A true chef’s kitchen requires a lot of kitchen gadgets, cookware, bakeware, appliances — you name it, you need it. However, finding space for cooking, entertaining and storing all those handy products can be a challenge, especially in smaller kitchens. When space is lacking, selective shopping and strategic storage are musts. Here are your have-to-have kitchen products and essential organizing tips to solve your biggest storage dilemmas.
Start with good-quality cookware and bakeware.
Nothing will receive more wear and tear than your bakeware and cookware sets. Make sure you have all the basics; any 12- or 15-piece set should include a frying pan, a skillet, a saucepan, a stockpot and appropriate lids. To store all your new kitchen equipment, look for a pot rack, pullout cabinet drawers or a rolling kitchen cart.
Buy dinnerware and silverware that fits every occasion.
Formal dinnerware is great for holidays, but it’s rarely used, which means it’s probably not worth the space it takes up. Try to find something that suits your daily life — you can always spruce up your table using table linens, crystal serveware and other tabletop decor. Really want that fine china? Include a buffet or sideboard in your dining room for additional storage.
Don’t take the cheap route for large kitchen appliances.
Although it feels great to find a deal, there are some items that are worth the splurge. Because of their frequent use and already expensive price tag, large kitchen appliances are definitely about quality. They don’t need to be top-of-the-line, but a good-quality refrigerator, dishwasher, oven and cooktop/range will last you for years to come, so you won’t have to worry about constantly replacing them. Smaller things, such as a microwave or coffeemaker, don’t have such big price tags, so they can be swapped with very few headaches.
Consider what kitchen tools and gadgets you will actually use.
We all get wrapped up in the kitchen aisle of big-box stores, with measuring cups, mixing bowls and graters galore. Before you make a purchase, think about how often you will actually use that product. Can openers and kitchen shears make sense for everyone, but baking tools and food scales are specialty purchases based on personal preferences.
Browse our kitchen and dining section to find the products you love.