Must-Have Tools for Setting up Your Kitchen

Setting up a kitchen takes years. It can be a bit overwhelming figuring out what is needed versus what’s wanted. We chose 7 tools we can’t live without in the Test Kitchen.

A Good Set of Knives

If you can invest in a block of knives, you should. It’s a large investment, but you’ll have them forever. If you’re a bit more budget-conscious there are three knives that should be in the kitchen – a serrated knife, a chef’s knife and a paring knife.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer

This is another investment, but something that can be passed down to the grandkids – they last that long. If you’re a baker or bread maker, you’ll find yourself using this a lot. There are attachments available to extend the ways you can use the mixer (homemade pasta or fresh ground meat anyone?).

Food Processor

A food processor makes chopping onions, grating cheese or preparing homemade hummus and pesto a breeze. More of a baker? Cut butter into flour in a snap for fluffy biscuits. You’ll be amazed at how many ways you can use a food processor.

Crock Pot/Slow Cooker

A necessity for any busy cook. Take a few minutes to prep a meal in the morning and when you return home dinner is served. This slow cooker comes with three interchangeable stoneware inserts – a 6-quart, 4-quart and split 2.5 quart making serving a large crowd or a family of two a breeze.

Pots and Pans

It’s hard to cook without a pot and pan so this is probably the most important item in the kitchen. There are so many out there. Large and small skillets, saucepans, stock pots, stainless steel vs non-stick, cast iron… it’s a bit overwhelming. Purchasing a set is great because they cover most pots and pans you’ll need. But if you have to choose three, purchase a small saucepan, a medium sized saute pan and a large stock pot.


From roasting vegetables to baking cookies, a cookie sheet is a necessity. For baking cookies, the color of the pan does matter. The darker the color the browner your cookies will be.

Box Grater

You may look at this and think, “Do I really need that?” One word, yes. It’s an old school kitchen tool we love. It takes minutes to grate cheese at home rather than buying it pre-shredded. Grate zucchini for bread or potatoes for potato pancakes. You can also quickly zest lemons, limes and oranges.