Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 1, 2012 12:54 PM

Kitchen Essentials

What are some must have kitchen essentials? My gf and I live in an apartment and would like some cookware that we can take with us for the long haul. Lets pretend we just moved into the apartment and have NOTHING at all for the ktichen. What would you guys suggest to us as a wishlist?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. In Michael Ruhlman's (highly recommended) The Elements of Cooking, he lists just five essential items for a kitchen, in order of importance:

      Chef's knife, large cutting board, large sauté pan, flat-edged wood spoon, large Pyrex (or similar) bowl.

      1. This cookie sheet is seriously the best thing in my kitchen. Check out all the reviews...

        1. Hi, Dex:

          'Must-have' and 'essentials' are pretty elastic terms. Many households in the world get by with one or two pans. Martha Stewart probably has thousands. As in "just starting out", I'd recommend:

          1. Skillet or frypan. (If you fry or saute a lot, get two in different sizes. If you get two, consider making one cast iron. If you cook eggs a lot and don't believe the health claims against Teflon, consider making one of the skillets a non-stick).

          2. Two saucepans with lids, probably 2Q and 3Q.

          3. A chef's knife, parer and a bread knife.

          4. A 5-6Q "Dutch Oven"-type lidded pan that can go in the oven and on the stove. If you make a lot of soup or pasta, add a really cheap 8-10Q stockpot.

          5. A strainer or colander.

          6. A small collection of potholders, wooden spoons, spatulas, spreaders, scissors, and corkscrew.

          7. A good cookbook, and a recipe box.

          8. A salad bowl.

          Hope this helps.

          1 Reply
          1. re: kaleokahu

            I like this list and would add tongs.

          2. The very minimal tools are the following:

            1) A Chef's knife (it does not have to be a Western Chef's knife)
            2) A cutting board
            3) A frying pan or a saute pan
            4) A large saucepan
            5) Various utensils like spatula, spoon....etc.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Really Chem, it doesn't have to be a Western Chef's? So shocked to hear you say that. ;-)

              1. re: strangemd

                What's up, buddy. :)

                How is everything? I assume your dear daugther still likes her knife. How about you? Have you ever gotten any knife for yourself? :D

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I did finally give in to temptation and get a Takeda 210 Gyuto. It's utterly fantastic. Stays sharp for months even with daily use, and so far all I've done is pass it over a ceramic hone twice a week. Plus, the blade height works very well with my technique--no knuckle scrapes. And the kurouchi finish is lovely.
                  Next thing among knives will probably be a Deba or maybe a heavy cleaver for breaking down larger beasts.

                  1. re: strangemd

                    <Stays sharp for months even with daily use>

                    You had it for months, and didn't even tell us about it. :P I am very glad to hear it is working out for you. For some reasons I cannot explain, I used to dislike the kurouchi (black) finish, but now I love it. I may very well get a Takeda one day -- although I may not get a gyuto. Thanks for your update.