Kiki Interiors - Decor and Staging

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Your First Kitchen : The Basics you really need

Have you ever started from scratch in a new kitchen? Perhaps you were leaving for college, or disentangling one household from another. Maybe you were outfitting a second home, or helping a young friend or family member set up with their own kitchen for the very first time.
Is it possible to equip a kitchen for robust daily cooking on a relatively small budget? We say yes. If you are starting from scratch, without a spatula to your name, here's your checklist of essential equipment — and all for under $300.

A Checklist of Kitchen Essentials for $300
Wait, you may say — $300 sounds like a lot of money! To most of us $300 is not pocket change. It could represent half of your monthly rent, or the cost of your textbooks for a semester. It's about the same price as a new iPhone, or another tech bauble like a tablet.
But keep in mind that you can easily spend nearly that much for a single set of cookware or knives (heck, for a single pan or knife), and we're not just outfitting you with a set of pans, but with everything you need to take an empty kitchen from useless to delicious.


The 'Basics' List

- Saute pan with lid (so versatile)
- Dutch oven (perfect for soups, chili, sauces, etc...)
- Sheet pan (everything from cookies to veggies)
- 9 x 13 baking pan (everything from casseroles to birthday cake)
- Chef's knife
- Paring knife
- Mixing bowls
- Colander
- Wood cutting board (for fruit, veggies etc..) and a plastic cutting board (for meat)
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Liquid measuring cup
- Tongs
- Wood spoon
- Whisk
- Spatula
- Can opener
- Meat thermometer
- Kitchen towels
- Potholders

The Goal of This List
Our goal was a list of essential equipment for daily cooking, aimed towards the beginner cook.
  • We prioritized the things you need for habitual daily cooking.
  • We looked for smart buys, focusing on commercial kitchen tools.
  • We looked for quality materials and avoided plastic.
  • We looked for tools that are pleasurable to use. Extremely cheap cookware is often false economy, since it's harder and less fun to cook with, and produces discouraging results.
What's Not on the List
We designed this for a new cook who's just learning the basics, and we think it would help someone just starting out to cook a wide range of dishes. But as cooks gain experience they form opinions about the tools that work best for them. So of course, if there's something not on this list that you couldn't live without, customize away!
A few things we didn't include:
  • Tableware: Dishes, glassware, silverware, serving dishes and serving utensils.
  • Small Appliances: Blender, toaster, food processor, mixer, kettle.
  • Storage: Jars and storage containers.
More Ways to Save Money
Could you buy this list of 20 essentials for less money? Most likely. But we didn't want this to be a gimmick, full of dollar store finds and really cheap cookware sets. Having said that, you can probably find items here for cheaper locally. Places to try:
  • Thrift stores
  • Discount stores like TJ Maxx and Ross
  • Garage sales
  • Church rummage sales
  • Craigslist

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