Skip to content
  • Shop our partner brands:
  • Pier1
  • Dressbarn
  • Stein Mart
  • Linens N' Things
  • Radioshack
  • Farmer's Cart
  • The Franklin Mint
  • Modell's Sporting Goods
  • MentorBox
Kitchen Essentials: A Checklist for Home Cooks

KITCHEN ESSENTIALS: A CHECKLIST FOR HOME COOKS

Whether you’re setting up your first kitchen or editing down your kitchen utensils drawer, there are certain essentials you need to cover all your bases in the kitchen. We pulled together a list of the must-haves you’re actually going to use to prep, cook, and clean up after everything from simple weeknight meals to wow-worthy feasts. 

The Ultimate Kitchen Essentials List

Here it is, the first glance at your ultimate checklist of kitchen essentials. You’ll find everything you need to chop, stir, and sauté your latest culinary creations -- and give you a hand with clean-up. Keep reading to explore why each item is worth the real estate in your kitchen. 

Kitchen Prep Essentials

  • Set of Knives
    • Must have: Chef’s knife, bread knife, and paring knife; nice to have: Santoku knife and utility knife
  • Knife sharpener
  • Kitchen shears
  • 2-3 cutting boards
  • Colander
  • Mesh strainer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Kitchen utensils
    • Tongs
    • Whisk
    • Ladle
    • Slotted spoon
    • Can opener
    • Metal spatula
    • Silicone spatula
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Box grater

Kitchen Cookware

  • 12” non-stick skillet
  • Cast iron skillet
  • Stockpot
  • Large and small saucepans
  • Sheet pans
  • Baking dishes: rectangle and square
  • Potholders
  • Cooking thermometer

Cleaning Up

  • Food storage containers
  • Drying rack
  • Towels
  • Paper towel holder

Kitchen Prep Essentials

Having the right tools of the trade will make whipping up everything from Sunday pancakes to Friday night pizza a snap. 

Knives

Your knives are the workhorses of your kitchen. A good set of kitchen cutlery to start out with includes a chef’s knife, a bread knife, and a paring knife. But if you have the space, we also love that Santoku knives can be easier to handle. A utility knife is another good tool to have in your arsenal for trimming items your chef’s knife is just too big for. 

Kitchen Shears

You might be amazed how often you reach for a pair of scissors in the kitchen. And not just for snipping open a bag of spring mix. Kitchen shears are durable enough to tackle everything from cutting up a chicken to slicing delicate herbs.

Knife Sharpener

Maintaining a sharp edge on your kitchen cutlery is key to keeping your kitchen safe. A stainless steel sharpener is a compact option that you can slide right into your drawer. Electric sharpeners are the more powered up way to go -- and make quick work of this task. 

Cutting Boards

Cutting boards protect your countertops and keep your knives sharp. They also make it easy to tidy up when your prep work is done. We like to keep a couple on hand so we can swap them out between julienning veggies and chopping up chicken. Wood cutting boards like this one also make stylish serving trays that you can hang on your wall as chic kitchen decor. 

Colander

If you ever plan to cook pasta, you’re going to need to drain it in a colander. But you’ll also use your colander to drain anything boiled and for washing fruits and vegetables in your sink. You may even use it as a steamer. A colander with a stand is a convenient option so you can also set it on your counter with ease. 

Mesh Strainers

If the holes in your colander are too big for what you’re rinsing -- like small pasta -- a mesh strainer won’t let you down. You can also use mesh strainers for sifting flour and other dry ingredients into your baking creations, straining fruit purees, or rinsing the coffee grounds out of your French press. 

Mixing Bowls

A set of three nesting mixing bowls take up minimal space, but be sure to place them in a handy spot because you’ll use them all the time. These kitchen essentials will be right there for you when you’re mixing up waffle batter, tossing salads, or stirring together sauces. 

Kitchen Utensils

Make good use of every inch of your kitchen utensil drawer by being selective about what goes into it. You’ll definitely use all of these. 

Tongs. You can toss pasta, turn meat, and serve up dinner with a sturdy set of tongs

Whisk. Your whisk will get a lot of mileage scrambling eggs or whipping up baked goods. 

Ladle. Spooning up servings of soup, stew, sauce, and gravy is next to impossible without a ladle

Slotted spoon. When you need a hand-held-sized strainer for removing small pasta or veggies from your pot, voila: slotted spoon. 

Can opener. Get a nice, sturdy can opener to make opening your can of tomatoes or dog food for Fido a breeze. 

Metal spatula. A flat, sturdy metal or plastic spatula is one of those kitchen utensils you’ll use for all kinds of things. Flipping pancakes, turning over eggs, lifting fish out of the pan -- just to name a few. 

Silicone spatula. A silicone spatula will help scrape up the last bit of batter out of the bowl, stir your simmering sauce, even frost a cake. 

Measuring cups and spoons

You’ll need a set of measuring cups for leveling off dry ingredients in addition to liquid measuring cups, which are usually clear and have a handle and a spout. 

Measuring spoons will take away the guesswork, so you don’t over-spice your sauce. Look for nesting sets that fit in your drawer -- and your spice jars. 

Box Grater 

A box grater with 4 -- or even 6-- sides is a veritable multitool in the kitchen. Not just for grating parm over your pasta, you can shred veggies, zest citrus, and shave down a cold stick of butter when you need it softened stat. A box grater is a space-saving solution, especially compared to a food processor. 

Kitchen Cookware 

When it’s time to put the soup or steaks on, you’ll need a variety of kitchen cookware at the ready. These kitchen essentials will have you covered for all your cooking and baking needs. 

Non-stick pan

If you can only have one pan to start with, a 12” non-stick pan is the one kitchen essential you should have in your cupboard. Non-stick pans are also the very best option for cooking eggs, since they stick to stainless and cast-iron skillets. 

Cast-iron skillet

Once you buy a cast iron skillet, you’ll have it in your kitchen cookware collection for the rest of your life. So you can look forward to an eternity of searing steaks and scallops to perfection. And since they are also oven-safe, you can bake cornbread, deep-dish pizzas, and apple cobbler right in your cast iron skillet. 

Stockpot

A stockpot, Dutch oven, or other large pot will be your go-to for boiling water for pasta and making big batches of cozy soups and stews on cold-weather days. 

Large and small saucepans

Whether you’re heating up soup, making a single serving of pasta, or boiling potatoes, small and large saucepans are sure to get plenty of use. 

Sheet pans 

Sheet pans are a must-have for baking cookies, but you can also use them for roasting veggies, broiling fish, baking frozen french fries, or whipping up a full sheet pan dinner. 

Baking dishes

A good set of baking dishes in a variety of sizes will serve you well for years. A rectangular baking dish is perfect for baking birthday cakes and lasagnas, while small square baking dishes are just right for brownies, side dishes, and baked casseroles. 

Potholders

If you’re just starting out, don’t forget to stock your kitchen with potholders. These are not only practical for protecting your fingertips and your countertops, but they’re pretty, too. So no need to stash them behind closed doors. Hang them on cute hooks where you can easily grab them -- and gawk at them. 

Cooking thermometer

A cooking thermometer is essential in the kitchen to ensure you cook your meats thoroughly. No need to guess if your chicken is still pink. Cooking thermometers are also useful in baking, so you don’t need to rely on the toothpick test to see if your breads or cakes are done in the middle. 

Clean-up Must-Haves

Cleaning up your kitchen can be quick and easy when you have all the essentials within reach. 

Food Storage Containers

Meal prep for the week or pack up leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch in this set of food storage containers. The lids snap securely in place, and the bright color makes them easy to spot in the fridge so they don’t get left behind.  

Towels

A good set of kitchen towels should look good and work hard -- whether they’re draped over your pizza dough while it proofs, standing in for a trivet, or drying your dishes.  

Drying rack

Even if you have a dishwasher, there’s always a few things that need to be washed by hand. A drying rack will keep your kitchen counters neat and tidy. 

Paper towel holder

Keep your paper towels within reach at all times to make clean-up even easier. A stylish countertop paper towel holder will add a decorative touch to your kitchen -- or you can mount a rack on the wall or under your sink. 

Stock Up On the Essentials

Ready to outfit your kitchen? Look no further than Pier1 for all the kitchen essentials like cookware and bakeware, kitchen utensils, food storage, kitchen linens, and more. Soon you’ll be chopping and searing like a chef and getting rave reviews from your guests. 

Previous article How to Stock Your First Bar Cart for Under $200
Next article How to Decorate With Wall Art

Standard Shipping

Free shipping on orders over $99. Free shipping does not apply to furniture and rugs which will be charged standard shipping rates. You’ll receive an email with tracking information when your order is shipped.

Your shipping charges will be calculated and viewable at checkout.   We are unable to ship to PO Boxes, please make sure you include a physical delivery address when checking out.

At this time, we do not offer a white glove delivery option.

Some oversized items may not be available for delivery to Alaska and Hawaii.

48 Contiguous United States
Order Total Charge
Up to $35 $4.95
$35.01 - $50.00 $6.95
$50.01 - $100.00 $9.95
$100.01 - $125.00 $12.95
$125.01 - $150.00 $14.95
$150.01 - $200.00 $16.95
$200.01 - $250.00 $19.95
$250.01 - $300.00 $24.95
$300.01 - $400.00 $29.95
$400.01 and above 10%
Alaska and Hawaii
Order Total Charge
Up to $15 $25.00
$15.01 - $25.00 $27.00
$25.01 - $35.00 $28.00
$35.01 - $50.00 $31.00
$50.01 - $65.00 $32.00
$65.01 - $85.00 $35.00
$85.01 - $100.00 $37.00
$100.01 - $125.00 $38.00
$125.01 - $150.00 $40.00
$150.01 - $200.00 $42.00
$200.01 and above 20%

 Last updated December 30, 2020

Due to COVID-19 return processing times are taking longer than normal.  Please allow us 14-21 days to process your return before contacting customer support regarding the status of your return. Thank you for your patience.

 

IMPORTANT:  With limited exceptions, returns (i) are refunded to customer by store credit redeemable on pier1.com and (ii) customer is responsible for return shipping charges. 

Please know that we understand that choosing the right décor for your home/office can be a tedious process. We want you to feel confident in your purchase. This is why we are more than happy to assist you with finding the right choice. If it’s not the right fit, we’ll help you get there.

You can return most items for a store credit within 30 days of delivery. Unless noted below, outbound shipping charges are non-refundable and you will be responsible for all return shipping costs.

Clearance merchandise and any items marked “Final Sale” cannot be returned. Other nonreturnable merchandise includes clearance items, personalized items, bundled items at discount rates (e.g. “4 for $20”; unless the entire bundle is returned), items marked nonreturnable at the checkout or within the product description page, and products that have been assembled

If there is a mistake with your order, or items arrive defective/damages at the time of receipt, we will take care of it and work with you to find the best solution as further described below.

To begin the return/exchange process, please reach out to our customer service team for assistance. Our Customer service representatives are available by phone (888) 384-0700 or email support@pier1inc.com

Returns/Exchanges

You can return most items for store credit redeemable on pier1.com within 30 days of delivery.  The following will apply:

  • Only outbound shipping charges for damaged orders will be refunded. All other shipping charges are non-refundable and will automatically be deducted from the refund credit amount.
  • Clearance merchandise, any items marked “Final Sale” or marked nonreturnable may not be returned/exchanged.
  • Returns/exchanges are not accepted on pillows, comforter sets, or other bedding products.
  • We reserve the right to refuse returns/exchanges of items that are not in as-new condition due to damage or misuse by the customer.
  • Each returned item must be in its original condition and packaging to be accepted.
  • We are not liable for any return packages that may become lost or stolen in transit. Please keep proof of postage and/or return tracking number when shipping back returns.
  • Refunds are generally issued within 5-7 business days after we have processed your return.

Defective Product and Returns due to Our Error

If there are mistakes with your order, or items arrive defective/damaged at the time of receipt, we’ll make it right by sending you replacement parts or accessories, replacing the item or issuing you a refund.  In such an event, there is no return shipping charges. 

Order Cancellations

Because your order is processed as quickly as possible, there is a 15 minute window for order cancellation during our normal business hours. Please call Customer Service at (888) 384-0700 immediately if you have placed an order in error. If the cancellation request occurs more than 15 minutes after the order is placed, or outside of our normal business hours, the order will be delivered, and must be processed as a return upon delivery.

 

.

Pier 1 VIP

Pier 1 VIP Program

Member benefits include:

  • Exclusive discounts & deals
  • Early access to products and promotions
  • $25 off this month only! (YEARLY SUBSCRIPTION)

Yearly

$74.99 /Year

Was $99.99

No thanks

*VIP PROGRAM STARTS IN FEBRUARY