Truffles Magazine

Kitchen Items for the New Chef

In Food, House & Yard, Life @ Home, Urban Dweller on March 20, 2012 at 11:55 am

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Do you know someone who has just gotten their first place, or maybe someone has graduated college and is leaving behind the dorm life, a newlywed couple, or maybe even you are just starting out cooking. 

Today I am compiling a list of some essential  items to have on hand in the kitchen, this will also help you start to build the items you need for easy everyday cooking.

Knives (these 4 should cover the beginning of a kitchen)

1 Bread Knife

1 Chef’s Knife

1 Paring Knife

1 Slicing Knife


Measuring Cups (odds and evens for measurements)

Measuring Spoons (odds and evens for measurements)

A set of Mixing Bowls (these here are my recommendations)

1 Stock Pot with Lid

2 Saute Pans

Glass storage containers (for leftovers – look for brands like Pyrex & Rubbermaid at your local Wal-Mart)

Heat Resistant Gloves (check out these here)

Juicer (there are many kinds but a small hand held one will help with add liquids to meals or drinks – check out my post here)

Pitchers (2 is ideal to start with – 1 for water and 1 for other items like iced tea or lemonade)

Specialty Items (these are optional items to add later on down the road)

  1. A few missing items I would suggest:

    A can opener (preferably one that leaves a smooth edge)

    An old-fashioned “church key” with a puncture end and a rounded end, which come in handy for opening bottles and cans without pull-tabs. A corkscrew may also be handy, depending on the cook’s preferences.

    A set of tongs and a spatula or two, plus one (or several) silicon bowl scrapers.

    Cutting boards (you can debate the merits of bamboo vs. oak vs. plastic vs. glass, but you need at least one and preferable 2 or more.)

    A strainer/colandar is essential. You will need it to rinse fruit and vegetables (especially if you don’t have a salad spinner); as well as drain hot pasta, potatoes and other hot foods.

    A couple of good saucepans – 1 qt. and 2 qt. or 3 qt.

    At least one platter. One good, plain platter will multi-task and do all sorts of duty, from serving appetizers to holding main course dishes, to even displaying an array of cookies or other dessert items pre-cut or sliced..

    Most new cooks will also appreciate some bakeware: a 9×9 pan, a 9×13 pan with lid, 9×5 loaf pan, a couple 9″ round cakepans, a pie pan, a muffin tin (or two) and a couple good cookie sheets. (flat or with raised sides) will suffice for most budding cooks.

    A food processor is nice, but as someone who has successfully cooked thousands of meals for a family of five over the past 30 years, and created meals for countless dinner guests, I can tell you it is not essential for a new cook and in fact may take up valuable counterspace in a small apartment or kitchen with little use. (There’s an intimidation factor, plus it can be a hassle to clean, especially when used for a small batch of items.

    I’m sure many others will have an opinion of what is absolutely essential; I hope my suggestions help round out your list!

  2. Terry,

    I think your suggestions are right on, and yes if an item is intimidating then a person won’t use it & it will just hog counter or cabinet space. I agree only buy items you will really use, or are comfortable learning to use.

    Loved hearing your thoughts and thanks for sharing I think your list added more comprehensiveness to my posting.

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