It's no secret that we love to be in the kitchen, preferably with the stove full of bubbling pots and something delicious in the oven. If you're NOT cooking crazy like us, you may be resolving to figure it out this year and we're here to help!!
One major hurdle to getting your dinner on is the lack of proper cooking equipment. Fear not, frugal friends, because you can hook up your kitchen for mere pennies (well, not really, but still...). Here's what we consider to be the bare essentials of cooking a great meal. If you're curious about specs/prices, follow the "Found Here" link to the website. We aren't endorsing any of these products nor are we being paid to advertise for them. We just think they would work well in a beginner's kitchen! Do you have any favorite thrifty kitchen items?? Comment and let us know!
1) 2-quart Saucepan
Get one big enough for making pasta or rice. This doesn't have to be super fancy since you're mostly using it for boiling and simmering.
2) Saute Pan with lid
Heavy bottom, skip the non-stick and make sure it has a tight-fitting lid. This will be your biggest investment, but you'll definitely use it the most. Oh, and we like one with a handle that can go into the oven!
3) Pyrex Bowls Set
This isn't an absolute necessity, but we have found that a good set of serveware/storage bowls can save you a ton of cash otherwise spent on disposable plastic containers.
A Good Spoon and Spatula
You need a good (non-metal) spoon!! A study bamboo one will take you from scraping the bottom of a sauce pan to stirring up a thick batter with no problem. For a spatula, we recommend something non-metal (silicon or heat-proof plastic). Make sure it's relatively thin and strong.
Measuring Spoon/Cup Set
We recommend both a measuring cup set (for dry ingredients) and a measuring cup (like the one Pyrex makes) for liquid measures.
Cutting Board Set
It's a good idea to have one cutting board set aside specifically for meat/fish so you don't have to worry about cross-contamination. With this color-coded set, it's easy!
Get a few sizes of mixing bowls- you won't regret it. I love these glass ones because they're sturdy and durable. They also are great to go into the fridge with leftovers.
Chef Knife and Paring Knife
A good knife will change your life in the kitchen. You can spend $15 or $150 on a chef's knife, but regardless you're looking for it to be comfortable in your hand. I like a knife with some weight to it, as well as a firm connection between handle and blade. You should also invest in a paring knife for peeling, de-seeding and other small tasks.