The day a young person moves into his or her first apartment or home is a momentous occasion. Few things evoke a sense of accomplishment and independence as much as having your own place.
Upon moving into a first home or apartment, young people soon realize just how many items they need to make a home feel like home. It goes without saying that furnishings like a bed and couch are a necessity, but young people also will need some kitchen essentials so they can prepare some simple meals on their own. As young people expand their culinary horizons, they may want to look for more specialized cooking utensils and gadgets. Until then, these items are some of the basic building blocks of any kitchen.
Pots and pans: It goes without saying that pots and pans are vital for anyone looking to cook their own meals at home. Modern young people are health-conscious and aware of the challenges facing the planet, and overcoming those obstacles can start in the kitchen. For example, various manufacturers produce pots and pans and other cookware that is not made with polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, a fluoropolymer that researchers have found can contribute to myriad health problems. Manufacturers also produce products that do not contain perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, which has been studied for its potentially harmful effects on the environment and human health. Young people just starting out can look for pots and pans that do not contain PTFE or PFOA as they look for kitchen staples to cook with.
Sheet pans: Even if young people have no intention of baking a batch of cookies anytime soon, the versatility of sheet pans is hard to dismiss. Though they are useful when making cookies, sheet pans also can be used to cook favorites like french fries and roasted vegetables.
Cutlery: A quality set of knives is a cook’s best friend. Though high-end cutlery sets can cost several hundred dollars or more, young people can find a quality set of knives for less than $200. Such a set will make it easy to cut steaks, chops and other entrées at the dinner table, while the accompanying chef’s knife, paring knife and serrated knife can make it easy to slice and dice vegetables, garlic cloves and freshly baked bread.
Mixing bowls: Mixing bowls are an unsung hero of the kitchen. Mixing bowls can help home cooks perform a variety of tasks, such as whisking eggs on weekend mornings or creating homemade meatballs for Sunday dinners. If kitchen cabinet space is limited, look for nested mixing bowls that can be stored within each other.
Cutting board: Cutting boards are another versatile item that are at home in any kitchen. Use a cutting board to chop vegetables or slice limes when making homemade cocktails. Young people who don’t do much slicing or dicing may think they can skip getting a cutting board of their own, but that’s a risky approach. Cutting on plates can damage countertops, and that’s a potentially costly problem for renters who want to get their security deposits back in full upon moving out of their apartments.
Tongs, colanders, measuring cups and spoons, and, of course, silverware are some additional must-have items for people just starting to build their kitchens.