With the new and upcoming different kinds of kitchen appliances, tools, and equipment being introduced in the market every day, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and lost with what essentials you should have in your home kitchen. Whether you have cooking experience or just starting out to have some, we laid down the following top 10 kitchen essentials to help you out in your kitchen must-haves checklist.
This is the first essential appliance your kitchen should have since this will make any of your cooking easier to start with rather than having to prep your cooking fire using other means.
The most common types of stoves are Gas stoves and Electric stoves.
A gas stove requires a gas line to be able to operate. In the Philippines, it is commonly connected to liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG, which can be delivered straight to one’s home through various suppliers. An electric stove, on the other hand, only requires an electric outlet to function. Kitchen homes, whether it be in houses or condominiums, are usually built with an outlet behind where the stove might be placed but if the outlet has not yet been set out yet, installation is very easy. Costs of gas stoves and electric stoves vary according to the brand and specifications so some gas stoves may cost more or less than an electric stove and vice versa. However, in addition to the cost of the stove itself, the other consideration is that in a gas stove, the LPG has to be bought separately which will incur an additional cost, and as to an electric stove, using such will contribute to the total electric bill of your home. Whether which will be cheaper in cost and efficiency will depend on how much you cook and use the stove.
A gas cooktop heats up faster than an electric stove and is more responsive to temperature changes. Once you switch to a lower setting, the heat level reduces right away. Gas stoves also have more control over some cooking techniques which electric stoves are not capable of like toasting or charring. So if you think that you will be doing some advanced level of cooking, an electric stove may not be for you.
In terms of safety, electric stoves may generally be safer than a gas stove, since a gas stove is susceptible to gas leaks which may cause fire or explosion if not installed properly or if the LPG’s accessory has some damage. With an electric stove, since gas is not used, there will be no need to worry about this potential hazard, but just remember to turn off the switch or remove the outlet after use.
A refrigerator or fridge is the main necessity in food storage mainly due to its cooling and freezing uses. It prolongs shelf life and also maintains the freshness of food, especially for those who like to buy and budget their groceries and meals. The fridge also gives the kitchen an organized space to keep safe food, drinks, cooking ingredients, and the like since most fridges now come with vegetable cases, flexible shells, and organizer boxes which help store different kinds of food and even drinks, accordingly.
Nowadays, there are lots of varieties of fridges to choose from. Some have one door with a freezer for small kitchen use, or if you won’t need a freezer, a basic fridge without one will do for you. There are two-doors fridge options with an automatic temperature regulator which is energy efficient and helps save electric consumption. Other advanced fridge types include touch screen surfaces, ice cube makers, and water dispensers (you won’t even have to open the fridge for this one). Inverter refrigerators are highly recommended as one of your kitchen appliances must have and should have since they cool food in the shortest period and saves energy at the same time. Buying a fridge really depends on your storage use and purpose but with the options now available on the market, you will surely find one perfect for your kitchen use.
The main function a blender is known for is crushing ice, but nowadays, it serves a lot more purposes. Blenders also emulsify and turn into liquid food ingredients like vegetables, fruit, oats, yogurt, nuts, and the like, resulting in a thick consistency and smooth texture which are popular nowadays since they are being promoted as alternative healthy food options. If you want to turn solid ingredients into liquid, then a blender is definitely a kitchen necessity for you since it does the job well efficiently and without the hassle of chopping and grinding manually.
For the health junks, the blender is a hero in helping with the soups, green smoothies, protein shakes, salad dressings, and all other home-made and all-natural food and beverage plus you are certain about the contents and calories of what you will drink or eat since you can make it yourself.
4. Air Fryer
Another health-related kitchen essential would be an air fryer. An air fryer is popular nowadays since it’s a kitchen appliance that is being used to make fried foods without the need of drenching the food in oil. It works by circulating hot air around the food to produce a crunchy and crispy exterior, which a few years back, can only be achieved by having to fry the food in a few liters of cooking oil. Compared to deep-frying, air-frying requires just a tablespoon (or two) of oil to cook which means a lower content of fat or calories and is the main reason why air-fried cooking is a deemed healthier option. Although, of course, there will still be some distinction between the taste and texture of food cooked through an air fryer versus deep frying. Also, cooking through an air fryer requires more time to cook food.
5. Microwave Oven
The microwave oven is a must-have in the kitchen due to the versatility of its uses and the variety of meals it can produce from such minimal box space it occupies. Of course, the main purpose of a microwave oven is still for heating food and it is efficient in doing such since the expected taste is not reduced even after use and with the right temperature and proper timing, the expected texture is also achieved.
It is a top choice if you want to reheat your leftovers quickly or if you want to serve your popcorn fresh for movie date nights, but in addition to these, a microwave oven can also be used for baking, grilling, boiling, steaming, and even roasting. It gives the kitchen owner various swift cooking options without having to use different kitchen appliances for each cooking process. Since the microwave oven is compact, it is also easy to clean and maintain.
6. Electric Kettle
For your quick water-heating needs, an electric kettle is a good kitchen appliance to have.
Most electric kettles in the market these days offer an impressive feature that automatically turns off the heating soon after the water has reached its boiling point. It does not just save electricity and energy, but it also spares the user from having to monitor the water temperature and turning off the kettle. This is also a ticked check for safety since you do not need to worry about leaving your electric kettle on and operating while you are busy with all your other cooking errands. It can also be used for other things like boiling eggs, cooking ready-to-eat or instant noodles, making soups, or even sterilizing small utensils.
7. Rice cooker
Definitely, this is a sure essential kitchen appliance in any Filipino home. Cooking rice is now easier than ever, thanks to the rice cooker. Just like an electric kettle, the most helpful feature of the rice cooker is that you can simultaneously cook rice while cooking or doing something else since the power automatically turns off once the rice is fully cooked. Of course, proper measurement and ratio of the water to rice is still necessary to have the perfect rice but there will be less worrying about burning the rice if you have a rice cooker stationed in your kitchen.
Plus, another good thing about the rice cooker is that you can bring it with you. Whether you will go to a picnic, camp out, outing, or wherever you want to have your rice ready in a few minutes so as long as there is an electric outlet, the rice cooker can and will deliver.
8. Frying pans and pots
In choosing your kitchen’s cookware, one of the most important considerations to think of is the material of which the pans and pots are made. There are a lot of diverse materials like copper, and aluminum, from pans made of cast iron to stainless steel, each material is made in accordance with each cooking use. Generally, the best cookware sets to own should have all the pieces you most commonly cook with. It would also be helpful to have induction-ready cookware such as cast iron, stainless steel, enameled cast iron, and some non-stick cookware.
Read Also: Essential Pots and Pans for Your Kitchen
Cookware made of stainless steel is the most recommended piece to have for everyday cooking since it is tough and versatile to use for almost all food types. They do not have chemical coating or porous metal that might absorb the flavors of what is being cooked in them. They can also take the high temperatures of cooking and deep cleaning without ruining its performance.
For beginner cooks who would like to have user-friendly and low-maintenance cookware, non-stick pans and pots are considered kitchen essentials since they are perfect for kitchen newbies. Besides the fact that since it is oil-free cooking so there will be no need for screaming and fighting the bustling oil, this is also a healthy option in cooking. It allows you to make your food without the excessive oil (and fat) which gives you heartier meals but still gives you perfectly cooked eggs, pancakes, hams, tocino, or even tapa without sticking onto the pan.
For more advanced and experienced cooks, cast iron cookware works best for heat retention. It is the perfect pan to be used in searing steaks and deep frying foods. The lifeline of a cast iron can last for a very long time when it is properly maintained and cleaned before and after use. Although to maximize the usability of a cast iron, it should be properly seasoned so it can generate non-stick properties, and as such, it gives the food a more distinct taste which cannot be done with pans made from other materials.
9. Spatula sets
In whatever level of cooking you will be doing in your kitchen, you will need some kind of spatula to help you flip and turn what it is on your pan.
With high temperatures, some spatulas can melt, especially those made from plastic. Plastic spatulas are probably more recommended for mixing food without the heat, like for mixing your baking ingredients or combining your dry and wet compounds before pouring them onto the pan. In cooking on non-stick pans, your options include nylon spatulas or silicone spatulas but still be reminded that any kind of material is prone to melting in extremely high temperatures. For cast iron or in instances where high-temperature cooking is involved, stainless steel or metal spatula sets are still your best options.
10. Knife sets
Every kitchen requires a good pair of knives, whether you’re an experienced chef or just getting started. It’s crucial to have the proper blades on hand, especially if you enjoy cooking from scratch, growing your own produce, or following a meal plan since using sensible and sharp knives will make your cooking much simpler.
There are numerous kinds of knives, each for their own purpose, but the most common type of knife to have in the kitchen is made of stainless steel since it can be sharpened easily and does not rust quickly. They are, however, prone to getting blunt eventually but knife sharpeners are also readily available in the market if you want to re-sharpen the knife sets on your own.