What are the essential kitchen items that you can get away with having in your home if you want to have more minimalist kitchen supplies (and space) and less clutter? It’s a question often asked, especially when the kitchen (aka the hub of the home) can become all too easily cluttered with gadgets and stuff galore.
What to consider when minimising kitchen supplies
First and foremost – remember that we are all different. We have different sizes of households and families, different eating habits, different levels of cooking enjoyment etc… – and so these lists can (and should) be looked at as a whole and then worked out with your own specific ‘essentials’ in mind.
There really is no point in minimising your kitchen supplies if you then lack what you want and need….
- How much space have you got? If you’ve got a lot of space, it’s quite easy to let extra things into the kitchen without giving it a second thought – but this is when you almost have to be even more aware of what’s coming in. A small kitchen means you’re already thinking of minimising wherever possible.
- When was the last time you used each item? If it was a long time ago, chances are you don’t need it, and it can be let go (easy decluttering!)
- What do you use on a regular basis? Anything that has frequent use is important (or at least something that does that specific job is)
- Do other family members use items that you don’t? Get everyone involved
- Are there items that save you a lot of time? These minimise in a different way
- Do you have items of different sizes? If you have more than one of anything, then getting rid of duplicates is a quick and easy way to minimise things in your kitchen. Get rid of the smallest one would be advisable – for extra points!
- Are there items that have various uses? If you have something that multi-tasks – then you could let go of the items that only do one of those tasks.
List of minimalist kitchen Supplies
Here are the absolute essentials every kitchen needs – the specific kitchen equipment you can’t do without.
In some cases it’s worth spending a little more on really good quality items in this list, because you’ll get the value back over and over again – i.e. a really good knife is a HUGE time saver)
- Mugs and Glasses (enough for one per person in the house)
- Plates and Bowls (enough for one per person in the house)
- Cutlery (enough for one set per person in the house)
- Frying Pan
- Large Pot
- 1-2 Saucepans
- Vegetable Peeler
- Chefs knife, serrated knife, paring knife – and a knife block. A good knife is a must! (and a knife sharpener, so it lasts as long as possible)
- Bread knife
- Stainless steel slotted spoon
- Wooden Spoon
- Mixing Bowl
- Baking Sheet
- Roasting pan
- Oven gloves
- Sieve / Colander
- Measuring jug
- Measuring spoons
- Large cutting board (wooden or plastic)
- Food storage to fit any storage space in the kitchen cabinets or on the shelves that you need
- Dishwasher (I class this a MUST – unless you really really love washing up!)
- Just the right amount of food (this is one that sometimes gets missed as it seems obvious. But how many times have you looked through your kitchen cupboards and found out of date food? it can build up without you noticing. A trick to minimise the food you store is to contain it to a smaller area in the kitchen. That way you HAVE to be more selective, and keep things in rotation. Of course, the amount that’s right for you will depend on several factors, including how often you can and want to shop, how many people in the house, how often you eat at home, etc…)
Kitchen ‘Nice To Haves’
The above list are the kitchen tools you’d be hard pressed to do without – whatever level of chef you are. However, we’re all different, and there ARE items that may also be on your MUST-HAVE list.
As such, here here are a few that you MAY want to include – depending on your cooking / eating / food prep preferences!
- Food processor
- Blender (I wouldn’t be without mine, as I love making daily smoothies and weekly soups)
- Coffee Machine / coffee maker
- Waffle Iron – you can’t really cook a waffle without one… it ends up more like a pancake!
- Steak Knives (enough for one per person in the house)
- Items for guests to eat and drink with (the average number of guests you have at any one time)
- Items for baking – cake pans if you bake cakes, or a loaf pan if you like baking bread etc…
- Egg cups – for those dippy egg eaters!
- Salad spinner
- Weighing scales
- Toaster (if you have a grill in your oven, you could do without a toaster if counter space is tight)
- Serving dishes – depending on whether you mind dishing up straight from the cooking items
- Recipe books. This is a tough one for me, because I actually LOVE cook books. But in all honesty, I can get all the recipes I need online now. I actually DO have some recipe books, but they are in the bookcase in our family room as I use them more for reading and imagining, rather than actually cooking!
Things your kitchen can (probably) do without
This is a list of things that you can pretty much do without, so that you have a clutter-free kitchen (as much as possible!), as long as you think ahead and buy appropriately.
Most are gadgets of some kind that we all love the idea of, and usually end up in the back of the cupboard having been rarely (if ever) used. We then feel too guilty to get rid of them, and that’s when the clutter builds up.
You can almost let go of half of the items in your kitchen without losing any functionality (and whilst saving on that clearing away, washing up, and storage needs)
- Can opener – most cans now have a pull ring – so as long as you buy those, then this is a tool that you don’t need anymore
- Bottle opener – again, as long as you get screw tops – a corkscrew is something that can go
- Garlic Press
- Box Grater – a food processor can do this job for you
- Instant pot – although this is a multitasker and does the jobs of a slow cooker, pressure cooker, instant pot etc… – so if you REALLY want something like this, this is probably the one to go for)
- Slow Cooker – really, as long as you’re in the house, you can slow cook in ANY pot on low heat in the oven or on the stove top
- Pressure Cooker
- Rice Cooker – a saucepan will do just fine!
- Dutch Oven
- Crock Pot
- Ice Cream Maker
- Air fryer
- Bread maker – you can make great bread easily without one
- Spiraliser – get creative with your knives instead
- Popcorn Maker – just as easy to use a saucepan
- Sandwich Toaster
- Pestle And Mortar
And there you have it! All the Minimalist kitchen supplies you need (and what you don’t!).
You’re well on your way to a minimalist life when you create a minimal kitchen. Hopefully these ideas have helped you prioritise what’s important to you, while still leaving you with all the tools you need to create meals easily. It may not make you a better cook, but you’ll definitely feel less stressed and have more time when you streamline things!