Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Kitchen essentials.... really basic equipment

Talking about equipment in the kitchen for people just starting out or wishing to pare down, we could all disagree about what is necessary, but since I am the one blogging, I'll share what is in my drawers and cupboards :)  The basic food list will follow in another post. I have other posts that shared specific equipment that are shining stars, but this is a 'staples' list.

Fist I'll start with 'Can't live without.' **disclaimer: I am NOT talking about a survival/emergency situation for those who might be ready to jump on me about being frivolous ;) ... we could all work with aluminum foil, a sharp knife, and a sanitized stick for most things in that situation. Also, remember I have a large family to feed, so my list may require more things than yours. I am sure I missed some things, so this list may morph a little over time...

Measuring cups/spoons (Nothing fancy- dollar store plastic does the same job as stainless)
Fork for whipping or as a simple pastry blender
Bread pans can be used for baking bread, vegetables, meatloaf, small roasts (stainless or glass last longer, aluminum is cheaper, but hazardous to your health)
9X13 can be used for casseroles, large roasts, poultry (I have one ceramic and one glass- both work great and release stuck on food well in cleanup)
Large bowl (My favorites are a very large stainless one I use for mixing everything including food and natural detergent- see other posts... the other is a large plastic Rubbermaid type with a lid for serving/storing salad or bread dough)
Large spoon for mixing/serving/measuring
Sharp knife for prep/serving/measuring/peeling
Strong hands and arms for kneading/blending (since a Kitchen Aide blender is NOT on the necessary list. Don't worry, if you don't have them yet, you will)
Potholder or dishtowel for hot pans
Cookie sheet for toast, bread loaves/cookies/breadcrumbs/dehydrating
Rolling pin or something with round sides like a can of vegetables

Pasta pot with cover (stainless steel chef-ware type pots last forever and through many 'burnt on' projects... I know this from experience)
Saucepan with cover (I've had the same one for my whole marriage of almost 22 years, and it was second hand- makes coffee/hot cocoa as well as sauce, etc)
Frying pan (cast iron is my favorite, my other favorite was a chef-type that finally broke a handle after 20 years-makes skillet bread/desserts as well as frying foods)
Sharp knife (from above) prep and serving
Large fork for lifting roasts or stirring/separating pasta
Large spoon from above for stirring sauces
Baking pans/mixing bowls as listed above
Potholder or dishtowel from above
Meat thermometer
Can opener

Large mixing bowls from above
Pans from above
Large fork, spoon, and knife from above
Potholders from above for the table if food is coming from the oven

Soap (grated pure soap works is multiuse for body and sink)
Dishrags made from anything- cut down old towels or facecloths are fine (reusable saves money)
Onion bags or aluminum foil (use as pot scrubbers (do not use foil on fine surfaces)
Baking soda for soaking/scrubbing
Vinegar for degreaser to add to sink or for soaking

Not so basic, but nice to add...
Pastry blender (pastry blender is faster and works for meatloaf as well as pie crust if the blades are 1/4" or more thick vertically)
Hand mixer
Manual chopper or blender
Toaster for smaller servings
Sponges with scrubber side
Bottle brush
Candy thermometer
Muffin pan
Rolling pin
Cooling rack


  1. Salt works wonderful as a scrubber for pots and pans! I have used my cast iron pan for baking cakes and biscuits in the oven as well as a casserole dish. My daughter always uses the clean dish clothes as pot holders. We use folded hand towels as trivets for putting hot dishes on the table.

  2. Thanks for adding that! Salt is a really cheap, often overlooked (obviously- I missed it!)cleanser and soak agent. We use towels as trivets/potholders as well :)