Apartment Chef Tools

To help demystify cooking, we need to spend some time to go over a some of the tools you’ll need to succeed. As you’ll see below, you don’t need the most expensive, newest appliances to create your own restaurant-or-higher quality meals. Mainly, you need a stove, oven, microwave and a can-do attitude (all of which you already have!). In addition to these, the following tools will help you create all the tasty dishes you’ll find throughout this site.

Stovetop Espresso Maker:

  • I won’t stop you from buying a $300+ home espresso maker but I will judge you. All you need is a Bialetti stovetop espresso maker and 12 minutes later you have better-than-coffeeshop homemade espresso!
  • Price on Amazon: ~ $25
  • Useful for:

Coffee Grinder

  • Last time I checked, espresso wasn’t made with whole beans. A small burr coffee grinder is what you need to finely ground the beans. Paired with the stovetop espresso maker, for $50 you have acquired your own apartment coffee shop!
  • Price on Amazon: ~ $25
  • Useful for:

Oven Thermometer

  • You and your oven are going to be great friends. Together you are going to make so many amazing dishes. But that doesn’t mean you should trust it. It may beep and tell you it’s at 350F when it could be anywhere between 300F and 400F. Knowledge is power in the kitchen. Know your ingredients. Know your costs. Know your oven temperature.
  • Price at the grocery store: ~$4
  • Useful for:
    • Every time you use the oven

6 Quart Crockpot

  • The meal prepping essential. Also, a great way to wake up to a delicious smelling apartment and a warm meal with little morning prep work. There are a lot of fancy ones out there, but don’t be seduced! All you need is warm-low-high dial and you’re in business. Set in on low when you’ve got time (6+ hours) and high when you’re in a hurry (3-6 hours). No more thought required!
  • Price on Amazon: $25
  • Useful for:

10″ Oven Safe Non-Stick Sauté Pan

  • Currently the tool I use most in the kitchen. Every morning I wake up and make 3 fried or scrambled eggs. A 10″ pan also allows you to sauté a bunch of vegetables or up to two pounds of ground meat. Pay the extra money for an oven-safe pan to avoid transferring food when sauteing and then baking. Most pans are good to 400-450F, just double check.
  • Price on Amazon: $20-$50
  • Useful for:
    • Eggs
    • Ground beef/turkey
    • Vegetables

11″ 4-5 Quart Stainless Steel Sauté Pan or Wok

  • An important component of meal prepping: having a pan large enough to cook all the food! A pan this size is perfect for sautéing a week’s worth of vegetables at once. Just make sure to oil it and move food around because it will stick!
  • Price on Amazon: $35
  • Useful for:
    • Stir-Frys

2.5-3 Quart Sauce Pan:

  • Your typical pasta pot can be repurposed to create delicious legumes or even dessert. No need to spend all your money on the best one out there, just make sure that you have one!
  • Price on Amazon: $20

Immersion/Stick Blender:

  • A tool you didn’t know you needed, but once you have it, you’ll never know how you survived without it. Need to quickly purée some vegetables, beans, or anything else, this tool will become your best friend.
  • Price on Amazon: $25-35
  • Useful for:

Food processor:

  • This will save you time and help you make some many cool recipes in minutes that you thought could only be made in commercial kitchens. Super useful for finely chopping or puréeing. This comes in handy when you want to finely chop vegetables or create smooth textures when combining food.
  • Price on Amazon: ~ $30
  • Useful for:
    • Making homemade peanut butter! (Just peanuts and turn on!)

8-inch Chef’s Knife:

  • You’re a chef. Embrace it.
  • One of my largest pet peeves is trying to cut something with a dull knife. I hate the feeling of having to saw my food like a lumberjack. Get a good knife so every cut gives you that hot-knife-through-butter feeling.
  • Price: Do some homework on this one – some potential option are below but by no means feel restricted – prices range ~ $10-$150
  • Useful for:
    • Everything

Citrus Juicer:

  • This magical device not only also you to squeeze the most out of your lemons but measures the volume of juice! So useful! You may be thinking, “$5 for a citrus juicer…” Trust me, you need this. It pays for itself by saving you time and messes.
  • Price on Amazon: ~$5
  • Useful for:
    • Lemons and limes

Basting Brush:

  • This tool is the trick to coating your fish or vegetable in a thin layer of oil to prevent them from drying out while in the oven. Glugging out oil all over your food is not only wasteful but can make it taste greasy. You can substitute for a paintbrush, just double check to make sure that it is clean!
  • Price on Amazon: $8
  • Useful for:

Kitchen Scale:

  • A good scale answers many questions in the kitchen. How much basil is in 25g? Ask the scale! How can I make sure all my meal prepped lunch have the same amount of food? Ask the scale! Your scale should have a surface large enough to hold a medium-sized bowl with the reading still visible and should hold at least 5 lbs.
  • Price on Amazon: $14

8″ Fine Mesh Strainer:

  • You don’t realize how handy this tool is until you have it in your kitchen. Not only is it great for removing solids from $0 Crockpot Vegetable Stock and allowing you to transfer broth directly from the crockpot into storage containers, it’s super helpful at rinsing grains quickly prior to cooking. It can also be used for dusting the tops of baked good to give you that Instagram worthy presentation. Fun food fact, you can replace powdered sugar with coconut flour, it will look the same and make your dish even healthier!
  • Price on Amazon: $10-$20