Cooking for Beginners: 10 Kitchen Essentials Every Foodie Should Have

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, foodie friends! I hope you are all enjoying your day! I’m currently snowed in with my sister, Kaylee. We’ve gotten 10+ inches of snow and it’s still coming. So, a lazy day it is! We started off the day making my Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Scones for breakfast, and have spent the rest of it watching “How to Get Away with Murder” on my DVR. My DISH is out from the storm, so binge-watching our favorite TV shows is probably how we’ll spend the rest of the day. I’m not complaining; I love days spent on the couch.

I’m sure by now that your Facebook newsfeed has been bombarded with Super Bowl party recipes. I know that mine is. (If you didn’t see my Super Bowl collaboration with Kaylee from Pleats and Pearls, check it out here.) To give your mind a rest from all that delicious food, I decided to do something a little different today. When I first started working on Table for One, I asked my followers and friends what they wanted to see on the blog. While I received many recipe suggestions, I also had requests for posts for cooking newbies. One friend wanted to know what my kitchen essentials are, so I thought I’d share some of them with you today. These are my most used, most loved appliances and cookware in my kitchen. I’ve linked everything below so that you can buy it for your own kitchen! Don’t see your favorite appliances on the list? Let me know in the comment section below!

1. T-fal 5 Quart Jumbo Cooker

Jumbo Cooker

A few years ago, I opened an eHarmony account. One of the questions was to list 5 things I couldn’t live without. This jumbo cooker was on the list. I use it for EVERYTHING; tacos, pancakes, my buffalo chicken chili.  I’ve had it for probably 4-5 years now and it’s still in great shape. It’s easy to clean, the perfect size, and if you have one skillet/frying pan/cooker in your life, you want this one. Trust me.

2. An Electric Stand Mixer

stand mixer

One of these days, I’ll be able to afford a KitchenAid mixer (the dream!), but until then, my Rival mixer is treating me just fine! I got this two Christmases ago, and it has really streamlined my baking process. I also use it to mix the filling for my  Buffalo Chicken Cupcakes. I love how much faster I can mix things (“by hand” just doesn’t cut it sometimes) and again, how easy it is to clean! I will say that I occasionally have to scrape the edges and bottom of the bowl, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. If you love to bake, a mixer is definitely for you!

3. A Glass Baking Pan


Gone are the days of dorms, and cooking everything in the microwave! I was psyched when I bought my first glass baking pan. It meant I had an oven, and I LOVE to use the oven. Really, you can make just about anything in a glass baking pan. I like to bake chicken in mine, or a small casserole. I have a 13×9 glass pan, but I use my 8×8 and 11×7 the most! If you are generally cooking for just you, those smaller sizes will be perfect!

4. A stockpot


I just got one for Christmas, and I honestly don’t know how I’ve gone this long without a stockpot. While I don’t need the entire 12 quarts, it is nice to have enough room to make my soups and chilis without worrying about them overflowing. If you like soup, you need to get one. Enough said.

5. A Blender 


Food Processor


If you are just starting out, get a blender. If you’re more established, add the food processor to your collection. I use my blender all the time. I am not a fan of “chunks” in my sauce or salsa, so into the blender it goes. Blenders are great for smoothies, shakes, or when making my homemade pizza sauce. I just got my food processor recently, but I’m excited to use it to whip up some hummus or chop some veggies.

6. A Muffin Pan


Let me share a not-so-secret with you: I love muffins from a mix. Sue me. So, I use my muffin pan at least once a week. But, it’s also perfect for mini desserts (Mini Nutella S’Mores Cheesecakes, anyone?) or individual servings (I’ve made mini baked mac and cheeses before.)

7. A Rolling Pin

rolling pin

Yes, I know, this one seems like a given. But, my sister (who is 22) was using a Smart Water bottle not so long ago to roll dough, so I’m including it on my list. I have the exact one pictured above, and linked to another one from Anthropologie, but you can find reasonably priced rolling pins at any kitchen appliance store. If you are a baker, you need to get yourself one now!

8. A Slow Cooker


Who doesn’t love being able to throw all their ingredients in a slow cooker with no fuss and then having dinner ready in a matter of hours? I know that I do. Whether making a soup, casserole, or my Crockpot Honey BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, a slow cooker is a must for no-fuss cooking.

9. A nice cutlery set


Now, I’m hoping you’ve got forks, spoons, and knives in your kitchen, but if you’re serious about cooking some good food, you also need a nice cutlery set. I use mine on a daily basis to cut chicken, fruit, vegetables, or the dough for my scones this morning. Cutlery sets can be pricey, but are definitely worth the investment.

10. A recipe box

recipe box

If you’re going to cook, you want to have a safe place to store your recipes. Pick up a cute recipe box at any kitchen store, or do it online! I use the website Plan to Eat to catalog all the online recipes that I want to try. My online recipe box is currently at 630 recipes and counting! Plan to Eat has other features as well, like a grocery list generator and menu planner, all for a low yearly price. If that seems more your style, check it out here.

So, what did you think? Do you agree with my list? Is anything missing? Let me know below, and don’t forget to subscribe on the side!


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