Kitchen Essentials can be expensive to buy all at once — especially good pots and pans. The question is, how much do you really need right away? If you are someone who loves to cook, then you already know that there is a kitchen gadget out there for just about everything. That leads to the other consideration of whether all those things are essential and what you can live without. While it may be worth it to invest in expensive knives, is it really worth it to buy a Le Creuset Dutch Oven for close to $500?
We know that Le Creuset keeps the heat balanced and can slow cook chili to perfection and even make your Sunday sauce taste second-day good. But we also know there are other options. To that end, we have put together a list of kitchen essentials to get you up and running for under $600. We aren’t including things such as spatulas or apple corers because, quite frankly, those basics do not require explanation or a noticeable price tag.
Here are some of our favorite kitchen essentials to buy right now.
1. Wüsthof Classic 2-Piece Knife Set
Whether you want to slice your veggies, fruit, or meat, the Wüsthof Classic 2-Piece Knife Set with an 8″ Chef’s Knife and a 4″ Utility Knife has you covered. They are sturdy and well-balanced and are made with high-carbon stainless steel blades that will help them last for years.
2. Goodcook Koffe 8-Cup Stainless Steel Thermal Coffee Press
While a drip coffee maker works well and your Keurig is quick and easy, the Goodcook Koffe Stainless Steel Thermal Coffee Press brews a smooth cup of morning joe to get your day started without little fuss. French press coffee is often said to be some of the best java you can drink, and that’s what you will get from the Goodcook coffee press; but additionally, it is also made with stainless steel, and it is double-walled insulated to keep your coffee or tea warm until you are ready to pour.
3. Joseph Joseph Folio Plastic Cutting Board Set
An easy way to reduce chances of cross-contamination is to use different cutting boards for your fish, poultry, vegetables and meat. And the Joseph Joseph plastic board set makes that simple because each board is color-coded. They can be stored in a slim-tiered portfolio which allows air to circulate. Plus, the plastic surface won’t destroy the blade of your knife. Now if that’s not a kitchen essential, we’re not sure what is.
4. Silpat Nonstick Perforated Aluminum Tray
The Silpat Perforated Aluminum Tray is made to heat evenly so that cookies and pastries are baked with a crisp finish without sticking. Its perforated edges resist warping, extending the life of your tray. Try it the next time you make pizza and you’ll understand why we listed it as a kitchen essential.
5. Anchor Hocking 4 Piece Nested Mixing Bowls Set
The Anchor Hocking mixing bowl set can be used for a plethora of things, from mixing ingredients for baking cakes, pancake batter, beating eggs or serving chopped salads. The set includes glass bowls in four sizes 1-, 1.5-, 2.5-and 3.5-quart. They stack within each other, which saves you space.
6. Baylis & Harding Elements Hand Washes
Washing your hands while in the kitchen can help to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria. An added bonus to the Baylis & Harding Elements Hand Washes is that they are designed in marble, stainless steel and wood effect bottles. Plus, their fragrances can override scents such as garlic and onions.
7. Mumi Design’s Reusable Zip Up Bags
A good alternative to using disposable plastic bags is the Mumi Reusable Zip Up Bags. Use them to organize your kitchen pantry and your spices. They are see-through and feature a double lock closure, so things stay fresher longer. The three-piece set comes in large, medium and small and is available in six colors.
8. The Pioneer Woman Toni Linen Dinnerware Set, 12 piece
While this isn’t a typical kitchen tool, it’s still a kitchen essential because you do need something to serve your food on, and why not have it be something that is pretty? Though the Pioneer Woman Toni Linen Dinnerware Set is pleasantly priced, it features gorgeous scalloped rims and charming details giving it a high-end look. The set includes four Dinner plates, four Salad Plates and four Bowls and is available in three color options including linen, light blue and red.
9. Vitamix Immersion Blender
An immersion blender is quite the multitasker. It can blend baby food, puree soups and sauces, nicely dice the herbs for your homemade salad dressings, help you grind nuts for your homemade nut milk or pesto and it can whip up typical blender style recipes such as juices and smoothies. Plus, as is standard with Vitamix, the brand’s immersion blender is pretty powerful, featuring a 625-watt motor. Truly, this is a kitchen essential for the versatile home chef.
10. Rachael Ray 6.5-Qt. Covered Cast Iron Dutch
Rachael Ray knows how to whip up a good meal, and she often does it in 30 minutes or less. Her creations are not just easy and practical; they are pretty tasty too — her Spaghetti Alla Ceci is simply delicious. She has been making cookware for quite some time as well, and this cast iron dutch pot can go from the stovetop to the oven. Thankfully it doesn’t require pre-seasoning and does a great job of searing things like chicken breast.
11. Brandless 10″ Stainless Steel Fry Pan
An easy-to-use frying pan like a Brandless 10″ stainless frying pan is another one of those good kitchen essentials. Use it to create your favorite omelets, pancakes on a Sunday morning, saute your veggies, toast nuts, or reduce sauces. Its five-ply construction boasts three inner layers of aluminum clad between two layers of stainless steel to help distribute heat evenly.
Cooking on a Budget? Here Are 20 Essential Kitchen Gadgets Under $50