17 Kitchen Versatile Essentials That Will Make Home Cooking Easy as Pie

If you've resolved to kick your takeout habit to the curb in 2023, you'll want this list of simple, practical essentials for feeling at home in the kitchen.

By Sophy Ziss Jan 13, 2023 5:05 PMTags
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Resolved to get more involved in the kitchen this year? You aren't alone. It's a pretty common goal, after all; you get to cross off "save money" and "eat better" while you do it, and efficiency like that is hard to beat. That said, if you aren't sure where to get started, it can be a little daunting.

Do you have the right pots? Pans? Accoutrements? Are you so used to eating out of containers that you've forgotten where your dinner plates even are? Let me be the first to say that I get it. I recently moved, and takeout and to-go items are so much easier than finding where I put all of my stuff and figuring out my way around a new space.

So for you and for me, I pulled together this list of versatile kitchen essentials that will actually want to make us get in there and fire stuff up. From dainty place settings to Instagram-friendly cookware, here's everything you (we) need for home cooking to be easy as pie. 

Incidentally, I have a super easy pie crust recipe to share, but I'll save that for another article.

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Joanna Buchanan Animal Print Placemat, Silver

First things first: Enough of looking at that beat-up coffee table or hovering over the kitchen island while you eat. Make a nice space for yourself to sit down and enjoy a homecooked meal with this glam placemat from Joanna Buchanan.

Cooking with Love: Comfort Food That Hugs You

If you're intimidated by your mom's suggestions and blogger reviews alike, kick it old-school: A real cookbook! This collection of comfort foods from TV fave Carla Hall should offer plenty of inspiration throughout your kitchen journey.

Frosted Ombre Stemless Wine Glasses

I mean, everything seems a little less "AAAH" after a glass of wine, right? That definitely includes tackling home chefing. And if you're not a drinker, these glasses are still perfectly adorable for seltzers and sodas. 

Black & Decker Extra Wide Crisp 'N' Bake Air Fry Toaster Oven

If you're not quite ready to move into the big leagues (aka, using your stove), I'm not leaving you out. Black & Decker's unbelievably versatile toaster offers more than enough functions to get you started. No Googling "broiler work how?" required.

Lodge Square Cast Iron Grill Pan

Unfortunately, every single person who's ever raved about how superior cast iron is to other cooking surfaces is right. I myself can vouch for Lodge products, which are affordable, easy to maintain, and can go stove-to-oven when you're feeling adventurous. This cast iron pan will get you photo-ready grill marks and legit make your food taste better. 

Our Place Always Pan

If grilling isn't really your thing, and I get that (not everything is meant to be grilled!), I can personally recommend the Our Place Always Pan as a different type of game-changer. I got one as a gift for my birthday, and I was skeptical that it would actually deliver, but it does. It's lightweight, surprisingly large, cooks quickly, and cleans even quicker. It's legit a must-have if you're building your kitchen arsenal from scratch.

Premana Professional Chef's Knife

A quality knife makes all the difference. This versatile, professional-grade one will have you ready to get to choppin'. 

Vegetable Chopper with Container

On the other hand, for those who feel that even slicing is too laborious: This cult fave vegetable chopper that makes meal prep the fun part.

Vagabond House Wellington Bit Plate

I know that when I've laid out a proper place setting, it makes me that much more excited to put something on it. (Yes, I'm a Virgo.) This dainty dish is just waiting to be partnered with your kitchen concoctions. True china is an every day luxury a home chef deserves.

CDN Programmable Probe Thermometer & Timer

No offense, but like, if you're an inexperienced cooker of meats, you're going to want this thermometer to make sure you're not about to poison yourself or your guests.

Quarter Size Sheet Pan

There is literally nothing in the world as easy as roasting stuff on a sheet pan. I cannot recommend it enough. Even the most cooking-averse can shop stuff, put it on a pan with some oil, and leave it in the oven for an appropriate amount of time. Plus, this quarter-sized one is great for smaller spaces, cooking for one, or cooking with multiple oven pans at a time.

SMEG Retro-Style Blender

A blender is one of those kitchen gadgets where upgrading to a fancy model does, in fact, make a difference. This retro-inspired design from SMEG not only looks cool on your countertop, but can be used for smoothies, margaritas, sauces, soups, and more. Also, there are only 3 buttons on it. You got this!

Vagabond House Conch Shell Stoneware Butter Dish

Okay, is this stoneware butter dish a total necessity? Not really. But it's cute, and sophisticated, and sometimes cooking just needs to be made that much more fun in order to make it, you know, fun, and not just another chore.

Hamilton Beach Brands 1.5 Quart Compact Cooker

This absolutely adorable cooker from Hamilton Beach takes up barely any space on your counter or in a cabinet, and you can just throw a bunch of stuff in it, press some buttons, and call it a meal. It's a great way to kickstart your cooking journey, make side dishes, and test recipes without needing to use too many groceries to do it.

Stainless Steel Double Boiler

Now, if you're a little more advanced than one-pan meals, but aren't totally sure where to go next, I recommend getting a double boiler. You can temper chocolate (mmm), steam vegetables (healthy!), and like 50 other things with it. Also, your mom will be impressed that you have one. Win-win!

Cork Genius Wine Thermometer

Whether you're serving your guests or yourself, you can't go wrong with wine poured at the optimal temperature. It may also help distract from the quality of your cooking, if you haven't quite reached home celebrity chef status just yet.

Vagabond House Concho Flatware

That pile of plastic cutlery isn't doing you (or the environment) any favors. Upgrade to real flatware with this Western-inspired collection, and yeehaw your way into eating like a true adult.

Need a little extra boost of confidence in the kitchen? Here are the crystals, candles, mindfulness tools we recommend for manifesting your ideal 2023.