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5 Things You Should Have In Your Kitchen

Over the years I have helped many people get started with cooking delicious food at home. One of the things that I always like to discuss with them are the tools that they must have in the kitchen in order to be able to cook well. Here are the five tools that I use the most in my kitchen. Chances are, you already have some of them (or even all of them) in yours, but if you don’t, you may want to put these items on your holiday list.

Here they are:

#1: 8 Quart Pot


Someone said to me recently, “Why do I need a big stockpot if I don’t make stock?” Well, even if you do not make stock you need to have a large pot like this. You will make pasta, boil potatoes and other vegetables, cook stews, soups and chilis in this pot.



#2: Cuisinart Multiclad Pro Stainless 6-Quart Pot

Emerilware from All-Clad 6-qt. Stainless Stainless Stockpot, Stainless Steel

A 6 quart or 4 quart pot is useful when you don’t really need to use the big pot. This one is great for braising meat, sauteing, making smaller portions of soups and chilis, making risotto and couscous and much more.



#3: 12-inch Stainless Steel Saute Pan

Cuisinart 5.5-qt. MultiClad Pro Stainless Saute Pan

Hands down, the 12-inch saute pan is what I use the most in my kitchen, it is used pretty much every time we make dinner. It is big enough to fit a few big steaks, to make a stir fry, saute vegetables, chicken or fish. This is the most versatile pan that I have and I recommend starting by getting this one if you are just starting out with cooking.



#4: Roasting Pan

Arcosteel 16-in. Roast Pan

You will do a lot with a roasting pan. This is a great roasting pan for roasting vegetables, making lasagna and making roast chicken.

#5: A Good Knife

Wusthof 7-in. Classic Santoku Knife


A good knife is essential in the kitchen, because this is a tool that you will be using every single day. I love and use this Wusthof Classic Santoku Knife, it is the best knife I’ve ever tried.

If you don’t like Santoku knives, the Wusthof Classic Cook’s Knife is also very good.



  1. Anna V
    November 3rd, 2008 at 16:18

    Thank you so much for this post, lots of useful information. What do you think about the smaller pans, like 1 or 2 qt? I use them to make sauces.

    November 6th, 2008 at 13:21

    I like the small pots myself, but don’t use them nearly as often as the five items I list above.

    What are your “must-have” things for a kitchen?

  3. Julie Bestry
    November 8th, 2008 at 20:16

    OK, I’ll bite. What’s a Santoku knife, exactly? Perhaps you’ll need to do a whole post on knives, since readers like me can only readily identify knives of the steak, butter and paring variety.

    And how embarrassed should I be that of your five essentials, I own none? (I do have a 6-quart pot, but it’s not stainless steel.)

    I’m tempted to say that my five essentials are take-out menus, but the truth is, I couldn’t live without my 2 & 3 quart pots (perfect for pasta for a singleton), my pasta strainer, and my surgical stainless paring knives. The handle of favorite kitchen item, my cheese plane, died recently, and I’ve yet to find an adequate replacement.

    Keep up the great posts! If you can keep the Kitchen Clueless like myself intrigued, the real cooks should be delighted!

  4. CCGAL
    November 10th, 2008 at 01:22

    I would be lost without my end grain, butcher block cutting board. I have several – one for meats and poultry, another for veggies, and smaller ones I use for cheese and apples. I’m very fortunate because my husband makes them, so I have exactly what I want in the sizes, designs, and woods that I prefer.

    I also rely heavily on my cast iron comal & skillets, my egg pan that’s perfect for flipping eggs, and my ancient Ultra21 Tupperware cooking vessels that can go from freezer to microwave to oven – my favorite being the 3 piece steamer set. Oh, and oddly enough, my Presto Popper for fat free fast popcorn in the microwave.