List of essential items you need in your kitchen

Having a well equipped kitchen is essential when you want to make yummy, healthy meals at home every day.  However, I’ve discovered through cooking in the 7 different kitchens in our different homes in Hawaii and Utah over the past year and a half (yes, that means WAY too much moving) that some things are essential, some things are nice to have and a lot of things just take up space so I thought I’d write up a list of the things that I recommend for every kitchen.  When we moved to Hawaii we only brought suit cases so I had to completely start from scratch which was challenging but also refreshing because I only bought things I really needed and really loved.  Sometimes I was surprised by what I found I needed right away and what things I totally forgot about! You can click on the items that are in blue below and it will take you to a specific product that I recommend on Amazon or other places. (These are affiliate links so if you click on them from my site here and buy anything on Amazon I get a very small percentage. So thank you, if you do! And don’t worry, I will of course, only add links to things I truly recommend!)

Essential right away:
-Crockpot/Slow cooker

Get them when you can:
-Stand Mixer, I recommend a Kitchen Aid or Bosch if you bake a lot like me.  This is the one I have  but this one is a little smaller and cheaper and still works great if you don’t make large quantities of things (Since these last forever try to get an awesome deal on one 2nd hand, or watch for a deal at Costco.)
Food processor (Love this for many things, but especially for making nut butters) I bought mine at Costco.
Rice cooker (We make a lot of rice so this is essential for us but you may not need it, check Costco for a better deal.)
-Electric griddle or skillet (great for pancakes and other things but do make sure you have the storage space because these are both bulky.)
-Grain Mill/Wheat Grinder (I love grinding my wheat fresh and use this several times a week, the one I have and love is the “WonderMill” it works great turning any grain into flour (rice, teff, quinoa etc.) I’ve also heard the Nutrimill is great too.)
-Waffle iron (if you love waffles like us!)

Kitchen Utensils & Gadgets
Essential right away:
-2 sets of measuring cups (I like the sets with 3/4 & 1 1/2 cups too.)
-2 sets of measuring spoons
-2 nice Santoku knives
-1 bread knife with serrated edge
-pizza cutter, I love this for cutting quesadillas, pancakes for my kids, brownies, pies etc.
Kitchen shears-I use these ALL the time! So great for cutting meat up in recipes like my Honey Garlic Chicken and for some many uses.
Can opener
Vegetable peeler
Cheese grater
Liquid measuring cup
-2 rubber spatulas that are heat resistant
-2 heat resistant spatulas/pancake turners
wire whisk I got this in a set with a spiral whisk at my local Ikea for about $2 but I could only find it online on the UK Ikea site so I linked to there so you could see what they look like-love them!
-spiral whisk
-large, long handled spoon for serving and stirring
-large, long handled slotted spoon
-long handled ladle
-salad tongs
-pasta server
potato masher

Nice to have when you can:
-Pie server (useful for serving cake, pizza and cheesecake too)
-Ice cream scoop
Apple Slicer
-Funnel (grab these at the dollar store)
-lemon zester
-fine grater (for ginger and such)
-1 hand lemon juicer

Dining & Serving (I recommend 3x’s the # of people in your household for each item)
-Set of flatware that includes serving flatware too, like larger spoon, fork etc.
-Chopsticks (if you eat a lot of Asian food like us)
-Dinner plates, matching & not too big to fit in your cupboard
-bowls for cereal and soup, matching set
-smaller matching plates for desserts, salads, toast etc.
-Half glasses & full glasses (I LOVE these sturdy ones with lids)
-Matching plastic cups (if you have younger children or frequent guests)
-2 water pitchers, I like clear ones so they go with everything
-1 or 2 Water bottles for each member of your family (love these for kids, look for both of these at Costco too)
-Ice cube trays if your fridge doesn’t have an ice maker
-Butter dish with a cover (find one at the Dollar Store, or here)
-Salt and Pepper Shakers

Bakeware and Cookware
-2 sets muffin tins
-2, 9×13 glass pan with lid
-2, 8×8 glass pan with lid
-2 loaf pans
-4 glass pie pans
-2 cookie sheets/jelly roll pans
-2 Silpat mats that fit in your cookie sheets/jelly roll pans
-large pot and lid
-sauce pan & lid
-large frying pan & lid
-medium frying pan & lid
-2 9″ cake pans (I love these silicone ones)
-rolling pin (You may not need this if you don’t intend to bake much)
-2 pizza pans (if you make lots of pizza)

Food Prep & Storage
-2 or 3 cutting boards (I recommend ones that are dishwasher safe so they can easily be sterilized)
-1 large colander
-set of food storage containers
-4 mixing bowls (preferably one’s that nest & have lids)
-set of 3 or 4 glass bowls with lids
Salad spinner (I use this all the time wash my lettuce and then store my complete salad in the fridge to keep it fresh longer)
-Fine mesh strainer

-10 dish towels
-10 dish cloths
-4 hot pads (2 mits and 2 regular)
-Scrub brush (I love the one at Ikea that is $1)
-Dish soap dispenser
-Hand soap dispenser
-Spray bottle (for water & vinegar all purpose spray)
-Dishwasher detergent
-Dust pan and small hand broom
-Garbage & recycling cans
-Cleaning cloths
-Mop or Swiffer (I use this with cleaning cloths, instead of the expensive pads made for it) depending on what flooring you have

-Bag clips, big and small

If you like to entertain
-table cloth that is stain and wrinkle resistant (start with white)
-linen napkins that are stain and wrinkle resistant  (start with white)
-Tiered dessert stand (I like the kind that swivel because they save space when you need to store them)
-serving platters -2
-serving bowls 2

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