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Kitchen Basics

Whether you’re making dinner for one or feeding a football team, a kitchen with all the essentials will make life easier – and chefs around the world agree on these key items.

While we use them for many other things, kitchens are primarily about food: storing it and preparing meals.

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Food preparation


While the recipes and dishes vary widely, chefs all over the world expect at least some of the following:

  • A flat, clean surface for working
  • Sink and clean running water
  • Stove or oven
  • Food storage areas
  • Areas to store tools and gadgets

Stove and oven

Cooking food may mean heating it, and there are many ways to do this. Which you choose will depend both on personal taste and what’s available locally. Stovetops are used to heat pans for frying or boiling while ovens are closed areas that get extremely hot and are used to bake or roast dishes.

Built-in options include:

  •  Natural gas burning stove or oven (open flame)
  •  Electric stove or oven
  •  Wood-burning stove or oven
  •  Open fire

Free-standing options include:

  • Microwave oven
  • Hot plate (stove top)
  • Small electric oven or grill
  • Gas-powered stove (such as a camping stove)

Other kitchen appliances

It’s impossible to list all the possible kitchen appliances, and each cook will have their own list of ones they consider indispensable. Common appliances include:

  • Electric kettle
  • Blender, mixer or food processor
  • Rice cooker
  • Steamer or slow cooker
  • Toaster

Whichever appliances you use, it’s important to have space to store them conveniently. [A]

Food storage

Storing food properly can help keep your family healthy. Food that has been improperly stored or left too long is likely to rot or grow bacteria that can cause illness. It may also attract pests such as cockroaches and mice.

Refrigerator and freezer

Refrigeration is one of the great advances of the modern age as it allows food to be stored safely for much longer periods. Refrigeration does not kill bacteria but it does slow their growth, meaning that foods will take much longer to rot or cause illness.

Refrigerators typically store food at around 4C (40F), which is cool enough to preserve foods without freezing. Home freezers will usually be around -10-18C (14-0F) but commercial freezers can be much colder.

Dry goods

Before refrigeration was possible, humans developed many ways to preserve foods. Today, dry goods tend to refer to anything in the kitchen that does not need to be refrigerated, including:

  • Pickles and preserves
  • Pasteurized (UHT or long-life) milk and juices
  • Dry pasta, rice, beans or lentils
  • Canned goods
  • Flour
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Tea and coffee
  • Some vacuum-sealed foods
  • Salt and sugar

These items will last months or years at room temperature, and will need storage space in the kitchen or somewhere easily accessible, such as a pantry.


Safe food and drink is critical to ensure that people don’t get ill, so hygiene is particularly important in the kitchen. A kitchen may need space for:

  • Washing hands before cooking
  • Clean surfaces and tools for food preparation
  • Cleaning vegetables and other food
  • Washing dishes – whether by hand or using a dishwasher
  • Sterilizing equipment – particularly important for parents of infants
  • Water purification – in areas where tap water is not safe to drink

2 comments on “Kitchen Basics

  1. Purebery Max
    May 7, 2013

    Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The words in your content seem to be running
    off the screen in Opera. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The style and design look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon.


    • PropertyFutures
      May 7, 2013

      Thank you, its a standard WordPress account, not sure what opera is?

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