Kitchen Basics to help you chef it up.

Kitchen Basics to help you chef it up.

The other day I go this text from a friend. So, I went through my kitchen to make a list of the 10 kitchen basics I can’t live without…and will make it easier for you to chef it up in the kitchen. Happy Cooking!

Non-Stick Fry Pans

Non -stick fry pans are the kitchen work horse in my house.   From scrambled eggs and bacon to fish or chicken, non-stick fry pans are easiest to cook with and clean up.  I also appreciate that with non-stick you don’t have to use a lot of oil or butter, if any.  Caphalon is my favorite for this.  You can buy the pans individually, but I know you will use them so much that I would suggest getting a set of 3 sizes. 12”, 8”, 6”.

To care for non-stick pans be sure to only wash and dry by hand, and don’t use a scrub pad when washing because it removes the non-stick coating. Also be sure to use only rubber cooking utensils.

Stock Pots

Whether you are into soup, chili, or pasta a good stock pot that heats evenly is a major kitchen basic.  I have had my stainless-steel ALL CLAD stock pots set since Ron and I got married 15 years ago.  This is one of those things where you get a better deal if you buy a set, because you will want more than one size of stock pot and it is less expensive to buy a set than piece mail. Trust me you will use them all.

Large Sautee’ Pan

I have also had my stainless steel ALL CLAD sautee’ pan for 15 years.  This is your go to pan for all things vegetables, but you can use it for larger dishes as well including meatballs.


A good set of sharp knives is a game changer.  If you want to easily slice, dice and chop without having to sharpen them regularly invest in a few good knives. Start small and arm yourself with these basic knives that will help to make prep work easier. This Global set from Williams Sonoma is good starter.

  1. Bread Knife- Have you ever tried to cut a loaf of bread without one?  Then you will understand why you absolutely need one. Wusthof is a good tried and true.
  2. Japanese Santoku Knife- (2 Sizes).  These will be your go to knives for slicing everything from larger vegetables to mincing garlic.
  3. Paring Knife– for when you need that little knife.

Cast Iron Pan

A good cast iron pan is exactly what you want to make the perfect steak or chop.  This one from Lodge is perfect because it is already “seasoned”. Whether you get this brand or another you do want to make sure the pan is “seasoned” which means it has been treated with a nonstick finish for easy cleanup. To keep your cast iron pan from rusting be sure to only hand wash and dry thoroughly.  Rub it with a bit of oil to keep it moist after every use.

Stone/Enamel Cookware

I have acquired  a bit of a collection of Le Cruset’ over the years but I would say I probably only use 3 of them the most.

  1. Roaster w. lid – Once you have had a chicken roasted in a Le’ Cruset’ dish you will totally understand why people love this brand.  It makes the most incredibly moist chicken ever…in fact any meat that you may be roasting will come out perfect!  

2. Sautee’ Pan

This one from Le Cruset’ is perfect for all kinds of cooking. It’s a bit heavy but cooks to perfection.

3. Stock Pot

Another option for soups, chili or anything that you may want to cook long and slow. Can be used on the stove top or in the oven.

Mixing Bowls

I like to have 2 sets of mixing bowls. One set I can use for marinating meats and the other for baking and such.  My 2 favorites are XOXO Good Grips for plastic mixing bowls that stack and have a pour spout. Pyrex is my go to for a set of glass bowls that are heat and dishwasher safe with lids. 

Measuring Cups

Get a set that is easy to hold if you had flour or something on your hands, and that you could allow to get hot.

Cookie Sheets

Again I go to Caphalon for cookie sheets.  You definitely need 2 of these.  From roasting broccoli to making cookies these will be used all the time. Often times when I am using my cookie sheets, I line them with parchment – paper.  The parchment paper can go into the oven and it makes for easy clean up.


1 large and 1 medium


Ok so now here’s a list of the gadgets that make everything smoother.

Garlic Press

Whisks 1 large and one small

Peeler– easy to hold

Muffin pan– non- stick


Wooden Spoons – 1 slotted

Note: Pics for this post from Williams Sonoma where I get almost all of my kitchen items.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *