Kitchen Essentials

All the Basic Supplies You’ll Need to Cook Our Quick & Easy Recipes

On the Counter

  • Basic Knives—Start with a paring knife for cutting fruits and veggies, a serrated knife for slicing French bread, and a larger chef’s knife for slicing beef, pork, and poultry. Buy a knife block to keep them handy.
  • Stove-top tools—always keep a silicone spatula, turner, slotted spoon, wooden spoon, and soup ladle near the stove top. You can buy a counter-top utensil holder to keep them together and out of your way.
  • Cutting boards—Select two cutting boards: one for fresh produce and bread, and one for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Wood boards are attractive and sturdy, but more difficult to clean, so consider dishwasher-safe plastic or environmentally-friendly bamboo.

In Drawers or Cupboards

  • Can opener—Consider a hand-held opener instead of electric; it's easier to use and keep clean.
  • Measuring tools—Get a set of measuring cups and spoons in sturdy stainless steel or affordable plastic, plus glass measuring cups with a spout for measuring liquids (1-cup and 2-cup will come in the most handy)
  • Top-drawer tools—Favorites include a set of tongs for turning meats, a pasta fork for dishing up noodles, a whisk for stirring sauces, a vegetable peeler, and a pizza cutter for pizza and quesadillas.
  • Pots and pans—If you have a large (10- to 12-inch) skillet, a small (6-inch) sauté pan, a small saucepan (1-1 1/2 quart) and a large pot for soups and pasta (4 quarts or larger), you're ready for just about anything. For ease, use a nonstick skillet, unless you prefer a heavy cast-iron version. And don't forget the potholders!
  • Ovenware—Also valued and versatile: glass baking dishes (8x8 inch and 13x9 inch), a large shallow baking pan and at least one baking sheet.
  • Mixing bowls—Rely on a set of three to four nested bowls with non-slip bottoms for easy mixing.
  • Colander—A must for washing fruits/veggies or draining pasta.
  • Slow cooker—Set it, forget it, and let it do the cooking for you.
  • Instant-read thermometer-Necessary for cooking food to safe internal temperatures.
  • Immersion Blender-This handy tool allows you to blend soups and potatoes while they’re still in the pot (without the hassle of getting the blender out!)