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registry for a very small kitchen/young couple

Hi everyone- I'm new and been lurking. I'm getting married and have started to register- I've read the other other posts on the subject but was wonderring if you all had thoughts of what 2 childless (for at least a few years) semi-vegetarian new yorkers (small kitchen!) would need. I have about 6 or so good knives and everyday dishes so I'm wondering what else you all would recomend for a minimalist kitchen.

for registry purposes- I think I'd like the all clad satinless but not sure which pieces. will I really need anything very large? like 6 or 8 quarts?

also interested in maybe 1 or 2 le creuset pieces- but which ones? and is the "dune" color likely to discolor after a while?

appliances? I have a mini-prep, a toaster over, and coffee machine.

for knives- do we need a boning knife if we barely eat meat? maybe chicken or fish? i do have a wusthof sandwich knive which is what i use now.

any other must haves? or gadgets? we'll be mostly cooking for ourselves and maybe 2 other couples in NY- any other entertaining would probably be just appetizers or just deserts...

thanks! and I do really enjoy these boards and am looking forward to participating.

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  1. I would get one Dutch oven: either a 5 quart (which is probably the right size for 2 people) or a 7 quart if you feel like you'll be using it for large groups. Also I'd purchased a regular old cast iron pan - they're like gold in the kitchen.

    2 Replies
    1. re: beauxgoris

      thanks! the 5 sounds good for us for now- I will look at the lodge cast iron as well- they seem really popular- anythoughts on the creuset buffet casserole? looks pretty versetile but wasn't sure i'd use it like a saucepan?

      1. re: qwerty78

        I've been going through a similar process (small NY kitchen, too). Even though we're just two people, I can't recommend my 5.5 quart saute pan highly enough. Never a concern about space for cutlets -- the thing is awesome. The 5 quart dutch oven is perfect. No need to bother about a boning knife.

        Don't forget to register for flatware. I almost forgot that.

    2. Minimalist, okay.

      8qt stock pot (pasta)
      2-3 qt sauteuse (everything you'd use a normal pot for, plus sauces)
      1-2 qt small pot
      10-12 inch frying pan (optional, can use saute pan below instead)
      10 inch saute pan.
      square griddle (cast iron recommended, *not* grill, flat griddle).
      10 inch nonstick frypan (optional, recommended)

      knives are up to you, they don't take up much space, choose a knife holder wisely for limited space

      Bakeware - glass and aluminum 8x8, 9x13, and 4x9 loaf pans, sheet trays. All Clad has a new line of bakeware out, haven't tried it yet. Grilling / roasting pan.

      Dutch oven, yeah. Get the 7 qt, first time something won't fit in a 5 qt you'll be unhappy.

      Got a thermometer? Slicer? Grater?

      1 Reply
      1. re: ThreeGigs

        I don't really think you'd need a frying pan, saute pan, griddle AND omelette pan. I've lived for my entire cooking and married life both with and without kids with only one or two of those options at a time. For a long time I had only a saute pan, which I used for everything. Now I have a cast iron frying pan and an omelette pan. I think if I had my pick, though, I'd get a good sized saute pan and a fry pan. I do eggs in my cast iron all the time and it's fine. If you're tight on space, I'd only consider a griddle if you like to cook an awful lot of breakfasts. For two people, you can do a stack of pancakes without too much trouble in a saute or fry pan - it'll only take two or three batches... You can do bacon in them too. A griddle is WAY more convenient, but having lived in tiny kitchens my whole life, I find them to take up more space than they're worth.

      2. Here's an article by the "Minimalist" himself (Mark Bittman), His budget was lower than you're looking at, but it covers the types of gear needed to equip the kitchen:


        2 Replies
        1. re: mpalmer6c

          thanks this is really helpful! I went to the le creuset outlet to poke around- I'm going to hold out for the cherry/red but if anyone's interested at the one by me- dark green (cactus) white and dark brown were 35% off - plus there were some random items for 50% off as well (ramekins, grill plates, pitchers etc.)

        2. Definitely register for a 5 qt. Le Creuset round dutch oven. I have 4 pieces of varying sizes and the 5 qt. is BY FAR the workhorse of my kitchen. 7 qt. will be huge for you right now (I have 6 3/4 oval) and the buffet casserole is nice and I use it occasionally but the 5 qt. round has the higher sides and it is much more versatile.

          Once you have one Le Creuset you will want more, but the 5 qt. round is a great place to start.

          1. I love my panini grill and it only cost about $50. We do make sandwiches on it. But also love it for garlic bread - just brush both sides with garlic infused olive oil and put on grill for five minutes. When done, cut each slice of bread into about four or five slices. Also for croutons. Just like the garlic bread but after cooking, cut into croutons. We have two homes and I have one in each place :)

            1. OK assuming you are at ground zero (either you have nothing, or you have a bunch of hand-me-downs that aren't making it). In addition to space, I asume budget is an issue (otherwise you would be in a bigger place). Remember, you can always add and upgrade:

              Pots, Pans and Baking:

              (3) Stainless steel saucepans with lids: 1 qt., 2 qt and 3 qt (Farberware) Ideally, get a set that nests or stacks.
              6-8 qt stainless steel stock pot with lid
              1 10" or 12" Teflon-coated aluminum fry pan (Calphalon)
              Anodized aluminum roasting pan with grid (Calphalon)
              Cookie sheets (2) (Baker Secret)
              Jelly roll pan (1) (Baker Secret)
              Loaf pans (2) (Bakers Secret)
              8- or 9-inch cake pan (2) (Bakers Secret)
              13x9 Pyrex baking dish
              2 qt Pyrex casserole dish with cover
              Kettle (get a good one -- so many are absolute cr@p)
              Cooling racks (some of the nice ones have folding lakes that let you stack)

              Knives (Don't blow a ton of money here -- the most important thing is that your knives are sharp and stay sharp. Get serrated knives if keeping knives sharp is a challenge. You can always upgrade.)

              Large chef knife
              Small Cheff knife
              Paring knife
              Serrated bread knife
              Wood block for holding knives

              Appliances: Most are a waste. In the "waste" category I would put toaster ovens, microwaves, rice cookers, paninni makers, GF grills, Presto hot doggers (a personal favorite -- it was the electric chair for weiners), deep friers, hot air popcorn poppers, sorbet makers, pasta extuders, juicers, fondue pots, bread machines and anything marketed by Ron Popeil and his ilk. Special exception: a nice waffle iron.

              Immersion blender (Kitchen Aid) (Blenders are huge space hogs --I find that the immersion blender is a lot more useful.)
              Coffee maker (another item to spend money on to get something that works well -- make sure it is rugged since it gets a lot of use. So many of the really expensive ones have lots of cool features but look like they are flimsy. Also pick up a spare carafe while you are at it.)
              Coffee mill for grinding coffe (burr grinder)
              Coffee mill for grinding spices (chopper style grinder)
              Crock pot (Much more practical than a dutch oven with tight quarters -- the folks over at Le Creuset aren't going anywhere, so save your money until you have the space to manage one of these 15-20 pound monsters.)
              Toaster (So many toasters out there are really bad, and the quality seems to decline as the price goes up -- take time and get a good one).
              Hand mixer (yeah, the Kitchen Aid stand mixers are gorgeous, but take up a lot of space -- once stashed, they are too much bother to pull out. All you need now is something that will beat some egg whites or cake batter.)


              Stainless steel mixing bowls (Set of 3 or 4)
              Rubber scrapers (Rubbermaid)
              Stainless steel serving spoons (slotted and otherwise)
              Stainless steel serving fork
              Stainless steel and plastic spatulas
              Peeler (Oxo)
              Can opener (Swing-a-way)
              Kitchen shears (good ones can be taken apart for cleaning)
              Garlic press
              Egg slicer (Ekco)
              Apple slicer/corer (Ekco)
              Potato masher (Spend your $$ on one stat is sturdy)
              Box grater (Ekco)
              Tenderizer mallet
              Wooden sppons
              Can opener/bottle opener (church key)
              Cork screw (for gosh sake, get a good one!)
              Stainless steel dry measuring cups
              Pyrex liquid measuring cups
              Stainless steel measuring spoons
              Stainless steel whisk
              Lazy susan for organizing the utensils

              Don't forget!

              Platic cutting board(s)
              Pot holders
              Food storage containers and bins for flour, sugar, coffe, rice, beans, pasta, etc. (the left over Mason jars from Classico spaghetti sauce work well).
              Food storage containers for leftovers (Tupperware or Rubbermaid)

              4 Replies
              1. re: MikeB3542

                I think this is a GREAT list. I'd differ on microwave as it's so easy to melt a little butter or reheat leftovers. Also toaster oven as it's much more energy efficient to use the toaster oven for a couple of baked potatoes and the like than to heat the whole oven. I never use a knife block. I have more drawer space than counter space so I have a "sharp, pointy things" drawer. I have and use an egg slicer but not sure it's a must-have. I got rid of apple corer years ago. Since every core was a different size and shape, I was having to do parts with a knife anyway. I use my mallet but before I had it, I just used the side of a medium sized hammer! Church key definitely - they're not so easy to find it seems. Overall, I lean away from gadgets that only do one thing. But, again, I really think MikeB's list is a great, basic list.

                1. re: MikeB3542

                  I don't know why cooking types always want to make us tiny kitchen types buy roasting pans. What's the deal with roasting pans? They take up gobs of space just for that one time of year you cook a turkey. Any chicken or roast I've ever cooked fits fine in a 5 or 7 Qt dutch oven (although I guess you don't have a DO on your list, MikeB3542 - I think the OP was talking about getting one, though) or in the 9x13 pyrex dish, which I also use for lasagne and casseroles.

                  When I cook something giant like a turkey, it's usually for a feast day of some sort (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc.), and who wants to clean up a gigantic messy roasting dish when you have company visiting anyway? I just buy an aluminum roasting pan for $2 at the grocery store and then throw the whole mess away afterwards. No clean up, no storage.

                  I like my microwave too, C Oliver. I vote for a microwave. Great for those nights when you're home alone and really don't want to heat up the oven or stove for just one person. I have lived without one for a year, though, in an exceptionally tiny apartment... So it can be done, but I didn't prefer it.

                  1. re: paraque

                    all of these replies are so helpful! thank you! so when I said small kitchen I just meant that a normal new york kitchen is considerably smaller than most suburban kitchens- so probably no stand mixer :). we do already have a microwave and some things but I have added a 5qt le creuset and 3-4 all clads, price is a consideration to an extent but since we're not putting a set of pots or china/silver and the like, a handful of pricey items is ok i think.

                    these lists at the SF gate list have been incredibly helpful! a few thoughts now are whether I should put a copper sausier on there? does it really make that much of a difference over stainless? and if I should add a larger chef's knife (mine is 6in bc I was scared of the larger ones) I'm happy with mine but will i eventually want/need an 8inch knife?

                    1. re: qwerty78

                      Copper is unnecessary (and a pain to maintain). 8 inch knife is a must, though. The extra length just *looks* scary. Think about it: your hand is on the handle, not the blade. There's nothing dangerous that can happen with an 8 inch knife that won't happen with a 6 inch. If anything, the larger knives are safer, since you wind up putting less pressure near your hand.

                2. thanks again all for the help- one more question after reading through the replies- do the all clad pots nest? I think I'm going to do 2 saucepans, a saute and a soup pot- I would assume that at least 3 of these should stack well?

                  if they don't this is a major consideration as I can't image more than one cabinet for pots and pans etc. If these don't nest is there another brand of stainless that would? i know the old cusinart does but I'd like something more heavy duty than that.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: qwerty78

                    Are hooks on the wall a possibility? I hang a few pans on the wall which saves tons of space. Though I wouldn't do it for heavy cast iron or my apartment would come crashing down.

                    As far as the registry goes, I see it as a chance to get some really quality cookware. Worst thing that happens is some of it sits in your parents' basement until you have more space.