Moving Into A New Kitchen? Here's What You'll Need!
My friend Lola and my future brother-in-law Matthew have both recently moved, and asked me the same question: "How the heck do I stock a new kitchen?" What are the essentials, what is non-negotiable, what are the things that can wait? Where do you buy this stuff and where can you find some great deals? Not to worry Lola + Matt! Be Like Family is at your service with a handy-dandy checklist for the things you need when moving.
Please keep in mind this list is aimed at a beginner cook (no sous-vides tools here) who is either living alone or as a couple. If you are cooking very often/feeding a family, you may need more equipment. I've included links to the specific brands I use in my kitchen, but feel free to explore your options depending on style preferences and budget.
Their is no tableware or storage on this list, as how much/what quality you get depends entirely on you. I recommend you buy at least 4 of everything, but if you entertain often you may want 6-8. I got my tableware from Canvas Home, and these leftover containers from OXO that I love! I use glass containers because they are better for mama earth, and they don't retain sauces/smells the same way that plastic does. Also, they last longer.
Pots & Pans
my philosophy here is to buy fewer items of higher quality; splurge on 2-3 great pans that can you use over + over again. The truth is you don't need 4 stainless steel pans in different sizes. You can get creative and make do with 1 small and 1 large. Here's what I have:
1 small, non-stick pan (for things like eggs)
1 5-quart stainless steel pot <-- I'm obsessed with this pot because it's large enough to make soup, but not so deep that I can't also sear some chicken in it, or mix a pasta dish in. It's seriously the perfect size and I use it for everything
1 everyday skillet that's medium size + depth and not too heavy
1 cast-iron pan; typically, the cheaper the pan the heavier it is, which for me means it's a pain in the you know what to use. I don't cook on cast-iron often, but if you do, be sure to invest in one that is lightweight and comfortable.
For Your Oven
1-2 baking sheet(s), for making cookies or roasting vegetables
A 9x13 casserole dish; more affordable option here
an important tip to remember, avoid purchasing single-purchase gadgets (i.e an apple slicer) because they take up space and money from your budget without being used often enough. Here are my essentials:
2 cutting boards, keep one separate for meat, seafood, etc; I like this one because of the "juice canal" that prevents drips
Spatulas; I use these silicone ones, which are sturdy and 100% worth the minimal extra investment
A spider strainer for removing things out of boiling water without the headache
A microplane (hi, parmesan cheese makes everything better)
A set of nesting bowls for all of your mise en place needs
A pinch bowl for salt (it's much easier to know how much you're using if you can see/feel it)
A pepper grinder
A set of measuring cups and measuring spoons
A garbage can; who says trash cans can't be shiny?
Oven mitts; I like that only the grip on these is silicone
Tea towels; I use these obsessively to wipe my hands while cooking
A chef's knife, for everything; Brandon gifted me this knife and I couldn't be more pleased with how comfortable, sharp, and durable it is. I highly recommend. Another great option that is more affordable is a ceramic knife, just be careful not to try and slice anything very heavy/thick with it.
A pairing knife, for the little things; I use a Shun pairing knife. A more affordable option here.
A serrated knife, for slicing bread, or tomatoes, or chocolate; I use Shun, lower priced option here.
Kitchen shears, they will come in handy
Optional but fun
A french press or other coffee maker you prefer
A tea kettle, for fresh hot water when you need a cuppa' or hot water for making soup
A roaster because what's better than a roasted chicken?
A slow-cooker; you'll thank me come November
A cheese board, for when friends come over
Trivets, for setting how pans on your table