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I personally love to cook and bake, so it’s important for me to keep a well stocked kitchen. I definitely own a few more items than are on this list, but these are the basic tools in a minimalist kitchen. It’s perfect for someone who’s just starting out, stocking up a new, minimalist (or tiny!) home, or who wants to simplify their home.
Basic Tools in a Minimalist Kitchen
I would recommend you not add too many extra items to this list. It doesn’t include appliances or dishes, since lifestyle affects those so much. But don’t go planning to be a minimalist with this list then add things like salad spinners or garlic presses to this list unless you use them all the time.
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If you want a truly minimalist kitchen, this is what you’ll need:
Depending on your cooking habits, a good quality chef’s knife can pretty much take care of all the slicing and dicing you need to do in the kitchen. The only other two knives I would recommend for the average kitchen is a paring knife and a bread knife, but you may not need these in your life.
Most people can’t get away from having a measuring cup in their kitchen, but if you need to have one it might as well do double duty. Something like this not only works to measure and pour, but it can also be used for other jobs. One day it’s a mixing bowl, the next it’s a pitcher, and so on. Personally, I choose glass because it’s microwave safe and I find lasts far longer than plastic… As long as you’re not clumsy!
Just like with the measuring cup, a measuring spoon is pretty much required for most people. Instead of getting a set, consider this minimalist approach to design and opt for an adjustable option. That way you keep it down to one single item rather than multiple spoons of different sizes.
This is one area I don’t recommend downsizing, unless you have to. Having a good sized cutting board makes cooking and food prep so much easier. What I like about the wood ones (like in the picture) is that they also double as a serving board. Perfect for charcuterie night!
A couple of these casserole pans is all you need for making most dishes. Use them to cook meats, roast veggies, or even make a homemade lasagna. Personally I don’t even use a dedicated roaster pan for things like chicken: instead I just tent foil over top of one of these.
Get one as big as your oven allows. Trust me on this one. A flat baking sheet can be used for so many things (heating up frozen foods, to put under your casserole pans). By getting one the right size you can probably also avoid getting dedicated pizza pans, which is nice. Make rectangle pizza homemade or slice frozen pizza to make it fit.
You’re probably going to need to open some cans at some point, so you might as well keep (or buy) the can opener. We don’t need to be that minimalist! I love this one because it also doubles as a bottle opener so you can eliminate that tool in your kitchen too.
I swear by my silicone spatula. It’s always saving the last bit of peanut butter, or scraping enough batter to make one more cookie. I couldn’t live without it, and I won’t suggest you do either. Just make sure you get a good quality, temperature proof one so it will last.
Flip eggs, pancakes, oven foods, and anything else that needs help from a spatula like this one. Again, investing in a single good quality item is better than having multiples. I only have one flat spatula in my kitchen too!
You can pick up any style of spoon you prefer, but the wooden spoon is my recommendation. If you grab this and the other two listed above, you’ll have most of your kitchen needs covered. The only thing you might want to add is a set of tongs – but that is debatable depending on your lifestyle.
Although this is one I debated listing on here, it won me over because a colander can be used for more than just straining pasta. You can also wash fruits and veggies in here, or use it for straining other things like lentils.
You have too cook with something, right? When choosing a minimalist pot and pan set, look for something that has a few choice sizes that you’ll use every day. If you end up needing more later, you can always buy those items individually. But there’s nothing worse for a simple kitchen than having all these extra cooking pans that you never use taking up space. As always, good quality will last longer.
Maybe some people can live without this kitchen tool, but I’m not sure how many. Peeling veggies is a huge part of our cooking routine and I don’t think there’s anything that can really substitute a good peeler. Most of us aren’t talented enough with the paring knife to peel everything. On the subject of multi-use, this also works for shaving cheese, chocolate, and butter.
Pretty much the only way you wouldn’t need one of these is if you never need to grate anything. It not only is used for grating cheese (obviously), but you can also grate onions, carrots, and other veggies for soups and stews.
Without one you won’t be whipping up eggs, mixing your baking properly, or getting your gravy quite as smooth. Although you might be able to avoid one if you’re not a big cooker, most people are going to want a whisk in their kitchen.
More Basic Tools in a Minimalist Kitchen
This isn’t a complete list of everything you might need. There are quite a few items that I keep in my kitchen (and can’t live without) that aren’t on this list.
- Rolling pin
- Slotted spoon
- Ice cream scoop
- Baking accessories like pans, tools, and cooling racks
- Meat thermometer
- Kitchen scissors
This post covers the absolute basics, but is also meant to be a reminder for how little you can live with and still have a functional kitchen. You might want to add some things, especially if you like to cook certain foods or cook in a certain way. Still, this has you covered with the guidelines for basic tools in a minimalist kitchen.