Having the right items in your kitchen can help to make meal preparation quicker and easier. These are my tried and true kitchen essentials. The list includes the best small appliances, kitchen gadgets, pots & pans, and pantry staples. I hope they help you out in your kitchen!
Best Kitchen Small Appliances
Cuisinart Air Fryer Convection Toaster Oven
My husband became obsessed with air fryers after we went to a Christmas party and they had cooked filet mignon in an air fryer! He insisted we needed one. My deal was we had to get one with a toaster feature as we couldn't fit an air fryer and a toaster on our counter and we use a toaster frequently.
I'm a total air fryer convert! We make toast in here as well as heat up chicken strips and fish sticks for my daughter, much faster than waiting for the oven to heat up just to cook a few pieces of meat.
My husband's favorite thing to make in it is bacon. It comes out crispy in just 8 minutes! Do yourself a favor and add this to your set of kitchen small appliances.
Crock-Pot Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is great for cooking tender and juicy meat or chilis. Really anything that needs to be cooked low and slow can be made in a crockpot. Dump everything into it in the morning and you'll come home to a delicious dinner ready to eat! There are a gazillion recipes out there for crockpot meals, my favorite is my beef stroganoff recipe.
Instant Pots are the latest craze in small appliances for your kitchen. It can be a little scary or intimidating to use a pressure cooker at first, especially if you watch "This is Us". But once you get over that they are great for cooking delicious food fast!
My favorite thing to make in mine is soups. They cook soooo much faster than if you do it stovetop. And they even come in cute colors now!
I'm actually not a fan of the big kitchen aid mixers. I know most bakers seem to love there's but I prefer a good old hand mixer! They take up way less space and seem easier to clean.
A good hand mixer is a must have, especially if you have a tiny kitchen.
This is another appliance I fell in love with thanks to my husband. I never realized what a different fresh ground coffee made. It tastes much better and it only takes a couple of extra minutes to grind your beans instead of just scooping it out of a container that was ground up long ago. Definitely worth the extra time.
Best Kitchen Gadgets
Silicone Baking Mats
Silicone baking sheets are a must have if you like to make cookies! No more scraping pans to get food off them or wasting a bunch of parchment paper. (Don't even get me started on trying to cut it to fit your pan) Simply wash the silicone sheets and use them again and again. They're designed for easy cleaning.
Bottle Opener/Can Punch/Church Key
Growing up my grandma always called this little gadget a church key. But you'll usually find it listed online as a bottle opener and can puncher. Use it to punch 2 holes in canned liquids like evaporated milk for easy pouring.
Must have Pots & Pans
Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
Stainless steel mixing bowls are a great addition to any kitchen. they don't stain and help maintain temperature.
Make sure to grab a set with lids so you can easily store cookie dough or leftovers and take salads to events. You'll also want ones with a silicone bottom that will keep it from sliding around while you're trying to mix.
Cast Iron Wedge Pan
I'm a big fan of making scones, but hand cutting them into wedges is tough. The sticky dough is not easy to work with. I was so glad to upgrade to a cast iron wedge pan. Now it's easy to get evenly sized and evenly cooked scones and I don't have to get my fingers so doughy.
Cast Iron Biscuit Pan
This is the kitchen gadget I never knew I needed. My husband got me a set of cast iron pans when I requested the wedge pan seen above for Christmas. This biscuit pan is great for making tasty, fluffy, evenly baked biscuits.
It's great for camping as well as you can cook over a campfire with cast iron!
Better than Bouillon
Always have chicken, beef, or vegetable broth on hand with better than bouillon. This stuff tastes great, lasts a long time, and doesn't take up a bunch of space like cans or cartons of broth. Just mix some up anytime you need a base for a recipe.