The Best Kitchen Essentials List: Must-Have Necessities for Your Home

by Micki
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This kitchen essentials list has everything you’ll need to stock your home kitchen, with appliances, utensils, and even fridge essentials.

Whenever we move, I’m always astounded by how many boxes come out of our kitchen. Even the basic, must have kitchen items fill up multiple cupboards, so it’s easy to have a couple of hundred items on your kitchen essentials list.

In this article, we share the kitchen essentials that you’ll need to make tasty, wholesome meals. Items on this list range from cost effective to higher end, like appliances, so you should find something for your kitchen, no matter your budget.

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Kitchen Essentials Checklist

There’s a lot to consider when outfitting your kitchen, from equipment to supplies to tools. Whether you’re starting your first kitchen, upgrading your existing home, or moving into a new home, these kitchen essentials will help get you started. After all, good cooks work best with good equipment.

Basic Kitchen Utensils List

One of the most affordable places to start in your kitchen is with essential kitchen utensils. The most basic utensils, like measuring cups and spoons, are necessary for even the simplest recipes.

A more extensively stocked set of utensils, with items like a garlic press, will help you become more efficient in the kitchen, and make more complex recipes.

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Must have cooking utensils

These cooking utensils form the core of any good kitchen essentials list.

  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • wooden spoons
  • spatula
  • whisk
  • ladle
  • peeler
  • grater
  • tongs
  • colander
  • cutting board
  • bowls for food prep
  • can opener
  • salad spinner
  • corkscrew
  • bottle opener

Eating essentials

  • dishware like plates, bowls, and saucers
  • cups
  • wine glasses
  • coffee mugs
  • silverware, including knives, forks and spoons
  • ice cube trays

Once you’ve picked up the must-haves for your kitchen, you can move on to items that are nice to have items. Of course, for some cooks, these might be necessary kitchen gear, but for others they may be luxuries.

  • zester
  • slotted spoon
  • fish flipper
  • pizza cutter
  • chip clips

Kitchen Essentials – Knives

Quality knives are the core of a functional kitchen. Whether you’re a fan of quality Japanese knives or low cost knives, keeping these basics on hand, and well sharpened will make your kitchen time a pleasure.

  • chef’s knife
  • paring knives
  • bread knife
  • knife sharpener
  • kitchen shears
  • vegetable peeler
  • carving knife (or electric)
  • steak knives

Kitchen Tools and Equipment List

Many of these kitchen tools also fall into essential kitchen utensils. Having them on hand will make cooking and baking much easier and more enjoyable.

  • parchment paper
  • aluminum foil (tin foil)
  • wax paper
  • plastic wrap
  • plastic zipper bags
  • drying rack
  • meat thermometer
  • rolling pin
  • kitchen scale
  • sieve or flour sifter
  • oven mitts
  • resealable containers
  • tea towels
  • serving platter

Essential Kitchen Appliances

Essential Large Appliances

Large appliances are often one of the biggest financial investments you’ll make in your kitchen. A used stove can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, while a top of the line stove can cost thousands.

  • fridge
  • stove (stovetop and oven)
  • dishwasher
  • freezer

Essential Small Appliances

Small appliances can be incredibly useful for making great food, including everything from air fryer fries to air fryer pickles.

  • stick blender
  • hand mixer
  • stand mixer
  • air fryer
  • coffee maker
  • microwave
  • blender
  • toaster
  • kettle
  • griddle
  • instant pot
  • juicer

There are almost as many small appliances as your imagination can conjure. Here are some of the most popular:

  • food processor
  • rice cooker
  • Keurig
  • electric grill
  • breakfast station
  • toaster oven
  • griddle
  • food chopper
  • waffle maker
  • egg cooker
  • pasta maker

Kitchen Cleaning Essentials

Keeping a kitchen clean can feel like and endless task with a busy family. This list of kitchen cleaning items will get you started.

  • dishrag
  • sponge
  • dish soap
  • drying rack and tray
  • dishwasher tablets
  • plastic scrubber
  • broom
  • dustpan
  • cleaning gloves
  • mop
  • garbage can
  • vacuum
  • magic eraser
  • cleaning fluid
  • window cleaner
  • paper towel

Kitchen Cookware Essentials

  • frying pan
  • saucepan
  • pots
  • baking sheet
  • pizza pan or pizza stone
  • bread loaf pan
  • cake pans
  • casserole dishes
  • cooling / wire rack
  • Dutch oven
  • roasting pan

Fridge Essentials List

A well stocked fridge is full of things you’ll need to make great meals. Here’s a list of fridge basics to get you started

Fruits and veggies

  • onions
  • celery
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • peppers
  • lettuce
  • kale
  • fresh herbs
  • zucchini
  • apples
  • lemons
  • oranges


  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • ketchup
  • soy sauce
  • Sriracha sauce
  • hot sauce
  • relish
  • tartar sauce
  • jam
  • syrup

Dairy and Alternatives

  • milk
  • eggs
  • butter
  • cheese
  • yogurt


  • ice cream
  • ice cubes
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • meat

Do you have anything to add to this list of kitchen essentials? Are there kitchen tools and equipment that you can’t live without? Let us know in the comments below!

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