Hi! If you’re here, it’s because you are starting from scratch. (First lesson: baking from scratch does not mean using mix from a box.) If you browse through any cookbooks, they’ll suggest that you have 5 different pans, multiple sized spatulas, four different types of pots for boiling water, expensive saute pans, and tons of other things college students really don’t need. Here’s a list of things I use, and therefore, things you’ll need to make the recipes I post:

A skillet/frying pan. You can make eggs, stir-frys, fry other things, and re-heat food in it. The size is your choice. I like using a 10″, but smaller works just as well.

A saucepan. You will need it for making pasta and rice (unless you have a rice cooker), in addition to hard-boiling eggs, making stuffing, and boiling water in general. Any size is fine. You should already have one if you make ramen.

A spatula. As you may have noticed, I’m a fan of eggs. A spatula is useful when cooking eggs. It’s also helpful if you’re making a stir-fry in a large skillet/frying pan. You will also need it for removing cookies from cookie sheets. One of these types of spatulas is very useful if you’ll be baking. (You don’t need the whole set.)

A wooden spoon. It can be out of any material, really, but wooden supposedly is best. You’ll need it for poking and stirring things.

A utility kitchen knife. Descriptions may tell you it’s for dicing vegetables, but I use it for everything. Something along these lines will work. It should be able to cut vegetables, chicken, beef, saran wrap, tofu…just use your judgment.

Measuring cups and spoons. Unless you can measure things with the palm of your hand, you’ll need these. I suggest OXO brand because it’s affordable and great quality. Plus, they’ve got these angled measuring cups for liquid.

Can opener. Pretty self-explanatory I hope. Unless you have a cheaper way to get beans out of a can, you can buy one for really cheap at a drugstore.

A mixing bowl. This is essential if you’ll be baking. I don’t use it as much for preparing meals, so if you don’t intend to bake, then don’t worry about it.

Cookie sheets and cake pans. Again, this is essential if you’ll be baking. Sometimes, when I’m really motivated, I’ll cook something that requires a smaller cookie sheet (called a jelly roll pan). If you’re really interested in baking, you should buy these.

Foil, parchment paper, and saran wrap. The foil is important for cooking anything in an oven. I wrap potatoes in it, and I line my cookie sheets so I don’t have to clean them. I use parchment paper for the same reason when baking, and sometimes you need it to bake cakes. Saran wrap is helpful for saving food, but not essential.

Big, deep pot. I usually make curries and stews in this one deep pot I have. Sometimes there’s just too much lovin’ for a tiny little saucepan.

If I buy anything else, I’ll add it to the list and let you know what’s up. But hopefully this gives you a good idea of where to start! I know it may seem intimidating to your budget, but it will pay off in the long run, my friend.


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