Kitchen Must Haves

Refurbishing your kitchen is an exciting opportunity to start fresh and equip your space with the best tools and gadgets for cooking, eating, and living well. When setting up your kitchen from scratch, it’s crucial to focus on simplicity, efficiency, and health. Here are essential kitchen must haves that tick all these boxes, along with tips on materials to avoid for a healthier kitchen environment. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.  Some of the links on this post are affiliate links.  This means that if you click on the link and make a purchase we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more here. Cookware 1. High-Quality Chef’s Knife A sharp, high-quality chef’s knife is the cornerstone of any kitchen. Look for a knife made of high-carbon stainless steel, which combines durability with ease of maintenance. Brands like Wüsthof  or Global  offer excellent options that stay sharp longer and provide better control. Avoid knives with non-stainless steel blades, as they can rust and harbour bacteria, posing a health risk. 2. Cutting Boards Invest in two types of cutting boards: one made of bamboo  and one made of polypropylene. Bamboo is naturally antimicrobial and eco-friendly, perfect for cutting fruits and vegetables. Polypropylene boards are dishwasher safe and ideal for handling raw meats. Steer clear of glass cutting boards as they dull knives quickly and can shatter, posing safety risks. Wooden boards, while aesthetically pleasing, can be difficult to sanitise thoroughly. 3. Stainless Steel Cookware A good set of stainless steel pots and pans  is essential. Stainless steel is non-reactive, ensuring that it won’t leach harmful chemicals into your food. It’s also durable and easy to clean. Avoid non-stick cookware coated with Teflon or similar materials, as these can release toxic fumes when overheated. Aluminium cookware should also be avoided unless it’s anodized, as plain aluminium can react with acidic foods. 4.  Cast Iron Skillet A seasoned cast iron skillet   is a versatile tool that can last a lifetime. It provides excellent heat retention and can be used on the stove, in the oven, or over a campfire. Properly seasoned, it also offers a naturally non-stick surface without harmful chemicals. Crockery and Cutlery 1. Dinnerware Set For an average household, a dinnerware set with a service for 4-6 is usually sufficient. Opt for porcelain for everyday use and elegance, or Corelle for durability and practicality.  Personally, based on past experience, I avoid stoneware as I find it chips easily. If you often entertain or have a larger family, consider a set for 8-12 to ensure you have enough matching pieces. 2. Cutlery Set A basic set should include dinner forks, salad/dessert forks, dinner knives, soup spoons, and teaspoons. Additional pieces like steak knives, serving utensils, and specialty cutlery can be added based on specific needs and dining habits. Go for stainless steel which is durable, rust-resistant, and easy to maintain.  A service for 8-12 is ideal, ensuring durability and sufficient pieces for everyday use and entertaining. 3. Glassware For most homes, a basic set of glassware for 4-6 people including water glasses, red and white wine glasses, and perhaps a few highball and old fashioned glasses will suffice. For larger households or those who entertain often, an expanded set for 8-12 people that includes champagne flutes, beer glasses, cocktail glasses, and juice glasses will cover all needs. Tempered glass provides durability and everyday use, while crystal or lead-free crystal can add elegance for special occasions. 4. Mugs As with the previous recommendations, a basic set of 4-6 ceramic or porcelain mugs will cover most needs whilst 8-12 mugs is ideal for larger families or those who frequently host guests. 5. Serving Bowls Having two to three medium-large serving bowls in porcelain, glass, or stainless steel will cover most serving needs. Consider adding a few smaller bowls for serving condiments, sauces, or individual portions. Wooden bowls are a great addition for rustic or themed presentations.  Be sure that the bowls are suitable for both everyday use and special occasions to maximise their use. 6. Serving Platters One or two medium-large serving platters in porcelain, ceramic, glass, or wood will cover most serving needs.  When choosing the shape and material for your platters, consider the occasion and type of dishes you frequently serve. Additional smaller platters can be useful for presenting desserts, cheeses, or individual appetisers. Bakeware 1. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls Stainless steel mixing bowls are durable, non-reactive, and versatile. They are perfect for everything from mixing ingredients to serving salads. 2.  Silicone Baking Mats Silicone baking mats are perfect for baking without the need for parchment paper or cooking sprays. They are non-stick, reusable, and easy to clean. 3. Baking Sheets When choosing the best baking sheets for your kitchen you should generally avoid non-stick coatings like Teflon.  This is because such coatings can degrade at high temperatures and can release potentially harmful chemicals into the air.  They can also scratch over time and this compromises their non-stick properties. We also would advise you to steer clear of uncoated copper baking sheets as these can react with acidic foods.  Additionally, uncoated copper requires regular polishing to maintain its appearance- and who’s got time for that?!?! Our preferred choice when selecting high-quality baking sheets is to go for ones made of aluminium, stainless steel, or aluminized steel and avoiding materials that can pose health risks or durability issues, you can ensure your baking endeavours are safe, efficient, and enjoyable. We also recommend having at least three baking sheets: Having three allows you to rotate them during cooking and baking sessions, ensuring you always have a clean sheet ready to go. If you bake frequently, you might consider adding an additional half sheet 4. Baking Trays If you are a baking enthusiast like me, then I would recommend the following items as kitchen must haves: 5. Baking Tins If you are a baking enthusiast like me, then I would recommend the following items as

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