Setting up your first kitchen, whether you’re 18 or 38, is a daunting experience. What do I need? What do I have to have for just basic cooking? How much is all of this going to cost? It can be overwhelming and expensive.
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Worry no more, dear friends! Here is a bare minimum list of the essentials you need to get started.
KNIVES – This is the one area where you should spend as much as you are comfortable with. Good knives will last a lifetime, if you care for them properly, and prevent a lot of cut fingers. If you can only afford one knife, get a good quality chef’s knife. It should feel comfortable in your hand when you hold it.
If you can swing the cost, get a knife set that consists of a chef’s knife, a bread knife, a utility knife, a carving knife, and a paring knife – or a combination of those. You will be set for whatever the recipe calls for (and you’ll save tons of money on bandages for your fingers. Remember to NEVER put your good knives into the dishwasher, store them safely in a drawer where they will not bump into each other or your other utensils, and keep them sharpened at all times.
Now, use those high-end knives and your skills to chop all the delicious components to make yourself the Ultimate Cobb Salad.
CUTTING BOARDS – Plastic, tempered glass, or wood, you will need at least two of them. One for proteins and one for everything else. You don’t want germy chicken cross-contaminating your beautifully cut, fresh vegetables. Start off on the right foot and get yourself two cutting boards and be sure to wash them well with hot, soapy water.
You can use both of your cutting boards to prepare these Tex-Mex Beef Fajitas.
LARGE POT (or Dutch Oven) – a set of beautiful, stainless steel pots would be ideal, but expensive. If you’re going to buy just one pot, go big and get a heavy bottom, stainless steel pot that can be used on the stovetop or in the oven. Make sure that the handles and all parts of the lid are stainless steel or oven safe. You’ll be amazed at how many things you can whip up with just this one pot.
Use your new big pot to impress your guests or significant other with this Filipino Adobo Pork. Now sit back and enjoy the applause!
NON-STICK SKILLET – Essential to say the least. A good non-stick skillet is a lifesaver! You don’t want to spend hours cleaning scorched sauces or cheese out of a skillet. Say goodbye to losing half of your scrambled eggs because they’re stuck in the bottom of your skillet. Remember to only use plastic, silicone, or wood utensils, NEVER metal, in your non-stick skillet. Once it scratches, you need to toss it out.
Making French-style Scrambled Eggs in your non-stick skillet will be a delicious breeze!
COOKING UTENSIL SET – Get a set in plastic, wood, or silicone. It should include a spoon, slotted spoon, tongs, spatula, a whisk, maybe even a set of measuring cups and measuring spoons.
Show your skills and new kitchen tools while making an incredibly easy dish like Spaghetti Aglio e Olio.
MIXING BOWLS – Go for glass or metal and get a set. You will use these bowls for serving, for mixing, for storing extra produce, like fruit. Toss them into the dishwasher, cover them and store leftovers in the fridge, and if they’re glass you can even pop them into the microwave.
You can show off your baking skills and your new mixing bowls by baking a batch of these Key Lime Chippers cookies. Yep, you rule!