The Minimalist Kitchen Part 4: Kitchen Essentials

Friday, March 25, 2016

I have been thinking a lot about the minimalist kitchen posts that I have previously posted.  I felt like I broke the kitchen down to the bare bones to help you (and me) decide what is really essential in the kitchen, and what is just taking up space. The more I have thought about it, the more I feel like I needed to do one more variation on the minimal kitchen.

Yesterday, I was reminded again about the conversation that helped inspire this series in the first place, and thought about the folks who might need just a few things to get started.  Someone who looks at a registry to get ideas for what they might need to buy to cook some food at home, and has no idea where to start. Maybe this isn't you.

In fact, this probably isn't if you. But maybe you know someone who needs to know that their first set of kitchen tools doesn't have to cost thousands of dollars.  If they know what to get, they could get it from a thrift store for a whole lot less.

So look back at the first four posts to scale back your kitchen(part 1, part 2, part 3), and look at this final post for starting out.

Also, I am considering doing one more post in this series on kitchen storage.  Is anyone interested in a post like that?

rolling pin, a set of measuring spoons, cutting board, a set of measuring cups, a mixing bowl/serving bowl, mesh strainer, chef knife (not pictured), paring knife (not pictured)
This dude was trying to help me... :) Which is why the next photo is a little wonky/boring.  I was trying to take it as fast as possible before he grabbed the pot lid.  
saucepan, stockpot (not pictured and optional), frying pan (get stainless steel if you can. Non-stick give off wonky chemicals at high heats)

dish towels, blender (optional and the link isn't for this blender.  But I do love this blender.  I never thought I needed an expensive blender until we got one.  I don't think I will ever be able to go back), oven mitts (not pictured), tupperware (not pictured)

I am a little worried about saying that you should get a blender before any other appliance.  I thought long and hard about the appliances that I have and which one was the most multi-purpose.  A stand mixer can be super awesome, but they generally are expensive and are great for mixing (obviously) and kneading and beating, but not for a lot else, and each of those can be done by hand.  A waffle iron is the only thing you can make waffles in, but how many people will choose that as their only appliance if they need a multi-functional appliance?  Toasters are great, but can only be used to make toast and you can easily make toast in the oven, if you really need toast.

A blender, on the other hand, will make smoothies, puree soups and vegetables, whipped cream, salad dressing, some can make ice cream, and they can make pancake batter.  I don't use mine for all of those functions, but it can be used for a boatload of things! Plus, you would have a pretty hard time making a smoothie without a blender.  There are few things that can replace a good blender.  If I had to pick one appliance to keep with me forever,  it just might be my blender.

According to my calculations with the links that I have used (some of them are affiliate links, by the way, and I tried to choose as many of the same items as mine as I could, but some I did do the same time, but the cheapest or highest rated with the best price that I could find), it would cost you approximately $300 (shipping not included), to purchase this entire kitchen.  If you got it at second hand shop, it would probably cost a bit less.

As with every list that I have done here, your circumstances may require a slightly different list. But start small and buy things as you see a need.  That way you can make wise decisions about what you bring into your home and keep things simple and useful.

Happy Friday.


  1. Chiming in with my "priority appliance." I love love love my toaster oven and use it multiple times a day for toasting, reheating, roasting veggies, making biscuits, etc. Even though all of those could be done in the oven, it's faster and easier for me to use a smaller appliance and I always go to the toaster oven first.

  2. I like your list. I tend to consider myself a minimalist and would def. consider your list to be a great starting place for most cooks. The only thing I adore and would add is a sturdy wooden spoon. Though it's not "essential" it is very handy to have a corkscrew, especially if you drink or cook with wine. I suppose a handy Swiss Army knife could do the trick too :)

  3. I'd love a post on kitchen storage. Very interested and curious ;)

  4. You got gorgeous list of kitchen wares. Lovely!

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