10 Things you really need in a kitchen

food-processorWhen I first got married and moved to Kuwait I had to buy all of my kitchen things all at once.  We were short on time, money and space so we got the things that were absolutely necessary.  Looking back I think we were spot on, you really don’t need many things but some tools are essential.  This is the list of most important things you really do need.

  1. A good set of knives.  You only need 3 good knives (small, medium and large).  Invest in good knives because bad knives will just make you want to kill yourself.  Look for the kind with the serrated edge because they don’t need sharpening and can handle tough things like meat and difficult things like not so fresh tomatoes.
  2. A cutting board.  Personally I like the wood ones, they look nicer and don’t keep bacteria like the plastic ones.  I’ve marked each side by either “meat” or “veggies” so I never cut on the wrong side.  It is healthier that way.
  3. Kitchen Processor. You don’t need one of those huge ones and you don’t need a blender, juicer, etc.  All you really need is one of those hand held ones with the different attachments.  In the beginning I chose it because they were smaller and cheaper.  Over time I have realized that it was a great choice because you can use it to make everything from cake batter, baby food, soup to knead dough.
  4. Aluminum Foil, Plastic Wrap and Resealable bags. These are probably the most important things you need.  I don’t own baking sheets or a pizza dish but I have made pizza and cookies on the oven tray with two sheets of foil.  I also bake french fries in the oven this way too.  Plastic wrap keeps food fresh and is great for making sure things don’t smell in your fridge.  Resealable bags are probably the most underrated invention in recent history.  I have used them to keep herbs, spices, vegetables, baby food, meat, you name it stored.
  5. Pots.  You really only need 3 (small, medium and large)  I am sure I could live with less but if you ever have guests like in Ramadan 3 is not nearly enough.
  6. Ovenware.  I have glass and clay dishes, these are great from casseroles to cake they can be used to make many and different dishes.  You also need less fat so it makes healthy cooking easier.
  7. Glass Boxes. I hate plastic boxes, I think my mom is the reason.  She would always say the plastic ones were a great home for bacteria and other ills.  They are more expensive than plastic but are easier to clean, healthier and don’t hold smells much.
  8. Sponges.  The cheap ones are not worth it, you really don’t want to scrub forever, just buy the more expensive well known brands like Vielda or ScotchBrite.  Remember to zap them in the microwave every once in a while to keep them clean.
  9. Frying Pan.  You know the ones with the red dot in the middle that goes really red when it’s time to start cooking.  You only need a small one,  and you can make fried eggs with no oil or grill sandwiches and other things with really little or no fat at all.  Invest in one even if it is a bit more expensive than the regular ones because it really is worth it.
  10. CD Pen. Kinda geeky, but really useful when you want to label plastic bags which are going to go in the freezer or spice jars so you don’t have to open and sniff until you sneeze.  It really is a smart idea to write down what things are in case you might forget (it has happened) or when you made something so you have an idea of it’s expiry date.

cutting-boardThere are other things you might want to consider but are not really necessary but can make your life easier.

  • Hand soap dispenser.  My husband thought it was weird that I had a liquid soap dispenser by the sink but now thinks it is super smart.  When I was pregnant I was obsessessed with washing my hands after touching raw meat and poultry and this was just the easiest and best way to do it.  Understanding kitchen hygiene is a must for anyone who cooks, it keeps yourself and your family healthy and safe.
  • Kitchen Paper Towels.  These are great for draining fried food on and cleaning spills and messes which you might not necessarily want to clean with your cloth towels.
  • Muffin Tin.  Not a must but nice to have.
  • Rolling Pin.  I don’t have one, I just use glasses or jars.  I keep forgetting to buy one.
  • Meat Pounder.  I guess you could use a book but it is good to have one.
  • An apron.  I must get me an apron.
  • Measuring cups and spoons.  You can use regular cups but really measuring accurately makes the world of a difference in baking.
  • Spatula.  Yes you can use a normal spoon but again this is a cheap utensil that makes your life so much more easier.
  • Kitchen Scale.  I don’t have one but I think it might be a good idea to have one.

17 Comments

  • At 2008.12.22 09:59, Askandarani said:

    if i may add, a small electrical oven, far much practical than the big conventional ones. and a nesquick kaman 😉

    • At 2008.12.22 10:39, jessyz said:

      @Askandarani: You are so right about the small oven. I spent a year living alone and my mom gave me this tiny electric oven and I hardly ever used the larger one. The large one though is a Godsend when you have to prepare a larger meal because you can make more than one thing at a time.

      • At 2008.12.22 10:58, Summer said:

        great list for newlyweds…everything you listed is sure needed in a new kitchen. do not forget to get a really good can opener, makes life much easier!
        I also would add one more thing, latex gloves…i can never work/cook in the kitchen without them. they stick to your hands really well so you can work with them freely and they keep onions and garlic smells away! trust me on this one, they work wonders.

        • At 2008.12.22 11:10, jessyz said:

          @Summer: I was sure I forgot something! I buy the huge packs and go through them like wildfire because I hate the smell of fish which can stay on my hands forever and the can opener too but I guess I don’t use it much because I usually buy the cans with the thingy that opens them. Thanx for the tip 😀

          • At 2008.12.24 06:36, Bee said:

            I’m really enjoying your website. What type of hand held blender is that and what food processor do you recommend? (You mentioned you didn’t have a big one.)

            You also mentioned this website had not evolved into the site you had originally intended (on the about page I think) . . . I’m curious, what sort of site did you think it would be?

            • At 2008.12.24 10:51, jessyz said:

              @Bee: It’s a Moulinex OptiPro Handblender (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Moulinex-Optipro-DDF644-Blender-Processor/dp/B000GUB2XS) It’s small and compact but does the job.
              I think I was thinking of a more techy geeky serious kind of blog, but it has evolved in it’s own way as I have and I like where it’s going. 😀

              • At 2009.05.13 13:20, Yosep Hana said:

                Nice information.I look for compact blenders.I need one for cook meal for my baby.I see many web about this but your web is the best for me.Thank you.

                • At 2009.07.02 15:11, Shimaa Gamal said:

                  Jessy, I know it is a bit late to comment on this post but where is “el madrab el selk”? :)
                  This is an item that I can’t live without in the kitchen and I think everyone should have

                  • At 2009.07.02 15:55, jessyz said:

                    You mean the hand whisk?
                    You are right but my hand blender already has one and I only bought one last week so you can live without it if you have an alternative. I survived 2 and a half years without one.

                    • At 2009.07.02 17:02, Shimaa Gamal said:

                      I find it handier than the one with the electrical blender.
                      Actually a person can survive in the kitchen without many of the things we depend on.
                      But this whisk is really a saver.

                      Thought of writing about the 10 things you don’t really need in the kitchen? I would need suggestions to fight the clutter

                      • At 2009.09.16 04:27, Bodyc said:

                        Super post, Need to mark it on Digg
                        Thanks
                        Bodyc

                        • At 2009.09.21 09:14, Robor said:

                          Thanks for article. Everytime like to read you.
                          Thank you
                          Robor

                          • At 2009.09.24 21:08, Jinny said:

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                            Jinny

                            • At 2009.09.29 11:24, Pett said:

                              Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!

                              • At 2009.09.30 08:05, jessyz said:

                                Glad you liked it.

                                • At 2009.10.01 17:31, Tania said:

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                                  Have a nice day

                                  • At 2010.03.17 15:58, Nathan Billups said:

                                    Great post! I was really impressed by the quality of the resources. Thank you alot.