This is a very exciting time if you are getting ready to move into your very first apartment or house. The feeling of having your own space for the first time is definitely something you will never forget. My first apartment kitchen list will get you started with one of the main areas in an apartment or house to get settled in and start enjoying yourself needs to be in your kitchen. This is the spot where you will be able to not only cook what just you like, but you will get to experiment and try new things as well. Not all of these new things will you like when you are done with them, and that will also happen from time to time. Being prepared to try anything is the main idea here. So let’s talk about what are all the things you may need in your first kitchen.
Safety is the very first thing you will need to keep in mind when you are in the kitchen. No matter your age or how long you have been in a kitchen you still have to keep safety in mind. This should be the number one thing thought of at all times in the kitchen. Here are some of the reasons why:
Fires are dangerous to you, your apartment and other tenants, and your home. From 2014-2018 172,900 structural fires were started by cooking. This is an alarming number. These tips can help you prevent fires:
- Have a fire extinguisher, and understand how to use it. The American Red Cross suggest reaching out to your local fire department to inquire about training.
- Never ever leave food unattended. Leaving food cooking unattended increases your risk of starting a fire in the kitchen.
- Have smoke alarms installed. If you live in an apartment, make sure that you have the recommended amount of functioning smoke alarms. If you do not contact your landlord or property management. If you are in a house, do the same if you are renting. If you own then install or call a handyman to install these. Test your smoke alarms monthly and replace all batteries at least once a year. Smoke alarms do save lives.
Just a few other safety tips for the kitchen.
- Do not put metal into your microwave. This will cause damage to your microwave and potentially start a fire.
- Oil and water do not mix. Water is a higher density than oil and will go to the bottom of the pan you are cooking in. Also, water has a lower boiling point than oil and this will cause the water to boil and burst up through the oil. When the oil is splattered out of the pan from the water steaming out, if the oil touches a flame, like a gas burner or even an electric burner this can cause a fire.
- Keep potholders in your kitchen. You might even want to have two sets of these as I have found some of them are just better than others. You can use a towel like people do on the kitchen shows, but having extra fabric hanging around the oven isn’t the best idea.
- Store foods in appropriate areas. Do not let refrigerated items sit out and get hot. This will cause bacteria to grow and will make you very sick.
Pots And Pans
You will obviously need some pots and pans for your kitchen, unless you plan to microwave everything, and no one wants to eat microwaved food all the time. Cooking your own food can be very rewarding. You’ll want to make you have just a few of what I would consider essential pots and pans on hand to get started.
- 3 quart saute pan with lid.
- 6-quart and 3-quart saucepans with lids.
- At least a 10in by 15in flat pan.
Is this really all you need? As far as pots and pans go, I say yes. For your first apartment or home kitchen I recommend these four items. Especially if you live alone. If you live with someone else you may need to add more to this list, but these items are what you will need. In my own kitchen, with a family, I use these pots and pans all the time.
Mix, Chop, and Stir
Now we are getting to the fun part. I love my cooking utensils. Over the years I have found some that I like more than others. The main idea we are trying to achieve here though is getting you what you need to get started in a kitchen. Over time, you will develop your own preference for certain items.
- Slotted Spoon
- Solid Spoon
- Measuring Spoons/Cups
- Can Opener
- Vegetable Peeler
- Knife Set
- Set of mixing bowls
I do understand this list is quite short as well. When you first start in your own kitchen however, you do not need too many utensils. Your collection will grow over time naturally by acquiring new items. You may only have one spatula and you may have to wash it and reuse it while cooking a meal but that is quite alright.
Flatware, Dinnerware, and Glasses
Is there anything wrong with plastic silverware? Absolutely not, but I do recommend a decent flatware set. Plastic silverware will continue to cost money over time, unlike a one time purchase of flatware and create more trash for you in the long term. I do not like doing dishes, but I would rather spend a couple of minutes and wash flatware than to spend money over and over again on the same thing.
Dinnerware is again something I recommend as a one time purchase and wash/reuse item. You can also use sturdy paper plates instead of glass but this will leave you spending more money consistently.
Drinking glasses are probably one of items that made me feel most grown up in my first kitchen. Being able to drink out of a glass cup without anyone looking over my shoulder and reminding me not to drop it was very new feeling. Amazing how something so little can make you feel like a grown up. You can choose to have throw-away cups but I believe by now you know where I stand on that.
You will have to make your own decision about these items. If you want to spend a little more money upfront on these or spend less to get the throw-away items that also do not require washing.
Microwave – A microwave is a very valuable appliance in the kitchen. You can use this for almost everything from heating water for a quick bowl of oatmeal in the morning to warming up leftovers or even warming up a quick frozen meal. The microwave is meant for quick convenience. Microwaves heat things from the inside, unlike an oven that heats food from the outside.
Toaster Oven – This toaster oven can be used to bake, broil, toast, and warm reheat. This appliance is a great alternative to heating up your big oven. Not only does that take much more time but it also uses more power or gas than a small countertop toaster oven. *As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases
These are my personal favorites for a first-time kitchen whether it is in either an apartment or a house. Most people go straight for the regular toaster but I prefer an appliance I have spent money on, be able to do perform more than just one function.
Little Thought Of Items
I’m am going to toss out a list of items I think are mostly not thought of when you start planning for your first apartment or house kitchen. You can decide which of these you will need or not need.
- Dishwashing sponges/scrubbers/pot scraper
- Dish drainer
- Trash can
- Potholders/oven mitts
- Salt/pepper shakers
- Cutting board
- Ice trays if you do not have an icemaker
When you are planning for your first kitchen some of these little items are forgotten about until you need them. I ran into not having potholders and ice trays my very first kitchen. It was not fun trying to use a towel to get hot food out of the oven. That is partially why I talked to that earlier.
Getting Settled In
I hope that my first apartment kitchen list has gotten you prepared with everything you need to think about to get a good start in an apartment or a house. Keeping safety in mind is a top priority. You can start gathering your pots and pans, utensils, flatware, dinnerware, glasses, and appliances ahead of time if you know you will be moving soon. I recommend this as you will be able to spread out the cost over time. Another way to save money is to thrift shop for most of your items. Everything does not have to be brand new and does not have to match for your first kitchen. You can purchase new, matching items as you get more established and comfortable with what you will/will not use and what you find most beneficial in your kitchen. These items are not the same for everyone, so only through experience will you know what is best for you.
Do you have one item you forgot about for your first kitchen or any of these you haven’t thought about yet? I would love to hear your story.
Here is another post about tips to keep your kitchen clean.