Stock Your Kitchen

Chopping vegetables with knife
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Stocking a kitchen with great gadgets and utensils can be really fun, although daunting. There are a few ways to begin collecting the equipment, utensils and appliances you need. One is to look through a list like this one, check off what you need, then go on a shopping spree. Another is a trial and error method. As you begin cooking, you'll quickly realize what utensils your kitchen is missing.

Believe me, the first way is better!

When you want to make a pie crust and realize you have no rolling pin, it can put you off pie crusts forever. If you really want to save money, take some time to cruise garage and tag sales and make sure to browse eBay. You can find excellent cooking equipment, utensils, and even appliances for pennies if you are a savvy shopper.

This is the basic list of equipment and utensils for cooking beginners. There may be other items you want to add. That's just fine! As long as a kitchen utensil or gadget works for you, and you use it, it's a good buy. Shop for quality over quantity, especially at first. I have several knives I bought 20 years ago that are still going strong. You can do the same. 


Measuring Cups and Spoons

  • Various sizes, in metal and plastic
  • Get at least two sets of each, so you're not continually washing them as you cook
  • glass measuring cups with spout, for liquids


  • slotted spoon
  • wooden spoons
  • sturdy metal spoons
  • Soup ladle

Mixing Utensils

  • hand held electric mixer
  • Wire whisks in different sizes
  • eggbeater


  • straight spatulas
  • angled handle spatulas
  • rubber scraper spatulas

Sieves and Colanders

  • nested varying size sieves, in stainless steel (work as flour sifters too)
  • steel or plastic colander

Pots and Pans

  • 1, 2, 4, and 8-quart saucepans with covers
  • 12" skillet with covers
  • 6 or 8" nonstick skillet
  • roasting pan
  • two 9" round cake pans
  • 9" square cake pan
  • 9"x13" baking pan
  • 9"x5" loaf pan
  • 9" pie pan
  • 12 cup muffin tin
  • cooling racks
  • two cookie sheets


  • swivel-bladed vegetable peeler
  • grater with various sized holes
  • rolling pin
  • can opener
  • kitchen timer
  • kitchen shears
  • corkscrew

That will get you started. To see my favorite types of utensils and equipment, take a look at Top Ten Small Appliances and Top Ten Kitchen Tools and Gadgets.