Stocking your kitchen with the right tools and appliances is one of the best ways to ensure that cooking and baking is as easy and efficient as it can be. The only problem? There are so many kitchen item options out there that it can be overwhelming to figure out what’s actually necessary to own (and not just fun to have). So many tools are made with more experienced cooks in mind that you may not ever use enough to justify the price, while others are a luxury item that might make things easier but aren’t exactly a necessity.
So what should you always keep on hand? There are a few basics that should be found in the kitchens of even the most amateur cooks. Here are the biggest ones:
Stainless-Steel Nesting Measuring Cups and Spoons Sets: It’s going to be practically impossible to follow almost any recipe correctly (especially if you’re baking) without a set of measuring cups and spoons. These are an absolute must-have for any kitchen. Get a stainless-steel set that will sustain some wear and tear and last for a long time. Nesting measuring cups and spoons are also your best option here: they make for easy storage and couldn’t be more convenient to grab.
Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons
Hexclad Hybrid Nonstick Cookware 7 Piece Set: A versatile, durable pan like this one will quickly become your best friend for cooking breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Hexclad pan stands out as a nonstick pan that works on the stovetop or in the oven. It’s sort of like a Dutch oven, but there’s a difference: the Hexclad isn’t as delicate and can go in the dishwasher, which is a huge gamechanger. You can use this to sauté veggies, make chicken, steak, or fish, or cook eggs.
Hexclad Hybrid Nonstick Cookware 7 Piece Set
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander: If you plan on cooking and/or baking with fruits and veggies, then there’s no question: you need a good colander. It’s the best way to wash and dry your produce, hands down. This OXO option is strong and durable, with lots of tiny holes for fast draining. The rubber handles and little feet are also great for grabbing and setting down on the counter when needed.
OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Colander
Cuisinart Mixing Bowls: Food prep can be exhausting, but mixing bowls make things a little more simple and streamlined. These nesting bowls come in three perfect sizes, whether you’re baking or cooking, and are safe for the refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher. It’s also a big plus that they come with tight lids so that they can double as storage.
Cuisinart Mixing Bowls
Pyrex Glass Baking Dish: A glass baking dish is another versatile item to keep handy. You can use it for desserts like brownies or even cake, or you can make tons of things in it for dinner; such as casseroles, chicken, pork, veggies, baked pastas, and more. Pyrex is inexpensive but still makes quality items, which is always a plus, and ensures even baking or cooking. These dishes also don’t stain very quickly and are easy to clean.
Pyrex Glass Baking Dish
Totally Bamboo 6-Piece Bamboo Utensils Set: Whether you’re cooking with nonstick or cast iron cookware, you shouldn’t be using a regular fork or spoon to stir and mix up your food. You can damage those types pots and pans easily, and once they’re scratched, there’s pretty much nothing that can be done about it. That’s where wooden utensils, like these, come in. They won’t scratch things up, they work like a charm, and they’re easy to keep clean.
Totally Bamboo 6-Piece Bamboo Utensils Set
3-Piece Plastic Cutting Board Set: Cutting boards are another must-have -- you basically can’t do anything without them (unless you like scratching your countertops). Having a few on hand is your best bet, that way you can reserve one for things like onions or garlic that leave behind an odor and taste, one for raw meat and chicken, and one for fruits and veggies. This three-piece set is durable, can be put in the dishwasher, and stacks nicely into each other for each storage.
3-Piece Plastic Cutting Board Set
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