setting up a kitchen.

Setting up a Kitchen if You’re New to Cooking

Setting up a Kitchen if You’re New to Cooking

It’s important to have the right tools to make cooking and prepping meals quick and easy.  It’s also part of being an adult and having a versatile kitchen to cater to you and your guests needs. Below is everything you need for setting up a kitchen if you’re new to cooking.  Everything I review below I personally own:

Pots and Pans

3 Quart Sauce Pan
This is where you are boiling eggs, pasta, soups, sauces, etc.  It’s standard.

12 Inch Cast Iron Skillet
Cast Iron skillets are great and hold flavor of dishes previously cooked in them.  They last forever, if taken care of, and are great for pan frying meat, fish, fried rice, and simmer flavorful sauces.

12 Quart Stock Pot
I rarely use a stock pot, but it’s good to have on hand when you need it.  Great for stock, frying things, and soups.

12 Inch Nonstick Frying Pan
This is another essential item.  Use this to cook grilles cheese sandwiches, eggs, and bacon.

Roast PanYou will use this for pan friend chicken, salmon, meats, potatoes, and other veggies.  It’s different than a baking sheet because it’s deeper and holds juices in.

Baking SheetsThis is for cookies, breads. rolls. and other things of that sorts.  You can also use the above roasting pan for these if you don’t want extra sheets. I’d recommend 3 of these.

Meal Prep Tools

Cutting Board

One of the most important things a kitchen needs, in my opinion.  This specific cutting board fits over a stove if you need extra space. Don’t forget to put down a thin plastic cutting board on top of it for meat, as to avoid bacteria issues.  Always keep your cutting boards for meat and veggies separate. Super important for setting up a kitchen..

Chef and Pairing KnifeThese 2 knifes are going to make up 90% of your cutting activities.  You don’t need to buy a knife block, as most of those knives you’ll never use and they are pricey and take up space.  I highly recommend the ones linked, they are expensive but will last forever.

Bread Knife

You use this to cut bread and ribs.  Combined with the two knives above you will be able to prepare any meal.


You will use these for straining water out of pasta as well as sifting flour if you are baking.  I use these instead of a colander.

Mixing Bowls

You are going to need multiple mixing bowls to bake and cook things.  I recommend ones that come with lids so you can use them as storage as well (great for next day pancake batter).

Measuring Cups and Spoons

I’m not someone that can use a pinch of this spice and a dash of salt, I always end up ruining everything.  Measuring cups will be key to creating healthy tasty meals that are consistent and not too bland or over seasoned.

Kitchen Shears

These cut meat, veggies, and hard to open packages.  Great for making stir fry and cutting things into bite size pieces without slicing your fingers off.

Spatulas, Ladle, Mixing Spoons 
You need these everything in a kitchen, pick some up at your local box store.

Can Opener

You don’t want to be caught without a can opener, especially since beans and canned tomatoes are used in so many recipes.


You grab hot things with them.  I actually don’t own a pair and constantly have burned fingers.  Don’t be like me!



Great for washing salads and vegetables, but you can also use a strainer.

Kitchen Towels
Cheap and easy to wash, they are way better than wasting paper towels.


A good blender is important.  I actually hate the blender I own so get something that doesn’t suck  These will be used for shakes, soups, and sometimes baking.  If you can afford it get a Vitamix, it will last forever and doubles as a food processor.

Get good Tupperware that will store your food and not leak or get gross. A must have for setting up a kitchen.

Not Essential but helpful tools

Meat Thermometer

These are important if you are new to cooking meat, but once you get the hang of it this will sit in your drawer.

Vegetable Peeler

This one is nice to have, but not 100% necessary.  Still, being able to easily peel potatoes is important if you’re making mashed potatoes.

Hand Mixer  

You can mix everything by hand, but sometimes this is really hard, especially when things call for consistent fluffy batters with “peaks.”

Garlic Press
Not necessary but my favorite kitchen tool.  I love fresh squeezed garlic in my food and this make it easy to do and easy to clean up.

Food Processor

These are great for chopping and dice things like nuts, dates, and chocolate chips.  You can also use a blender.

Kitchen Scale

I use these to measure pastas, rice, and meats to ensure I am eating the proper portions.  It makes control portions and calories extremely easy.

Shake Cups
I recommend getting three of these and rotating them through, you will be using them a lot.

Croc PotI love Croc Pots.  There’s something about throwing a bunch of ingredients in a pot, turning it on, and coming home 8 hours later to delicious burrito bowls, gumbo, shredded pork, and bean soups.  I actually started my cooking career only using a croc pot.  Great for setting up a kitchen.

Rice Cooker
A good rice cooker can be the difference between an hour of meal prep and 15 minutes.  Their are a bunch on the article but the one linked is what most homes use in Japan.  It always makes perfect, consistent rice in 15 minutes.  It’s easy to clean and will last a lifetime.

All the products above I own and have used for years.  I bought them all of and have provided links to them.  There are definitely other options out there so do your research and get whats right for you. I hope you enjoyed my list of essentials for setting up a kitchen.

Leave a Reply

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