If you’ve recently graduated from college and you find yourself alone in your new kitchen, there are a few basic kitchen items that every new grad should have in their cabinets. You’ll definitely miss the unbelievable convenience of the dining hall, and the fact that the meal plan made it feel like dinnertime was an all-you-can eat free-for-all for a bargain. Sundae bar? Burrito buffet? Cereal at every meal? It was a magical time, but there’s a certain freedom to knowing you can whip up a meal from scratch in your well-equipped kitchen, so see our suggestions for the essentials. These must-have kitchen items are the perfect fit for your new home.
These bowls are incredibly versatile; use them to make any kind of cake that you can think of, just for starters. They’re also very sturdy, so if you want to use them for arts and crafts, hand-washing your laundry, or a makeshift serving dish, you’re in luck. With non-skid bottoms, they hold their own when you’re whisking and won’t slide off the counter.Buy Now
Even if you think you know what a teaspoon looks like, these measuring spoons will help keep you on track. They’re stainless steel so that they won’t retain any flavors from the spices that you’re measuring, and with seven sizes you’ll never have to guess how much a pinch is again. Plus, they hang together on one ring so you’ll never lose any of them.Buy Now
Calphalon Stainless Steel Frying Pan, $39.99 on Amazon (originally $42.22)
A good stainless steel pan will serve you well. They’re dishwasher-, stovetop-, and oven-safe so that you can start off with a good sear on the burner and then finish your roasted chicken by popping it into the oven—and cleaning up is easy. Start with the 8-inch omelette pan and add this 10-inch and/or the 12-inch once you’re more confident in the kitchen.Buy Now
No dishwasher? See our favorite scrubbers and sponges.
Epicurean Non-Slip Cutting Board, $22.49 on Amazon (originally $31.95)
A good cutting board is a great basic that makes everyday tasks like chopping vegetables a lot more enjoyable. These non-slip cutting boards have grippy rubber edges and won’t dull your knives. And they’re just fancy enough to double as a great cheese platter for when you’re entertaining.Buy Now
A multipurpose paring knife is a versatile essential that you can use for chopping, dicing, and peeling. This extremely light version from Victorinox has a lifetime guarantee, and for only $7 it’s a steal.Buy Now
These ergonomic, ultra-sharp peelers are no joke—use with caution. They make quick work of peeling any vegetable and with a pack of three for only $8 you’ll never need to replace them.Buy Now
You usually can’t replace the finicky kitchen sink in your rental apartment, so this OXO silicone sink strainer is a necessity. You can flip it out for easy emptying and even better, it’s dishwasher-safe so that you can sanitize it whenever you want.Buy Now
A classic 8-inch chef’s knife is really the only knife that you’ll need. In addition to a paring knife for smaller tasks, the chef’s knife is able to tackle any kitchen task with relative ease.Buy Now
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet, $14.90 on Amazon (originally $26.68)
The cast iron skillet is a well-rounded workhorse that makes searing, sautéing, baking, boiling, braising, and frying an easy task. Though they’re incredibly heavy (it’s iron, after all) they become even more seasoned and enjoyable to cook with after every use.Buy Now
Next Steps: Check out the best cookbooks for beginners.
All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop.
Header image courtesy of Amazon.