Essential Kitchen Equipment Everyone Needs
Every home cook needs a few basic tools.
A well-stocked kitchen doesn’t have to break the bank. These basic cooking essentials give you everything you need to make meals, store leftovers and more.
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Buying a full set of pots and pans means you’ll have all the basics covered: heating or making soups, boiling pasta or potatoes, pan frying proteins and sautéing veggies. A nonstick set is easiest to clean, but make sure you use plastic, silicone or wood spatulas and stirring spoons so you don’t scratch the coating.
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Instead of relying on cheap plastic containers from your last takeout order—or old, thoroughly scratched and stained Tupperware—treat yourself or a friend to a sturdy, organized set of containers and lids. Look for something stackable that will take up less space in the cupboard.
Every cook, no matter how casual, needs a few good knives. Stainless steel is the gold standard, and when they get dull (which every knife will after a while) the steel holds up well to sharpening. At the very least, make sure any set you buy has a chef’s knife for chopping, a paring knife for smaller slicing and a serrated knife for breads, bagels and pastries. Bonus points if it comes with kitchen scissors or a sharpener!
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If you make cookies, muffins, cakes, bread or brownies on a pretty regular basis—or want to start—it makes sense to buy a full set of baking gear. Consider whether you want nonstick or regular metal. Nonstick is easier to clean, obviously, but if you buy a dark-coated set know that baked goods may cook faster and you need to check your items before the time listed on your recipe.
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It doesn’t matter if you’re baking or prepping a full-course meal: There’s almost never a time you won’t need a mixing bowl in the kitchen. Everyone has at least one of these, but if you cook or bake often, it’s nice to have a set with different sizes. Glass mixing bowls are classic and chic—but stainless steel is a lot lighter and usually less expensive, so choose accordingly.
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