The key to being successful with anything is starting with the proper tools to accomplish your task. If you are serious about learning how to cook, it's essential to begin by buying the top essential equipment every kitchen should have. The quality and type of kitchen equipment you purchase can last you many years and even a lifetime. That's the sustainable approach to getting the best kitchen tools. If you take the time to research and plan for your future needs, it will pay off in the long run.
It isn't easy to pull together a healthy meal without having these critical pieces of equipment. Can it be done - yes! But you will struggle along the way and then wish you had read this post!
The TOP 9 in Essential Equipment Every Kitchen Should Have:
This is basic but essential equipment for cooking. Do your research to buy the one that best fits your space and budget. Most chefs like to cook with a gas cooktop because they have better control over the temperature. Electric cooktops are great also but they need adjusting to if you are not used to them. Some prominent top brands are Thermador, Wolf, and Viking, but GE and Bosch have come out with some great ranges also.
Toaster Ovens are a great addition to your kitchen. It is a great backup instead of using an entire oven for cooking smaller portions. Why heat a whole oven for reheating a slice of pizza! (Microwaves - yuck!)
If you are going to cook anything, you need pots and pans. This equipment can get a bit pricey but I recommend investing in a really good set from the start. Stainless steel cookware can last you a lifetime and is worth every penny. There are favored cookware like All-Clad but many brands out are comparable and cost less. Look for sales on open-stock pieces if you can't purchase a full set to start. Be sure to purchase a non-stick pan as well. And steer clear of older pans made with Teflon coatings - read about PFOA concerns.
A Baking Sheet is another must-have to purchase. You will need it for baked goods, roasting vegetables, and reheating food. Be sure to measure for the size that fits your oven. Many baking sheets are made with unsafe aluminum, so use parchment paper to cover your pans.
Give me a great knife and a cutting board and I could prepare practically any uncooked meal. You are to cooking quickly and efficiently when you master knife skills. Check out the sections on selecting Knives and Cutting Boards to assist in making your decision. If taken care of properly, a knife can also last a lifetime. Buying sustainably sourced cutting boards is recommended for an eco-friendly kitchen.
Cooking Utensils/Tongs/Strainer/Peeler/Can Opener
We group these together because they are must-haves for anyone just starting out to equip their kitchen. It would be difficult to make it through any recipe without these on hand.
We add these in as must-haves because most people start following a recipe and need to measure their ingredients. Experienced chefs tend to use them less unless baking, of course where it is necessary.
You should buy a quality set of measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a digital scale.
You may be able to get away without a mixing bowl to start but it just makes life easier to have a set of varying sizes. Most of them are nesting bowls that stack nicely in a cabinet and will not take up too much space.
Most of us can't imagine not having a Salad Spinner! We recommend a large one for cleaning greens and a smaller one for cleaning herbs. The key to keeping garden greens longer is drying them after they've been washed. The salad spinner is the best at that without having to use paper towels or cloths for drying your greens. Another eco-friendly piece of equipment!
Glass Storage Containers
Glass Storage Containers - These will last a lifetime and also store food the healthiest way. Plastic containers can leach chemicals into your food and stain over time. Another benefit of glass containers is you can see what's inside without taking off the lid.
Owning a Food Processor and a Vitamix have become essential pieces of equipment, especially for busy households. We recommend having both of these since they serve different purposes. But to start, a food processor would probably serve you best. You can use a handheld immersion blender until you can splurge for the Vitamix. Or better yet, get a mini version of a Vitamix. There are plenty to choose from on the market now.
What other Kitchen Tools are recommended?
Kitchen Tools go beyond these essentials pieces of equipment. While bouncing through any of the cooking channels, magazines, or food-related social media accounts, you will get enticed to buy more tools beyond the equipment recommended here. Check out our list of Kitchen Gadgets that are great starters. We will save you some time and money by focusing on some of the most important ones to buy. But certainly have some fun with all of the extras!