Instant pot on a baker’s rack

My Kitchen Must-Haves, Part 1 – Equipment

Hello there and welcome back to the blog!

Today I wanted to walk you through some of my kitchen equipment must-haves. Things I use often, reference in my recipes, and recommend a lot. I will try and provide you with a recipe for each must have so you can get an idea of what you can make with it. Let’s get cooking!

I had planned to write this post as Kitchen Must Haves, but as I started going through my kitchen and taking note of what I use most often, I realized that there would be too many! So, this list is for kitchen equipment must haves only – stay tuned for similar list for tools, cookware, and ingredients!

Slow Cooker

This is one of my most favorite kitchen appliances. We have a pressure cooker (8 qt. Instant Pot) and I primarily use its slow cooker option. The internet is chock full of recipes and ways to use it! Whether you like 30 minute recipes or slow-and-low ones, you will use it a lot! Since I am a homemaker, I have the luxury to take my time with the recipes and the slow cooker allows me to have the best results with minimum effort.

Favorite recipe: Hot Apple Cider. This is the perfect time of year for it!

Glass mug with hot apple cider next to

Immersion Blender

Another item that is used a lot this time of year – an immersion blender. When making pureed soups, no need to worry about cutting your vegetables neatly and evenly. Within seconds, an immersion blender makes it a perfectly smooth, delicious soup. It is worth investing in, if you consider how time consuming the alternative it – a food processor or a blender. With those, you are transferring hot soup back and fourth before and after blending and you have a much bigger appliance to clean afterward.

Favorite recipe: So far, I have 3 recipes for pureed soups, but this Pumpkin Soup is my favorite!

Pumpkin soup in pumpkin looking bowl topped with cilantro, pomegranate, orange zest

Waffle Maker

This is probably a more unusual item for this list, but since the day I got it as a Christmas present, it has been used A LOT. All of a sudden, I had this waffle craving and when my husband gifted it to me, we did make sweet waffles a few times. But then, we discovered something much better – cheese waffles. I think we ate them every day for a year. On a low carb diet, they’re a life saver. At this point, we’re taking a break from them, but the waffle maker still lives on our kitchen counter.

Favorite recipe: Low Carb Waffle Sandwich

Direct view of a stack of 3 waffle sandwiches

Sous Vide

I have my husband’s aunt & parents to thank for this amazing gift! In short, it’s a water bath that cooks your food (in a bag or a jar) to the precise temperature you pick. As much as I prefer to have total control over what’s cooking and how, sous vide is an incredible shortcut to perfectly cooked steaks, burgers, seafood, and so much more. It takes all the guess work out of it and gives you consistent, right-to-the-last-degree results. There are a lot of recipes in the app that you can use. So far, we’ve tried steaks, burgers, duck breast, shrimp, scallops, egg bites and the best – chocolate pot de creme.

P.s. It is definitely an investment. But if you struggle getting your food to the right temperature otherwise, I highly recommend keeping an eye out for sales or ask for gift cards instead of a gift so you can buy one.

Favorite recipe: Definitely chocolate pot de creme! It is the most decadent, silky chocolate dessert.

Electric Tea Kettle

About a year ago, my husband and I started drinking a lot of tea. It must have been after we discovered Dacha Tea House in Cape Charles. I grew up drinking tea about 40 times a day – it is a big part of Russian culture and an answer to many problems. Unexpected company? Have some tea. Bad day? Have some tea. Good day? Have some tea. I started drinking coffee when I moved to US and went without tea for several years. Now, it’s a part of our evening routine – hot tea (usually chai, with half&half) and a movie.

We searched for a good tea kettle for a long time, but all the ones we’ve seen are just way too big! The beauty of this tea kettle is that it’s seemingly small, but it holds enough for both of us to have tea, and then some.


An apron is not a piece of equipment in the traditional sense, but I want to put it on the list nonetheless. It is so much more than a tool! With tools, most of the time you can make do without. No whisk? Use a fork. No garlic press? Use a knife. But with equipment, if you don’t have – you don’t have it.

An apron is so much more than a protection from mess or spills. It’s a piece of uniform, that signals you that you are about to create something wonderful. My favorite aprons are Williams Sonoma ones. My husband had one for months and I kept stealing it. It’s a perfect mix of practical and comfortable. I finally got one myself and every time I put it on, I can’t wait to start cooking. Granted, I feel that way 99% of the time, but an apron makes it even better 🙂

And there you have it – a complete list of my kitchen equipment must haves. What are yours? Let me know in the comment section! As usual, if you have any questions or feedback on this or any other of my post, you can find me on Instagram (@babushkacooking), Facebook (Babushka Cooking), or e-mail me at

From Kitchen, with Love – 


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