A kitchen is the heart of any home and it is often more rewarding to stay in and cook rather than to go out for a take-away meal. However, you do need some basic kitchen essentials and standard kitchen equipment to ensure that your home cooking process is success.
If you are looking for kitchen essentials for your new home or thinking about which kitchen equipment you need to set up your kitchen properly, you’ve come to the right place. It is easy to get overwhelmed with the range of kitchen products available, You might get easily convinced that you need expensive, specialized equipment, but that is not really necessary all the times. Even the smallest and most inexpensively furnished kitchen can turn you into a great cook if it is properly equipped.
Once you go through this list of Kitchen essentials, you will be surprised to know some of the most affordable basic kitchen essentials you need to have to give a wonderful start to your cooking.
1. Chopping Board
The very first item on your kitchen essentials list is a chopping board as you need it for chopping your vegetables. It is also recommended to get at least two, one for chicken or meat and the other for vegetables, fruits, and others.
Chopping boards are usually made up of wooden or plastic, and some with stone or marble. Wooden ones can be beautiful and can also serve as a focal point in the kitchen and you can buy it for vegetables, other fresh produce.
But wooden ones are not usually recommended for cutting meat due to their porous nature. It is a good idea to use a plastic or marble one for chicken/meat as that can be replaced when needed.
Although there are different types of knives available, every kitchen needs at least one paring knife and one Chef’s knife if necessary.
A paring knife is used for cutting, peeling, and dicing the vegetables, fruits etc. whereas a Chef’s knife or cleaver is used to cut chicken or meat.
As you progress in your cooking, you will realize that you can get very far with just these two options. If you regularly entertain guests or cook very often, you might want to invest in a set of basic knives that include paring knives, a cleaver, a bread knife, and other knives as well.
You will use a variety of bowls while cooking. To equip even the most basic kitchen, you will need at least two mixing bowls for making batter or sauces or mixing ingredients ahead of cooking.
It is helpful to note that stainless steel bowls work very well and also lost longer. On the other hand, stoneware or ceramic bowls also work well for preparing batters and mixtures, While Pyrex or glass bowls are most suited for making doughs or mixing chocolate powder.
Last but not least Plastic bowls are one of the most affordable options if you are budget-conscious.
4. Storage Containers
Finding ingredients in an overcrowded cupboard can be difficult if you don’t organize them properly. Here comes the storage container into action. Once you open a grocery box or packet, it is recommended to store the unused contents into a container and keep it in a dry cupboard.
It is always a better option to keep some extra storage containers ready such that you will not find difficulty in searching for empty storage containers when needed.
For storing spices, glass containers with an airtight lid are the best option. This type of containers also has extra benefit that helps you to see the product inside without opening it. While containers made up of metal such as steel, tin are the most popular option to store pulses, flour etc.,.
5. Stainless Steel Vessels with Lids
Cooking on the stove, whether gas or electric, is guaranteed to be successful if you have the correct kitchen equipment. A set of different-sized stainless-steel vessels with well-fitting lids is an absolute must-have.
They are easy to clean, and by nature less sticky, so you can use the pans for frying and can also be utilized for cooking a variety of dishes, including curries, rice, stews, and soups. Make sure you get these with heat-resistant handles.
6. Ladle Set
Ladles are an incredibly important kitchen essential used for stirring and spooning stews, soups, curries, and other dishes. It is recommended to get stainless steel with long handles to prevent burning yourself with steam coming from the pots when using them on the stove.
These ladles are used for serving your prepared meals. Your ladles should have a deep enough belly to make transferring the food from pot to plate an easy task. Serving ladles can be made out of either food-safe silicone, plastic or steel and often come in a variety of colors to match your crockery.
Frying pans are large pans that are used for frying everything from vegetables to eggs and are an extremely versatile tool. You need at least one good non-stick frying pan with a thick bottom to withstand and disperse heat evenly.
This is a deeper round pan used for cooking food in a little oil. A good saute pan made up of stainless steel or cast iron is also essential in every kitchen.
This is a round pan with high sloping sides, two handles and a lid. It is a necessity for the Indian home cooking to make authentic curries. Choose a curry pan with large, heat-resistant handles to prevent burns when handling it.
It is s flat round pan used to make dosa’s or chapatis. Your best tawa’s should have a low-rising edge to avoid spills on the stovetop, as well as a good handle.
It is one of the most basic kitchen essentials that you need. Get yourself a set of matching plates that consist of both dinner plates and side plates for the best eating experience. Buy some extra plates in case if you break any accidentally or for the visitors.
Instead of thinking about the plate designs and models, you can simply buy a perfect dinnerware set that suits your needs. Most dinner sets come as a combo of main plates, side plates, spoons and so on.
In equipping a kitchen, you’ll need glasses for sure. Choose a variety of glasses for easy entertaining.
Get a set including water glasses made up of stainless steel and another set made up of glass for cooldrinks or juices. It is always a good idea to buy extra glasses when selecting a set, because glasses break easily and you don’t want to have to replenish your set with non-matching new ones.
No kitchen would be complete without a set of cups for your morning coffee or tea. Pick a set that matches your dinner plates for an eye-catching kitchen, and it is recommended to get at least two sets to ensure there is enough even if guests come in.
Out of hundreds of kitchen equipment available in the market, A pressure cooker is the most essential one for every Indian kitchen.
Pressure cookers are used for shortening the cooking time of several items like rice, biryanis and other dishes. They will not only save time but also ensure the food is delicious.
The most popularly used Pressure cookers in India are the stovetop ones that make a loud whistle.
There is also an alternative option, electric pressure cookers. These models come with several features where you can cook a variety of dishes in one go. Some of them also come with timing buttons. So if you are new to home cooking, why not give a try to this model.
If you are interested in preparing the authentic south Indian breakfast idly, sure you need an idli cooker.
These are relatively economical and costs you around 800-1000 INR, Choose the one that is made out of high quality stainless steel or Aluminium. Also, don’t forget that some models are even compatible with induction too, if you wish to have one.
10. Mortar and Pestle
This handy little kitchen gadget is perfect for mixing spices, crushing fresh herbs and spices to make masalas you require.
It consists of mortar and a pestle, which you use to grind your ingredients. A good mortar and pestle set can be made from a variety of materials, but a stoneware or marble set is the best choice as they are hardy and durable and non-porous.
11. Masala Box
A masala or spice box is another kitchen essential that is essential in every kitchen to manage the daily used condiments. It is a round or square container made out of either wood or steel, with various individual compartments for storing your spices.
Get yourself one masala box that has at least six or more compartments and seals properly. If spices are not stored in an airtight container, they will lose their flavor and intensity.
No kitchen would be complete without cutlery. Pick a plain stainless-steel set that will match any dinnerware, or get creative and choose a set with attractive handles that compliment your existing interior decoration.
A good starter cutlery set usually has 16 pieces consisting of four knives, four forks, four dessert spoons, and four teaspoons.
13. Rolling Pin and Board
This kitchen essential set is often used to make chapati’s, flatbreads, roti’s, biscuits or pie crusts. A good rolling pin and board made of wood or marble is the best one to buy. Ensure that the rolling pin and board you buy is free of cracks.
14. Biryani Pot
A biryani pot is a necessary one for getting biryani ready in your home and no modern Indian kitchen should be without one.
If you really would like an authentic experience of biryani in your home this vessel is essential. Not only for biryani, it can also be used for cooking several other dishes in larger quantities in case of any family gatherings. Also, select the one with the right size for your needs.
Another Kitchen essential that you must include in your equipment list is a strainer. While we may not use it very often it can really be a time saver especially when cleaning vegetables like palak, tomato, and cabbage etc. and also to drain out hot stews
Most of the strainers are made of stainless steel and have a mesh belly and a long handle to strain water or oil from your food. It is recommended to get at least two, a small one about the size of your fist and a larger one that can rest on most of your pans.
16. Vegetable Peeler
A kitchen essential that is often overlooked is the humble vegetable peeler, used for preparing vegetables and others ready for chopping and cooking.
Although it might seem like a simple one, a vegetable peeler often has a sharp edge to make peeling easier. Choose one with a protective handle that you can easily hold without getting your fingers in the way of the blade.
Be careful when handling a vegetable peeler, always peel away from your body and be aware of the hand holding the vegetable to avoid unnecessary cuts.
A kitchen grater is an item used to grate mainly cheese and various vegetables like cabbage and carrots. Good graters are large and made of stainless steel with a comfortable handle so that you can press down on the grater without hurting your hand.
Choose one with a rounded handle and at least two or three different grating blade patterns so that you can bring a little versatility to your cooking.
A vegetable chopper is another gadget that helps you quickly chop vegetables, herbs and nuts or rapidly mix ingredients. These handy tools can be either manual or electric. The manual ones have a crank that you can turn to activate the chopping mechanism and work just as well as the electric ones – it is up to you to decide which you prefer.
Whisk may not seem to be the most essential one for your kitchen. But, it will make your cooking process easy, especially to scramble eggs or cream. On other side, it will make a perfect blend of buttermilk or lassi, which you may not get when done with a spoon.
Another added benefit of a whisk is that it fortifies your mixture with air bubbles that can make it light and fluffy. It can also be very effectively used on the stove when making a sauce to avoid lumps. It is recommended to use a stainless-steel whisk to last longer.
Another baking essential is a sieve, which serves the purpose of sifting flour into a finer state, which reduces lumps in batters and mixtures. A good sieve will have a fine mesh belly and sometimes a handle all made of stainless-steel.
Get yourself a sieve that fits on top of your favorite mixing bowl to make things easier and also ensure that it has a fine mesh to make your flour completely lump-free.
21. Lemon Squeezer
It is time-intensive to squeeze lemons and other citrus fruits by hand without the correct tools to aid the process. A lemon squeezer helps you extract all the juice from the fruit without effort.
There are a variety of lemon squeezers on the market, both manual and electric. Inexpensive manual ones work just fine, but if you can invest in an electric one, you will save yourself a lot of time and work. A lemon squeezer can also be used for any citrus fruit that needs juicing, so pick a good-sized one that can fit lemons, oranges, grapefruits and limes.
22. Dust Bin
As you cook you will realize that a fair amount of waste comes in the process. To keep your kitchen hygienic, clean and clear, always get a dust bin.
It is always recommended to get two dust bins. One for dry waste and one for wet waste such that you can deposit food waste in the wet bins. While, throwing covers or plastic waste in dry bins. This will not only help in avoiding mixing recyclable and nonrecyclable waste but also improve the hygienic way of optimizing your waste.