Whether you’re a foodie or not, there are some definite kitchen staples you need. And if you’re swingin’ solo until your I Dos and don’t entertain much as is, you might be uber surprised by how much you’re gonna want to entertain once you’re all hitched and shacked up together (plus, as broke-asses, it’s cheaper to holler at some peeps to come over than have a lavish night out. Also: Cards Against Humanity is way better after a bottle or so of wine). Even if gatherings aren’t a thing, there’s something about newlywed life that makes you really want to just hang with each other … plus, you might want to start saving some scratch again after spending it on the wedding and honeymoon. So, go ahead and pull up that registry and get to addin’ because these are things you’re definitely gonna want:
A Great Set of Pots and Pans
I was recently sent one of these pans to take for a little test run, and I’m fully in love. They are a little spendy, but if used right they’re the kind that will last for eons. Using “vapor cooking” technology, 360 Cookware’s heavy clad pans don’t require water or fats (read: butter, oil) to cook, which helps create a healthier meal. They run a little on the spendy side, but they’re totally worth it.
A Slow Cooker
A slow cooker is one of those kitchen things I didn’t know I needed until I had one … and then my whole life was changed forever. I have a cast iron dutch oven that I use, too, but my digital crock pot is my everything. If this is one of those gifts that arrives before the wedding, get stoked: That super busy final month or so can get crazy, and this will at least save your diner. Set it and forget it, yo! Though, totally truthfully, my favorite thing to make in my slow cooker is beans — get dried beans, fill the crock pot up with some stock (veggie or chicken) and let ’em cook overnight and they’re way better than anything you’d get in a can.
A Solid Knife Set
If there’s one thing any kitchen needs, it’s a good chef’s knife. But a whole set of knives is even better. They don’t have to be the boring ol’ silver and black ones by any means, but make sure they’re good quality and they’re taken care of (invest in a whet stone or steel and sharpen the blade after every couple of uses, don’t put them in the dishwasher, etc.). When choosing a knife or knife set, check to ensure the steel runs all the way through the handle — otherwise the blade could break off and that could be super dangerous and sucky.
A Durable Wood Cutting Board
Sure, cutting boards are a dime a dozen, but getting a solid, heavy butcher block-style board is never regrettable. Wood boards do less damage to your good knives, and they often stay in place better than any flimsy glass or plastic number you’ll find. Plus, they’ll last a lifetime which makes getting one with your married monogram on it a totally worthwhile (and beautiful to look at) solution.
A Food Processor
I debated whether to include the ubiquitous mixer in this post, and while I do believe that a mixer is a great appliance, it just doesn’t warrant a spot on the list of essentials. A food processor, however, does. Especially in this age of Food Network-Pinterest-foodieness, where seemingly every other recipe calls for this small countertop appliance to be used. I happen to have two small (3 cup) food processors and long for the day when I can get my mitts on a bigger one. Whether you’re whirring up a killer pesto, crumbling crumbs for breading or just going the lazy route to get a small dice out of some veggies, a food processor is a great appliance for novice cooks and culinary ninjas alike.