No matter if you’re a seasoned veteran or a beginner in the kitchen, your pantry should always be stocked with a few cooking essentials. We’ve asked our in-house team of chefs what we can find in their pantries at any given time and we found some similarities. To always cook like a professional chef, keep these five essentials stocked in your cupboard.
Kitchen Basics | 5 Essentials to Keep in Your Pantry
1. A Spice Rack
Some recipes just aren't the same without spice. Marinara sauce without oregano may be possible, but do you really want to live in that world? Pumpkin pie without cinnamon or nutmeg? Shame on you. These and many other easily overlooked and inexpensive spices will be crucial to your diverse meal plans.
- Sea salt
- Whole black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Cayenne pepper
- Crushed red pepper
2. Oils and Vinegar
Any decent recipe will probably need a little bit of zest to make it work, and a dash of oil or vinegar can work wonders. Whether you are preparing a skillet or creating the base for a sauce, essential oils such as olive oil and vegetable oil need to be on hand.
- Oils: Olive, canola, vegetable, and sesame
- Vinegar: Red wine, rice, balsamic
3. Canned Goods
While we in no way advocate whole meals taken directly from a can, many recipes can be enhanced with the addition of some canned vegetables or sauces, and condensed milk has been the salvation of many a wayward recipe. The best part is that these ingredients will likely keep until you need them.
4. Dairy and eggs
There is a reason why the egg and milk run is a staple of grocery shopping nationwide. Eggs, butter, milk, and a variety of cheeses form the backbone of the most delicious meals in the cookbook. While technically part of a well-stocked refrigerator rather than a pantry, don't sleep on these essential ingredients.
Often a literal afterthought only added to a recipe after completion, never underestimate the importance of a good condiment selection. You worked hard on the hamburgers, but are they really complete without the ketchup or mustard? When it comes to a recipe, it is important to finish up strong. Some condiments that you might not consider that can be crucial in the kitchen are:
- Dijon Mustard
- Soy Sauce
- Hot Sauce
- Barbecue Sauce
- Sour Cream
Put Your Pantry to Use
While far from an exhaustive list, these pantry essentials are a good place to start when you seek to be prepared for any recipe you want to tackle. Being prepared will help reduce your stress and help you focus on following directions and expressing your own creative interpretation of these dishes. At Chef'd, our meals plans are designed to be accessible for beginners, but each meal kit requires oil, salt, and pepper at a minimum. If you are interested in starting your cooking journey, check out our delicious meal plans today and put your new pantry to good use.