A practical shopping guide to 10 essential items every kitchen needs and that are worth investing in.
What are kitchen essentials?
When it comes to the number of kitchen tools, gadgets and accessories available on the market sky is the limit, but in our guide, you will find 10 basic kitchen tools that every kitchen needs and that will let you challenge every recipe. This is an ultimate buying guide for all who want to purchase cookware for a new kitchen, for those who want to replace old kitchen accessories and stock up on high-quality, basic functional kitchen tools.
Kitchen essentials are the items that you use all the time, so we made sure our guide is full of reliable, long-lasting, high-quality products made from food-safe materials and manufactured by brands specializing in kitchen tools. They offer you not only the product but also solutions, technology and design which will make your food preparation and cooking easy, fast, effective and… a real pleasure.
10 key items you need in your kitchen - list of content
Kitchen knives set
A set of pots
Set of kitchen utensils
Kitchen bowl + colander
Your kitchen basics
1/ A set of kitchen knives
A good kitchen knife is one of the most important tools in every kitchen. When choosing knives for your kitchen always look at the material from which the blades and handles are made, the production process and the price. And the price can tell you a lot as top quality, forged knives made from high-quality stainless steel dedicated to knife production will never be cheap.
What kind of knives do I really need in my kitchen?
If you are wondering how to choose the right knives for your kitchen check our guide on kitchen knives HERE but generally speaking every kitchen needs a basic set of knives including:
A chef’s knife
A versatile knife used for food preparation. It’s a must-have in every kitchen as it can deal with different types of food (meat, fish, vegetables, herbs, etc.) and different culinary tasks – slicing, chopping, filleting, dicing, cutting, and more.
A bread knife
Thanks to its serrated blade it is perfect for slicing bread through crusty loaves without crushing the soft centre and for cutting soft fruit and vegetables. Choose the sturdiest one you can afford (bread knives tend to have a slightly flexible blade).
A vegetable knife
Small and handy, suitable for small ingredients, for peeling and cutting fruits and veggies and all different micro-tasks in your kitchen
2/ A cutting board
If you have already chosen knives for your kitchen, you definitely need a good quality cutting board to be able to cut, dice, slice or chop all ingredients needed for your recipe or meal. Ideally, you should have a separate cutting board for meat, fish, bread and veggies (and these are available in sets with a practical stand) but to start with, you can simply choose a high-quality plastic chopping board or a sturdy cutting board made of hard, top-quality wood (and use its both sides if possible).
Are wooden chopping boards worth buying?
Woods like maple, bamboo or teak won't blunt the blades of your knives as easily as plastic, marble or glass cutting boards. Wooden boards – if you take care of them properly – will always look good and serve you for years (also as serving boards for cheese or other snacks). And if you want your cutting board to last a lifetime, remember not to put it into a dishwasher and to apply a good amount of mineral oil to the entire surface of the board and let it soak in overnight. If you do it regularly your cutting board will be more resistant to moisture, it won’t dry out or warp.
Which chopping boards are worth investing in?
Sturdy, thick wooden boards by renowned Czech designer Petr Novaque, Red Dot Design Award winner!
High-quality, functional cutting boards made from plastic, also in sets with stands
Surprisingly practical and very effective chopping boards for all wood and cooking lovers
3/ A universal pan
No kitchen can do without a pan and if you cook a lot you would probably need different pans for different kinds of meals. But before you stack up on a crepe pan, grilling pan or wok pan, start with a universal frying pan with a size suitable for your whole family (or a set including two or three pans with a smaller one for frying eggs or small portions of food, a medium one for two and a large one for a family dinner).
How to choose the right pan or a set of pans?
First of all, check our complete guide on pans to make sure you go for the one that meets all your expectations and when choosing the right pan for your kitchen take into consideration the following:
- the size of the pan (for how many people you usually cook)
- type of cooker that you have (gas, electric or induction? It may be also useful if your pan would be suitable for use in the oven)
- the type of food you usually cook
- the material (probably the most important factor of all - will you go for a steel or a non-stick pan?)
What are the essential types of pans for every kitchen?
Universal frying pans
The most versatile, available in different sizes and from different materials, also with non-stick coating, also in sets.
A round pan, with a large surface and tall edges, perfect for stewed dishes, they have a long, sturdy handle and sometimes an extra helper handle on another side
Ideal pans for searing meat or vegetables, with raised edges that lie in rows across the bottom of the pan to provide the signature “grilled char” look
Pans are one of the kitchen essentials you need to invest in if you want to use them for a long time if you want the non-stick coating to stay in a good condition if you don’t want your pan to warp and your food to stick to its surface. Technology, manufacturing processes and materials are very important for the production of pans and their cost, so don’t expect to buy a great pan for a small amount of money. The good news is that once you buy a premium pan, you will be using it for ages and the results will be extremely satisfactory.
Ready to boil
4/ A set of pots
A set of pots is an obvious must-have for every kitchen but choosing the right one doesn’t seem so obvious at all. Pots are also an investment and when you take into consideration the fact that most families are more likely to buy a new car than a new set of pots, and that once bought your pots will serve you for years to come, it seems reasonable to carefully consider all available options.
How to choose a set of pots for my kitchen?
If you are looking for a set of pots that will serve you for years and guarantee great cooking results and that is worth investing in, check our ultimate guide on choosing the right pots here and before you make your final decision, think about the following characteristics of your cookware:
- what kind of pots do you need, how many and how big should they be (a stock pot, low casserole and a saucepan seem to be the absolute minimum)
- what material should you choose – consider only high-quality, durable materials that suit the type of cooker that you use and – if that’s important for you – if the material/ the product is dishwasher or oven safe (read more about the available options and materials here)
- what kind of characteristics should your pots have (glass lids, inside measures, heat-resistant handles)
What are the most essential pots for every kitchen?
Large pots, usually taller than wide suitable for soups, broths, cooking pasta and large amounts of food
Perfect for cooking smaller amounts of vegetables, rice, and one-pot dishes
Small pots with a handle, great for preparing sauces or warming up small amounts of food
5/ Electric kettle
No kitchen can do without an electric kettle but kettles have stopped being just kitchen appliances long ago. Because they are always visible, always on the kitchen top, they became decorations of the kitchen space, items that are a pleasure to look at and design icons.
What kind of electric kettle should I buy?
- First of all, choose a reliable producer. A brand that offers product service and that has a good reputation among customers.
- Invest in a high-quality kettle made from top-quality materials as you don’t want to be forced to replace your kettle every year or two, right?
- Choose the capacity that matches your needs and a style that matches your kitchen.
- When choosing your kettle think about the colour of other small kitchen appliances on your kitchen tops (blender, toaster, etc.) or buy one from a collection of appliances that you like and that you would love to invite to your kitchen giving the space a harmonious, stylish look.
Which electric kettles do we recommend?
An american icon that combines modern function and vintage design.
Retro design and great colour palette, also with temperature control function
Let your kettle be the star of your kitchen, great, eye-catching Italian design
Do I need a kettle with temperature control?
If you use mainly boiling water and drink only black tea, you don’t really need a temperature control kettle but if you are a fan of herbal infusions or green and white teas which need to be brewed at temperatures between 70 and 90°C, a kettle with temperature display will be a practical and useful appliance.
6/ Roasting pan
What kind of food can you prepare in a roasting pan?
Just as every kitchen has an oven, each needs a roasting pan or an oven dish. You will need it for roasting meat, holiday duck or turkey or making vegetable pies or lasagnas. Depending on how often and what you roast or bake, you can choose from different types of baking dishes and pans, with or without lids.
Baking dishes come in different sizes and are made from different kinds of material and if you go for cast-iron pots or premium quality stainless steel pans, you can be sure they will last for ages. A traditional ceramic oven dish can be also useful, as you can use it not only for meat, fish or veggies but also for preparing cakes, fruit crumbles and other types of sweet desserts.
What kind of baking dish should I choose?
Porcelain and ceramic baking dishes available in many sizes and stylish colours
Cast iron pots
Great quality pots to be used on the cooker or in the oven, for generations!
With or without lids, in different sizes, often with handles for direct serving from the oven to the table
7/ Set of kitchen utensils
A set of kitchen utensils is a must for every kitchen. You use them for mixing, frying and cooking. You use them for meats, salads, pasta, eggs and vegetables. You use them with pots, pans and kitchen bowls. You use them… all the time so make sure that the set of kitchen utensils that you buy is made from good quality, food-safe, heat-resistant materials and that it looks nice on your kitchen top!
What does a standard set of kitchen utensils include?
- solid mixing spoon
- slotted spoon
- meat fork
- (slotted) turner
Check the sets of kitchen utensils from brands specializing in functional, long-lasting and good-looking kitchen accessories and pick the one that will serve and look the best in your kitchen.
Practical tools for all kitchen tasks by the Germany's #1 kitchen products brand.
Do you prefer a wood and stainless steel combination? Choose from traditional French production.
Modern colourful tools made from heat-resistant nylon.
Modern sets of kitchen utensils usually come with a good-looking stand, container or rack that makes storing and using them simple and practical. They are made from heat-resistant, healthy materials and feature weighted handles and integrated tool rests that help you keep your kitchen tops clean.
8/ Kitchen bowl and colander
For mixing ingredients, marinating, washing food, storing leftovers and draining pasta or vegetables – a kitchen bowl and a colander are an indispensable duo that will serve you every day even in the simplest, basic culinary tasks. Kitchen bowls often come in sets of different sizes suitable for different amounts of ingredients. Modern kitchen bowls include inside measurements for added convenience and have non-slip bases or practical handles. If you buy a set of bowls they are also stackable, which will save space in your kitchen cabinets. A colander is also an essential piece in every kitchen – even in the minimalist interior, even if the most complicated dish you can make is spaghetti Bolognese. It’s good to choose a well-designed, durable and ergonomically shaped colander that will match your sink (preferably with handles and feet).
What to choose?
Modern stainless steel kitchen bowls and colanders for minimalistic kitchens.
Check colorful kitchen bowls and colanders by 100% sustainable brand Koziol.
See super colourful and space-saving sets of kitchen bowls with kitchen measures.
9/ Hand blender
Do I really need a hand blender in my kitchen?
A hand blender won’t take up much space in your kitchen drawers but it will make food preparation easier and faster, save you a lot of effort, let you challenge even complicated recipes and prepare many tasty dishes and drinks. Make creamy soups, baby food, smoothies, hummus, vegetable chutneys or pesto in seconds. And thanks to additional accessories you can also whip cream or egg whites with it. Modern hand blenders often come with a mini chopper and an additional jug which gives you even more possibilities. So if you are wondering if you need a hand blender, the answer is, yes! You will need it in no time!
What kind of hand blender should I buy?
If you are wondering what kind of hand blender is worth investing in, check our list of the most useful functions and accessories below and choose a blender that answers your needs. What functions, features and accessories do modern hand blenders offer?
- powerful motor power
- several speed settings
- pulse and turbo function
- stainless steel blades
- additional accessories such as a whisk, chopper, measuring jug
- slim, compact design
What would we recommend?
Legendary appliances by a Swiss company founded in 1953, specializing in hand blenders.
Iconic design, premium quality, and different options will meet the expectations of different chefs.
Practical helper for every kitchen.
10/ Cake pan
Do I really need a cake pan in my kitchen?
Special occasions, holidays, family gatherings, romantic dinners, evenings on the sofa on long winter days, weekends and… all these moments in which you need a piece of cake to add a bit of sweetness to your life. And that’s why every kitchen needs a cake pan!
Invest in a high-quality nonstick cake pan that will last for generations and when choosing the one for your kitchen think about the type of cakes you bake most often or like the most. If you are a specialist in birthday cakes, choose a round cake pan. If you are the one who always bakes an Easter bundt cake, go for a traditional bundt pan and if you simply need a piece of homemade cake from time to time, go for a universal, rectangular cake pan or a bread pan that you will be also able to use to bake bread or pate.
Marcel Vargaeštok, Chefparade cooking school owner
Is it worth investing in your kitchen essentials? Yes!
Taking into consideration that you will be using your kitchen essentials on daily basis – for cooking, baking, roasting, frying, stewing, and all other culinary tasks, it is worth investing in them, as nobody likes to be forced to replace the kitchen accessories every year or two, right? Instead of buying dozens of cheap, often unnecessary gadgets, invest in these kitchen essentials that will make your life in the kitchen so much easier!