Great Kitchen Basics

You’re setting up a kitchen and feeling either overwhelmed or under-inspired with the task at hand. Your goal is to have a functioning kitchen so that you’re able to cook a great meal for yourself, your family and your friends.

We’ll give you a starting point in sorting out essentials from the ‘nice-to-haves’. We’ve also tried to keep in mind that cupboard and drawer space may be limited. Many kitchen gadgets or small appliances that you may be drawn to are one-use wonders and they hog valuable counter and storage space. Rule #1 is never buy anything that has only one use.

We haven’t included tableware, like dishes, cutlery, glasses, serving utensils or small appliances (toaster, kettle, blender) or storage containers. This is a whole other shopping trip and you’re on your own.


You’ll need three. A deep saute pan with a lid, a dutch oven and a good quality small stainless steel pot with a lid will meet your needs.

A saute pan looks like a deep frying pan and will do everything a frying pan can do and more. You can create sauces or cook a variety of one-dish meals. A dutch oven is a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid and works great on top of the stove or in the oven. Use it to make soups, stews or to roast meat in the oven. The small stainless steel pot will cook rice, vegetables, boil eggs etc.


Purchase a cookie sheet, a baking pan and a loaf pan.

Everyone wants cookies now and again….or bread rolls, pizza or oven roasted french fries. The cookie sheet can also be a serving tray. Your baking pan should be a 9”x13” as it’s the most versatile and because of this it’s the most widely used baking pan of all time. It’s great for all kinds of casseroles, birthday cakes and squares. A loaf pan is great for bread, meatloaf, pot pie and crustless quiche, to name only a few of its uses. You’ll come up with more.


Choose either wood or plastic. Stay away from glass, granite or marble. Very hard surfaces can ruin your knives. Make sure to rinse your cutting board off thoroughly to avoid cross-contamination of foods.


Many people have learned not to cheap out on knives the hard way. Start with a good quality chef’s knife, a bread knife and a paring knife. Take care of them and they will last a very long. 


Definitely you’ll be making pasta so these items are essential. You’ll also use the colander to wash , and drain veggies and wash greens. The bowl you’ll use to marinate meat, mix a variety of baking goods or serve a salad in.


You’ll need this for the obvious but they are also useful to grate veggies for soups or salads.


Buy yourself the best quality that you can afford. Nothing worse than utensils that won’t do the job. Get an egg flipper, can opener, soup ladle, veggie peeler, tongs, a meat thermometer (this will save the guess work and grief), spatula, potato masher, big slotted spoon, mixing spoons,  measuring cups and spoons.

We hope this starter kit helps. We can’t guarantee that these items will make you a better cook but with the right tools and a little practice, you’ve got the basics for success.