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Calling All Cooks: How Should I Stock My First Kitchen?

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Calling all home cooks! I just moved into a new apartment with a tiny, empty kitchen—my first! What kitchen equipment should I start out with, and how should I decorate?


My new kitchen is either "a sink with a mini-fridge" or "a culinary palace," depending on how much time you've spent living in Manhattan.

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At some point between signing the lease on my new apartment and beginning to move in this past week, I realized that I own nearly no kitchen equipment. While I cook every night, the majority of my first apartment had been furnished by my roommates' parents (with the exception of a mug I'd inherited from my college dorm room). Over the course of a year there, I'd accrued a Dutch oven, four cloth napkins, an apron, and a pie stand—an acceptable collection for cooking on the prairie, but a measly set of tools for making nightly dinner.

Now that I'm moving out of my galley kitchen and into an apartment that has—hold your breath—counter space (in the form of an Ikea butcher block), I'd love to know: What are the necessary items I should furnish my kitchen with? Here are the facts: There will be two people living in the apartment (including myself), I cook fairly frequently, and I have limited storage space (hello, Manhattan). I'd like to have a fully functioning kitchen, but the tools I stock it with will have to be afforable and compact. What are the appliances I should splurge on? What are the items I can probably skip? Do you have any anecdotes from furnishing your own kichen?

Please share your suggestions in the comments! I'll report back with some of your best tips and how it all works out.

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Help me in the comments below or email me at [email protected]! The fate of my kitchen depends on you.

Tags: kitchen, first kitchen, cooking, necessities, kitchen equipment