Being a chef and having an extensive career in the culinary world, I am most comfortable and love being in the kitchen! I have always preferred creating sauces, entrees, sides, and appetizers over baking. Time spent in the kitchen is relaxing, cathartic, and truly where I enjoy spending my day. You have seen me previously share my kitchen essentials, but I wanted to share my must-have kitchen items at different price points. I’ve included some of my favorite kitchen splurges, as well as a lower price point alternative for each! Whether you are stocking your first home, buying a housewarming gift, or looking to upgrade something you already own, these kitchen staples will give you the easiest and most enjoyable kitchen experience!
Pots and Pans
Investing in high-quality pots and pans is the first splurge I would recommend in any kitchen as these pieces are critical to the culinary process and to achieve success. They are durable, distribute heat evenly, and make cooking more enjoyable. However, you can also find fabulous and effective pans at a lower price point but again, I always suggest investing in cookware. Purchase one piece at a time if that’s your budget. However, purchasing in sets is much more cost effective.
When buying knives, I recommend prioritizing quality over quantity. Invest in a few high-quality knives that will last longer and perform better. Splurging on a good chef’s knife is worth it! I have had my Shun knives forever and, when maintained, they will truly last a lifetime!
Basic cooking utensils are an easy place to save when building your kitchen gear. There are great options at all price points. I have found that my higher-end spatulas last longer and don’t need to be replaced as often.
Choosing a good cutting board is so important for both safety and functionality. When selecting a cutting board, you should consider size, thickness, and any special features like juice grooves or non-slip bottoms. There are great cutting boards available at different price points.
My crockpot is easily one of the most frequently used appliances in my kitchen. It’s such a convenient tool, especially for busy home cooks. This is a tool I would recommend a splurge.. Consider the size, shape, and features you desire within your budget. The model I use features programmable settings, a removable insert for easier cleaning, and a sturdy lid to prevent spills. I must admit, I have both of the models listed below and highly recommend both. I have tested multiple menu items in both and I love both.