13 kitchenware essentials that every home should have - Lifestyle AU
13 kitchenware essentials that every home should have

13 kitchenware essentials that every home should have

It can be easy for foodies, professionals and home chefs to get what kitchenware they need for their cupboards with years of experience to draw from. If you're just starting out, however, and are wondering what kitchenware essentials you need to buy then this is a good place to start.

Words by Yohei Guy

There always seems to be new products that you simply have to own when it comes to kitchenware and it can be overwhelming at times, trying to make sense of it all. What often ends up happening is you buy things with the best of intentions only to find they spend more time in the cupboard than out. 

1. Quality knives

A kitchen is incomplete without a set of quality kitchen knives. Have you ever tried chopping up large vegetables with a paring knife? It’s extremely hard work which is why a full set is a must.

Do your hands and wrists a favour and stock up on a quality set that has at least one chef's knife, serrated knife, paring knife, carving knife and a bread knife.

It's also important to choose your knives in person as it’s important that each knife feels balanced in the hand and easy to control.

ABI Kenzo Kitchen Magnetic Knife Rack from ABI Interiors

2. Knife sharpener

While it may not seem like it, a kitchen can be a hazardous place if the tools aren't properly maintained. One of the most common injuries in the kitchen is cutting the non-knife hand or arm. These cuts typically occur due to a dull knife and the excess force leading to an uncontrolled cut.

For that reason, when choosing your knife set, be sure to get a quality knife sharpener too.

3. Cutting board

Another way to avoid getting hurt in the kitchen is to prep your food on a stable surface in combination with a wooden or plastic cutting board.

Cutting boards help protect your knives, prevent premature dulling and help with easier cleanup. Even if you have space-efficient waste bins, you can clean up your mess in one go with a perfectly sized cutting board.

Rainbow Chopping Boards from Steven Giannuzzi Furniture

4. Timer

Another must-have among essential kitchen tools is a timer. When cooking and baking, an extra minute of cooking can easily ruin a dish.

Timers are especially helpful when you're cooking several dishes at once. It helps ensure that every dish comes out perfect by preventing under or overcooking.

5. Cast iron cookware

Cast-iron is the most reliable and robust material form of cookware available. While they are heavy, cast iron cookware gives you the ability to cook food evenly at higher temperatures. They can also give your steak the beautiful, crispy sear and can go directly into the oven as well.

Even for ultra-modern homes, a cast-iron skillet will not stand out. If anything, it'll give your home's interior that hint of rustic flair that was missing.

Cast-iron cookware tends to be higher priced than stainless steel alternatives. However, they can last several generations when they're correctly cared for.

Cast iron cookware featured at Queenscliff I Residence by Stonehouse + Irons Architecture

6. Non-stick cookware

An essential kitchenware piece you must have is a non-stick skillet. Although, having an entire set may benefit you the most.

Non-stick items like a skillet are extremely easy to clean and super lightweight compared to cast iron cookware, ideal for quick meals. They are also ideal for cooking the perfect scrambled eggs and fluffy, golden pancakes. When choosing non-stick cookware, it's best to check the coating used on the pans. Some non-stick pans may be made with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is potentially harmful to your health.

7. Saucepans

Having large, high-quality saucepans are essential to make that delicious homemade stew, curry, pasta sauce and more. The large saucepans are also great for boiling vegetables.

The smaller sized ones will also get plenty of use for cooking rice, boiling eggs, small portions of soup etc.

A fine collection of saucepans stored in a Kitchen Cupboard Carousel from the Renovator Store

8. Dutch oven

Another piece of essential home kitchenware is a dutch oven. This falls under cast-iron cookware but deserves its own spot due to its versatility.

It's perfect for baking crusty loaves of bread, simmering a stew and other slow-cooked dishes. You can even use it to sear your meat.

As soon as you get one, you’ll definitely find yourself using it over and over again.

9. Large baking dish

No kitchen is complete without a sturdy baking dish for cakes and casseroles. Having one large baking dish presents busy people the opportunity to cook a quick and delicious meal. There's truly an endless list of dishes you can whip up in a large baking dish including roasted meat and veggies, lasagna and pasta bakes, pies - the list goes on.

A large baking dish cools down on a Bora Classic 2.0 Combined Cooktop and Extractor

10. Measuring cups and spoons

Like timers, measuring cups and measuring spoons are vital for cooking and baking. Having a set of measuring cups and spoons available helps avoid adding too much or too little of any ingredient.

They’re absolutely crucial, especially when dealing with ingredients like sugar, salt, spices and baking powder - too much or little of which can ruin all that hard work you’ve put into a meal.

11. Colander

Nearly 48 million people get sick from contaminated food every year which is why the task of washing your fruits and veggies is so important. This will allow you to get a good rinse through your produce allowing the water to pass through. A great way to properly clean your food is to use a sturdy colander. 

A colander in use, stored with other essentials in a Peka Magic Corner Storage Kit from Nover

12. Cheese grater

If you don't have the space for a food processor, you'll want to consider a cheese grater. Although it takes a little longer to shred cheese, carrots or soften butter, cheese graters take up less space and are a fraction of the cost.

13. Instant-read thermometer

Whether you use a cooker or a conventional oven, you'll want to have an instant-read thermometer on hand to ensure your food is thoroughly cooked. This is essential when dealing with meats like chicken or pork which need to be cooked through to avoid food poisoning. It’s important for things like beef and roast lamb too which can become dry and unpalatable when overdone.

Other essential kitchen tools

Shopping for cooking tools can be challenging, especially when there are so many pieces of home kitchenware to choose from but starting with these staples will give a solid assortment of products. Always do your research when it comes to individual products and don’t forget to think about the look of your products too as you’ll want them to complement, not clash with your interior design.

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