7 Kitchen Must Haves

The market is flooded with all kinds of beautiful things that we want but may not necessarily need. Have you ever gone into the store, bought something “cute” and taken it home just to add it to your kitchen clutter collection? I have found over the years that there are a few things that are must-haves for my kitchen. These are items that save me time, money, and effort.  Enjoy! Hope this makes shopping easy for you.



Rice Cooker

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I am an island girl, which means many of my meals contain rice as a side. I love cooking it in a pot but there are some times when I don’t feel like it. Having a rice cooker allows me to be hands free. Mine has markings to help you get the water-to-rice ratio just right. Plus, it shuts off automatically so I don’t have to worry about burning the rice. Get a rice cooker that has multiple settings ( brown rice, white rice, sticky rice etc.).  This is a great time saver, particularly when you’re cooking lots of things at once.



Toaster Oven

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This has to be my favorite small kitchen appliance. It is so useful! I prefer one that has convection because it allows me to bake without preheating. I use this thing daily! Not only is it good for your basic toasting needs (bread and bagels, for instance), but you can also use it to cook entire meals. I usually make asparagus, baked potatoes, and French fries, but I’ve also prepared fish, chicken, & pork tenderloins. You can also use it for delicate things like cakes. Ours can also be used as a rotisserie. Since it’s smaller than a conventional oven, it uses less energy and heats up more quickly as well. Seriously, I can’t imagine life without my toaster oven.



Great Knives

kitchen must haves

Every house should have a really great set of knives. It is crucial! We purchased our set when we first got married almost 7 years ago and it still works great. It came with 6 knives, a pair of shears, a sharpener, and 6 steak knives.  A good knife will not dull on you after just a few months of use. A dull knife can be very dangerous, since you are more likely to cut yourself. Dull knives also make cooking more time-consuming and can affect the look of your dish. When searching for knives, you want to hold them before purchasing. You want to make sure the grip is comfortable and the handle has good weight and balance to it to make cutting effortless. Purchase your knives at a specialty shop where people can answer your questions.



Wok or large nonstick skillet

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My family enjoys fried rice. I have gotten my best results in a large non-stick skillet like below. For even better results, use a wok. Our skillet is the size of a large wok so I didn’t feel we needed a wok. This is something great to have for cooking in general, not just for fried rice but veggies too. I find my veggies always have the right crunch when I use this, and it makes my stir-fry dishes delicious.




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OMG! We didn’t know we needed this until one of our best friends gave us one. This is a kitchen must must must have! We save so much time and cleaning with this one. We can cook nearly everything on it.. Its large, flat cooking surface make it perfect for large batches of eggs, bacon & pancakes for breakfast; it’s also great for grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, seared wraps for lunch, as well as fish, chicken, and pork chops for dinner. It cuts cooking time down because you can cook more food at once. Also, it is easy to clean. This one is my husband’s favorite. He uses it more than I do. Trust me, get yourself a griddle!



Quality Stainless Steel Pots

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Back when me and my husband were dating, I helped him move into his first apartment. He went to purchase some pots and pans without any research whatsoever. I have to say that I have not burned as much food in my life as I did in just a few months with those pans. He got them because they were the cheapest ones available. As with most kitchen appliances, you get what you pay for. The pans were so thin that they got way too hot and heated unevenly. After a short time, the handles began to come loose. While my dream pots will be All Clad, at this time it is not in the budget. Maybe I’ll get them when I get my Wolf appliances, lol. We were gifted a set of Tramontina pots, which are also really good. The bottom is thick for even heating, the handle is solid and not screwed on, and it has some weight to it.  My suggestions for buying pots is not to purchase a whole set right away.  Instead, buy one and test drive it. If you like the brand and quality go back and get a set. That way you save yourself unnecessary regrets. This is also a good way to see what you may need because not all sets are one-size-fits-all. You may need more pots than pans, or vice versa.



Cast Iron Skillet

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There is something about a cast Iron skillet, especially when it has been seasoned. This is a must have for steaks, pork chops, chicken, lamb… you name it! Any meat will turn out fantastic. The sear that you can get from a cast iron skillet is equivalent to a BBQ grill. You can get a grilling skillet that gives you the grill marks too! For me the meats taste more flavorful in a cast iron than any other skillet. Definitely a Kitchen must have!



These kitchen must-haves are simply fantastic. While there prices on these may vary, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. I truly enjoy cooking with them and can’t imagine going back to not having them. Once you try them I know you won’t either. They are truly money well spent. What are some of your kitchen must-haves?



P.S. This post contains affiliated links. That means I may get paid if you buy something. Do know that doesn’t change my feelings about any of these items. These are my genuine thoughts and feelings.

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  1. Reply

    I always buy way too much, and then never use it 🙂
    I’ve never bought a griddle though, but it looks like it could be useful.

    Another kitchen item I think is a must have is a george foreman grill. I cook burgers, sausages, chicken, ham and cheese toasties etc… on it, it’s so easy, and healthier than frying, as all the fat trickles down into a container.

  2. Reply

    yes great list of must haves, think I want to add a toaster oven myself.
    come see us at http://shopannies.blogspot.com

  3. Reply

    I absolutely love cast iron! Couldn’t imagine a kitchen without it.

    1. Reply

      Yes!! I completely agree Tara. Thanks for reading!

  4. Reply

    I don’t have half of these things. I need to step my kitchen game up for sure!


    1. Reply

      Allison I have to say you may be missing out a little here. Once you do get them you’ll wonder how your kitchen functioned without them. Thanks for reading!

  5. Reply

    Great post! I completely agree – although we’re missing a few of those items. Just things to add to the wedding registry! 🙂

    1. Reply

      Oooohh!! Wedding registry. Congrats! These will save your marriage. Joking! They will be nice to have though.

  6. Reply

    I so agree. I am just writing about the essential must haves in the pantry! Great post – I really enjoyed!

    1. Reply

      Thank you Eileen! That sounds like it’s going to be a great post. Can’t wait to read it!

  7. Reply

    Great list! I love my rice cooker.. I make rice and peas, dirty rice, you name it! Good knives are also essential arsenal for the kitchen! So much safer to have sharp knives.. which reminds my dull butt.. lol

    1. Reply

      I never tried dirty rice in the rice cooker before. I’m going to have to try that. Thanks for reading!

  8. Reply

    I love Kitchen gadgets! I couldn’t live without my crockpot!

    1. Reply

      Ooh crockpot is another great one. I use mine mainly in the winter. I’m still learning what to make with it.

  9. Reply

    Great knives, a rice cooker and a good wok are absolute musts that I use all the time. I haven’t got a toaster oven but I do have a griddle which is also very handy. Good list.

    1. Reply

      Thanks Tamuria! I’m happy to hear you have all of those. I lo.ve how they make cooking tie run so smooth

  10. Reply

    YES! I love my rice cooker. I used it tonight! LOL Great tips!

    1. Reply

      Me too! Thanks for reading!

  11. Reply

    I have it all except the toaster oven and cast iron skillet. But I’m working on the skillet! Love my calphalon pots and skillets, 8 years and still look brand new. My husband bought me the rice maker a few years ago for Valentine’s Day. I may have been offended. Haha. But I use it all the time!

    1. Reply

      Danielle, I know the feeling Lol. They have good intentions but kitchen gifts should be random gifts. Haha! We love them anyways.

    1. Reply

      Thank you!

  12. Reply

    Thanks for sharing….I got get up to date on my kitchen must haves….we eat out more than we should because I usually don’t feel like cooking….I must do better…some of these items would be a motivator

    1. Reply

      The toaster oven can definitely help. I just baked chicken, asparagus, and sweet potato for dinner last night. Healthy and not much attention needed.

  13. Reply

    I agree with everything.

    1. Reply

      Thanks Christine!

  14. Reply

    Knives, and skillets are the most important in my opinion, though all of them are equally essential! Thank you 🙂

    1. Reply

      They are definitely important, especially if you’re a cook. Thanks for reading.

  15. Reply

    I agree with all of these! Definitely don’t know what I would do without my rice cooker!

    1. Reply

      Thanks Ginger!!

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