As our kids have left home, they sooner or later realize that Dad is no longer making dinner for them. And that eating out is stupid expensive. So sooner than later, they come around to asking what do we need in our kitchen?
There are often cheaper alternatives to some of my recomendations. Just don't go too cheap. I love high end Henckels, but if you need to spend less, don't waste your money on junk, buy all Victorinox with Fibrox handles. Can't afford (or steal from your father) Le Crueset? Tramontina is a good brand, less expensive. A lot less expensive.
Good pans are heavy pans (in general). A pot with a light bottom is one you will be throwing away in a year or two because it is warped. And copper bottom pans? Usually junk. Avoid them.
Do Not EVER put you knives in the sink or the dishwasher. Use them, hand wash them, hand dry them, put them away. Don't make me stage an intervention.
The only knife you have to have is an 8" Chef's knife. Others are nice, and handy upon occasion, but that will get you through everything. Some like a 9" or 10", but my 8" Henckels has always just felt right to me. Of course I own about 20 knifes....
Don't buy sets of anything (other than place settings and silverware). Sets are filled with things you won't ever use. Better (generally) to buy just what you need.
You don't need that much (this comes from a man with darn near every piece of junk ever made). Don't waste your money filling your cupboards - buy good things. You will love them, use them, and ignore everything else. You don't even need everything on this list to produce a whole lot of meals made of love.
Things I have left off that you should have include:
- Potato peeler - cheap, carbon steel. Buy at least four of them - they end up lost too often.
- Box Grater - Microplanes are great, but terrible for grating a pound of chedder. I understand they now have a box grater - expensive though.
- General kitchen junk - ladle, large spoon, whisk, potato masher, metal spatula, plastic spatula, colander. Again, buy things that don't melt.
- GoodWill and other second hand stores occasionally have nice stuff - Meme once picked up a $200 le crueset pot for $2 - so don't be afraid to check out the kitchen section. I think Jeremie now has that pot.