Essential Items For Your First Kitchen

ZagLeft’s Guide to Essential Items For Your First Kitchen…

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I get asked this question a lot:  what are some basic kitchen essentials I should have for my kitchen?

It’s a big question and if you’re just starting out and learning the ropes of the kitchen, the question can be overwhelming.  Moving into an apartment for the first time can be both exciting and scary.  It’s a wonderful feeling to be moving into a place that’s yours, but the thought of living on your own and buying all the essentials to make it feel like home can be a little daunting.  Not to worry.  I’ve always felt that if the kitchen is together, the rest will fall into place.

Stocking your first kitchen can be fun too.  But don’t think you need to purchase everything all at once.  With a few key pieces purchased up front you can easily navigate your way through the kitchen and as you cook more, you’ll get a better feel for what you really need and purchase those items along the way.Essential items for your first kitchen from zagleft

This Fall, my husband and I will be sending off our fourth child to school.  Over the years, we’ve seen what items our other three kids have needed and used in their own apartments.  This post first appeared over a year and a half ago and I’ve recently updated it to include additional items and more information.  Here is our list of essential  items for your first kitchen.

*  10-inch Skillet – I actually have this particular skillet in this size as well as in other sizes and love it.  There are many brands and types of skillets to choose from such as non-stick or cast iron.  Choose what you like best. Essential Items for your first kitchen | ZagLeft

*  1 1/2 quart saucepan with lid

*  Large pot

*  4.8 quart oblong Baking Dish – I love my Pyrex Baking Dish, I have them in different sizes and they’ve lasted for years. Essential items for your first kitchen - ZagLeft

*  8-inch square Baking Dish (great for roasting chicken or vegetables) Essential Items for your First Kitchen - ZagLeft

* 5 piece Knife Set  (at least have a paring knife and a serrated knife) Essential Items for your first kitchen \ ZagLeft

*  Toaster

*  Toaster Oven – I have this Hamilton Beach Toaster Oven in my kitchen and use it all the time.  I love it !  It bakes, broils and toasts.  It’s the perfect size for making Toaster Oven Scones. Essential Items for your First Kitchen | ZagLeft

*  Blender or a Personal Blender with a lid so you can make a smoothie and take it with you in the jar you blended it in. Essential items for your first kitchen | ZagLeft

*  Coffee Pot – preferably one with an automatic shut-off.

A couple of other non-essential but useful products:

I love an Electric Kettle.  It quickly heats water for tea or coffee, instant soup, mac and cheese and ramen. Electric Kettle - Essential Items for your first kitchen | ZagLeft

Crockpot is perfect for cooking enough for one or more meals and would be a great gift for any college student, especially when a Crockpot Cookbook is included.

A  3-4 cup Food Processor is great for chopping onions, mincing garlic and making hummus.

*  Vegetable Peeler

*  Spatulas

*  Large Slotted Spoon

*  Locking Tongs – I love these!  Use them for tossing salads, flipping meats in a pan and so much more.

*  Colander

essential items for your first kitchen - zagleft

*  Cutting Boards

*  Mixing Bowls

*  Measuring spoons Essential items for your first kitchen - ZagLeft

*  Liquid Measuring Cup

*  Dry Ingredient Measuring Cups

*  Silpat or Parchment Paper – Parchment paper creates a non-stick surface which is great for baking cookies or roasting vegetables and is disposable. Silpat is a non-disposable option that is heat-resistant up to 480 degrees F.  They make any baking sheet non-stick and can be cleaned with soap and water.

*  Instant Read Thermometer

*  Can Opener

Miscellaneous Items

*  Aluminum foil is something you’ll use often.  It can be used to line a roasting pan and you can even cook in it.

*  Dish Towels

*  Pot Holders

*  Paper Towels

*  Dish Soap

*  Sponges

Keep in mind that building up your kitchen equipment sometimes takes time.  Start off with a few items and slowly build on that.

Essential items for your first kitchen from zagleft b

Let’s keep the conversation going, tell me what items I’ve left off this list.  Please leave your suggestion in the comment section below.

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Disclosure – this posts contains Amazon affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links and purchase the item, ZagLeft will receive a few cents which helps in the running of this website.  As always, all opinions and product recommendations are my own.  Thank you for supporting ZagLeft.

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6 thoughts on “Essential Items For Your First Kitchen”

  1. Electric mixer. I use mine all the time with the normal attachments and the whisk attachment…. Makes any mixing job so much easier!!! Oh yeah, I used mine in my college apartment all the time 🙂

  2. The cost of kitchen gadgets can really add up, even by going to Walmart (which I have boycotted) or Target (which I also try to avoid going to.) Thrift shops, yard sales, hand-me-downs, and smart scavaging is the way to go, and is more “eco-friendly.” Some things you may have to buy brand new, but with a little patience and innovation, you really don’t have to spend a bundle to get what you need.

    Especially if you live in an apartment complex, people will frequently leave perfectly useful (and sometimes surprisingly clean) gadgets and furniture by the dumpster. I furnished almost my entire apartment by doing this. I might had had good luck with this (as neither the leather loveseat or the pleather reading chair that I found had any bugs and weren’t torn up, and the veneer record shelf just needed a little repair.) Just be careful and throughly check anything that you have reclaimed for bugs, mold, etc. Always clean thoroughly before using.

    1. What great suggestions, Ash. You’re right, the cost can add up quickly. I love hand-me-downs too. Our fourth child’s dorm refrigerator came from his oldest brother who passed it on two additional times before we picked it up. Thanks for your suggestions!

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