You’ve got a brand new kitchen, and you’re in love with how it looks. The colours, the perfect amount of worktop space, and all the storage space you need. But how are you going to kit it out? What are the basics you need? Let’s take a look at the essential kitchen accessories you need for your new kitchen.
It can be tempting to go all-out with all the fancy gadgets you can get your hands on, especially if you’re a keen cook, but it’s best to invest in a few high-quality basics, and then expand your collection as time goes on if there are items you really want. So what are the must-have pieces of kitchen kit?
Knives are arguably the most important piece of kit in any chef’s arsenal. You don’t necessarily need a full set of knives though - one great chef’s knife should do everything you need it to do. A sharp chef’s knife will make slicing and dicing so much easier than you could ever imagine. You’ll be using it a lot so make sure you look after it!
Any knife is only as good as its sharpener. If you allow your knife to become blunt, you’ll have less control over it and this is actually when accidents are more likely to happen. But which is the best knife sharpener to go for? A waterstone is a block of stone which you use to sharpen the edge of a knife, and it’s considered by many to be the best tool on the market. Alternatively, you could opt for a pull-through sharpener, which is far easier to use than a waterstone but they do run the risk of chipping thin blades.
Wooden Chopping Board
A heavy wooden chopping board is a kitchen essential. They look good both in your kitchen and as a serving platter, and they’re sturdy enough to stand the test of time. Make sure to pick up a couple if you’re a meat-eater so you can prepare your veggies separately to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
Casserole pans aren’t just for casseroles. You can make a wide range of dishes from stews to curries in a pan of this type, and the beauty of them is that they can simmer for hours on the hob before putting them in the oven. They can be used as an alternative to a saucepan as well, and they look beautiful taking pride of place on the dining table as a serving dish. These versatile pieces are built to last.
Pots and Pans
You’ll want at least one high-quality saucepan for making pasta, rice, sauces and other basics, as well as one frying pan or skillet for sauteed vegetables, scrambled eggs, pancakes and so on. Look out for pieces that are non-stick as well as stain- and scratch-resistant - and to make your life easier, you’ll probably want to look for ones that are dishwasher safe, as well! Pick them out separately or invest in a good cookware set that has everything you need.
Sheet trays take up less space in your cupboards, but oven dishes are another multipurpose piece of kit which are ideal for serving straight from the oven. Invest in a couple of good-quality oven dishes in different sizes and you’re ready to tackle roasts, one-tray dinners and tasty baked goods.
It might seem obvious, but don’t forget about the humble tea towel when writing up your list of kitchen essentials. You’ll need them for drying dishes, of course, but they can also double up as oven gloves for handling hot dishes. Ever wondered why it is called a tea towel? Years ago, in the 18th century, they were used as insulation for teapots - so that’s another use for this multipurpose item.
Mortar and Pestle
Once you’ve used a mortar and pestle to crush and grind fresh ingredients, you’ll never go back to chopping and blending. Crushing fresh ingredients like basil and garlic releases their aromas and gets the best flavour out of them, adding an extra je ne sais quoi to any dish. What’s the best kind of mortar and pestle? Look for a solid mortar (the bowl) and a pestle that’s big enough to make light work of your ingredients. Not only useful, but a mortar and pestle will look great on the table as a serving dish for guacamole or whatever other dip you’ve just hand-crafted.
Mugs and Cups
Not just for drinking coffee from (although that’s also incredibly important), these essentials can also be used to measure out ingredients. What’s the difference between a mug and a cup? Generally, mugs are tall and sturdy, perfect for that morning cup of coffee, whilst cups are usually smaller and are often wider than they are tall. They often come with a saucer, perfect for serving up tea. You probably don’t need to invest in both unless you really want to, but it’s entirely up to you whether you opt for a set of strong mugs or pretty cups.
Sieve and Colander
Sieves and colanders serve slightly different functions. Technically, colanders are used to drain liquids, like draining the water from a pot of pasta, whilst a sieve is used for straining. They can be used interchangeably in a pinch, but these are among the cheapest items on this list so it’s worth adding both to your kitchen if you can.
And that’s everything you need to get started in your new kitchen. Our cookware is sure to meet your needs and who knows, you might even discover an item or two to add to your kitchen wish list for the future.