by Betty Ho, Big City Chefs Food Writer
So you’ve got your degree, and you’ve graduated from college or grad school, and with it you’ve graduated from late night pizza delivery and microwave dinners. Now what? You’ve got a new apartment, a new job, and you’re faced with all of the daunting tasks “real life” is going to throw at you. Outfitting your new kitchen doesn’t need to be one of them. Setting up you’re first kitchen is all about covering the basics – having the right tools in the kitchen makes cooking feel easier and more accessible. Thanks to our private chefs’ personal recommendations, here is a run down of the tools and gadgets you need to make cooking in your first kitchen easy and enjoyable, along with easy links to find the items online.
Pots and Pans:
Pots and pans are kitchen essentials – they allow for cooking the basics from pot roast to vegetarian stews to pastas. Furthermore, having a good variation of sizes makes cooking and cleanup easier – you want to have a pan for when you’re cooking for one and another for when you’re cooking for a group. Here’s what you’ll need, along with some links to products our private chefs recommend:
· A couple of sauté pans
· A good stock pot
· A few different sized saucepans
· You will usually be pretty well covered by a 10-piece cookware set but don’t be afraid to supplement if you think you’re missing something
Knives are perhaps one of the most important tools in a chef’s arsenal. A good sharp knife makes preparing food easier and faster. Of course, knives can be expensive, and if you don’t plan on cooking often, it can be a good place to save some money. When starting out, the best way to cover all your bases is with a knife set:
It is always important when cooking to maintain an organized and clean workspace. That’s why cutting boards and mixing bowls are essential to a kitchen, as they provide a clean and safe surfaces on which to prepare and mix food. Additionally, mixing and blending tools are very helpful in the kitchen. Having a food processor, blender, and a standing or hand mixer will greatly increase the number of meals you can prepare. You’ll need:
· A trio of mixing bowls
· A couple of cutting boards (different sizes)
· Food processor (if you do not want a full size one, a small one will still be helpful)
· Or a hand mixer
There are thousands of kitchen gadgets designed to do specific tasks but to get yourself started, you can stick with some of the basics. Here are the essentials:
· Metal spatula (for cooking)
· Rubber spatula (for baking)
· Medium microplane grater
Pantry storage items are a great way to keep your pantry organized and makes for easy access. It can also be a great way to save space in smaller kitchens. Here are a few possible storage containers:
While you don’t need to buy all of these items all at once, make yourself a list and purchase a few items at a time, checking them off as you bring them into your growing kitchen. If you buy the right tools right off the bat, then your first kitchen will be the building blocks of a lifetime of cooking.
Many thanks to our private chefs for their suggestions and recommendations.