• English
  • United States(USD $)
/ /

Equipping Your First Apartment Kitchen: The Essential Sets You Need

Feb 29,2024 | Elitequo

Furnishing your first-ever kitchen can be an exciting yet daunting task. With so many products and options, how do you determine what's essential versus merely lovely? The key is starting with high-quality foundation pieces that make cooking meals at home easy without breaking the bank.

In this beginner's guide, we'll walk through the key kitchen essentials sets to get on your wedding or apartment warming registries. Ask for these items as gifts, and you'll be whipping delicious homemade dinners in your new space soon!

Must-Have Knives for Chopping, Slicing and More

A starter block set with 3-5 essential knives will handle about 90% of cutting and slicing tasks in the kitchen. Here are the must-have knives to look for:

  • 8-10 inch chef's knife: This workhorse knife is ideal for chopping vegetables, slicing meat, mincing herbs - almost any essential kitchen task! Go for at least an 8-inch blade.
  • Paring knife: Perfect for peeling, coring, slicing small produce like strawberries, and other detailed work. A 3-4 inch blade offers control.
  • Serrated bread knife: The scalloped blade cuts neatly through crusty bread, tomatoes, and other foods with tough exteriors. Lengths range from 8-10 inches.

High-carbon stainless steel knives hold their sharp edges well, resisting stains and corrosion. Brands like Wüsthof and Victorinox offer excellent quality and reasonably priced performance - much better than a generic knife block set. A sharp knife is safer and makes prepping ingredients easier and more enjoyable.

Cutting Boards: The Prep Essential

At a minimum, you need two good cutting boards - one large and one small. The large board provides ample room for chopping and slicing tasks. The small one is great for cutting garlic, onions, and other small items.

Wood boards are gentle on your excellent knives but require periodic oiling to maintain. Durable plastic boards offer similar performance with lower maintenance. Look for boards with non-slip feet for stability and juice grooves to catch run-off. Round corners are safer and easier to clean.

Having separate boards for produce and meat decreases cross-contamination risk. Pick glass, marble, or very durable wood boards for the raw meat and poultry board, as these stand up well to bleaching.

Versatile Kitchen Utensil Set

A starter utensil set with 10-15 essential tools will equip you for most cooking jobs. Here are the essentials to look for:

  • Slotted spoons: Great for straining noodles
    es or taking food out of boiling water. Models with holes reduce moisture.
  • Tongs: Ideal for tossing salads, turning meat, and serving pasta. Look for scalloped edges with comfortable silicone grips.
  • Spatulas: Must-haves include a stiff metal spatula for burgers and fish and a flexible silicone for mixing batters and spreading condiments
  • Measuring spoons: A stainless steel set with 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, 1 tsp, and 1 tsp allows for accurate small measurements.
  • Wooden spoons are helpful stirrers that are gentle on pans and perfect for cooking scrambled eggs, batters, and more.

Opt for utensils with silicone, wood, or heat-resistant plastic handles that are comfortable and stay calm. Materials like stainless steel heads are durable and easy to clean. Investing in a few high-quality utensils is better than a massive set of questionable tools.

Cookware Set: The Pans You Can't Live Without

Having suitable essential pans allows you to take on most cooking projects. Look for a 10-12 piece cookware set made of durable stainless steel or ceramic nonstick coatings. Must-have versatile pans include:

  • 8-10 inch nonstick skillet: Perfect for frying eggs, searing chicken, sautéing veggies, etc. The nonstick surface prevents food from sticking and makes cleanup a breeze.
  • 1-2 saucepans with lids: Choose a 1-quart and 3-quart size to handle making sauces, boiling vegetables, cooking rice or pasta, and simmering soups. The lids lock in heat.
  • 4-6 quart stockpot with lid: Ideal for boiling water, cooking pasta, making chili or soup in large batches, and blanching vegetables. The larger size gives flexibility.
  • Cookie sheet: A rimmed baking sheet is helpful for roasting vegetables or meat, baking cookies, toasting nuts, and more. Stainless steel conducts heat evenly.
  • Casserole baking dish: Round or oval casserole pans are great for baking mac and cheese, pot pies, and other one-dish meals. Pick a 1.5-2 quart dish.

While essential stainless steel cookware will serve you well starting, investing extra in a set from reputable brands known for durability and performance is worth it. Quality cookware distributes heat evenly and won't warp or degrade over time with proper care. This is not the place to skimp! Register for a leading brand like All-Clad, Calphalon, or Cuisinart.

Food Storage Containers

Various durable food storage containers let you save leftovers, pack lunches, and freeze in individual portions. Clear plastic bins make it easy to identify contents. Essential sizes include:

  • Small containers: 1 cup size for dressings, sauces, and yogurt.
  • Medium containers: 2-3 cups for meal leftovers, baked goods, and prepped ingredients.
  • Large containers: 5-7 cup size for soups, sizable leftovers, casseroles to freeze.

Look for airtight lids with snaps or latches to maintain freshness. Matching sets help you quickly find the fitting lid and stack it neatly. The top brands are Rubbermaid, Pyrex, and Anchor Hocking.

Starting with quality cookware, knives, cutting boards, handy utensils, and versatile storage containers, it lets you easily cook almost any recipe. Ask for these essentials as you equip your first kitchen in your new home or apartment. Nothing beats tasty homemade meals!