Cooking is a fundamental life skill. You can't be relying on takeout and other people's cooking for the rest of your life. Especially since more people have start making meals at home since the coronavirus pandemic, sales of cookware, especially cookware sets, have soared. For those looking to get in on the fun, these are all of the things you need to buy to get breakfast, lunch and dinner on the table every day. And even if you're already well-stocked on cookware essentials, there are some upgrades in here for you, too.

Cookware Sets

Cookware is such a huge industry that a number of celebrities have slapped their name on pots and pans and made bank. In theory, cookware sets are great. They contain everything you need — from varying sizes of pots and pans — and each piece is built nearly the same for consistency of use. Then again, some sets don't let you customize exactly what you want or need. Luckily there are a few good sets out there if you're really not looking to get into the nitty gritty of shopping for pots and pans.


You could get away with owning one pan. Whether it's stainless steel, non-stick or cast iron, you can make do with whatever pan you decide to buy. Here are three that'll work as hard as you do.


If you're only going to buy one pot, go big or go home. It'll make it annoying to cook a box of pasta, but you'll never be scrambling to find something big enough to make soup.

Cooking Utensils

It's hard to determine what is true necessity when it comes to cooking utensils. Spatulas are a definite must, but everything else kinds a little fuzzy. Do you need a whisk? Some variation of a spoon? At the end of the day, it's up to you and what you want to cook.

Chef's Knife

There is no perfect kitchen knife, but there are some pretty great ones out there. A chef's knife is the first knife you should buy, and it'll tackle anything from dicing vegetables to carving a chicken. It won't excel at any one task, but it can successfully navigate whatever ordeal you put it through.

Cutting Board

Wooden cutting boards are a classic. Nowadays, cutting boards come in all sorts of shapes and materials, but we find ourselves turning to the humble wooden cutting board more often than not. And we think you should, too.