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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.