Note: This post contains affiliate links which means I might make a few pennies if you purchase things through my links. 🙂
Have you ever wondered: what do I need for my apartment kitchen?
Do you live in a big city apartment? Or maybe one of those trendy tiny homes? Then chances are your kitchen is about the size of your closet… it might even be in your closet if you’re one of the really lucky ones 🙂
After having lived in various tiny Manhattan apartments (the smallest one being 311 square feet!) I’ve learned first-hand what you absolutely need in a small kitchen, what’s nice to have and which ones are total a waste of space! You really learn to maximize square inches with the tools, gadgets and bakeware that will do many things and well. So here is a
definitive working list of the essential tools that will help you cook your way through most recipes out there! The focus here is quality over quantity and items that are multi-purpose. I would love to hear, what are the kitchen tools that you absolutely can’t live without? What tools are just collecting dust?
Apartment Kitchen Essentials: Cookware
- Nonstick Skillet: your stove top workhorse – handles everything from eggs to meat to grilled cheese! If you can find one that has a lid that doubles as another pan, then all the better!
- Non-Stick Pot: use it to boil eggs, make soup, cook rice and anything that requires high sides.
- Small Sauce Pan: use it for…. (duh) sauces, as a double boiler and even to hard boil one or two eggs at a time! 1-2 quart size works well.
- A cast-iron skillet: I put this under optional because it’s super heavy, takes up space and I personally rarely make things like steak or a skillet bake at home.
- Crock pot: Multi-functional, but depending on how you eat this may not have a use in your home.
Apartment Kitchen Essentials: Bakeware
- Large Cookie / Baking Sheet: find one that can withstand up to 500 F temperature – use this for pizza, cookies, bread, roasting nuts and even veggies. Get the biggest size your oven can accommodate – you’ll use this bad boy for everything! The back side can be used to cool anything flat – like a toffee or caramel.
- Dutch Oven: I love my red dutch oven – it is a total workhorse and you can make a million things in this including my favorite no-knead bread!
- Casserole Dish: great for casseroles (duh #2) and anything else you’d want to serve in the same dish it was baked in. I also use mine to roast small quantities!
- Loaf pan: good if you make quick breads often.
- Jelly roll pan: higher sides than a cookie sheet – you can also use this to roast veggies !
- Round cake pan: Useful if you make layer cakes often – you’ll need 2.
- Spring form pan: Make a lot of cheesecakes? Then get one of these.
Apartment Kitchen Essentials: Cutlery
- Large Chef’s Knife: I love my Wusthof 8″ but really wish I had splurged on the 10″ wide. A good chef’s knife will get you through many situations – if you learn how to wield it correctly it will be good to you. If anybody is looking for an idea of what to buy me for my birthday, look no further than this Wusthof 10-Inch Wide Chef’s Knife
- Small Paring Knife: a 3″ paring knife will help you slice and dice your way through delicate and smaller jobs – peeling, coring, and splitting.
- Serrated Knife: unless you don’t eat bread, tomatoes or are otherwise not human, you need a serrated knife. Those jagged blades grip onto softer surfaces and slice right through them.
- The right cutting boards – a plastic board for meat, poultry and seafood and a wooden board for everything else.
Nice to have:
- A pizza cutter: you can get by with the chef’s knife but a pizza cutter will slice through pizza, thinner breads (focaccia) and candies.
- Cheese knife set: versatile and great if you entertain a lot. Check out this post on how to assemble the perfect charcuterie and cheese board.
Apartment Kitchen Essentials: Tools
- Can opener: well… how else are you going to open cans?!
- Corkscrew/beer opener: no explanation needed.
- Strainer or sieve: you can use this for straining solids, liquids, or even for things like tea.
Nice to have:
- Flour sifter: if you’re a baker, you’ll need one. You can even find a tiny 1-cup flour sifter – that’s what I use and it works great!
Apartment Kitchen Essentials: Gadgets and other stuff
- Small Food Processor Most of the major appliance makers carry the cutest little food processors. They come in fun colors and the 3-cup sized capacity is good for a lot of projects from hummus to pesto.
- Silpat or non-stick sheet: great for frequent bakers – so that your food doesn’t stick to the baking sheet. Washable and easy to reuse.
- Stick blender: Also called an immersion blender, primarily used to make blended soups and purees. Added bonus: you don’t have to transfer your hot soup to the blender to use it!
Nice to have:
- A stand mixer or hand blender: depending on how much baking you do, this might fall under the ‘must have’ category – it does for me! But a lot of folks who don’t bake may see this as a nice to have.
Note: this post includes affiliate links.