With so many kitchen products available on the market, it’s unsurprisingly easy to be overwhelmed.
Then, there’s the buyer’s dilemma; we either think:
A. Expensive products will automatically be of great quality, or
B. Budget-friendly alternatives will break down shortly after purchase
In such cases, a well-thought-out guide is imperative in helping you make great choices when purchasing products.
This particular buying guide goes beyond the marketing gimmicks and recommends relatively cheap products that do not compromise on quality.
For less than $500, you can get all of the following from this kitchen essentials list:
Everyone deserves to feel like the king or queen of their domain, and these quality kitchen tools and equipment are our top picks after testing in our own kitchen.
Instead of getting both a juicer and a blender, a more budget-friendly option is to get a kitchen tool that does both.
Blenders and juicers turn fruits and vegetables into drinkable liquids.
The only difference is that blenders make smoothies and juicers make, you guessed it, juice.
Both are beneficial for health, and they’re an awesome addition to your diet.
The NutriBullet Combo was part of a recommended list of the best juicer blenders that I published a while ago.
This product allows you to make an infinite number of smoothies, soups, protein shakes, salad dressings, sauces, and types of nut butter.
Your culinary imagination is the only limitation here.
And for the days where you’re in a rush, the 1200-watt motor base will ensure that your ingredients are blended quickly.
The most compelling thing about this product is its low price.
For the quality it delivers, I consider this tool a bargain!
This video reveals three detox juice recipes for healthy skin and digestion.
Summary: Blenders and juicers are essential on a kitchen checklist, with a blender being the top pick in our opinion.
A pressure cooker is one of the essential kitchen tools that enhances and preserves flavors in lean-cut meat while tenderizing it.
For this, it can be considered a kitchen essential while also cooking food at much higher temperatures.
This means braising, simmering, and boiling is done much faster.
Although some prefer a slow cooker to a pressure cooker, this choice will depend on your lifestyle.
If you have children and other commitments, taking time to slowly cook food becomes a luxury.
Since both pieces of equipment provide the same flavorful taste, a pressure cooker is a better option, making it one of the must-have kitchen items.
Quality at this price point is rare, which is why this Presto pressure cooker should be found in every kitchen.
The Presto Pressure Cooker is a well-designed piece of equipment, with a capacity of 3.8 liters and is fully immersible and dishwasher safe.
Also, its coating is versatile as it’s suitable for electric, gas, and smooth-top ranges.
If you’re stuck for recipe ideas, it comes with a booklet that features over 65 recipes, helping you to be more creative with your recipes.
I’m also impressed by its durability and sturdiness—Presto claims that its products are built to last for years.
It offers free repairs or replacements on defective products within the first year of usage.
Summary: Pressure cookers slightly edge out the crockpot due to their quick cooking of many different slow-cooked dishes, saving you time and energy.
A great coffee maker can help you start your day on a more positive and energetic note.
We all have days when we’re feeling low and lethargic, so getting our daily dose of caffeine from a reliable machine will help ensure a smooth transition from home to work.
A 2015 study has shown that coffee is beneficial to skeletal muscle when consumed in healthy quantities.
The skeletal muscle becomes more important as we age and experience bone degradation.
The Mr. Coffee 12-Cup Coffee Maker is very easy to use, especially since it’s equipped with an on/off indicator that notifies you when your coffee is ready.
But if you can’t wait for your coffee, sensors automatically stop the cycle.
With easy cleaning, this piece of kitchen equipment is convenient for the days when time isn’t on your side.
Summary: Coffee drinkers will surely get lots of use out of a simple, yet efficient coffee maker, saving you tons of money at the drive-thru window.
Every kitchen needs a functional knife set as part of its essential tools.
Quality, sharp knives actually help to prevent accidents in the kitchen because the blade cuts through all produce with ease.
Some knives are for different purposes, so it is important to know the differences.
Also, don’t forget a cutting board to avoid cutting on countertops or other permanent surfaces in your kitchen.
Chef’s knives are designed to be reliable and are meant to cut most things in the kitchen.
They’re one of the most used kitchen tools, and because of this, most people should own a chef’s knife.
If you plan on cooking regularly, a chef knife that you’re comfortable with is one of the most valuable tools.
The Victorinox’s Fibrox Pro Chef’s Knife was made for both professional and home use.
It has a stainless steel edge that ensures cutting is done with ease.
This edge has also been laser tested for maximum performance.
Most professional chef’s knives cost hundreds of dollars, but this product is made with similar craftsmanship and priced so well that it’s accessible to all.
Additionally, this is my top-rated product from my budget chef knives review.
Paring knives are mostly used to peel fruits and vegetables.
Most people use peelers as an alternative as they require less skill, but paring knives add versatility to your kitchen essentials.
The Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Paring Knife has a Santoprene handle for added comfort and safety.
It also features an edge that allows for stability and sharpness when cutting and chopping.
With an included lifetime warranty, there’s no reason to exclude this paring knife from your kitchen.
Master the basic knife skills by watching this video!
Summary: A chef’s knife and a paring knife are the two most important knives in a set. If buying a larger set, make sure these two are included with the purchase.
A complete cookware set can be considered one of the true kitchen necessities.
This is where most of your cooking will be done, so you must invest in quality equipment.
When buying cookware, there are two main categories of products to choose from (aside from cast-iron cookware):
The Finnhomy Hard Porcelain Enamel Aluminum Cookware Set is beautiful, stylish, and designed from porcelain for fast and even heating.
It features a double-layer non-stick surface that facilities easier cleaning and ensures healthier meals because you’ll be using less grease.
The set is accompanied by some more basic kitchen tools; three serving spoons and a turner.
The full set includes:
Summary: Aluminum or ceramic cookware are better for both your health and your cooking. Look for a large set that you will use for years to come.
Although small and relatively inexpensive, utensils are kitchen essentials that allow you to make your meals more efficient.
They’re commonly overlooked, and the cooking experience may suffer as a result.
You don’t need to have an entire cabinet full of utensils to cook effectively, though.
Instead, check out the key utensils I’ve picked out below.
Measuring spoons allow you to follow recipes very precisely.
Sometimes recipes will give exact measurements that only experienced cooks can eyeball accurately without a measuring spoon.
For example, unless you’re experienced in the kitchen, a 1/4 cup of flour is hard to estimate.
This measuring set has been configured to nine different measurements.
The measurements are engraved on the handles for better readability, and they won’t ever rub off.
Such design-consciousness paired with the set’s heavy-duty stainless-steel material ensures this product lasts a lifetime.
Stainless steel strainers are great for sifting dry ingredients.
If you like to bake, then a quality set of these will benefit you immensely.
This set is made from long-lasting stainless steel mesh and comes in three sizes for versatility:
It’s also convenient, as it’s dishwasher safe to ensure you won’t struggle to remove residue.
The product has been designed for durability and, as a result, comes with a limited lifetime guarantee.
Of the things you need in a kitchen, a colander is essential for so many foods.
Aside from the draining of pasta, it’s great for veggies, beans, lentils, rice, and many more foods.
We can’t live without one in our home.
This lightweight stainless steel set comes in three sizes, ensuring your culinary needs are covered:
In addition, the oversized handles are ergonomically designed to fit different-sized hands.
Learn how to use a colander in this video.
A baking sheet negates the need for vegetable oil cooking sprays when baking and grilling, helping us make more health-conscious food.
Although low in cholesterol, cooking sprays also come with additives that may be harmful to our health.
Baking sheets are not only kitchen essentials but have become a necessary caution against cardiovascular disease.
A baking sheet paired with non-stick bakeware provides a brilliant combination for healthier cooking.
In particular, this thick and large silicone baking mat has multi-purpose functions.
It’s perfect for baking everything from cookies to macaron and can be used to freeze fruits and meat.
Designed for healthier cooking, the product is safe and free from toxic substances.
To achieve this, the materials have gone through vigorous food safety tests.
Also, being non-stick, it’s also easy to clean, confirming its position on our list of essentials.
This video explains how to use and take care of your silicone mats.
This product is great for even cooking and making sure baked goods come out perfectly.
The sheet pan also features non-stick layers that radically improve your baking.
Of note is the large surface area, which adds versatility and provides space to bake many different things simultaneously.
And after your baking, cleaning up is quick and easy with the baking sheet’s dishwasher-safe feature.
Such convenience, paired with the lifetime warranty, makes this an essential buy.
Summary: There are endless utensils to buy for your cooking endeavors. Bakers benefit from baking utensils and tools while cooks will love measuring spoons, strainers, and sieves.
Grills aren’t only great for bringing the barbecue into your kitchen but are also a lovely alternative to stovetop cooking.
Flavors are different when you grill, giving you more creative options with your indoor cooking.
I also like that the circular heating elements promote even cooking and better flavor retention.
This is done in a relatively short amount of time, making this grill great for busy days.
The Maxi-Matic indoor grill saves you time by allowing the grilling of different foods all at once.
This will make sure to enhance the flavors and leave your friends wondering how you made such a delicious, professional meal.
Also, the grill is non-stick, which ensures you’re using less fat when you cook.
This enables you to make healthier and low-fat meals.
As if you needed another reason to buy this indoor grill, it comes with a 1-year warranty.
Summary: Eat grilled food all year long by having an indoor grill, made for delicious cooking and easy clean-up.
For many, food processors are essential kitchen tools.
Some will argue otherwise, but the time saved on cutting and chopping vegetables makes it a worthy placement on my list.
There are several ingenious ways to use a food processor.
From making breadcrumbs to salad dressings to instant desserts, you won’t regret purchasing a quality processor.
The Hamilton Beach Food Processor is a well-designed tool and has a capacity of 10 cups, which is pretty large for home cooks.
This generous volume removes the hassle of having to stop and empty your processor.
The two speed modes and 450 watts of power make this product easy to use and reliable.
Learn the 5 ingenious ways to use your food processor by watching this video!
Summary: A food processor saves time when chopping veggies, making sauces or pureeing baby food. This is a true staple and multi-purpose machine.
Complete kitchen sets can have either appliance. Neither a blender nor a processor is better than the other since they do different things. Consequently, I have recommended both a blender and a food processor. If you must make a compromise, you should choose what’s most important to you. A blender is better for those that make soups or morning smoothies often.
There’s no perfect method of arranging utensils in a small kitchen. This depends on the type of space you have, but my best advice is to look for alternatives to traditional drawers. You can hang your utensils or keep them free-standing in a utensil holder. Another way is to find a utensil tray and keep it on a shelf.
Here are 25 ideas to reorganize your small kitchen.
The main way to keep a pan from scratching is to avoid metal tools. Also, when storing your pans, stack one on top of the other but place a paper towel between the pans. This protects the coating of the pan at the bottom. Finally, use cooking sprays sparingly and never cook at a high temperature.
Now that you have a fully-stocked kitchen, you will need a ton of recipes to try out.
If you are a new cook, this is an exciting time to get in the kitchen and learn what you like to make.
To get you started, here are 7 easy, healthy recipes to try with your new kitchen tools.
Main Course Recipes:
Italian Chicken Salad
Lamb Chops in Pomegranate Sauce
Salmon with Honey Ginger Garlic Glaze
Side Dish Recipes:
Spice Rub Grilled Tofu
Lemon Parsley Grilled Zucchini
Veggie Platter with Tzatziki
Apple Pie Oatmeal Cookie
The kitchen should be a place of joy and delight, not anxiety about cooking your next meal.
Keeping it clean and well-equipped through the tools you use will help achieve this goal.
Most of us are intimidated by the daunting task of cooking, but even more so when we see the high-grade equipment used by professional chefs.
The purpose of this guide is to remove that fear and inspire some culinary actions for regular people who just need to eat good food.
You don’t need to have expensive gear to be a great cook.
Any chef worth their title will reiterate these sentiments; buy for quality, not quantity.
Instead, what you need are the kitchen essentials mentioned—all for just $500!
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