We know it can be slightly overwhelming to know where to start when it comes to completely furnishing your kitchen, especially if you're doing a newlywed overhaul and beginning at square one. If we were to get rid of all of our kitchen gear and start all over again, would we even know where to begin? Flatware and plates aside (let's assume those as more tabletop rather than kitchen gear), we think there a solid 16 essential pieces a cook needs around the kitchen for most baseline recipes and cooking methods. We're not talking those who what to sous vide and flambé; rather, we're talking to those who just want to chop and sauté and roast, no extra-special tools or techniques needed.
Even if you aren't starting from scratch, ask yourself: "Is it time to give some of my basic kitchen tools an upgrade?"
Then ask: Are the marks on your measuring cups worn down to the point where you can't tell how much you're measuring? Is your once-favorite knife so dull that you basically have to saw through even the rarest steak? Are your plastic mixing bowls so warped from the dishwasher that they've morphed into ovals? Is your can opener so rusted that opening a can takes about five times as long as it should? If the answer to a single one of these questions is yes, it's time you throw in the (kitchen) towel and restock your shelves, stat.
Here are those 16 basic kitchen essentials you need to get your kitchen into tip-top shape! Adds all to cart.
Pyrex 2-Cup Measuring Cup
No need for 3 sets of measuring cups floating around in your kitchen drawers, get a couple of these classics and your measuring needs are met.
SHOP NOW: Bed Bath and Beyond, $5.69
Silicone Essential Kitchen Tools (Set of 5)
These pretty tools are heat resistant, sleek, and put your old mismatched tools to shame.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $68
Zwilling Gourmet Chef’s Knife, 8"
Everyone needs a good chef's knife at the ready, even the most basic of cooks!
SHOP NOW: Sur La Table, $49.99
W&P Cheese Grater
We LOVE this cheese grater. Possibly because it's one of the most Insta-worthy we've seen. Not a space saver, but hey, it's so cute you'll want to display it on your counter anyway.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $25
Not just for cookies, folks. You're gonna need more than one when you need to roast a whole bunch of veggies.
SHOP NOW: Bed Bath + Beyond, $9.99
These are perfect not only for mixing and other prep, but are so pretty they can easily be brought to the table, no transition to another serving bowl needed.
SHOP NOW: Shop Horne, starting at $25
5-Piece Cutting Board Set
You can never have too many cutting boards, and we love how this set has their own little home!
SHOP NOW: World Market, $59.99
Margrethe Nested Colander Set
Get yourself a colander that you won't mind staring at as you drain pasta, rather than that dingy one you currently own (and have had since college).
SHOP NOW: Food52, $54
OXO makes some of the most useful and efficient kitchen tools out there--and this peeler is no exception!
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $8.99
If you have to have a can opener anyway, may as well get one that's pretty!
SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $22
ZWILLING Aurora 5-Ply Stainless Steel Saucepan with Lid
You'll need a saucepan, of course! For more than just making sauces.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $99-$119
5 Quart Oval Dutch Oven
Although Dutch ovens can seem intimidating, they're actually quite easy to use (we like making a roast chicken on a Sunday night in one!).
SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, was $416, now $332.80
Zwilling 2 Piece Frying Pan Set
Non-stick frying pans in a couple of different sizes: another no-nonsense essential.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $99.95
Pyrex Rectangular 15x10 Bakeware
Throw together a last-minute casserole or your mom's famous chicken recipe--this inexpensive kitchen essential does it all!
SHOP NOW: Target, $13.69
Copper and Enamel Measuring Spoons
Once again—if you're going to be using them all the time, might as well make 'em pretty!
SHOP NOW: West Elm, $24
Cuisinart 6-Qt. 3-pc Pasta Pot with Strainer
For boiling water for: corn, pasta, steamed veggies—this pot is a must-have!
SHOP NOW: Bed Bath & Beyond, $99.99