Shopping & Services

Cooking Essentials For Every Budget

Former Yummy magazine food director Rachelle Santos shares her tips on buying pieces to complete a working kitchen

Original Article: Katherine Lopez and Tala Singson Photography: Jilson Tiu and (Main Photo)

Whether you're just starting to build your first apartment or you're a homekeeping pro, you would know that the kitchen is one of the most important parts of the home—needless to say, it is vital that you invest in the key pieces than go into this room. To help you get started, here are a few items that should be on top of your shopping list: 

On a tight budget? Invest in these:

A good quality stove. “This is an indispensable appliance. Since this is the appliance that you’ll be using most often, then one in good quality is a wise investment. You need one that is well-built with sturdy knobs and one that burns evenly.”

A capacious oven and sturdy stand mixer. “If you love to bake, these are essential. You need an oven that is large, where the air has enough room to circulate and one that distributes heat evenly. A stand mixer such as Kitchen Aid is a good investment as it efficiently mixes batter, which cuts down preparation time significantly.”

Got extra cash? Then add these to the list:

Food processor. “It could puree food quickly and smoothly, cutting down preparation time versus when you do it manually.”

Oven toaster.  “This is important for toasting and heating up food, like bread and sandwiches, without the need to switch on or preheat a regular oven.”  

Splurge on these pieces:

Pots and pans. “Good-quality ones are made of stainless steel that’s thick all around—bottom and sides—so that the pan heats up evenly.”

Baking sheets and cake pans. “Good quality ones are made of thick and heavy aluminum and are molded seamlessly, meaning, they don’t have seams in the corner where the batter can leak out. Non-stick is okay but not necessary. What’s more important is that they’re thick and well-made.”

Knives. “Good quality ones are made from a single piece of carbon steel and are hand-forged. Avoid ones that are thin, with insubstantial hilts and handles that are covered thickly in plastic. It must feel comfortable in your hand.”

Tongs, colanders, graters, and other cooking tools. “I prefer stainless steel because it is easy to clean, it is more sanitary than plastic, and odors don’t cling to steel.” 



SM Appliance Center 

  • Lower G/F, SM Aura Premier, 26th street corner McKinley Road, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
  • 3/F, SM Cubao Bldg, Araneta Center, Brgy. Zocorro, Cubao, Quezon City



  • Missouri corner Connecticut street, Greenhills, San Juan
  • G/F, Glorietta 1, Palm Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City


Automatic Center

  • 30 Ortigas Avenue, San Juan 
  • Robinsons Galleria, EDSA Corner Ortigas Ave, Ortigas Center, Quezon City

Read the original article ("Cooking Essentials") from the RL Notebook in the November 2015 issue of Real Living Magazine. Download your digital copy of Real Living on the Real Living App now! Log on to for more details.

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