifetime. Yes…your lifetime. I prefer the All-Clad Stainless Steel Tri-Poly Series. These pans are heavy and durable and work great. They can go straight from the stove top to the oven. If you heat the pan and fat properly, even your eggs won’t stick. I need to make a video of that (coming soon). They clean up easily and for tough stuck on food, Bar Keeper’s Friend will clean the toughest spots. These are the five pans below I recommend starting with. Small and large frying pans, a saute pan with a lid, and small and large sauce pans with lids. Click on an image below to see all the details on Amazon. I also have a roasting pan that I love and have an image below of, and a large stock pot. Personally I hardly use the stock pot because I love my dutch oven so much. My favorite dutch oven is pictured below. It too is an investment, but well worth the money. It can also go from stove top to oven seamlessly and will also last your lifetime if taken well care of. I also recommend a cast iron skillet. The one I use was my husband’s great grandmothers. It’s over 100 years old and still works like a champ. Lodge makes great cast iron products. I highly recommend them.
A great kitchen knife is another item that I refuse to budge on. You really need a high quality blade to make cooking not only easier but safer. A dull blade or poorly weighted knife is not good for anyone and can be extremely dangerous. Investing in a good set of blades is necessary and I’ve included picture links below to my very favorite brand, Wusthof. I prefer the Wusthof Classics but they have other styles out there. I believe starting out you only need a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a medium serrated knife. If you have those three you can do literally anything you need. I’ve included what I have in my kitchen below. Don’t forget an amazing pair of kitchen shears. They not only cut open pesky packages while cooking, but cut through kitchen twine and chicken bones easily if needed. Do yourself a favor and only get a pair that comes apart for an easier time cleaning.
It’s easy to go crazy in this area, trust me I’ve seen the bins at Williams-Sonoma and coveted many a useless tool. Here’s my two cents on the subject: unless you absolutely HAVE to have it don’t buy any tool that you will only use for one thing. For instance, an avocado cutter, really? Use a knife and save the drawer space. A strawberry huller? Use a pairing knife. An egg slicer? Again use a knife! A melon baller, use a teaspoon. The list goes on and on. Here are my top picks for cook’s tools. Click on an image below for more info.
You need a good solid block general purpose cutting as well as dishwasher safe ones for messy jobs and cutting raw meat. You can invest in a cutting board that catches the juices from cooked meats, but I wouldn’t use that to cut and dice vegetables with. It would all get stuck in those grooves and become real annoying really fast. For the love of your knives please do no use glass or stone! Use wood. I also love Epicurean cutting boards and their various sizes. These boards are safe for your knives and go right into the dishwasher for easy clean up. I’ve also included mineral oil to clean your wood block and make it look brand new again.
Pans are essential to cooking. Not only do you bake with them, but you roast vegetables, and make casseroles in them. There’s nothing fancy or different with these, but I’ve listed what I think you need for a kitchen starting out. I’ve included a 9″ deep pie dish in this section. I am obsessed with my Emile Henry pie dish that I have had for about ten years. It’s a deep pie dish and can accommodate anything. I love to use it for breakfast casseroles and quiches too.
You can also go crazy with small appliances. I tend to stick with the basics. If you have the resources (or are registering for your wedding) splurge on a KitchenAid mixer. I had no idea at the time all the things I would do with mine. I love to bake with it obviously, but the attachments are so handy. I love using one appliance in place of having tons of them around. I use the ice cream maker attachment and the pasta attachment. It’s also useful for shredding meat. It’s well worth the money and will also last forever if you take care of it. I’ve included some of the attachments here. I love my All Clad slow cooker, and while I admit it’s one of the more expensive models you can buy, it’s so worth it. It’s larger than most crock pots on the market and so well made. If I want things to be kept warm, it warms them without putting them into a simmer like most other models. And by this point you know my love of all things All Clad. I use an immersion blender for soups more than a regular blender so I’ve recommended my favorite one here. So many color options! And speaking of blenders, as much as I would love a Vitamix Blender I just can’t part with $500 for one. I love my classic Oster Beehive Blender. I have the copper one. I’ve had it for 12 years and don’t regret it.
Spices and Other Products
I take cookbooks very seriously. I pour over them, study them and mark them. I use them over and over and the ones I go back to again and again are listed here. These books are beaten up and have food stains in them. The sign of success in my opinion.