In this list, you’ll find a list of things you’ll need to get started, aside from the basic pots, pans, and kitchen utensils. I included links to the products I use.
- Food Scale– I recommend that everyone has a food scale on hand. I prefer to weigh out ingredients to ensure accuracy. You can use measuring cups, or eyeball servings if you are not concerned. My food scale is a critical tool if I am closely tracking my food intake in order to gain or lose weight at a consistent rate.
- Blender- I swear by my Ninja blender, but it is not cheap. If you are unsure if you will get any use out of it, start with a less expensive blender, and invest in something more expensive if you find yourself using it frequently. I use my blender for protein shakes, and occasionally mixing up sauces.
- Spiralizer– I bought my first spiralizer 2 years ago, and it has opened the door to so many new recipes for me. If you are a pasta-lover who is looking to eat more veggies, this was made for you! There are lots of options out there, and given they are relatively inexpensive, I would highly recommend investing in one of these.
- Food Processor- You could probably get away with using a blender instead, but a food processor is a great tool for chopping, dicing, and pureeing sauces and dips.
- Knives– A good set of knives is an investment in your safety and sanity. Most of you probably already own knives, just make sure you have an adequate range of sizes and types. Also, make sure to sharpen your knives when they start to dull.
- Baking sheets– Chances are, you already have these on hand, but if not, they make cooking so much simpler. I always put aluminum foil or parchment paper on top and spray with pam…so instead of having to clean an entire pan, I simply have to throw away the foil! It is a huge time saver when I make roasted veggies, or bake protein!
- Bakeware– Bakeware is essential for casserole dishes, enchiladas, and so much more! There are lots of options out there. Given that I mostly cook for just me and my husband, I love breaking up servings into personal ceramic bakers, like the ones in the link. A larger ceramic baker would be a great option for making several servings. If you are new to cooking, a set like this would be a great place to start.
- Skillet– I love my skillet. They require a bit more TLC than other cookware, but it is totally worth it because of its versatility! Cast iron is ideal when cooking at high heats. I like to make personal-skillet dishes, so I bought two small-sized skillets that I can use for my husband and me, but you can opt for one large skillet if that is more suitable for you.
- Air Fryer– This one is optional. Pros- they give food the perfect crispness, quickly. Cons- If storage is an issue, these are bulky and also fairly noisy. In all honesty, if you are new to cooking, you can use an oven at high heat for more time before jumping to purchase an air fryer. If fried foods are your weakness, this would be worth looking into.
- Stand Mixer– This is also optional. To be honest, I use it mostly for beating egg whites, but I have found that it comes in handy more than I thought it would. There are more affordable stand mixer options than the iconic KitchenAid, and hand mixers might be a good starting place if you aren’t sold on the price tag.
I hope you found this helpful and gained some guidance regarding what you might want to put on your “to buy” list. Side note- stores like Home Goods, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx offer lots of great cookware (pots, pans, tools, etc.) at affordable pricing.