How much stuff do you need to outfit your kitchen?
I was put to the test last summer when I helped my kid set up an apartment. We made the assumption that both cooking and baking would take place (!) Besides dishes, cutlery and storage containers, our checklist included:
- Frying pan with lid
- 2 saucepans
- Steamer insert
- Cookie sheet
- Baking pans: 9 x 13” & muffin
- Baking pans: 8 x 8” & loaf (wait-listed)
- Chef knife
- Serrated knife
- Slotted and plain spoons
- Wooden spoon
- Can opener
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
Link asked for a microwave oven, rice cooker and mixer, but not a toaster or electric kettle! From the list, about 1/3 were scrounged from home. 1/3 were bought used, and 1/3 were bought new (at discount stores).
Now I cannot imagine making do with so little myself. Our house has a big eat-in kitchen with lots of storage. And as a “Real Food” household, we make almost everything from scratch. This week I went through all my kitchen gadgets and, while not throwing anything out yet, I came up with a priority list. I didn’t include dishes, cutlery, storage containers or cleaning supplies.
Use daily: coffee maker (or coffee press), toaster, electric kettle, food scale (battery-op)
Use often: espresso maker, coffee grinder, rice cooker, yogurt maker, mixer, toaster oven
Use occasionally: grill (George Foreman type), crock pot, electric fry pan, meat thermometer
Own but never use: blender, mini-blender, popcorn maker, bread maker
Use daily: Saucepans, frying pan, steamer, chef’s knife, serrated knife, lifter, plain and slotted spoons, wooden spoons, spatulas, measuring cups and spoons, kitchen scissors, cutting board
Use several times a week: garlic press, cheese grater, can opener, colander, mixing bowls, ice cream scoop
Use several times a month: cookie sheets, loaf pans, muffin pans, 9 x 13 pan or casserole dish for meals, cooling racks, pizza stone, pizza cutter, Dutch oven (enamelled cast iron), rolling pin, whisk
Use annually/rarely: cake pans, cake decorating (icing) tips, cake platter, cookie cutters, trifle dish, gravy boat, potato masher, roasting pan, broiling pan, lasagne pan, cheese knives, cheese board, nut cracker (all of these are used for holidays or special occasions only), corn-on-the-cob holders, apple corer, pastry/basting brush, pie plates, salad servers, tongs, stock pot
Own but never use: Egg beater, melon baller, candy thermometer, funnel, fruit/veg/dip tray
Despite this huge list, there are a few things I don’t have and don’t want: a stand mixer, a food processor, a hand/immersion blender, and a pod/disc-type coffee maker. But there are a few things on my wish list: a flan or quiche pan, an omelet or crepe pan, a mandoline, and a high-quality pepper grinder! And even a few items on my “fantasy” wish list (which I have no intention of buying): a waffle maker, a panini press, and a tagine!
I know I could make do with far less stuff than I have, but I really don’t want to. I am enjoying it for now!