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Pantry essentials
Kitchen essentials
Kitchen essentials

There's nothing more frustrating than getting half way through a cheesecake recipe
and realizing you don't have a 9 inch springform pan. To that end, here is a list of
must-have kitchen equipment, along with a few splurges that I can't imagine life

Pots and Pans

Your food spends a lot of time here, so quality cookware is essential. Look for heavy
stainless steel, anodized aluminum or enamel-coated cast iron models that allow even
heat distribution and prevent burning. Popular brands include Calphalon®, All-Clad®,
Cuisinart®, Farberware® and Le Creuset®

The essentials:
Saucepans [1, 2 and 3 quart]
Stockpot [8 quart or better]
Skillets [8 inch and 10 inch]
Large saute an [deeper than a skillet, with a lid]
Dutch Oven
Roasting Pan [one shallow, one deep]
Broiler Pan [usually comes with your oven]
Double Boiler [make your own by nestling a heat-proof bowl over a pan of simmering

A splurge:
Copper is an excellent heat conductor, but it is a little more expensive and requires a
lot of maintenance. Most copper cookware is lined with tin, and over time the lining
will need to be "retinned." If you're concerned about aesthetics, copper also requires
regular polishing.


Keep essential utensils close at hand. A cylindrical utensil holder or small porcelain
pitcher can house frequently used spatulas, spoons and more on the countertop

The drawer and cabinet nearest the stove are other prime locations for these
2 sets of Measuring Spoons [buy heavy gauge stainless steel ones]
2 sets of Dry Measuring Cups [same as above]
2 Glass Liquid Measuring Cups [a 2 cup and a 4 cup]
Cutting Boards [wood and plastic]
Spatula [super thin stainless]
Soup Ladle
Kitchen Tongs
4-sided box grater
Vegetable Peeler
Vegetable Brush
Potato Ricer or Food Mill
Long-Handled Fork
Wire or Hard Rubber whisk
Can Opener
Meat Thermometer
Oven Thermometer
Rasp [Microplane® is a popular brand]
Slotted Spoons
Wooden Spoons
High-Heat Flexible Rubber Spatulas
Citrus Juicer
Pepper Grinder
Salad Spinner
Coffee Pot
Tea Kettle
Wooden Skewers [6 inch are the best multi-purpose size]
Ice Cream Scoop
Collapsible Vegetable Steamer
Meat Pounder

A splurge
Le Creuset® Screwpull Corkscrew

Other essentials that come in extra handy during food preparation:
Nesting Mixing Bowls [4 or more bowls, pottery or stainless]
Microwave-Safe Casserole with Lid
Rectangular Glass Baking Dishes, multiple sizes
Airtight containers for dry goods storage
Ramekins [individual sizes]


It is a shame that knives have been labeled "unlucky" wedding gifts. Good knives are
gold in the kitchen. Look for high-carbon steel and a handle that fits nicely in your
hand. Popular brands include Henckels®, Wusthof® and Chicago Cutlery®. A variety
of knife storage options are available, from in-drawer trays to counter blocks and
magnetic wall-holders.

The essential knives:
Paring Knife
Chef's Knife
Carving Knife
Serrated Bread Knife
Serrated Tomato Knife [I can't live without mine in August]
Sharpening Steel [from manufacturer of your brand, used EVERY time you use the
Boning Knife
Kitchen Shears [great for trimming fat from meat, and cutting the backbone out of a

Some toys and tools require a plug, so make room by the receptacles for these

Heavy-Duty Blender
Toaster /ToasterOven
Kitchen Scale
Hand Mixer
Coffee Maker
Coffee Grinder

A few electric splurges:
Food Processor
Standing Mixer
Electric Juicer
Ice Cream Maker
Waffle Iron
Chafing Dish
Pasta Maker
Bread Machine

Baking Equipment
You probably have the brownie pan ready to go. To be prepared for every birthday
and holiday, make sure you have the following essentials on hand:

Round Cake Pans [at least two, 8 or 9 inch are best]
Springform Pan [9 inch]
Rectangular Baking Pan [13 x 9 inch]
Square Baking Pan [9 x 9 inch]
Loaf Pans [at least two]
Flat Baking Sheet
Baking Sheet with Rim, also called a Half-Sheet Pan
Glass Pie Plate
Muffin Tins [at least two]
Flour Sifter
Rolling Pin
Cooling Racks
Pastry Brush
Pastry Bag with Decorating Tips

Other non-essential items I cannot live without

Tart Pans
Angel Food Cake Pan
Bundt Pan, great for cakes but also making ice rings for your punch bowl
Palette Knife for Cake Decorating
Pastry blender
Pie weights