Pots and pans These are essential tools, you need at least one pot. Pots and pans
range in price, quality, design and weight. Heaver pots and pans will usually spread
the heat better and generally last longer. It is a good idea to pick up the pots
and pans and see how they feel to you, try out your friends or just ask what other
people like. In the end you want the pan that is right for you. Sometimes you get
a deal by buying a set, but getting each one separately isn’t a bad idea as you will
have a chance to test out the pot or pan and you can always buy the set if you like
it. Having an extra pot can’t go wrong.
At the minimum you'll need:
Large skillets (10 inch and 12 inch)—preferably heavy aluminum skillets with nonstick
coating (copper and cast iron are great, but can be expensive and are not forgiving
to a new cook).
Large pot with lid—an 8-quart pot is big enough to cook pasta, but if you're going
to make stock, buy a 16-quart pot.
Saucepans with lids—a 1- to 3-cup size,
a 1- to 1-1/2-quart size,
and a 4-quart size.
Roasting pans—an 8 x 12-inch or 9 x 13-inch metal roasting pan;
and an 8- or 9-inch square metal baking pan.
Bowls—small, medium, and large. Stainless steel are inexpensive and useful.
A steamer insert—a collapsible aluminum basket-like utensil, used for steaming vegetables
and other foods.
Bakeware is essential if you plan to bake anything, muffins, pies, bread and many
other items are baked and require special attention just like your pots and pans.
There are a few types of pie pans and baking dishes and they vary in size, weight
and quality although there are standard sizes you should have. Bakeware is also available
in a disposable foil variety that works well for a one time use but shouldn’t be
your main bakeware. Beside the standard aluminum and non-stick bakeware, there is
Glass and Silicone bakeware. If you choose to go with glass or silicone make sure
you adjust the temperature accordingly as they conduct the heat differently than
your standard metal pans and most recipes are referring to a metal pan when they
give a temperature.
A 9 x 13-inch nonstick baking pan
pie plates (9-inch, oven-proof glass),
bread pans (two 9 x 5-inch, nonstick aluminum loaf pans),
cake pans (two or three 8 and/or 9-inch pans), Both round and square.
2 standard size muffin tins (other sizes if wanted).
Utensils When buying utensils it is a good idea to think about what you are going
to use them with. Many modern pots, pans and appliances have a nonstick finish that
can be damaged by using a metal utensil. There are some non-stick coatings that do
not scratch easily with metal utensils but they are very expensive. With this in
mind you can get plastic or silicone utensils, the silicon based are generally a
better product. But with any plastic or silicon utensil check that it is heat resistant
and at what point it will melt or burn. This sort of information should be on the
package. It is best to buy heat resistant utensils that way you can use them without
having to remember if it will melt or not. If possible you may want to get all your
heat resistant utensils with the same color handle, this way you can easily tell
what utensil is for what purpose.
What you should probably have:
Long-handled heavy-duty spoon
Long-handled heavy-duty Slotted spoon
Long-handled soup ladle
Measuring cups: a 2-cup glass or plastic cup for liquid measures, and a set of cups
including 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, and a 1 cup cup)
Measuring spoons Buy a set of spoons, they often come on rings in all the standard
measures. You should probably own at least two sets.
Cutting boards Some cooks swear by wood, and some swear by plastic cutting boards.
Wooden cutting boards have been banned in some areas as they are much harder to clean
and keep properly sanitized. So plastic or glass boards are probably the way to go.
Glass cutting boards can be nice to work with but can be broken and tend to get slippery
while you work on them. Plastic cutting boards vary greatly in quality and some are
not safe to put in the dishwasher as they will warp and become uselss.One of the
nice advantages to plastic cutting boards is that they come in many different colors
and this way you can have a colored board for each cutting task, red for meat, blue
for chicken, green for vegetables and so on. This method can mean more cleaning but
there is less worry about contamination of other foods.
When buying a plastic cutting board try to find one that is dishwasher safe and has
a rough surface this will help to keep the food in place and the juices will be kept
on the board better.
You should have at least one cutting board 2 is better. They should be at least x
X y or larger. Too large a cutting board can be problematic as it will take up at
least its size in counter space and if you want to change cutting boards you need
some where to store it too.
Knives A good set of knives is essential for chopping, dicing, and preparing your
ingredients. High-carbon steel knives are recommended by chefs and experienced cooks
alike. A versatile knife that is essential is the 8-inch chef's knife
.Don't bother with a carving or slicing knife right away—you won't use it very often,
and your chef's knife can handle most of those duties for a while. You'll need two
or three paring knives (3 or 4 inches long) for peeling, trimming, and other precise
A serrated bread knife is a must, too.
And buy a blade sharpener to keep your knives working at peak efficiency.
See our section on Knife safety for more information
Although this is by no way a complete list and you will not need everything on it.
The list serves as a basic reference for what you will need to start cooking and
See the This is A... Section for images of most items listed on this page