There is nothing more daunting than having to stock a new kitchen for the first time. When I moved into my first apartment, I was at the store buying something for my kitchen every week as I discovered once again that I needed an item I didn’t have. Unfortunately, this is the story of many people as they move into their first home or apartment. 

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If you want a definitive list of kitchen essentials for a new home we have you covered with this round-up of the top 30 items you need for a kitchen.  This is also a great list to refer to if you’re creating a wedding registry or if you’re looking for a housewarming gift. 

List of Kitchen Essentials For A New Home

Couple in new kitchen

Exactly what items do you need for your kitchen? Kitchens should be stocked with items required to conduct essential tasks such as cooking, baking, prep and serving. 

You’ll be ready to handle any kitchen task below with these items included on our new home kitchen essentials. Check out our choices below:

Basic Items Needed For Your Kitchen

We begin our list of kitchen essentials with basic items needed to get you started. These items are the centerpiece of your kitchenware.

1. Cookware

You can’t have a kitchen without cookware/ pots & pans. The easiest way to start off is by purchasing a quality cookware set that includes at least a frying pan, saucepan and a dutch oven. Depending on your needs, you may also want to add the below cookware items:

2. Bakeware

Bakeware isn’t just for baking cakes or other desserts. You’ll need bakeware if you plan on making pizza, meatloaf, casseroles or any other dishes to be prepared in the oven. Here are the baking essentials:

  • Cookie sheet/ sheet pan
  • Glass baking pans (square and rectangular)
  • Circular pizza pan
  • Loaf pan

3. Dinnerware

The basic dinnerware items are:

  • Dinner plates
  • Small saucer/ dessert plate
  • Bowls

Related Post: Best Dinnerware Sets For Families

4. Drinkware

As a New Orleans native, I was perfectly fine with plastic Mardi Gras cups as my drinkware of choice when I was in my early 20s. However, if you want to have a well-rounded set of drinkware you’ll need to have drinking glasses and coffee mugs.

Other drinkware you may want to add:

  • Champagne flutes
  • Wine glasses
  • Short tumblers (for juice or cocktails)
  • Shot glasses

5. Silverware

There are many budget-friendly flatware sets available that include small and large forks, small and large spoons, as well as butter knives. 

Essential Kitchen Utensils

You’ll need tools for cooking aka kitchen utensils. Here are the basics.

6. Wooden spoons

It’s best to purchase wooden spoons so they won’t scratch your pots and pans.

7. Cooking spoons

I use large silicone spoons for serving all kinds of food. It’s best to have slotted and unslotted spoons. Trust me, you can never have too many.

8. Spatula

To flip those flap-jacks, burgers and other items.

9. Tongs

I have short tongs that I use for serving and long-handled tongs that I use for frying items like bacon.

10. Ladle

To serve soup, chili or stew. 

11. Pizza cutter

Way easier and safer than using a knife.

12. Vegetable peeler

Again, safer than using a knife. I really only use mine for peeling potatoes and carrots – but I use it quite often.

Food Prep Kitchen Essentials

Young lady in kitchen preparing food

Take a look at the top items needed for kitchen food prep.

13. Knife set

You’ll only need the below basics to start with. You can add additional specialty knives as needed.

  • Chef knife
  • Utility knife
  • Paring knife
  • Utility shears
  • Steak knives

14. Cutting boards

You’ll need cutting boards to chop fruit, veggies, meat and for other food prep requiring chopping. There are wooden and BPA Free plastic options. I have a wooden one that I made in a beginner’s woodworking class that I only use for cutting bread.

15. Measuring cups

For accurate measuring during cooking and baking.

16. Measuring spoons

Many recipes (especially baking) require precise measurements. Sorry, your teaspoon and tablespoons won’t work 🙁

17. Strainer

You’ll need a strainer (also known as a colander) to strain pasta, rice and other grains. It’s also useful for rinsing off fruits and veggies.

18. Food storage containers

Leftovers or excess food items will need to be stored safely. There are glass and plastic options. If you opt for plastic you need to be sure they’re BPA-free. I use Rubbermaid Brilliance storage containers because they’re durable, leak-proof and BPA Free.

Read our full review on the Best Airtight Glass Containers for Flour and Sugar

Small Appliances to Stock a Kitchen

We’ll assume that you already have major household appliances – i.e. stove, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher. Small appliances aren’t always necessary in some cases but they sure make many kitchen tasks a lot easier. Here’s the essentials:

19. Crockpot

If you like to make chili or stew then a crockpot is great to have. A crock pot with a timer is great for busy people because you can set it and forget it. They’re also great to keep food warm during gatherings. 

20. Toaster oven

I prefer a small toaster oven over a traditional toaster. They aren’t much bigger than a toaster but can also be used for baking or broiling. We use ours for small items like chicken nuggets, bagels, pizza rolls, etc.

21. Blender

A blender is necessary if you like making smoothies and frozen drinks. Many blenders such as options by Ninja also double as a food processor – allowing you to chop and grind various ingredients. Even though I have a Ninja blender, I use my smaller NutriBullet blender a lot more.

22. Tea kettle

electric tea kettle with santa figurine in background

There are stovetop tea kettle options and electric tea kettles. But they aren’t just for heating water for tea. Use it to heat water for your cup of noodles. I use my electric kettle to give a boiling head-start to my pasta water.

23. Rice cooker

Sure you can cook rice on a stove but rice cookers will ensure you have perfectly cooked grains each time. Again, you can set it and forget it without having to worry about scorched rice.

Related Post: Best Non-Toxic Rice Cookers

24. Air fryer

Air fryers have quickly become the “it” small appliance to have. They are fantastic for making crispy, flavorful dishes like chicken wings without deep frying. You can even bake in them or boil an egg – seriously!

25. Coffee maker

I am terribly attached to my morning cup of coffee. If you’re like me and need your morning boost then a coffee maker is a must-have. A single-serve coffee maker like the Hamilton Beach FlexBrew or Keurig should be just fine.

Don’t Forget About These Kitchen Essentials

Finally, we have items needed for a kitchen that are often forgotten about – until you discover you need them. Avoid having to run out and buy these items in the middle of dinner prep or while entertaining company.

26. Can opener

A manual can opener will do the trick. Stay away from the bulky, electric countertop can openers that just take up room and are hard to clean. If you need an electric can opener due to weak hands the Kitchen Mama Electric Can Opener is a great, handheld option.

27. Bottle opener

Don’t be like my brother who pops open beer bottles with his teeth – ouch! Be prepared with a bottle opener when you have bottled drinks without twist tops.

28. Corkscrew

Corkscrew on wooden cutting board

I don’t want you to have to push the cork into your wine because you don’t have a corkscrew. Trust me, you want a basic, manual corkscrew on hand even if you have a fancy, electric wine bottle opener.

29. Oven mitts

Protect your hands by using oven mitts to handle hot pots and pans. It’s tempting to just grab a kitchen towel or rag but the long ends can mistakenly go into the flame and cause a fire.

30. Trash can

Lastly, don’t forget to buy a trash can. A bachelor may be okay with tying a black trash bag around a door knob as a trash can. But, a trash can (preferably with a step pedal to open) is better to discreetly house your garbage.

How Do You Stock A New Kitchen?

So now that you have our list of kitchen essentials for a new home you may be wondering if there are any other tips. Well of course!

Tip #1: Only buy what you need

If you visit other people’s homes and never have company over then you won’t need a 8 person dinnerware setting.

Tip #2: Don’t go cheap on cookware

You’ll regret buying cheap cookware because you’ll likely have to replace it within a year. Go for quality cookware from the most well-known and trusted brands. This will save you money in the long run.

Tip #3: Go to yard sales and thrift stores

If you’re looking to save money you should check out garage sales and thrift stores. My sister once picked up a $300 high quality set of pots and pans at a local thrift shop for only $50!

Our Final Thoughts On Essential Items Needed In Every Kitchen

Start with this list when stocking your kitchen and you’ll be prepared for anything that comes your way. Refer to our tips for ways to save when purchasing some of these kitchenware items. 

We are glad to have provided you with this list of the top kitchen essentials for a new home. Let us know if you see anything we should add 🙂

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