Kitchen basics: What you should have, and what you don’t really need – Part 1

Hey Strangekittens. This post is about how to put together a properly stocked kitchen. I’m not gonna delve into ‘speciality’ items because not everyone will need them. I’m talking about stuff you will use every week, if not every day. I cook every meal from scratch, so it’s gotta be well equipped. I’m gonna assume you have basic stuff like a stove/oven/fridge and storage. If not, most of my recipes could be done over a campfire or BBQ pit anyway.

Two parts: Equipment, and pantry.


Some of these are pretty obvious, haha.

-At least 3 pots. A big stew pot, a medium sized saucepan, and a small one for sauces and whatnot. I actually do all my cooking in 4 pots of varying sizes and several types of oven pans.

-Roasting pans. Specifically: Cookie pan/sheet pan, a roasting pan big enough to fit a turkey, and a smaller square one. The sheet pan is great if you want to do steaks or other smoky things in an apartment building with bad ventilation…oven sear them! Trust me, a 700sqft apartment fills up with smoke quicker than…nevermind lol! Open a window though.

– A wok or a frying pan. Go big or go home. Woks are pretty cheap at Asian supermarkets.

-A good set of at least 3 knives. A good, heft chef’s knife; a medium sized slicer/boning knife (hehehe you said boning); and a small paring (peeling) knife. Kitchen knives are something you want to spend good money on. I won’t recommend brands because there’s many, many of them. It’s your personal preference. I like knives that are all one piece of metal, though.

-Random utensils: Can opener, BBQ tongs (try the ones with silicone ends, they don’t dent things), wooden spoons, soup ladle, slotted (drainer) spoon, whisk and a metal sieve.

– Metal cheese grater. Don’t cheap out and get the single panel one. Get a four sided one with a handle.

-Some good oven mitts. Yes, these are important, despite the fact i forget to use them half the time (the scar on the back of my knuckles can attest to how hot a broiler is)

Optional: A food processor. Even if you get a second-hand one, or one from Walmart, they’re very handy.


Now, these stocks are based on the fact that I am a Paleo eater, you should check it out too, it’s nommalicious and healthy (and we endorse bacon). Mark’s Daily Apple is my favourite for making it easy.

– Spices and seasoning: Garlic powder, onion powder, sea or rock salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, ginger, paprika and a curry blend of some kind.

– Canned tomato paste. I put this in just about ever meat based stew and curry ever.

– Worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce. For umami!

-Some type of cooking fat. I have mentioned before that I don’t use vegetable/canola oil because it’s terrible for you. Saturated fat is not your enemy! Try Coconut oil or Ghee. Or even good old butter.

– An assortment of red and white wines. They don’t have to be expensive, get the ones you like the taste of. Add some to your soup, stock, or use to marinate meat.

Optional: Balsamic vinegar for dressing.

Next fortnight, i’ll go into more detail about what each one is for, and why you should have it. Next week will be a recipe 🙂


Part 2 here:

Kitchen basics: Part two – Why do I need this again?

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