Everyday Cheapskate: Furnishing your First Kitchen: Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools
Whether you're a newlywed, a recent grad moving into your first apartment or one of the 25% of millennials who Forbes recently reported will be moving back home with Mom and Dad, surely the idea of furnishing a kitchen has crossed your mind.
I'd love to help you get started. Here's the deal: There are a few basic kitchen tools you absolutely need -- 10, to be exact -- without which you are not likely to use that kitchen for more than a place to pile takeout containers. We're not talking about mountain of stuff -- just 10 essentials to get started.
1. Fire extinguisher
My personal experience makes this an absolute requirement and first on the list. It was one of those lazy Saturdays. I decided to make grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. I put the greased skillet over high heat and ran out to the garage to say something to my husband. A neighbor wandered over, and we started talking. It was the smoke alarm that caught my attention and sent me flying.
In those few moments, the pan flamed out and caught the upper cabinet. My kitchen was on fire! A fire extinguisher sitting on the counter saved the day. I am still surprised I'd learned how to use the thing and reacted almost intuitively. Your kitchen must have a fire extinguisher that is fully charged.
2. Knives and sharpener
You need good knives. I'm talking about knives that can be sharpened and that you will keep sharp. That means they need to be handy and super easy to use. If you can find a reasonably priced set that comes with a block and shears, plus at least chef, carving and paring knives, and perhaps even a bread knife, that's exactly what you need.
You also need a knife sharpener that you will actually use in your drawer of kitchen tools. A block sharpener works well -- it's small; it fits easily in a utensil drawer; and it's easy and foolproof to use.
3. Pots and pans
You can go broke on pots and pans. You want to make sure you have at least a skillet, a couple of saucepans and a larger pot for soups and stock. Tramontina offers a nice basic set that won't break the bank.