First-time homeowners have a lot of shopping to do if they want to fill their brand new dream home with things that speak to who they are and their idea of home. The kitchen is a work space and an entertaining area, to keep it clean and functional, you need to make sure it’s properly stocked with great kitchen gadgets.
If you are a first-time homeowner, or are gift shopping for one, here are some must-have items to pick up:
However many people you cook for, you need good prepware to whip up something.
First things first: knives. Aim to have a set of good knives which combine sharpness, a comfortable grip, and durability. Stainless-steel knives made with high carbon usually last longest. Use 3 to 4 inch knives for paring duties and smaller tasks like peeling, cutting, and mincing herbs, and 6 to 10 inch knives for other tasks like slicing poultry, meats, and vegetables. Two of the best block sets of knives come from Wusthof, a German company that forges fine cutlery and Victorinox, the same company famous for making the iconic Swiss army knives.
A Good Cutting Board
The next prep ware item to have is a good cutting board. Oxo has a great set in different sizes with no slip edges and an easily cleaned material.
Gadgets to Simplify Tasks
If you’re on the market for a manual can opener, look for one with a large knob with a solid grip that you can turn easily that opens cans without leaving sharp or jagged edges. A favorite across the board is the EZ-DUZ-IT, with rubberized grips. OXO’s own can opener draws rave reviews as well. You’ll also want a multi-purpose grater and Cuisinart’s CTG-00-BTG box grater is nifty for the price and durability factor. Lastly, keep a colander around for your vegetable & salad prep as well as a whisk.
You’ve got the tools to get everything ready in your
kitchen. Actually cooking your food requires
items on par with your prep tools.
Pots and Pans
A solid set of pots, pans and skillets are necessary. As far as what you need in them, make sure they’re a great fit for your stovetop and oven in sturdiness and balance. Aim for aluminum pots and pans with a stainless steel lining, and have materials that are ovenproof with silicone grips and handles. Unless you like spending your days scrubbing dishes, make sure you invest in non-stick cookware. Go with the T-fal titanium cookware set as a starter.
A Dutch Oven
You should also invest in a Dutch oven. This piece of cookware retains heat in a highly effective way and can be used in the oven and on your stove top to make a variety of sumptuous dishes. Martha Stewart has their version which has a capacity of 6 quarts and has an enameled interior and exterior.
Accurate Measuring Cups
Precise measurements are important for all home chefs, kitchen isn’t complete without measuring cups and spoons. Make sure these items have standard units of measurement in the Metric format as well as the customary units used here in the United States. If your budget allows, have one set for dry items and one for measuring liquids as you go through cooking. Pyrex is a ubiquitous fixture in many kitchens thanks to their measuring cup. When it comes to spoons, Cuisipro has a neat set that’s made of stainless steel and has the measurements etched onto each. They’re also connected with a storage clip so one won’t get lost in a junk drawer.
These accessories are the last but not the least of what you’ll need in your new kitchen:
First, you definitely need a set of tongs (or two or three). Hot Target has a set of three in varying sizes that can pull double duty on your barbecue grill if needed. You should also get a spatula, safe for use on the stove as well as in any baking duties. OXO has a nice one that’s made of stainless steel. You will also need a set of oven mitts because nothing makes cooking miserable like burning your hands. And lastly, you’re going to need a storage set that can handle everything from holding leftovers to keeping your dried goods safe. Snapware that has a ten-piece set that fits the bill.
Christopher Smith is a freelance writer when he’s not sampling the best cuisine in his hometown of New York City. Prior to that, he worked in film and television post-production, and counts the honor of working with Eartha Kitt among his milestones.