Moving into a house and setting up a kitchen can be an overwhelming experience! After all, there are so many things you are told you need to have in order to cook amazing meals. However, most people are not aware that they can live without so many items in their kitchen. Especially when they are just starting out. Therefore, we wanted to share the bare essentials every cook needs in their kitchen.

Getting Started in the Kitchen – What are the Bare Essentials You Need?


Chef’s Knife

So many people will tell you that you must have ten different knives in your kitchen. But honestly, you only need a chef’s knife to do all the dicing and chopping. You will want a chef’s knife that is sharp. Your knife should also fit well in your hand, so try a few different ones to find the best one for you.

chef's knife

Medium Sized Pot and 10-Inch Pan

While you will eventually need more pots and pans, you can get away with these two when you are first starting out. The pot can be used to heat up soup, make oatmeal, boil eggs, and even make rice or sauce. The pan will help you make eggs, cook chicken, and even fry up bacon on occasion.

Glass Baking Dish

There are going to be times when you are cooking where it will be easier to throw dinner in the oven to bake. This is especially true if you love casseroles. A 9×13 inch baking dish will fit everything you want to cook. The best part is you can use this glass pan to bake cakes and brownies too!

Metal Baking Sheet

Metal baking sheets can be used for one sheet pan dinners and baking cookies. We recommend a baking sheet with sides when you are starting out, because it is more versatile.

metal baking sheet


You could stand over the sink trying to drain liquids out of a pot using the lid. However, that is an easy way to lose food, not get all the liquid out, and burn yourself at the same time. A colander will ensure you can drain what you need safely and get dinner on the table in a timely manner.


Can Opener

Most cans come with little pop-up tops now, but that doesn’t mean you won’t run into a few cans that require you to own a can opener. We recommend choosing a manual can opener, because it is easy to throw in a drawer until you need it.

Spatula and Stirring Spoon

You may think you can use regular eating utensils in your pots and pans, but that is one of the worst things you can do. Regular eating utensils can ruin your pots and pans, making them useless in your kitchen. We prefer to use a spatula and stirring spoon when we are cooking. There are many different types out there you can purchase, so find the ones that you love the most.

Oven Mitts

You are going to be dealing with hot pots, pans, and baking dishes in your kitchen. Therefore, you must own a good pair of oven mitts to prevent getting burned when you are cooking. Again, there are many types of oven mitts available. We recommend purchasing oven mitts that can be cleaned easily.

These are the bare essentials you need when you are starting out in the kitchen. While you can purchase many other items for your kitchen, these are the ones we suggest you start with. Once you have been using these kitchen items for a while, you will have an idea of what other items will be most helpful to you in your kitchen.

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