Picture this: The lights are turned on in an empty apartment. You’re sitting on the floor of an empty kitchen, trying to eat takeout directly from the carton.

Looking around at the empty cabinets and a box of hand-me-down cutlery from a parental figure, you wonder, somewhat downheartedly, “Where do I even begin?”

We’ll tell you where. The finest kitchens aren’t created instantly – they’re built little by little and with a lot of love and time.

However, you must begin somewhere and fill your kitchen with all the basic and essential culinary items and tools.

Having the best culinary items makes you look like you have your life together (even if you don’t). They also make cooking easier, faster, and safer.

So without further ado, here are some of the essential culinary items you should have in your kitchen. You can build your kitchen from there.

A spatula set

You don’t need us to mention all the uses for a spatula to realize you’ll need one. Your spatula will be a heavyweight champion in your kitchen, so choose one that is strong and long-lasting.

While there are many different types of spatulas, we recommend picking up a set of various sizes that are ideal for every use.

Furthermore, if you need something to stir over a hot stove, consider buying wooden spatulas.

On the other hand, if you desire quality, high-temp silicone spatulas are always a great option.

Bowls made of glass 

Glass bowls are an excellent investment because you will undoubtedly use them for every baking or cooking recipe.

A set of three different sizes should suffice. You’ll probably use them as mixing bowls, but glass bowls are also great for heating something in the microwave.

In a pinch, you can also use them as serving bowls.


If you spend your money in the kitchen, make it a small set of high-quality knives. You don’t need much more than three.

It is preferable to have a small set of high-quality cutting utensils rather than a large set of inferior ones.

A large chef’s knife for slicing vegetables and meats, a tiny cutter for finer scoring and cutting, and a sturdy, serrated-edge bread knife for cutting bread and other baked things should be in every basic kitchen.

Cutting boards 

Simple: a good cutting board safeguards your countertops and knife blades. But there are more benefits as well!

Cutting boards make food preparation more hygienic and significantly speed up the cleanup.

You can reduce the chance of cross-contamination by buying two cutting boards made of wood or plastic. Use one cutting board for all other purposes and the other for meats.

A big pot 

You can get a lot done with a group of smaller pots. Still, nothing compares to the versatility of a single high-quality large pot. 

It’s a versatile tool for making soups, pasta, stews, and potatoes, and it is the foundation of many hearty meals.

Investing in a suitable large pot will last a lifetime and become a kitchen necessity.


It can be discouraging to attempt to whisk something with a tool that is not a whisk. Nothing whisks quite like a whisk, which is why the words for the action and the item are the same.

You will need one of these for making gravy, blending pancake batter, or going all out and whipping cream.


Nonstick skillets are excellent tools for beginner cooks. However, remember that you must never use metal utensils on them because dented surfaces damage the nonstick surfaces.

You’ll need nonstick skillets in both large and small sizes. Small stainless-steel skillets, large and small saucepans, and a stockpot are also required.


Whether roasting a chicken or baking a cake, suitable oven pans are essential. 8-inch-square glass baking dishes and 9-by-13 baking pans help prepare almost any meal.

Moreover, specialty pans for roasting, pizza, and baking are also worthwhile purchases.

Slow cooker

For busy people, a slow cooker—also referred to as a crock-pot is perfect. Before leaving for work, it is easy to store stuff in the cooker, and dinner will be ready when you get home.

Furthermore, to make the most of your meals, ensure that you purchase a quantity that will serve your entire family.


You know those times when you’re preparing food. You wish you could use your hands but know that doing so would result in serious physical harm, such as trying to retrieve long pasta from boiling water or tossing roasted vegetables in an oven.

That’s where tongs come in. Consider them the kitchen’s nearest hand-like non-hands.


Unless you eat only solid food, you will need a ladle to transfer any liquid-adjacent feast from the pot to your bowl and then to your mouth. Try serving soup without one, and you’ll quickly realize its importance.

A Peeler 

You’ve got carrots, beets, cucumbers, and potatoes, all of which could use a good peeling. They’re small and inexpensive, so why not get one? 

Of course, some people prefer to leave the skin on their vegetables, but a peeler comes in handy if you’re making an apple pie or cubing thick-skinned squash.

Other items

  • Can opener 

A smooth-edge or safe-cut model cuts around the outside of the can, resulting in smooth edges and never lowering the cover into your snacks.

  • Corkscrew

An ordinary corkscrew can open wine and beer while taking up far less room than a two-armed model.

  • Measuring cups 

You’ll want to buy measuring cups for both wet and dry components. You’ll need at least 1-cup and 4-cup measuring tools for dry ingredients.

  • Peppermill 

An adaptable grind feature will let you go from coarse to fine. A big hole allows stress-free restocking of the peppercorns.

  • Salad spinner 

You can prefer to use one with a hard bowl for swishing greens and further portioning them.


There you have it – a few culinary items bound to improve the cooking process and enhance the experience.

Cooking utensils and other such items can be magical; they can make you fall in love with your kitchen.

Remember that to succeed in the kitchen, you don’t need world-class tools and the most avant-garde appliances. Stick to these essentials, and you’ll never have trouble using the kitchen.