Kitchen Staples: The Essentials to Cook Practically Everything
Moving into a new home, registering for your wedding or just trying to update your kitchen? Here is our comprehensive list of kitchen essentials you need to cook or bake almost anything, according to our resident chefs.
Check out the list below.
3.5–5.5-QT CAST IRON COCOTTE OR DUTCH OVEN
A cast iron cocotte (also known as a Dutch oven) is perfect for slow cooking, simmering soups or stews and baking everything from side dishes to artisan bread. Look for one with a tight-fitting lid to ensure your slow-cooked dishes are steadily basted in their own juices for moist, delicious results.
4-QT STAINLESS STEEL SAUCEPAN
Whether you’re making soups or sauces, boiling pasta or simply reheating leftovers, you need a stainless steel saucepan. They hold heat well and limit evaporation, especially if you can find one with a tight-fitting lid.
8″ & 10″ NONSTICK SKILLETS
A nonstick skillet is a kitchen staple for making pancakes in the morning, burgers for lunch or perfectly seared steaks for dinner. Its nonstick surface makes for easy flipping and requires little to no fat for cooking.
8″ CHEF’S KNIFE
Designed for precision cutting, the paring knife is ideal for dicing, peeling lemon zest or mincing shallots. It’s a surprising workhorse in your cutlery collection.
Ideal and necessary for busy kitchens, you want a cutting board that’s super durable, easy to clean and won’t dull your knives. Even better if it’s reversible so you can safely use one side for meat and poultry and the other for fruits and veggies.
Having a versatile set of kitchen tools can come in handy. Whether you’re ladling out soup or pasta sauce, whisking eggs or peeling potatoes, you’ll likely end up using many of these more often than you think.
And while the below isn’t an exhaustive list of every kitchen tool, it does cover the most essential items that our chefs recommend:
Sometimes you just need the pulverizing power of a food processor. From pesto to hummus and everything in between, a food processor will give you the power to whip up a host of sauces and dips to your heart’s content.
The registry item most people get married for—the stand mixer can stir, whip and do everything in between, with a range of mixing heads to tackle slow mixing, kneading and ultra-fast whipping. And sure, it might be the most expensive item on this list, but that’s because it’s an investment piece that’s meant to last a lifetime.
Thinking of purchasing a mixer but not sure which one is right for you? Check out our mixer guide for helpful tips to ensure you’re getting the one that’s right for you!
Measuring Cups & Spoons
Every chef, professional or amateur, needs a quality set of tools. And measuring spoons and cups are probably at the top of the list of what chefs use the most.
Add versatility to your kitchen with a set of mixing bowls to suit every task, from mixing up a batch of your favorite chocolate chip cookies to storing your signature potato salad for next week’s potluck.
Baker (Casserole Dish)
When it comes to baked pasta dishes, layered party dips, roasted vegetables and fruit crisps, the casserole dish is a time-honored keepsake in every kitchen.
Along with your sheet pans, cooling racks are a must-have for any kitchen. Great for cooling baked treats, letting meats rest and more.
Not sure whether a cooling rack is right for you? Our kitchen experts can help answer all of your questions in our simple yet handy cooling rack guide.
Hungry for more? Shop our products for a complete selection of kitchen and home essentials.