Wahoo! Let’s talk about EQUIPMENT. This list includes some of my FAVORITE meal prep equipment. You don’t need a ton of stuff in your kitchen to be a successful cook – you ?just need a few strategic, essential pieces.
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18-piece Pyrex Glass Storage Container Set? // ?I love these containers because they’re dishwasher/microwave/fridge/freezer safe, come in a variety of sizes, and have BPA-free airtight lids. The glass is also made in the USA!
Wide Mouth Mason Jars? // ?I keep EVERYTHING in these big mason jars. I love them because they’re multi-purpose, so I can use them for canning, for dry goods storage, for leftovers like soup and sauces, and for meal prepping salads for the week ahead.
Mini Mason Jars? // ?Use these to store dressings, pestos, jams, and sauces in individual servings for easy meal prep. I portion out salad dressing for salads throughout the week, store homemade jam in small servings in the freezer, and freeze pesto in easy-to-defrost quantities to it lasts me all winter!
Wide-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps for Mason Jars? // ?These are dishwasher safe and last a lot longer than the metal rings that come with the mason jars! They’re water- and airtight. Use these for everyday use and save the metal rings for when you’re canning.
Regular-Mouth Plastic Storage Caps for Mason Jars? // ?Sized for standard jars and the mini mason jars above! Dishwasher safe, watertight, airtight, easy to use.
KNIVES & CUTTING BOARDS
You really only need three knives in your kitchen: A chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated/bread knife. If you’re on a budget, skip the pre-filled knife blocks you see at the store and instead focus on getting these instead.
Chef’s knife (budget-friendly)? // ?One non-negotiable kitchen tool: a great chef’s knife. I like 8-inch blades, but choose a knife that feels good in your hand and that you’re comfortable using. And then keep it SHARP. This knife is a good size and budget-friendly. I haven’t personally used this exact model, but it’s got great reviews and really, the most important thing is to keep your knife SHARP.
8-inch chef’s knife (higher end)? // ?This knife is on the more expensive end, but Shun makes some really beautiful knives. If you love to cook and are serious about doing a lot of meal prep, investing in a great knife is definitely worth it. I use my Shun as my main knife at home.
Small paring knife (budget-friendly)? // ?A paring knife is the second essential knife you need. It’s perfect for cutting or hulling berries, cutting small pieces out of foods, and any more delicate tasks that a chef’s knife isn’t built for. As with a chef’s knife, the important thing is that you keep it SHARP.
Small paring knife (higher end)? // ?Again, I love my Shun knives. There are a TON of great knife brands out there, though, so don’t be afraid to do some research and find a knife that’s perfect for you!
Large cutting board
Invest in a BIG cutting board to make your meal prep life easier. A large board gives you room to move things around, room to chop large quantities of something, and have plenty of workspace so you don’t accidentally cut yourself. I like to have at least one large plastic cutting board that’s dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup.
Bamboo Cutting Board
For days when I’m cooking a LOT, I love having wood and bamboo cutting boards. They’re fun to use and I like having an alternative to plastic, but you do generally have to wash them by hand, so plan ahead.
Tongs are one of the most important utensils you can have in your kitchen. Use them to push and pull hot pans around, flip food as it cooks, and toss long pasta.
I know that a can opener isn’t the most glamorous thing in your kitchen, but THIS CAN OPENER IS AMAZING. I buy it for everyone. If you’ve ever been even slightly annoyed by your can opener, get this one. I promise you won’t regret it.
A good colander will make your life a lot easier. Use it to drain pasta and wash produce. I like this collapsible one because it’s easy to store and takes up almost no room.
POTS AND PANS
You don’t need a ton of pots and pans to have a well-stocked kitchen. You just need a couple of essentials!
Nonstick skillets are your best friend in the kitchen. I LOVE these nonstick skillets from Anolon – nothing sticks to them and they are SO easy to clean. They’re also safe for metal utensils.
Cast Iron Skillet
A good cast iron skillet can cook just about anything, and it will last you forever.
Dutch Oven (Budget-Friendly)
My dutch oven is my FAVORITE kitchen tool. I use it for sauces, braises, and for baking my favorite French Bread. This is a great budget-friendly option if you want a Dutch Oven but aren’t ready to invest in a Le Creuset (below).
Dutch Oven (Higher End)
I love my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. It conducts heat beautifully, is easy to clean, and they last FOREVER if you take care of them.
A good stock pot is great for cooking pasta, making mashed potatoes, sauces, soups, and just about anything else you can think of.