Moving into a new apartment? Wondering what kitchen items are absolute must-haves? This guide covers all the essentials you need to turn your new kitchen into a functional and inviting space.
Moving in to an empty kitchen wondering where to start? You're not alone. Setting up a kitchen in a new space can be as daunting as it is exciting! This guide is your roadmap to navigating the maze of kitchen essentials. Whether you're a cooking novice or a seasoned chef, we've got the scoop on what you need to make your kitchen the heart of your new home.
For each category, we'll provide some recommendations for both budget and upgraded options. We'll also include links to Amazon for each item.
Cookware: The Foundation of Any Kitchen
First things first, let's talk pots and pans. You don't need a mountain of cookware to whip up delicious meals. A quality non-stick skillet with a lid, a sturdy saucepan, and a large pot for pasta or soups are your basic must-haves. A glass casserole to use in the microwave and oven is a must for cooking in the microwave. Oh, and let's not forget a trusty baking sheet - perfect for everything from roasted veggies to cookies.
Budget Cookware Options:
- Amazon Basics Non-stick Cookware Set: This set includes the essential pots and pans and is a great option for getting a set of highly-rated matching pans in one package.
- 3-Piece Baking Sheets Set: You can't beat the price for one let alone 3 baking sheets.
- Glass covered dish: You'll want at least one covered microwave dish that's not plastic.
Upgraded Cookware Options:
- Tramontina 12 inch professional Nonstick: I'm a fan of the Tramontina Professional nonstick pans - They're well made and a great value.
- Tramontina All-In-One 5 Quart Ceramic Nonstick: This ceramic nonstick pan is extra deep and has a durable ceramic nonstick finish. It's the perfect choice for many cooking tasks.
- Rorence 3.7 qt Saucepan with Glass Strainer Lid : I like stainless for saucepans - it can be used with acidic tomato sauces and isn't damaged by metal utensils like non-stick pans are.
- 3-Piece Nordic-Ware Baking Sheets Set: The textured surface adds a some rigidity strength.
- Corning Ware French White Round Dish: A timeless classic.
Utensils & Gadgets: The Little Things That Matter
Now, onto the tools of the trade. A set of sharp knives is non-negotiable. Add a cutting board, a few wooden spoons, a spatula, and a ladle, and you're golden. And can we talk about a can opener? It might seem trivial, but you'll thank your lucky stars for it when you're facing a can of beans.
Budget Utensil Options:
- 4-piece Silicone Utensil Set: Metal utensils are pretty, but they will destroy your non-stock cookware in no time.
- Kitchaid Can and Bottle Opener: Opens beans and beer.
- Cuisinart 15-piece Knife Set: Don't go too cheap on knives, and don't fall for those laser-cut serrated knives or ceramic knives. Knives should be made of steel and should be sharp, and should not be stored loose in a drawer.
- Kitchenaid 11x14 plastic cutting board: A cutting board you can put in the dishwasher is something you will appreciate.
- Basik Kitchen Plastic Pizza Cutter: I actually prefer a plastic pizza cutter because you can use it on a baking sheet or on your countertop for dough/pasta.
- Rubber Spatula Set: A must if you're going to be doing any baking.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons Kit: You do measure your ingredients, right?.
- Collapsible Collanders: These fold flat to save space.
- Bowl Set: You always need bowls.
Upgraded Utensil Options:
- 11-piece Silicone Utensil Set: It's from BECBOLDF, so you know it's good.
- Kitchen Mama Handheld Electric Can Opener: THIS IS AWESOME. I'm not exaggerating - read the reviews.
- Henckels 15-piece Knife Set with Sharpener: By the way, don't put these or really any cooking knives in the dishwasher.
- Epicurean 11.5x14.5 Composite Cutting Board: These are made from natural material AND dishwasher safe. I own 3 of them.
- Basik Kitchen Plastic Pizza Cutter: This is the same one as in the Budget section above, for the reasons mentioned there.
- High Heat Silicone Spatula Set: You can use these high-temp spatulas on the stovetop.
- Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set: I like to melt my popcorn butter on the stove in a measuring cup, so all-metal is helpful.
- Large Stainless Collander: Bowl-size collander for high volume pasta making.
- Stainless Bowl Set with Lids: They look sharp and they have lids!
Appliances: Making Life Easier
When space allows, a few appliances can make a world of difference. A blender for those smoothie mornings, a toaster for the perfect breakfast, and maybe a slow cooker for hassle-free dinners. Remember, it's not about having it all, but choosing what fits your lifestyle. Think twice before buying an appliance that does something your oven or stovetop can already do.
Basic Appliance Options
- AmazonBasics Toaster: It's a toaster for making toast.
- 10-speed Blender: A basic blender with an dishwasher-safe jar.
Next-Level Appliance Options
- 6-quart Crock Pot: Search for slow cooker in the Recipe Search for Crock Pot recipes.
- Cuisinart DLC-10 Food Processor: Worth the space it takes in my opinion.
- Kitchaid Hand Mixer: If you plan to do baking, you'll want a hand mixer.
- Kitchaid Stand Mixer: Add instant culinary cred for the price of a little counter space. A must for frequent bread making.
- Ninja Blender/Smoothie Maker/Food Processor Combo: 2 or 3 appliances in one - Good reviews.
Storage Solutions: Keeping It Tidy
Clutter is the enemy in a small kitchen. Opt for stackable storage containers and space-saving gadgets. Magnetic knife strips, pull-out racks, and hanging pot holders are your best friends here. Keep it organized, keep it neat.
- Expandable Door Organizer: Adjusts from 13 to 18.1" wide
- Food Storage Containers: Dishwasher safe, for leftovers and partially-used ingredients.
- Rubbermaid Brilliance Storage Containers: Super durable and airtight/leakproof.
Quality vs. Budget: Striking the Right Balance
Let's talk money. It's tempting to go for the cheapest options, but investing in a few quality pieces can save you money in the long run. However, this doesn't mean breaking the bank. There are plenty of affordable options that don't compromise on quality. Do your research, read reviews, and shop smart.
Making It Personal: Add a Dash of You
Your kitchen should reflect who you are. Love coffee? Invest in a good coffee maker. Baker at heart? Don't skimp on those baking sheets and measuring cups. This space is yours to create memories in, so make it feel like home.
Conclusion: Ready, Set, Cook!
So, there you have it - your guide to kitchen essentials for your new apartment. Remember, building your perfect kitchen doesn't happen overnight. It's a journey. Start with the basics and add as you go. Most importantly, have fun with it! After all, the kitchen is where the magic happens - where meals and memories are made.
Ready to take on your kitchen setup with gusto? We thought so! Happy cooking, and here's to many delicious adventures in your new culinary space!