Buying everything for the kitchen at one time can seem daunting, but waiting is even worse. While it can be irritating to go out and buy all you need to stock a kitchen, it’s more irritating to be in the middle of baking a nice chicken and realizing you’re missing seasoning or butter. Or, you have a friend or date drop by and all you have to offer them is a glass of water. Now is the time to be a grown-up and purchase the things you didn’t want to in college. Whether living and cooking solo for the first time or in need of a kitchen overhaul, here are the best (and most necessary) tools to wine, dine, and entertain like a pro.
One of the most versatile knives available, a chef’s knife allows you to chop, slice, mince, and more without switching tools. Look for a stainless steel variety to keep away rust.
The workhorse of every kitchen, there are few dinners where cutting and chopping isn’t involved; making the cutting board your new best friend. While plastic ones are inexpensive and easy to come by, wooden versions tend to be more sanitary since they lack grooves for germs to hang out in. They also help keep your knives in tip-top shape.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
Having measuring tools on hand is essential for following almost any recipe; or even just portioning out serving sizes. You’d be surprised at how small serving sizes can sometimes be until you put them in a measuring cup.
This underrated tool will quickly become a favorite. Used for everything from chopping herbs and vegetables to slicing dried fruit and even meat, they make every kitchen task that much easier.
Though it’s possible to drain pasta using a pot lid, the result isn’t always pretty: think pasta escaping and lids slipping. Instead, use a colander, which drains water like a pro. Also, colanders make it super simple to wash fruits and veggies.
There are few things worse than reaching for a can and realizing there’s no way to open it. (Or soup, coconut milk, beans, or anything else). Though many goods have pop-tops these days, it’s always better to prepared.
Use them to marinate meat, dress veggies with sauce or seasoning, and make salad dressings and dips (give one of these a whirl!). Skip glass bowls that chip easily and opt for lightweight stainless steel versions.
The most common use of graters is shredding cheese. But they’re also wonderful for zesting citrus fruit and shredding chocolate and vegetables like potatoes and zucchini. How else did you think hash browns came to be?
This funny-looking tool has many more uses than beating eggs and making whipped cream. It’s also great for mixing vinaigrettes, and combining dry ingredients for baking.
Spare your fingers and stick to this tool, which serves as a master potato peeler and a fancy veggie ribbons creator. Peelers also great for shaving off pieces of hard cheeses like Parmesan.
Use them to flip meat, serve salads, toss stir-fry ingredients, or squeeze juice out of a lemon like a champ.
If you love making dough, a rolling pin will help create perfectly even crust for pies and pizzas. It’ll also come in handy for making holiday cookies. Stick to pins that are longer than the area of the rolled-out dough to ensure it’s even.