If the only appliances in your kitchen are an old toaster and a hand-me-down set of dishes, it's time to improve your kitchen game.

To help you out, Business Insider has come up with a list of 24 essential items that every proper kitchen needs.

Whether you're shopping for your first apartment, or you just looking to replace some older tools, you'll find what you need on this list.

Food processor:

Food processors are a basic necessity in every kitchen. They can chop up vegetables, grind nuts, and purée potatoes. If you need to shred something, just stick it into this contraption.

Cuisinart DLC-10S Pro Classic $180.00 $99.94 | Amazon

Hamilton Beach Food Processor $36.49 $33.01 | Amazon

Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus $90.00 $47.91 | Amazon

Cuisinart DLC-4CHB Mini-Prep Plus $90.00 $47.91 | Amazon


Blenders require little introduction — every man's got to make a margarita from time to time. They're also useful for making milkshakes and smoothies.

For the absolute top of the line in blenders, look no further than Vitamix:

Vitamix 5200 Series Blender $549.99 $448.98| Amazon (Prime Eligible)

If you're not in the mood to spend that much, some more affordable options are:

Ninja Professional Blender $149.99 $118.00 | Amazon

Hamilton Beach Personal Blender with Travel Lid $21.99 $14.85 | Amazon

Ninja Master Prep $49.99 $33.99 | Amazon

 Spice grinder:

The name is pretty self-explanatory: a spice grinder grinds spices. If you grind them yourself, your food will be significantly more flavorful.

Norpro 775 Spice Grinder $7.97 | Amazon

Secura Electric Coffee and Spice Grinder $49.99 $16.99 | Amazon

KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder with Stainless Steel Blades $19.95 | Amazon


Salt shaker and pepper grinder:

These look significantly nicer than the salt and pepper containers you buy at the store. Class it up.

Olde Thompson 6-inch Caffee Espresso Peppermill and Salt Shaker $24.99 $14.97 | Amazon

Old Thompson Tahoe Chrome Peppermill and Salt Shaker $23.99 | Amazon

OXO Good Grips Salt and Pepper Grinder Set $49.99 $49.95 | Amazon



You'll need a colander for draining your pasta and rice or for washing salad.

OXO Good Grips 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander $29.99 $29.95 | Amazon

ExcelSteel 242 5-Quart Stainless Steel Colander $12.17 | Amazon

Chef Craft, 5-Quart Deep Colander $6.99 $6.57 | Amazon

Culina 5QT Perforated Stainless Steel Colander with handles $15.95 | Amazon


6-inch sieve:

Sieves are similar to colanders, but they're primarily used to sift flour. They help break down the flour into the smallest particles, which makes the flour optimal for baking purposes.

Winco MS3A-8D Strainer with Double Fine Mesh $8.26 $7.37 | Amazon

OXO Good Grips 8-Inch Double Rod Strainer $22.99 $22.95 | Amazon

Cuisinart CTG-00-3MS Mesh Strainers (Set of 3) $22.00 $12.66 | Amazon

ZICOME Stainless Steel Food Strainers (Set of 3) $20.58 $12.84 | Amazon


16-quart stock pot:

For anything from corn on the cob to soups and stews, you're going to need a big pot. When you get really good at the whole cooking thing, you can make your own stock for soup.

New Professional Commercial Grade Stock Pot $170.00 $115.68 | Amazon

T-fal Speciality Stock Pot Cookware $79.99 $34.99 | Amazon

Prime Pacific Stainless Steel Stock Pot $62.89 | Amazon


Cast-iron skillet:

Cast-iron skillets can cook almost anything, including egg dishes, lasagnas, desserts, and roasted vegetables. You can put them on a stove top or in the oven for baking. And if you live in a city, a cast iron can act as a grill substitute, so you won't have to do without quality steaks.

Bayou Classic 7434, 14" Cast Iron Skillet $55.00 $25.04 | Amazon

King Kooker Cast Iron Skillet, 20-Inch $102.29 $84.13 | Amazon

Lodge L10SK3 Pre-Seasoned Skillet, 12-Inch $34.99 $29.99 | Amazon

Lodge LCS3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Chef's Skillet, 10-Inch $26.95 $22.75 | Amazon


Splatter screen:

No one wants hot oil splattering in their face. So get a splatter screen to cover whatever it is that you're cooking.

Progressive International Stainless Steel Splatter Screen $18.58 | Amazon

Norpor 13-Inch Splatter Screen $22.16 $10.40 | Amazon

Calphalon 13" Splatter Guard $19.99 $19.95 | Amazon

Home Basics 3-Piece Splatter Screen Set $10.49 | Amazon


A great knife:

We don't joke around when it comes to knives. It's worth it to invest in a quality blade, because it will last forever, as long as you take good care of it and sharpen it regularly.

MAC Pro 8 1/2 inch $159.95 | Amazon

MAC Knife Professional French Chef's Knife, 9 1/2 Inch $184.95 | Amazon

MAC Knife Chef Series Hollow Edge Chef's Knife, 8-inch $95.00 $94.94 | Amazon

MAC Knife Professional Paring/Utility Knife, 5-inch $75.00 $64.95 | Amazon


Offset serrated knife:

You're probably wondering why you need an offset knife. Easy. The "offset" handle keeps you hand away from surfaces while you cut. 

Serrated means that the blade looks like a mini saw, which is useful to cut through foods that are hard on the exterior and soft on the interior. Think a loaf of bread or cabbage.

Wusthof Gourmet Offset Handle $75.00 $59.95 | Amazon

OXO Good Grips 8 Inch Bread Knife $11.99 $9.99 | Amazon

Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradtion 10-Inch Serrated Bread/Slicing Knife $18.79 $15.96 | Amazon 

J.A. Henckels International Classic 5-inch Serrated Utility Knife $70.00 $41.99 | Amazon



Eventually you'll need to move your food without touching it, and for that you need tongs.

Set of 3 Staineless Steel Service Tongs $5.78 | Amazon

OXO Good Grips 9-inch Locking Tongs $11.99 | Amazon 

Precision Kitchenware - Stainless Steel 12" Kitchen Tong $19.99 $7.95 | Amazon

StarPack Premium Silicone Tongs 2 Pack (9-inch and 12-inch) $29.95 $18.95 | Amazon


Fish flipper:

Fish is more delicate and may break apart if you use tongs. Instead opt for a fish flipper, which can help you get all the sides of your fish prepared.

WincoFST-6 Blade Fish Spatula $5.49 | Amazon

OXO Good Grips Fish Turner $12.99 $12.95 | Amazon

Matfer Bourgeat Exoglass Pelton Spatula $14.44 | Amazon

MIU France Large Stainless Steel Slotted Turner $11.99 $9.99| Amazon

Rubber spatula:

To get every last bit of a sauce or batter out of a container, use a spatula.

Wilton 570-1121 Easy Flex 3-Piece Spatula Set, Blue $7.46 | Amazon

OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Silicone Spatula $11.99 $11.95 | Amazon

StarPack Premium Silicone Spatulas (Set of 4) $29.95 $18.95 | Amazon

Hampton Direct Kitchen Silicone Spatulas (Set of 6) $24.99 $6.99 | Amazon


Potato peeler:

Spare yourself the agony of peeling potatoes by hand and just go for a fancy restaurant peeler. Your scab-less, callus-free hands will thank you.

Precision Kitchenware PK001 $23.95 $8.95 | Amazon

UltraChef Ultra Sharp Stainless Steel Peeler $19.95 $9.95 | Amazon

OXO Good Grips Pro Y-Peeler $12.99 $12.95 | Amazon


Tasting spoon:

Again, the name is self-explanatory. But you do want a specific tasting spoon so that you can experiment with salt, pepper, or spice levels right on the spoon — without ruining your dish completely.

OXO Good Grips Wooden Corner Spoon $5.99 | Amazon

CIA Stirring and Tasting Spoon $5.66 | Amazon

Elizabeth Karmel 10 5/8th-inch Bamboo Tasting Spoon $7.08 | Amazon


Microplane grater:

A real man grates his own cheese.

A microplane grater can also be used to grate lemons (for lemon zest), onions, and ginger.

Microplane 40020 Classic Zester/Grater $14.99 $12.65 | Amazon

Microplane 38000 Professional Coarse Grater $16.95 $15.55 | Amazon

Microplane 40001 Stainless Steel Zester $9.95 | Amazon


Basting brush:

To get the most out of your marinade, apply it to meats or vegetables with a basting brush.

GrillPro 2-Piece Silicone Basting Brushes $11.99 $9.99 | Amazon

Set of 3 Silicone Basting Brushes $6.24 | Amazon

Silicone Basting Pastry and BBQ Brushes (Set of 4) $24.99 $16.99 | Amazon

Chef Craft 2-Piece Plastic Basting Brushes (Set of 2) $6.99 | Amazon


Metal skewers:

One word: kebabs. You'll need metal skewers to grill meats and vegetables. Definitely worth the investment.

Steven Raichlen Grilling Kabob Skewers (set of 6) $16.33 | Amazon

Steven Raichlen Kabob Rack with 6 Skewers $29.99 $21.99 | Amazon

OutdoorChef Long Stainless Steel Kebab Skewers (2 Dozen) $15.93 | Amazon

GrillPro 40538 Stainless Skewers (Set of 6) $15.99 $15.15 | Amazon


End-grain cutting board:

Good knives are expensive, so you're not going to want your cutting board to ruin them immediately. Pick up an end grain cutting board, which is specifically designed to not dull your knife as quickly as a plastic cutting board would. Plus, because of the pattern on the boards, knife marks won't be as visible.

Ironwood Gourment Acacia Wood Large End Grain Prep Stations $62.46 | Amazon

Catskill Craftsmen 19-inch End Grain Chopping Block $92.98 $47.00 | Amazon

John Boos Reversible End Grain Maple Chopping Block $179.95 | Amazon


A french press or percolator:

There is a special place in hell reserved whoever decided it was OK to drink ground dirt (commonly referred to as "instant coffee").

Instead, pick up a French press so that you can make a delicious cup for yourself every morning.

If a French press is a bit too pretentious for your taste, get a percolator, at least.

Bodum Brazil 8-Cup French Press $29.00 $26.25 | Amazon

SterlingPro 8-Cup Coffee and Espresso Maker $68.00 $29.95 | Amazon

Presto Stainless-Steel Coffee Percolator $49.99 $37.01 | Amazon

Faberware 12-Cup Coffee Percolator $79.99 $59.99 | Amazon


A decent apron:

You'll need a solid apron to keep your clothes from looking like a Kandinsky painting. Skip the basic butcher-looking apron, and definitely don't get one with a tasteless design (you know the ones we're talking about). Instead, opt for a classic navy, white or gray one. 

Commercial Grade Kitchen Apron (2-pack Navy blue) $24.95 $14.94 | Amazon

Chef Works White Basic Bib Apron $7.24 | Amazon

Low Designs Apron, London Grey $22.00 | Amazon


Kitchen towels and oven mitts:

Towels for cleaning, mitts for keeping your hands from burning. Not hard.

Keeble Outets Cotton Towels (1 dozen) $20.00 $18.99 | Amazon

Medline 1 Dozen Herringbone Cotton Dish Towels $11.90 | Amazon

Flame Retardant Quilted Oven Mitts Commercial Grade (2-Pack) $19.99 $10.85 | Amazon

Kitchen Elements Ultra-Flex Red Cooking Mitts $25.00 $19.27 | Amazon


Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments.

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