My Top Ten Kitchen Must-Haves

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OhAmanda‘s post on her Top Ten wedding gifts she still uses inspired and amused me. While I could definitely give you that run-down (and that answer is most of them, because we got married right out of college and had nothing), I thought it best not to copy her and instead provide something maybe helpful!

Since you know I am constantly in the kitchen (when I am not fighting a headcold and making my husband make dinner instead), here are my Top Ten Kitchen Must-Haves in honor of Top Ten Tuesday.

1. Stand Mixer. Yes, many people sing the glories of their KitchenAids. But my grandma was not feeling up to shelling out $300 (she has 15 grandkids!) and she bought us me this awesome Subeam stand mixer. I will say I’ve never had a KitchenAid so I can’t compare, but I loooove my stand mixer. I grew up without one and I never knew how easy it made baking! At under $100, it can’t be beat.

2. Good cookie sheets. I started out with some perfectly fine AirBake cookie sheets–but they were small. I love these giant Wilton cookie sheets I have. I can cook 16 cookies on each sheet–that’s 32 at a time if I use both sheets in the oven at once! The worst part of baking cookies, to me, is the tedious waiting for each batch to finish, switching it out with new dough, etc. Love the huge cookie sheets.

3. Stacking cooling racks. While we’re talking cookie baking–I love these basic stacking cooling racks. We got them off our Target registry and you can still get a set of 3 for under $10 at Target.
4. Thin spatula. I know this is weird, but a very thin spatula is vital for getting cookies off the cookie tray. I stress out if mine is dirty and I have to use another spatula for cookies, or for flipping things in the frying pan, etc. I guess that means I probably need to buy another one!
5. Really good slow cooker. I cringe to tell you I’m on my third Crockpot since we’ve been married. Model 1 Mr. V and I bought for about $10 at a department store before we were married. It was wonderful, but it only had the knob that went to high or low, and I wanted one that was programmable. So I think my dad bought me Model 2, a great big one that has wonderful programming features. Unfortunately, my lid was weird and probably defective (my mom has the same one and hers is fine). It didn’t fit completely right, and so a ton of steam would escape and leave everything burnt and dry.

SO, this year for Christmas, I asked for Model 3 and my darling mother-in-law (who also bought me those cookies sheets, silicone pastry brushes, and anything else I would ask for because she’s awesome and also loves to cook) got it for me. LOVE IT. Great settings. For us, because we’re gone about 11 hours during the day, it’s important that a crockpot will switch to the warm setting after its set cooking time. This one is perfect–and it has a locking lid!

6. Lots of rubber spatulas. I have a great Pampered Chef spoonula (can’t find it online), a KitchenAid Silicone Spoon Spatula, and the red one for tomato sauce. Great for baking–gotta have one to scrape batter out of the bowl and smooth the tops of cake batters. And for putting icing on the cake after it’s done! And stirring. And…

7. Wooden spoons. Lots and lots of wooden spoons! Just right for breaking up ground meats, stirring sauces and thicker batters, and beating your spouse. 😉 Someone gave me that bamboo set from Pampered Chef I linked. I guess that counts as wooden! I like them a lot.

8. Big skillets. I got tired of washing my biggest skillet over and over again–and plus it wasn’t nonstick, so I had to scrub it continually. Last Christmas Mr. V bought me these huge nonstick KitchenAid ones, and I use them all the time. Nonstick coating may kill us, but it’s sure easy to wash up! The only fault with this set is that they don’t have lids.

9. Dutch oven. Also known as, a big pot with a lid. But not a really deep stock pot, like what came with my pot and pan set. One of my friends gave me hers because she had several. But, of course, what I would really like is a fancy-smancy Le Creuset one. 10. A sharp knife. A really sharp knife. Although I’d prefer to have more than one, I’ve found you can live with just one or two. I have two from the Henckels Twin Signature line and after four years of using a Target knife set … these are heaven!

Wow, these top 10 lists are long. Might I suggest Top Three Tuesday for the future?

P.S. No, really, I love OhAmanda with little puffy hearts and rainbows. She’s one of the first bloggers I ever read regularly and I adore her. Subscribe to her blog! She rocks!

11 thoughts on “My Top Ten Kitchen Must-Haves

  1. I agree with all of those!!! Although I don’t use the Crockpot as much now that I don’t work.

    I got my Grama’s old stand mixer…it was over 20 years old when I got it. I used it so much, and the motor couldn’t keep up with my marshmallows and other culinary adventures…so she bought me a KA for Christmas. I LOVE it.

  2. I, too agree with all of the above. I acutally bought a kitchenaid for $12. It’s only 57 years old. I did inherit one from my grandma (who’s still living)??? and the antique sits on my fridge. It still works, though.
    I had a hard time coming up with 10, so I filled a few with nonsense. Good times were had by all.

  3. Thanks for the ‘review’ on the Sunbeam mixer, I want a stand mixer but just have not been able to bring myself to shell out the big bucks for a Kitchenaid! I don’t think I could bake without my wooden spoons :0).

  4. A granny fork. I absolutely cannot cook without one. Eddie’s grandmother gave me hers when we married. No telling how old that thing was. Lasted me about 20 years and when it broke, so did my heart. I looked forever before I finally found one. It’s a 2-prong fork and I use it ALL the time.

  5. Can’t be beat? Was that a pun? LOL.

    Stacking cooling racks. I would like that. I have a GIANT cooling rack that can hold a lot but it also takes up a lot of counter space.

    Wow, I didn’t know such a slow cooker existed!

    Loved your list and you, my friend are too kind! You rock!

  6. Great list! I'll have to check out those cooling racks. I don't even have one & would love one, but with little counter space, this would be great!

  7. Love, love, love your list!!! I agree, though, coming up with a list of ten things is harder than it seems. Three would be much easier!

    One thing I’d add to the list, for myself, is my mini chopper. Do you have one? It’s fabulous for doing cheese and onions, both of which I despise doing. Kitchen gadgets are awesome!!!

  8. I love that three of your 10 – in a row, mind you – have to do with cookies. And I’m being totally serious. Because I’m a big cookie fan. 🙂

  9. you know, i’ve never had a dutch oven but my MIL always talks about them … I may have to acquire one soon!

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