Whether you’re starting out in a brand new home or already have everything including the kitchen sink, there are key items that are always useful – and a few probably need a replacement or an upgrade!
Even if your idea of cooking is pressing “start” on the microwave (hey, some of us have other skills!) a kitchen needs a few essentials for those cosy nights in. Think can openers, bowls for chocolate or biltong, and a tray so someone can bring you breakfast in bed…
What every kitchen needs:
Pots & Pans
If you’re planning on doing a lot of entertaining, you may need a few different sizes or more than one of each, but the basic set will be perfect for soups, veggies, eggs and other very important things like French toast!
Wooden spoons - Have you ever left a metal spoon resting on a hot pot edge? Ouch!
Veggie peeler - These will save you hours and hours. Seriously.
Colander - Because pasta.
A few ramekins or small bowls - These useful little guys are so often forgotten! They’re great for desserts, peanuts, dips, sweets, and so much more.
Chopping boards - More than one, because we always chop onions first and then everything else we chop on the same board tastes like onion!
Knives - Choosing simple or fancy knives is entirely up to you, but you’ll never regret having a good set of quality knives, and they’ll last for years. And if someone else is happy to buy the fancy ones for you….
Tools & Gadgets
Can opener. Because some days, baked beans on toast is just fine.
Grater - There are now a few different kinds with coarse and fine grating, so choose one or a few that you’ll use most.
Tongs - These are a multitasking powerhouse gadget. They can lift, flip, move, shift, shimmy and shake, and retrieve the cardboard pack that you drop into the Sunday stew by mistake. You laugh, but just wait. Stainless steel is the most versatile and durable type of kitchen tongs and they can take the heat.
Getting a bit more technical
This is another of those simple gadgets that makes life a whole lot easier and comes in a few different shapes and sizes. They’re not expensive and it’s easy to include a full set on your registry so you can scrape, scoop, stir and mix to your heart’s content.
What they’re for
Use the narrower one for scraping jars and getting the last bit of that delicious chocolate spread…
The flat, angular variety is great for separating and scraping, and large or spoon-shaped spatulas will stir up a storm.
Silicon and other heat-resistant materials are best as you can use them to sauté and fold in ingredients while the heat is on.
Often in cooking and baking, you need something to slide under food or scrape bits from the side of a pan. A thin, metal spatula is your best friend for these occasions – a really good, thin front edge will get you out of a lot of sticky situations!
This is a lifesaver when you want to dish up things like ravioli, veggies, or eggs that have been prepared in liquid. Make sure the slots aren’t too big so things like peas don’t fall through, but so it still lets liquid drain back into the pot or pan. You’ll look like a pro every time, guaranteed.
Oven mitts – We’ve all tried using a dish cloth and regretted it. Get yourself some good oven mitts, and a spare set for when they’re in the wash.
Apron – Not just a 50s fashion item. It’s amazing how many random splashes can land on a nice clean shirt in less than 5 minutes!
And that's quite enough kitchen talk for now :0)