If you type “kitchen” into Amazon, you come up with over 100,000 results. For someone stocking up a kitchen for the first time, that number is extremely intimidating. Which of those 100,000 items are important to actually have? What items do you really need to cook at home? No sweat, I’ve done the work for you and wrote out a list of the top kitchen supplies you need to get you started in the kitchen.
Now the items I’ve listed below isn’t everything I have, I do admit that. I’ve been cooking for a while (it’s a way I save a lot of money), and have collected a lot of items for my kitchen over time. Plus, you know, a wedding registry kind of helps.
However, after many years of cooking at home, I’ve found myself gravitating towards particular kitchen supplies more often compared to others. These are the items I use time and time again, and I fully believe these are the items—out of those 100,000 on Amazon—that you should actually spend your money on.
Below you’ll find 20 kitchen supplies I recommend to get you started. They are a mix of cooking utensils, appliances, and even items for washing dishes. They make cooking in the kitchen a lot easier for me, and well, I’m pretty confident in saying you’ll feel the same. Each item has a link where you can shop it on Amazon right here—so you don’t have to scroll through that intimidating list of 100,000 items.
While having a full knife set is standard, I honestly think you can survive simply having a chef’s knife. I use my chef’s knife constantly in the kitchen for chopping and prepping my meals. Don’t waste your money on a mediocre knife set and just get a really good chef’s knife.
Were you surprised? Probably not. If you’ve been following me for a while you know how much I love my cast-iron skillet. I use it for practically everything—like all of these cast-iron skillet recipes. For size, I recommend getting a 12″ skillet at first.
Don’t waste so many paper towels in the kitchen and just get yourself a good set of kitchen towels. You’ll wan it for drying off dishes and sopping up messes. I recommend getting towels that are 100% cotton—they sop up liquid the best, and wash and dry beautifully.
A lot of recipes will call you to whisk something instead of simply stirring it with a spoon, so get yourself a good whisk. I recommend whisks that have a silicone covering, so it avoids scratching up your skillets and pots when you use them. A lot of sets come with two whisks, which is helpful if you have to whisk up multiple things in a recipe.
Similar to the whisks, it’s easy to grab a set of rubber scrappers for cheap. I recommend getting a set that has ones that are different sizes. Having those little rubber scrappers is especially helpful when you’re trying to get sauce out of a small jar.
Having a set of wooden spoons is helpful for the actual cooking process. When you’re stirring something in a mixing bowl or in a pan, a wooden spoon is helpful—and heat resistant. This set comes with all kinds of spoons that you can use, including a slotted spoon which is great for cooking pasta.
Whether you’re flipping burgers or patty melts, having a metal spatula is helpful. You’ll use it all the time for cooking as well as shoveling food off of those sheet pans.
Don’t bother investing in a full pot set quite yet. To be honest, I rarely am using more than one pot at at time for my meals. If you have to get a pot, I recommend this 4 quart pot that can work for all kinds of purposes.
Dutch oven (or stockpot)
Now if you need a larger pot (for chilis and stews and things), get a stockpot or a dutch oven. I personally prefer a dutch oven because I use it to make all kinds of meals—like jambalaya—but also to make sourdough bread.
Your little cereal bowls are not going to cut it when you’re mixing up different things for dinner. I’m constantly using my set of glass mixing bowls in the kitchen when I’m cooking. Trust me, you need these.
Measuring cups & spoons
Recipes have measurements, so uh, you’re going to need things to measure with. This clever set comes with measuring cups and spoons if you don’t have them already. I also personally love to use my glass Pyrex measuring cups when I cook.
Sheet pan set
If you’re going to take advantage of my sheet pan dinner formula, then you are definitely going to need a set of sheet pans. I literally use my all the time—great for roasting vegetables, fries, and other goodies.
It may seem silly to get a set of sheet pans and a casserole dish, but there are a lot of dishes you won’t be able to make certain dishes, like lasagna. You’re really only going to need one of these, so get a good one.
If you’re going to make any kind of smoothies, you should probably snag a blender of some sort. I use a Nutribullet in my apartment, does the job for a lot of the things I need it for.
If you’re chopping up veggies, or prepping any other kind of food, you’re going to need a good chopping block. I personally prefer using bamboo or wood boards like this one.
A chef’s knife isn’t going to cut into that beautiful loaf of sourdough bread! You’ll use the serrated knife for a lot of different things, so it’s the next knife you should add to your collection.
For anyone who doesn’t have a dishwasher, welcome to the party. You’re not going to be able to survive without a dish rack. Trust me.
When it comes to kitchen clean up, I rely heavily on my microfiber cloths. They pick up everything and leave your kitchen looking sparkly and clean.
Between storing your lunch meal prep and freezing meats and veggies for later, you’re going to need some freezer-safe containers. I personally love using glass containers because they are easy to clean, they don’t stain, and they’re safe for microwaving leftovers.
The last thing you’re going to want to do is dig for spices while you’re in the middle of cooking a meal. I like to have my spices on hand by placing a spice rack near my oven. While the rack here is great for the spices you have, if you’re looking to make your kitchen look aesthetically pleasing, I actually have this spice rack set that has matching little bottles you can refill.