Building the perfect kitchen is a process that comes together one piece at a time.
Whether you’re freshly out on your own and looking to start from the ground up, or you’re a (pardon the pun) *seasoned* professional, it’s always fun to get some extra inspiration.
Keep scrolling to see the 10 kitchen supplies we couldn't possibly live without.
1. Stand Mixer
Starting it off strong with the one item that you’re almost guaranteed to see on every wedding registry for the last decades. There’s a reason the stand mixer is so popular, in addition to coming in any color you could desire, it’s the versatility that keeps it in use time and time again. Not only can you whip, beat, stir, mix, cream, and knead, but additional attachments allow you to spiralize vegetables, grind meat and make homemade pasta.
Sure, you could stand there with a hand mixer for the full 10 minutes that your almond cake recipe calls for, but what if you didn’t have to? It also takes the work out of recipes that call for a little more elbow grease, such as heavy dough or meat shredding. You read that right: people are using their stand mixer to shred cooked meat in a fraction of the time that it takes to do it by hand.
In terms of price, you can drop some serious dough (yep, we did it again) or just as easily find a mixer within your budget. Just be aware that some attachments will be easier to find for certain models.
2. High Quality Knife
Having the right tools for the job can make or break your culinary endeavor. Sure, you can have a knife for every occasion, but if you’re a chef-on-a-budget or just starting out, a high quality, multipurpose knife will be your best friend. This 8” Bowie Chef knife is one of our favorites, and a classic for a reason. Due to the shape and quality of the knife, you’ll be hard pressed to find a job in the kitchen that this gal can’t handle.
For style points, you might be interested in a Chinese Cleaver, or similar style of knife. Check out this article for a crash course in what you need to know, and why they consider the Chinese Cleaver the “Best All Purpose Kitchen Knife.”
3. Food Thermometer
A reliable food thermometer is one of those tools that there’s really no replacement for. The best way to ensure your food is cooked to safe temperatures, to check the temperature of a steak to prevent cutting right into it, and let’s not forget baking and candy-making.
Depending on your needs, you really don’t have to break the bank, however many fancier models are available if you’re ready to take things to the next level.
4. Kitchen Shears
Kitchen shears don’t get much fanfare, but they remain a staple in our kitchens because of their impressive versatility. Do you hate trying to wrangle fresh herbs to cut with a knife? Try snipping small slivers with the shears.
One of our favorite uses is for cutting small pieces of bacon for sautéing; simply hold over the pan and slice right in! They’re also a solution to those too- large pieces of food that sneak into the pan too soon. Leave them where they are and grab your trusty shears, simply snip the food right in the pan and move along.
5. Rice Cooker
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by rice cooked on the stove. Yeah, us too. That’s why we have a rice cooker solidly holding its well-deserved place in our hearts and on this list. Whether you opt for a basic one-function option, or want to go a bit further, rice cookers have one job, and they do it really well. Fluffy, perfectly cooked rice without the mushy, soggy mess that stirring in a pot can leave you with.
6. Gnocchi Board
Making gnocchi is like making puff pastry: nobody does it because it’s easy, they do it because it’s worth it.
If you’re going to put the time and love into making arguably one of the best carb forms to come out of Italy, we like to stick with tradition. Like the cherry on top of a sundae, those small ridges and shell-like curve add that touch of elegance that only comes from a gnocchi board.
Yes, you can use a fork in a pinch, but we can’t promise a few Italian Nonnas won’t shed a tear. Get your own wooden gnocchi board here!
This is one of those items that you probably won’t think about on a regular basis, but when you need it, you NEED it. Useful for more than just straining cheese (but that alone is a worthy cause), this can strain juices, clarified butter, homemade oat or almond milk, grated vegetables for baking, you name it.
8. Roman Style Pizza Al Taglio Pan
You know the saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” We’re trusting the inventors of the pizza on this one, but allow us to explain why…
Blue iron metal comes from the same family of metals as cast iron, but with several key differences, the most noticeable one is that it is much lighter than cast iron. Chef Julia Sullivan summed it up best when she said:
“Carbon steel is the best of both worlds. You get the lightweight properties of stainless steel…and the heat conductivity and retention you would with cast iron. It’s a thinner metal, which means it can heat up really quickly and conduct heat even better than cast iron.”
To get that classic, hearty, crispy crust that pizza al taglio is known for, you need to use the right pan. Get your own original Roman Style Pizza tray, made in blue iron metal, here.
9. Electric Frother
Coffee enthusiasts won’t be surprised to see this one, but even if you don’t have a love for coffee, you might still be missing out on what one of these little guys could add to your kitchen.
If you need convincing, check out this article on the many uses (other than for milk) that the author found for her electric frother [spoiler: you can make a mean cup of hot chocolate, the fluffiest eggs, and amazing sauces/ dressings.]
10. Butter Bell
Is there anything better than freshly baked bread with butter? If you agree, then you need a butter bell: the French invention you might have never heard of. Instead of keeping your butter out on the counter or in the refrigerator, the butter bell solves the problem of having to choose between spreadability and freshness.
The butter bell’s design utilizes a water seal to preserve the butter from otherwise being exposed to the elements, while retaining the benefit of room-temperature, soft deliciousness. Another point to the butter bell? How beautiful it looks on your countertop. You can find just about any style of butter bell to compliment your particular kitchen.
To sum it up...
Do you need the latest and greatest of every kitchen item to hit the market? Absolutely not. With some basic staples and a few specialty items (not the least of which include the electric frother, gnocchi board, and cheesecloth) for less than $20, you can outfit your kitchen to be prepared for just about any culinary adventure.
Want to learn more? Sign up for one of our upcoming cooking classes to learn more kitchen tips + tricks!