First Kitchen Essentials

Tips on how to stock your first kitchen

There are a lot of kitchen tools out there that might seem pretty pointless: margarita makers, hot dog bun toasters, peanut dispensers, to name just a few. While fun and great for in-flight magazines, they shouldn't be the first items you furnish your kitchen with. So in light of the abundance of smoothie makers and popcorn poppers on the market, we have narrowed it down to a short list of must-have kitchen appliances for all you first-time kitchen owners.  Whether you’re in a closet-sized apartment in New York City, or fighting off rattlesnakes in a desert den, these kitchen essentials will allow you to reach your full culinary potential without cluttering your space.   


Cutting Board

A cutting board should be one of the first items you get for your appliance arsenal. Chopping vegetables, slicing bread, and cutting cheese require a proper board in order to avoid slicing away your kitchen counter (and damaging your knife). Heavy-duty wood blocks are ideal because they are extremely durable and easy to clean. (Photo courtesy of


Cast Iron Skillet

Nothing tastes better than when it is cooked in a cast iron skillet. Cast iron skillets should never be cleaned with soap, so a simple wipe with a paper towel will suffice. This cleaning technique creates a buildup of flavor on the pan so everything you cook in it will have layers of flavor. Whether you’re cooking eggs or cornbread this versatile pan is the perfect kitchen staple. (Photo courtesy of



Food Processor

The food processor has endless uses. While they come in various sizes from 4-cups to 20-cups, the 14-cup processor is ideal for the home cook. Whether slicing potatoes, pureeing a tomato sauce, or making pesto, the food processor can take care of almost any kitchen task. (Photo courtesy of




A toaster is an excellent tool to have in your kitchen. To quickly make breadcrumbs or croutons without diving into your oven, a toaster can tackle those smaller jobs without fail. With a timer and precise temperatures, toasters require minimal supervision so you can keep cooking without distraction (plus it's great for a quick toast breakfast). (Photo courtesy of


Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls can be used for just about anything. Tossing salads or whipping up a frosting requires a proper vessel so as to keep your kitchen clean. (Photo courtesy of



Chef's Knife 

A proper chef’s knife should absolutely be one of the first items you purchase. Almost every recipe requires some sort of chopping or slicing and the versatile chef's knife can do it all. Don't spend too much money on a full knife set, just opt for ones of these and the paring knife below. (Photo courtesy of



Paring Knife

Perfect for all the small and precise knife work a home cook might encounter, like peeling vegetables or slicing bananas. (Photo courtesy of




Baking Sheets

There’s no point having an oven unless you have baking sheets to go inside. These versatile platters can be used for your chocolate chip cookies or homemade pizza. Non-stick sheets are great, but if you don’t have one, just throw some parchment paper or aluminum foil on top before cooking. (Photo courtesy of


Oven Mitts

Safety first. Avoid burns and easily transport your hot pans or dishes with this kitchen staple...while staying stylish of course. (Photo courtesy of





More and more households are skipping the old box grater and opting for the small and useful microplane. Best for grating cheese or zesting lemons and limes, microplanes will come in handy for almost any home-made meal. (Photo courtesy of