Get ready. Because we are about to dig deep. This is my all-inclusive kitchen essentials guide. This list is perfect for the home cook or the soon-to-be-married, or anyone who loves kitchen tools. Grab a bowl of popcorn and a lemonade and let's get started!
I've broken my kitchen essentials into 10 categories - just so it's not too overwhelming. I'm going to give a bit of commentary on each item - but I'll keep it to a minimum so I don't bore you to tears. All of the images in this post are clickable so don't be shy! Click around and check out the tools that are hanging out in my kitchen!
MUST HAVE SMALL APPLIANCES
[show_ms_widget id="35976871" image_id="41832292" width="700" height="1064"]
Small appliances are my favorite kitchen tool - I love that they do a big job in a little package. My go-tos are:
1. A KitchenAid Stand Mixer - this guy is a work horse. He will shred your chicken, mix your cookies, knead your dough, and has so many attachments available that it's a necessity in the kitchen.
2. The Blendtec Blender - this is hands down my favorite kitchen tool. I use it more than anything else in my kitchen- I whip up soups, salsas, dressings, muffins, smoothies, nut butters...I really could go on forever.
3. An Instant Pot Pressure Cooker - has become the newest staple in my kitchen. This small appliance eliminates the need for a slow cooker, because it has a slow cooker option built in. It will also cook so many things in a minimal amount of time.
Slice and Dice
[show_ms_widget id="35976888" image_id="41832319" width="700" height="1064"]
A sharp knife and a good cutting board are essential to creating a tasty meal at home. I've rounded up my go-to knives. Once you invest in a good knife for your kitchen, you'll regret having lived with dull knives for so long!
4. Having two cutting boards is a must - a plastic and a wooden. I use my wooden board for chopping fruits and veggies and my plastic for slicing meats. My favorite cutting board is the Totally Bamboo Paddle board - which is dishwasher safe.
5. The Chef's knife is my go-to. I use it for everything. Don't be intimidated by a large knife - just practice safe knife skills and you'll love how easily your onion is diced!
6. A Sanuko knife comes in second for me - it is great for mincing, dicing, and slicing. I often pull this guy out to mince herbs.
7. A paring knife is perfect for all of your small hand work. Think peeling oranges or slicing strawberries.
8. A bread knife is perfect for just that - slicing bread! But I occasionally use it to slice tomatoes - the serrated edge makes it perfect for slicing through tough skins.
9. Steak knives for all of your bbq nights.
10. And a good knife sharpener to keep your investment in tip top shape!
11. Last but not least, I have to mention kitchen shears. I use mine for everything. I snip herbs, I open food packages, I even wrap gifts using them. I just throw them in the dishwasher and keep them clean. They are definitely a must in my kitchen.
Mix, Measure, and Lick The Bowl
[show_ms_widget id="35976892" image_id="41832323" width="700" height="816"]
You can't get very far with a recipe without measuring spoons and measuring cups. I've owned quite a few over the years and I have loved the metal ones the best.
12. I love the shape of these measuring cups - perfect for scooping flour our of a canister.
13. And these measuring spoons! How cute are they?! I love that they are gold and have the wire detail on the handle.
14. A good set of mixing bowls will come in handy as well. You'll find yourself in need of a small or large mixing bowl more often than not - and this set covers both.
Tools of the Trade
[show_ms_widget id="35976948" image_id="41832396" width="700" height="1125"]
These are my kitchen essentials in the category of tools. I've rounded up the tools that are constantly in my dishwasher from lots of use.
15. My pastry brush gets lots of love - from brushing a glaze onto meat to brushing butter on the tops of rolls, this guy is so handy.
16. Bamboo and silicone utensils are a must. They are sturdy and strong - and won't scratch your pots!
17. A set of nylon utensils will serve you well whether its flipping pancakes or serving pasta.
18. When selecting a whisk - go for a silicone one - they are strong and scratch-free. Watch out scrambled eggs!!
19. I like to use a metal flipper for cookies and grilling. And I like to use my metal tongs for turning chicken breasts, serving salad, and reaching items from the top self. Ha ha!
[show_ms_widget id="35976964" image_id="41832412" width="700" height="716"]
20. When it comes to cookware, I really prefer nonstick. This set from Fiesta has been my go-to for the last year.
21. A cast iron dutch oven will be your magic pot. Everything you make in it will be cooked perfectly.
22. Having a nice colander will come in handy more that you will think. From straining pasta to potatoes, these guys have an important job.
[show_ms_widget id="35977055" image_id="41832507" width="725" height="955"]
24. You'll need a cooling rack for cookies and cupcakes.
25. Another kitchen essential is a square pan for brownies, of course, and small casseroles and side dishes.
26. You can use your muffin tin for not just muffins, but individual scalloped potatoes, and hard-baked eggs!
27. My jelly roll pans are so well loved. I bake sheet cakes in them, bake cookies on them, roast veggies on them, and much, much more!
28. A loaf pan is a perfect staple for quick breads and meatloaf.
Spick and Span
[show_ms_widget id="35977048" image_id="41832499" width="700" height="662"]
When it comes to cooking, unfortunately cleaning follows. Here are a few of my kitchen cleanup go-tos.
29. I really like to use a steam mop to mop my hard floors. Skip the bucket and mop and clean up your floors fast!
30. On the topic of cleaning floors - my cordless vacuum has changed my life. I'm serious. I use it in my kitchen and the rest of my house! It is so fast and easy and I will never go back to lugging around a regular vacuum.
31. My palm scrub brush has been in my sink for about a decade. I buy replacement brushes for it and it is perfect for scrubbing pots and pans!
32. Microfiber cloths are a game changer. I love that they eliminate the need for a cleanser, and I love that they make wiping things up a breeze!
Gizmos & Gadgets
[show_ms_widget id="35977059" image_id="41832515" width="725" height="845"]
32. A silicone mat will save your pans. Use them when roasting veggies or baking cookies.
33. My citrus squeezer is literally in the dishwasher every night! I love it! You can get so much more juice from a lemon or lime using one of these than squeezing by hand.
34. A good thermometer comes in so handy. I love this thermopop pen because it works for both meat and candy, and it reads your temp in a matter of seconds!
35. My microplaner zests my citrus so fast!
36. The titan peeler will cut your potato peeling time by 70%. Believe the informercial on this one - it really works!
37. You'll need a good box grater for grating cheeses. I love that this one has a small box that attaches to collect your grated cheese.
[show_ms_widget id="35977060" image_id="41832519" width="725" height="714"]
38. When it comes to linens, a high quality tablecloth will do you well. From dinners to picnics to barbecues, a tablecloth you love will not only catch all your crumbs, but build memories too.
39. Flour sack cloths are so so absorbing - when looking for a kitchen towel check out the flour sack variety.
40. An apron you love is definitely a kitchen essential. We are big fans of Hedley & Bennett for their high quality aprons that are fashionable as well.
41. Keep your fingers free from burns with a cute set of oven mitts!
[show_ms_widget id="35977067" image_id="41832523" width="725" height="862"]
Here are a couple favs when it comes to setting the table:
42. A set of flatware that you love - check out this gold set from World Market.
43. Simple glasses for every occasion.
44. Classic dinnerware - the bistro set from Fiesta is my favorite. I love the shape and simplicity of the set - and it comes in every color you could dream of.
45. Timeless salt and pepper shakers are the perfect addition to your stove and your table.