Whether you’re setting up your first-ever kitchen, or you’re moving somewhere new and need a refresher course, you might feel a little confused about what to buy to get your kitchen fully equipped. Aside from the obvious kitchen essentials, like pots, pans, and baking sheets, there are quite a few additions you could make to your kitchen arsenal that could really make a difference in your cooking.
Here are 9 kitchen essentials every home should have.
1. Silicone Spatulas
A versatile addition to any utensil collection, a set of spatulas is our first on the list of kitchen essentials. But not just any spatula; we are talking about silicone spatulas.
Silicone spatulas can actually outperform their metal or plastic counterparts in a variety of situations. Due to their base material, a spatula made of silicone won’t scratch a cast-iron or non-stick surface the way a metal spatula would. Moreover, silicone as a material actually has a high heat resistance, which renders it more effective in cooking using high-heat techniques like deep-frying.
Furthermore, these spatulas have great mobility on their heads, which allow for a variety of cooking techniques and styles. So, if you’re considering which kind of spatula to purchase, consider silicone!
2. Microwave Oven
If your kitchen doesn’t come pre-fitted with a microwave oven, it’s a top priority to purchase and install one. A microwave oven is a great utility for all sorts of cooking, with some foods capable of being cooked entirely in a microwave, such as brownies, eggs, and even rice.
Even if you’re not planning to cook full recipes in a microwave oven, this kitchen essential is incredibly useful for reheating meals, which expands your options for mealtimes with stored leftovers from previous nights in the fridge. In a pinch, you can also use the microwave to boil water, although other gadgets might be better suited for such purposes.
3. Pressure Cooker
Perfect for the “set it and forget it”-style home cook, next up on the list of kitchen essentials is a pressure cooker. Owning a pressure cooker can open your cooking opportunities up to a slew of recipes. Pressure cookers allow their users to create a variety of hearty meals that can feed entire households, with many variations coming pre-set with different cooking options.
In addition, some top-of-the-line cookers come equipped with functions such as bread makers, rice cookers, steamers, and even yoghurt makers, thereby easing the process of making recipes. Plus, by buying one item that functions in so many ways, buyers get to save on cabinet space and money.
4. Tea Kettle
A surprisingly powerful device, the tea kettle is, as its name suggests, made for boiling tea; however, its options are far more diverse than its name implies. An electric tea kettle can be used to boil large amounts of water at one time, thereby providing a stable source of warm water for anyone to use.
This opens you up to all sorts of cooking options, as you can boil eggs or noodles with the water from your tea kettle. Aside from that, it’s always nice to have a tea kettle on hand in case guests come over.
5. Immersion Blender
If you’re deciding between a traditional or an immersion blender for your new kitchen, it’s better to go with the latter. Of the two, the immersion blender is easier to store, taking up less space than the standing blender and only consisting of one appliance rather than two.
In usage, the immersion blender offers more control as a handheld tool than the standing blender and allows for clearer observation of the food being prepared. Plus, attachments for the immersion blender allow it to pull double duty for missing equipment, such as a food processor and an electric beater.
6. Micro-Plane Grater
A grater is another kitchen essential ideal for anyone who wants to cook a variety of recipes. However, with so many types of there, it might be tough to decide what kind of grater to purchase. That’s where the micro-plane grater, or zester, comes in: this tiny gadget affords you more cabinet space than a box grater and can be used for all the same ingredients. For example, you can use it to grate garlic or cheese for any recipe requiring such ingredients or grate lemon zest or parmesan over a completed dish for a classy, restaurant finish.
7. Instant-Read Thermometer
An instant-read thermometer is an incredibly useful kitchen essential that helps you reach a level of precision in your cooking that might otherwise be unachievable. It can help with following recipes that require precise temperatures, such as candy-making.
Additionally, this thermometer can assist in reading internal temperatures for meat dishes like chicken, which might otherwise be harder to gauge, without making the actual protein any less visually appealing or appetite-whetting. The tool itself is also quite hardy, meaning it will last you a long time as long as you keep it in good condition.
8. Coffee Machine
For coffee enthusiasts, a good coffee machine is a must-have in any new kitchen. Though theoretically, you could make coffee using any water-heating appliance, the coffee made using a coffee machine is generally much more consistent in quality and higher quality.
Furthermore, coffee machines streamline the coffee-making process and allow for more experimentation with the coffee you brew, offering many different styles of coffee such as flat whites, long blacks, and double-shot espressos. If you’re ever craving a warm, frothy mug of milk, you can also simply use the steam wand on your coffee machine to froth up some milk for a lovely pre-bedtime beverage.
9. Air Purifier
While this might not seem as obvious a kitchen appliance as all the other kitchen essentials mentioned on this list, an air purifier is still worth having around your kitchen. Kitchens often suffer from mold and bacteria due to the high density of food and moisture in the room. This in turn can affect the quality of the food you’re consuming as well as the room itself, alongside your own health as an inhabitant.
An air purifier can help fight bacteria and mold before it becomes a problem. It can also help reduce the odor that often comes with cooking strong-smelling ingredients.
Final Thoughts on Must-Have Kitchen Essentials
Though this is by no means an exhaustive list, it’s a good place to start if you’re looking to expand your kitchen arsenal with meaningful additions. Most importantly, however, remember to tailor the kitchen you have to the kind of cook you want to be.
For example, if you’re planning on frying or grilling often, consider prioritizing the kitchen essentials that can help you with that, like the instant-read thermometer. But if you’re more inclined towards stews or soups, you should be looking at kitchen essentials like the pressure cooker.