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Countertop Essentials for a First Kitchen

So you’ve got the keys to your new home, the hardware’s all set and am thinking of shopping for kitchen necessities to get you started. You don’t cook often, you come home pretty late from work so apart from cups of ramen, what else should be in your kitchen? Even if you don’t plan on cooking often at home, the hankering for a midnight snack might have you whipping up simple 5 minute dishes even if it’s a simple sandwich so it’s advisable to have basic kitchen tools on hand. Here are our thoughts on kitchen essentials for a first kitchen.

A Chef’s Knife

Don’t fall into the temptation of buying a huge set of knives that you won’t use in your new pad. Instead, whittle down the choices available to one mighty tool: The Chef’s Knife. Usually measuring between 18 to 25 cm long, it is an all-purpose knife with great leverage. From slicing cheese or even dicing an onion for a quick fry, one knife is all you need.

We love the: G2 from Global Knife

The lightness of the knife makes it easy to manoeuvre and makes the experience of cutting into meats effortless. Forged from a single piece of metal, its practical design ensures that handles don’t come off with heavy use like the traditional ones in stores which makes for a pretty good investment.

Available at all leading departmental stores.

A Chopping Board

Aesthetically speaking, both plastic and wooden boards are wonderful complements in the kitchen. While lighter, a plastic board has a shorter lifespan than a wooden block as it is more susceptible to grooves and cuts which become breeding places for bacteria.

We love the: Resurs Carving Board

Made from natural beech, it’s gentle on knives, ensuring that your knives stay sharper for longer. At 2kg, it’s much lighter than other wooden butcher blocks in the market and grooves ensure that juice from meats and fruits do not run onto your countertop.

Available at Ikea.

Kitchen Shears

From chicken bones to degilling or gutting fish, the kitchen shears should do the work that the chef knife cannot. With the right-sized shears, you can snip up greens directly into your soup, saving you the trouble of cleaning a knife and chopping board otherwise.

We love the: Zwilling J.A. Henckels Poultry Shears

Its compact size makes it a flexible addition to the kitchen. Deceptively light-weight, the contraption is a robust one that can snip equal portions of poultry or fish with ease. Easy to handle, it doesn’t have that annoying rebound spring effect that most shears of its kind has.

Available at Robinsons Centrepoint.

Cast Iron Skillet

If you must invest in crockery, start off with a skillet. The design comes with a long handle that’s perfect for making omelettes or a quick fry up. Pick a design that comes with a lid for even distribution of heat.

We love the: Deep Covered Skillet

It comes with a heavy lid that locks in moisture and keeps your dish warm. The depth of the skillet is unique with a spout great for serving gravy and soups. So versatile, the same crockery can be used to fry and braise meats.

Available exclusively online at Lecreuset.

Wooden spoon

Wooden spoons are kinder to non-stick pots and pans than metal ones. The hardwood ones made from beech will last for some time and can be passed down from one family to the next. Do clean your spoons right after use with warm soapy water to prevent bacterial growth.

We love the: Littledeer Cooking Utensil Set

Inspired by canoe paddles, these are crafted from a single piece of North American maple that’s durable and make great heirlooms. The nautical theme also makes a great conversation starter.

Available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.


For sure you’d need a strainer for preparing salads and washing fruits. So a colander makes a rational addition to your household. This is an essential tool for straining pastas that are a quick dinner fix for small homes.

We love the: Stabil Pasta Insert

The size is pretty great for larger quantities of fruits. It also fits over pots easily. The stainless steel material too is durable and allows it to last for a while.

Available at Ikea.

Food storage

Handy for leftovers takeaways and these are nifty for transporting food from your parents’. It would be best to use stackable options that can be stored conveniently in the fridge, a great space-saving option.

We love the: Rhubarb Melamine Bowls

Available in a set of 6, these colourful bowls come with a plastic leak-proof lid, ideal for transporting food to picnics, BBQs or potlucks. They can nest together for space-saving storage.

Available at all leading departmental stores.

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