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Today on A Very Full Plate we’re talking all about the essential kitchen equipment that every busy parent who wants to feed their family well should have. We share what you need to have, probably want to have, and could probably skip.
Some of the items we’ll cover and share suggestions on include:
- The only pots and pans you need
- Tools for chopping, slicing, and dicing
- Other essential kitchen equipment
- Kitchen equipment that you probably don’t need
The Only Pots and Pans you Need
Pot and Pan Set
You may not need nearly as many pots and pans and you think!
One good set is certainly essential kitchen equipment and is going to do it for most of your needs. We recommend stainless steel as it can go on the stove, oven, and under the broiler, making it the most versatile type that you can buy. Plus, they look great on the table!
Here’s the set that Amy likes.
But if you don’t buy that one, you’re going to want to look for a set that has at a minimum:
- 8-inch fry pan
- 10-inch fry pans
- 2-quart saucepan with lid
- 3-quart saucepan with lid
- 3-quart sauté pan with lid
- 8-quart stockpot with lid
Keeping it to this is almost everything we need and is also pretty reasonable to store. The frying pans can be nestled into each other along with the saute pan.
Cast Iron Pan
One large cast iron pan may be the best workhorse in your kitchen. You’ll want to get a 10 inch or 12 inch one. Note that the 12 inch one is pretty darn heavy and maybe a bit larger than what most people need.
When you buy a cast iron you’ll also want to make sure that you get a chain mail. This is the best tool for cleaning your pan with just water. Clean it right away then dry it over the heat of the stove and your cast iron pan will last much longer!
Even if you have all of the above, you’re going to want to make sure that you also have a small nonstick pan for making things like eggs. We choose to use “greener” non-stick pans as opposed to Teflon. This is the one that Amy has.
Tools for Chopping, Slicing, and Dicing
You want at least one big cutting board that you will use all the time when prepping meals. Ideally, it should be gentle on knives and have some non-slip support so that your cutting board doesn’t run away from you. This is the one that Amy has and highly recommends. It’s knife friendly and also dishwasher-safe.
A Good Chef’s Knife
You don’t need anything fancy here! What you do need is one strong chef’s knife that you can use for chopping butternut squash and thinly slicing basil. This one is fantastic.
You’ll also want at a minimum:
Also of note, the best way to store your knives is on a magnetic wall block. This is the best for your knives and saves precious drawer space.
Also, your sharp knives should never ever ever go into the dishwasher. That’s the best way to dull them quickly.
A couple other things
You’ll also want to have:
We both also love having kid-friendly kitchen knives like these ones. You can hear all about why and how you may want to cook more with your kids in this interview with Melanie Potock.
Other Essential Kitchen Equipment
You’re going to want this if you ever make smoothies, pureed soups, or sauces at home. You don’t necessarily need a super fancy one, but if you’re using a lot it can certainly be worth the investment. Amy has a Vitamix and loves it.
If you don’t use your blender nearly as often, you could go with the Nutribullet or Ninja which will certainly do the job.
You’re going to want a food processor if you ever: need help to chop large quantities of vegetables, shred vegetables, make pesto, or make your own nut butter. It works slightly differently from a blender, which is why they’re both on the list. This one is a good bet that lasts a long time.
And then, of course, anything else you know you’ll use including:
- Muffin tins
- Casserole dish
Kitchen Equipment you Probably Don’t Need
Just because we say you don’t need it doesn’t mean it’s not useful or joyful for you, so take these with a grain of salt! You can hear in the podcast episode that we both have things that we love that we probably don’t NEED as well.
- Stand mixer
- Immersion blender
- Ice cream maker
- Most single-use kitchen items
Conclusion: Essential Kitchen Equipment
You may actually need less kitchen equipment than you need! In today’s podcast episode and in this post we shared our ideas of essential kitchen equipment: what you need and what we could live without.
So what do you think? Which of your essential kitchen equipment favorites did we miss?