Essentials for Your First Kitchen
Moving into your first rental apartment is seriously exciting! It’s also a pretty big step. Perhaps you’ve just graduated from university, or maybe you’ve decided to leave the family home and start off on your own. Whatever the reason for your move, you’re probably just as daunted as you are excited. When you rent your first flat, you have no idea what you’re going to need. Luckily, in Malta, most rental apartments come fully-furnished. This means that the flat you rent will already have furniture and white goods (i.e. washing machine), so you don’t need to worry about these. In addition to bringing things like your own linen (bedding, towels etc.), you should think about getting some essentials for the kitchen. Eating out and getting takeaway all the time is expensive. Now that you’ve got your own place, it’s time to start experimenting in the kitchen. You can cook whatever you want, whenever you want! When it’s just you, you’ve got no one else to please or compromise with. You can learn to make your favourite dishes and eat them every evening! With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of some must-haves for you to get for your first kitchen. These kitchen essentials will have you well on your way to discovering your hidden culinary talents!
A Set of Sharp Knives
Cooking with blunt knives is frustrating and dangerous. By getting yourself some sharp knives, you’ll be saving time and saving your fingers! It might seem counter-intuitive but you’re less likely to cut yourself if you use a sharper knife, because the knife edge will actually cut through the food instead of slipping and cutting you! If you can’t afford an entire set of knives, you can start with just one or two. A chef’s knife is a good place to start. You can use this for almost everything, including to chopping meat and dicing vegetables. A bread knife is also a good idea, as you’ll struggle to slice bread with your chef’s knife! Keep your knives in tip top shape by making sure wash them by hand, dry them immediately and store them properly, either in a block or covered in the drawer.
A Decent Frying Pan
A decent frying pan is a staple in any kitchen. You can use a frying pan to cook anything from meat to fish, eggs or stir-fries. Anything that requires high heat and doesn’t have much liquid will be perfect for cooking in a frying pan! It will probably be the most-used pan in your kitchen, which is why you should get a quality one. It’s a good idea to get a non-stick frying pan, as it’ll be easiest to cook with and to clean. What’s more, do make sure that the frying pan you buy is best for the type of stove you have. Different stoves work best with different types of pans, so double check whether your new stove is electric, induction or gas before you go frying pan shopping!
Some Non-Stick Saucepans
In addition to a quality, non-stick frying pan, you’ll want to get some non-stick saucepans as well. Anything you want to cook that involves a lot of liquid will require a saucepan! Soups, pasta, vegetables, noodles – all of these can be made and boiled in a saucepan. Again, like the frying pan, make sure you buy non-stick saucepans. If they aren’t non-stick, you won’t be able to take your eye off the pan for a second! One minor distraction and your dinner will turn brown and stick to the bottom of your pan. Nightmare! Also like the frying pan, make sure they’re the right sort of saucepans for your stove. You can just get one if you’re on a budget but, if you can afford it, it’s better to get more than one. If you’re making a roast, it’ll be irritating to wash the saucepan every time you need it for something new. After all, you can’t make gravy and boil broccoli in the same pan at the same time!
A High-Quality Spatula
If you just get one utensil for your new kitchen, get a spatula! You can use a good rubber or silicone spatula for pretty much everything. They’re heatproof and waste-proof. That’s right – a good spatula will get every last morsel from your bowl or your pan. Use it to stir your soups, keep your veggies moving in the pan and combine your cake mix. It’ll be your best kitchen friend! Who needs wooden spoons when you’ve got a spatula?
Measuring Jug/Measuring Scales
Without a measuring jug or a set of scales, measuring for most recipes is just going to be guess work. Say you want to cook something new and you need 200ml of milk or 400g of flour – how are you going to know how much this is? If you’ve been cooking for a long time, you might be able to make an educated guess. However, if you’re new to cooking, you might not have such a good eye. Moreover, if you’re making something like cookies or a cake, you’ll need almost accurate quantities of ingredients, which will make measuring equipment essential!
As a renter, it’s important to keep things in tip-top shape. It’s not your property and, in order to get your deposit back, you will need to maintain the condition of the property so that’s in the same state when you move out as when you moved in. Instead of chopping on the kitchen counter (and potentially damaging it), get yourself a set of chopping boards. Both plastic and wooden chopping boards can harbour bacteria, but both can be washed so don’t worry too much about which material to choose. One chopping board will serve you well, but you might want to get more than one so you can use different boards for different things (i.e. one for vegetables and one for meat).
A Bottle Opener
Lastly, get a bottle opener for your kitchen! Even if you’re not a wine drinker, you never know when someone’s going to turn up with a bottle and ask you to open it. A bottle opener isn’t something people tend to carry around with them, and it’ll be a sad evening if no one can get the cork out of the bottle! It’s worth spending a little extra on a bottle opener, as opening a bottle of wine with a bad quality opener can be as impossible as trying to open a bottle without one!