Setting up a Kitchen

Go into almost any home store or browse through a magazine and you will see all kinds of different kitchen gadgets. We need to decide what we really need to equip our kitchens and what is extra.

Key points

  • Having the things you need in your kitchen where and when you need them makes cooking easier and more fun.
  • Some things in our kitchens are necessary; we use them every day. Other items like waffle irons, special pans, or blenders are usually not necessary. If you have a small kitchen, stick to the items that you use every day.

Basic Kitchen Items

Measuring: Measuring spoons, dry measuring cups, liquid measuring cup

Cutting: Paring knife, chef knife, cutting boards, can opener

Mixing: Mixing bowl, mixing spoon, rubber spatula

Cookware: Skillet, sauce pan, casserole dish, pot holder, baking sheet, food thermometer, spatula

Draining: Colander, slotted spoons

Handy Extras: Blender, rolling pin, stock pot, cooling rack, whisk, muffin tin, slow cooker, tongs, mixer


Kitchen Safety

Kitchens are a place where families can learn and grow together so it is important to keep everyone in your kitchen safe. The tips below will help you be more aware of the safety in your kitchen and prevent accidents and injuries.

Before Cooking

  • Roll up sleeves.
  • Tie back long hair.
  • Avoid oversized clothing.
  • Wash hands with soap and warm water and dry them well. Wet hands can be slippery.
  • Have children use a lower surface like a table or step up on a sturdy stool if they cannot reach the counter.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating. Use cool running water, there is no need for soap or cleaners.
  • Make sure the floor is clear of toys or any other items that could cause someone to trip.

During Cooking

  • Wipe up spills as they happen.
  • Use oven mitts to handle food on the stove, in the oven or in the microwave. Turn all handles on pots and pans inward and away from the stove’s edge where they could get caught on clothing or grabbed by a child.
  • Remain near the stove when something is cooking. You need to keep an eye on it to avoid burning, boiling over or fires.
  • Always pick up knives by the handle; children should not use sharp knives without an adult nearby; when cutting, always cut away from your body.
  • Keep all electrical cords away from oven, stove, and sink.
  • Keep paper towels, dish towels and pot holders away from the stove top so they do not catch on fire.
  • Unplug the toaster and let it cool before retrieving trapped food.
  • For microwave cooking, use only microwave-safe dishes and allow food to rest 3 minutes before eating.
  • Put milk, yogurt, lunch meat, hard-cooked eggs and other perishable foods back in to the refrigerator as soon as you are done using them. Germs grow quickly in foods that are not stored properly.
  • Throw out foods that have mold spots on them.
  • Keep drawers and cabinets closed when not in use to avoid injury or spills.

After Cooking

  • Check oven and all burners to make sure they are off.
  • Do not put knives in a sink full of water; someone could reach in and cut themselves. Wash each knife individually to avoid cuts.
  • Always put cooked food on a clean plate.

Fire Safety

  • Stay in the kitchen when cooking on the stove. The leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Use it for all kitchen fires.
  • If you do not have an extinguisher and the fire is small enough to smother with a lid, do so. Turn off the burner. If the flames grow or spread, leave the house immediately and call 911. Never put water on a grease fire, it will make the fire worse.
  • Never add water to a pan with hot oil. It will splatter and could burn someone.
  • If you get burned, go to the sink and run the burned area under cool, running water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain eases. If the burn begins to blister, cover it loosely with sterile gauze or a clean cloth. Seek medical attention for severe burns or burns larger than 3 inches.