Long gone are the days where sharpened rocks, sticks, and fire were the only tools we needed to prepare a meal. Life as a modern day cook is pretty good.If you’re new to life in the kitchen, or you’ve just ventured out on your own, making a variety of dishes can be frustrating if you don’t have the right tools at the right time. Building up a stash of equipment and nick nacks can take time and depends on your choice and budget. Choose wisely.
Here is my top kitchen equipment I highly recommend you invest in to make your time in the kitchen and pleasurable and productive experience.
A Great Set of Knives
The most dangerous tool in a kitchen is a blunt knife! There are three knives that are truly essential to any cook. The first is a chef’s knife, which is the biggest and used to cut meat, fish and big hard veggies; a paring knife – the small blade – and a third knife, which is a slicing knife, and is used to peel fruit and vegetables or cut things into strips. You may consider adding a bread knife to your collection as well.
A Sturdy Chopping Board
For smooth and safe chopping, a heavy wooden chopping board goes a long way. These can last for years if you look after them. If you use a light plastic board it will keep slipping and you will need one hand to hold the board rather than the vegetable. Hardwood usually prevents bacteria from building up.
A Good Set of Pots and Pans
If you want to enjoy your cooking, you definitely need a good set of pots and pans. These days you get lovely heavy duty ceramic ones which look good as well as prevent the food from burning and becoming a mess. A good nonstick pan will spare you frustration in the kitchen. For certain foods that are prone to sticking, like fresh fish and fried eggs, a nonstick pan will make all the difference between transferring your seared flounder filet to your plate in one piece and leaving too many scraps stuck to the pan. If you are into healthy cooking and want to use minimal oil, then these pans are for you.
I recommend starting off with two frying pans and two cooking pots in varied sizes.
You need mixing in various sizes for almost everything – tossing salads, whisking cake mixes for dessert, marinating chicken, mixing ingredients for healthy dips etc. Plastic, melamine, glass or steel will do this depends on your personal choice.
The Ovenproof Dish
This is key to cooking your roasts, casseroles or your crumbles. I’m a big fan of roasting my veggies as it is healthy and leaves me free to do other things. You can just take out your baking dish out of the oven and put it straight onto a heatproof slab in the middle of the table to serve your guests with style. It saves you washing up time as less dishes are used!
Colanders are extremely versatile kitchen tools. They can be used for everything from washing fruits and vegetables, to draining pasta, to holding fragile produce like grapes. This one is silver stainless steel, but colanders come in all kinds of fun colors and are an easy way to add a pop of color to your kitchen counter!
A Sturdy Peeler
Don’t waste time and energy peeling fruit and veg with a knife. Peelers work so well and do the job in a jiffy with minimal physical effort. They are great for making vegetable noodle strips, cheese and chocolate shavings.
Chopper and Blender
A small electric chopper and blender with a see-through jar makes life super easy when you want your onions and veggies super fine or to blend several ingredients into a smooth sauce, dip or paste. I use mine all the time to make quick pesto, hummus and other dips, mince meat, onions, garlic etc.
Digital Weighing Scale
You need a small digital weighing scale to weigh out ingredients for a cake or your bread dough. A lot of recipes using vegetables and meat require weight measurement. It is much easier, faster and accurate than the old-fashioned cups and you just place your mixing bow directly on the scale and keep putting the weight back to zero after adding each ingredient.
There are a whole lot of other things that are my support system in my kitchen. However, if you start with the above list, you should be sorted. Bakers, do check out my next post on Top Baking Essentials. Till then, happy cooking and Buon appetite