Essential Tools for Every Cook | Serious Eats

Know a recent college grad who’s finally starting life on their own, maybe in their first real apartment? Or a transplant from a far-off land who needs to stock up a new kitchen from scratch? Or, perhaps, a friend who’s only recently taken an interest in cooking, but doesn’t have the gear to do it up right? The items in this video are perfect for cooks who are just starting out in one way or another. Our director of commerce, Ariel Kanter, walks you through our picks.


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  1. Asian Muffin on November 1, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Yeah so I’m missing the biggest thing and that is a range hood.

  2. A W 2 on November 1, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Your videos are all SATIRE, right? Starting out with cooking that totals over $2500? Most people "starting out" are NOT able to afford most of this! If a couple is getting married, perhaps, a "wish list" for the couple’s rich friends and relatives to "contribute" as wedding gifts, maybe ! Also, scout around a yard sales, or people "downsizing" into retirement homes, etc. They often are the least expensive way to go. People won’t be cooking every menu item in the first month in the kitchen, add items gradually, over 3-6 years until one has all one wants or needs for all the various foods one wishes to prepare. I gave away my best All-Clad pots and pans to my great nephew, already a good cook at 22, and I saved him maybe $1000

  3. Shay S on November 1, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Great video! I would add a couple of things that have really helped me organize my kitchen and make cooking more efficient:

    1. Hand Held blender
    2. Crock Pot
    3. Chopping boards
    1. Magnetic Spice holders
    2. Joseph Joseph Nesting Bowls
    3. Pots and Pans with detachable handle
    4. Storage Containers

  4. Kimberly Goodwin on November 1, 2020 at 9:10 am

    I think I have everything on this list except the salad spinner. But I’m also 50 years old and it took awhile to accumulate. Lol!

  5. Neil oppa on November 1, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Are wire rack sizes standardized? I want to get one for my sheet pan.

  6. Kathleen Fannin on November 1, 2020 at 9:16 am

    I’m in my 30’s and although I haven’t cooked a ton, I can identify all of these items. However, a lot of them I’ve never ever needed to use to feed my family.

  7. Raymond Sterpaio on November 1, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Hey, I’m a chef and have been for years now I would like to say that a good knife set is important but I wouldn’t be looking to spend loads of money on them, but if you happen to buy budget knifes they’ll definately be made from cheap metal that’s very quick at going blunt. I would recommend a these Japanese Damascus steel knifes which I’ve had for a while and they still look as good as new. I must say I do love the look of the blades. I’ve got a link here if anyone is interested in getting them

  8. Gani Familara on November 1, 2020 at 9:20 am

    so sneaky slippin’ Pippin there…one like (^_^)

  9. Paul Ho on November 1, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Crocs or foam pads, because kitchens weren’t meant for comfort and all that food prep and cleaning takes a toll.

  10. Vito Danelli on November 1, 2020 at 9:23 am

    There isn’t any need or purpose for the music.

  11. Carlota Rodriguez on November 1, 2020 at 9:24 am

    Do you have a list posted somewhere?

  12. Brenda Russell on November 1, 2020 at 9:26 am

    I cannot endorse strongly enough the need for an oven thermometer, and not only for an old oven. I moved into a newly constructed apartment 4 years ago, and couldn’t understand why everything I put into the oven burned – until I bought a thermometer and discovered that the brand new oven was between 50 and 80 degrees HOTTER than the dial. I’m told that it is not possible to calibrate the oven temperature for greater accuracy.

  13. Paul Jabbour on November 1, 2020 at 9:28 am

    Always have a garlic press handy!

  14. Nathan on November 1, 2020 at 9:28 am

    You can sharpen the teeth of a blade with a file, kinda like sharpening a hand saw

  15. cristian rivera on November 1, 2020 at 9:30 am


  16. maylien on November 1, 2020 at 9:31 am


  17. Help With Food Storage on November 1, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Hints and Tool Help.

  18. RIYA on November 1, 2020 at 9:32 am

    I’ve been waiting for this! Your channel is so professional and inspiring. And the video is very SHARP itself! Thanks a lot) ☺️🍴

  19. nikolas macalma on November 1, 2020 at 9:33 am

    IMO for the new cooks out there, dont get stuck in the elitist attitude that you need to have calphalon, Le Creuset, or other super expensive cookware. I have a cooks stainless steel set that i got for $50 total around 5 years ago and it works totally fine for pretty much everything i do. If you travel, you’ll see that people all around the world get by with inexpensive stainless or aluminum cookware and make amazing food with them. Dont get me wrong, those high end brands are great, but if you’re just getting started with cooking brands like cuisinart, cooks, and tramontina will fulfill all your needs.

  20. Benjamin Tsui on November 1, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Shes great

  21. D Black on November 1, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Please add a fire extinguisher to this list, at least on the website. Of all things in the kitchen, a fire extinguisher is the one to have and not need, rather than need and not have.

  22. Justin Liu on November 1, 2020 at 9:35 am

    What’s a director of commerce?? How is that a job title at a company that does business off clicks?

  23. asaldanapr on November 1, 2020 at 9:35 am

    She forgot measuring spoons!

  24. Michael B on November 1, 2020 at 9:38 am


  25. Reyth on November 1, 2020 at 9:38 am

    Everything on this list is "a little bit expensive"… lol
    You really don’t need all that stuff if you’re JUST a beginner

  26. Livie Cole on November 1, 2020 at 9:39 am

    Surprised you didn’t recommend a grater

  27. Sumipun on November 1, 2020 at 9:41 am

    What the hell is quart?

  28. A plus health life on November 1, 2020 at 9:43 am

    This is exactly what I talk about in this video:

  29. kagetsu on November 1, 2020 at 9:46 am

    chinese chef essentials be like: a cleaver, a wok, and a cutting board

  30. mad thumbs on November 1, 2020 at 9:47 am

    No one needs cast iron or non-stick. Julia Child’s spatula free omelette works in seasoned stainless, and clad / disk bottom pans sear steak as good or better (less heat waste or more even browning) than cast iron. Stove top pressure cooker > Dutch Oven.

  31. Rue on November 1, 2020 at 9:47 am

    Like for the pup

  32. Philip Webb on November 1, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Lodge cast iron is crap. Makes me wonder if she has ever tried to cook on a new one.

  33. Ducky Man on November 1, 2020 at 9:49 am

    I get it’s funny she’s got these expensive items for a ‘beginners guide’, but if she’s an actual chef of course she’s sunk some cash into high-tier kit. Doesn’t mean there’s not cheaper examples of the same item

  34. Heartland Light on November 1, 2020 at 9:49 am

    I have Bella. Bella is a cat. SHE’s the best sous chef. Sorry, Pippin.

  35. T!mG. on November 1, 2020 at 9:50 am

    "Cooking essentials for a kid that just graduated from school."… Recommends chef knifes for more than $150. Seriously though you could have easily recommended the Victorinox or Messermeister Chef knives as an alternative. They are great and retail for around $40.

  36. Chef De Von on November 1, 2020 at 9:53 am

    not-serious eats

  37. Darko Resnik on November 1, 2020 at 9:54 am

    For college grad or anyone, I would recommend the Victorinox Fibrox Chef Knife. It’s cheap and surprisingly good, stays sharp, easy to sharpen and gets great reviews. I have 2 and they are my go to knives over some of my more expensive knives.

  38. Matan Baranes on November 1, 2020 at 9:54 am

    now please sort them all according to general necessity @seriouseats .

  39. PolisAppliance on November 1, 2020 at 9:55 am


  40. Connor Reilly on November 1, 2020 at 9:55 am

    One thing I’d recommend before a cast iron skillet is a huge stainless saute pan. It allows you to still cook steaks while also having the versatility of building pan sauces and one-pan meals that could ruin the seasoning of your cast iron

  41. Neal Klein on November 1, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Anyone else catch the tattoo of "Shayna" on her wrist? It’s Hebrew for "beautiful."

  42. Fermented Badger on November 1, 2020 at 9:57 am

    I would suggest one more essential kitchen tool that I hope none of you ever have to use: A fire extinguisher, specifically one rated for grease and electrical fires.

  43. Philip Webb on November 1, 2020 at 9:59 am

    Recommends a $100.00 thermometer for "college students"? Sounds like someone who didn’t go to college and has no idea what college is really like.

  44. Harold Henderson on November 1, 2020 at 9:59 am

    A "dull" knife is dangerous! It requires more force to do the same job vs. a sharp one.
    Get a ceramic knife sharpener and buy non-serrated knives (except for the breadknife).
    Wood or bamboo cutting boards can dull a knife quickly. Plastic can be sanitized (using 10% bleach or 3% peroxide).

    A "kitchen dog" is comforting, but are not always helpful. Know what dogs CAN’T eat (onions, grapes, raisins, …etc)

  45. Matthias Martin on November 1, 2020 at 10:03 am

    I don’t get the enthusiasm for the thermapen on US cooking channels. I prefer an external display attached to two thermal probes so you can use them in the oven, allowing you to monitor the temperature at all times and of course you can also use it for any good in a frying pan. Just grab the probe like your pen and stick it into the meat. Available for roundabout 20-50€ depending on the model.

  46. Patrick Lee on November 1, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Hello sa mga dinala dito ng TLE

  47. mydogskips2 on November 1, 2020 at 10:03 am

    One pot, one pan, one knife, a cutting board, and a spatula, that’s all you really really need, and you should be able to get it all for under $100.

  48. dkuch on November 1, 2020 at 10:04 am


  49. NotWhoIUsedToBe on November 1, 2020 at 10:05 am

    This aren’t essential tools, this are middle/top of the line of a cooking enthusiast.

  50. Misty Uren on November 1, 2020 at 10:06 am

    I remember our mother would always use the same large carving knife on such things as the Thanksgiving turkey and then use the same knife for chopping up the large fecal logs my brother would leave in the toilet which then wouldn’t flush.  Every holiday I’d just stare at that big knife  and think ‘hunks of shit’.

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