It may be the first time you’re setting up your kitchen or maybe you're looking to upgrade the tools you use for cooking.
Making sure that you have the proper tools that every kitchen needs is essential in cooking the perfect meal. Sometimes, when I cook at friend’s houses and they are missing some of this stuff, I feel lost.
Your life in the kitchen will be a lot better with these three tools.
A Sharp Knife, a Whetstone, and a Cutting Board
A sharp knife is the most valuable tool in the kitchen. Without one, prepping food can be a huge nightmare.
Now, you may be thinking about hopping into Target to get one of those nice butcher blocks full of knives. Sure, you’ll look like you know what you’re doing, but in reality, most of those knives are not needed in the kitchen.
To be a great home cook, you really only need three different types of knives - a paring knife, a chef's knife, and a serrated knife.
No matter how good your knife is, it will end up getting dull over time. A dull knife is a huge problem in the kitchen. It would be safer and easier to rip food apart with your hands than to use a raggedy, dull knife. Now, that we know a dull knife is a load of junk, let’s find out how to make sure that a sharp knife never becomes too dull.
You can keep a knife sharp by using a knife sharpener, but we’re cooks here, so we go by the scientific name, a whetstone. Apparently, there is such a thing as a knife sharpening service. We aren’t that hardcore, though, so we are going to stick to a block of rock.
The last thing that goes along with a good knife is a cutting board. You obviously don’t want to be cutting directly on the table or counter. A cutting board is a necessity for the kitchen.
If you only have one cutting board, it’s no problem, but ideally you will want at least two. The reason is that one can be used for raw proteins and the other for cooked foods or fruits and vegetables. Raw proteins such as chicken can carry diseases like salmonella, so they should never be mixed with produce or other cooked foods.
If you do only have one cutting board make sure to wash it thoroughly before switching from raw proteins to other types of food.
Measuring Tools and a Baking Scale
Measuring ingredients is a very important part of cooking or baking. It’s literally part of the recipe.
Baking can be a lot more unforgiving if you don’t measure than, say, cooking a chicken dinner. Baking is an exact science, and it’s never a good idea to change the recipes unless you really understand what each ingredient does.
To make sure that you never run into a problem such as too much salt, or too little flour, you should have a set of measuring tools on hand.
Realistically, you’ll want one set of measuring spoons and two sets of measuring cups. Measuring spoons are for the smaller amounts like teaspoons or tablespoons. You’ll need two sets of measuring cups because one set will be used for measuring liquids, and one set will be used for measuring dry ingredients.
A baking scale is another essential, although less essential, item for the kitchen. The main benefit of a baking scale is accuracy. Weight is a lot more accurate than cups. For example, since 1 gram of flour will always be the same amount of flour, but 1 cup of flour may be slightly different each time. Remember, baking is an exact science. It’s important to be accurate.
Cookware and Utensils
If you're just starting out with cooking non-stick skillets can be a lifesaver. One thing you do have to remember about non-stick skillets is not to use metal utensils with these types of pans. Metal utensils can scratch the surface which can destroy the nonstick.
There are a few different types of cookware that you are going to want to have. You want a small non-stick skillet and a large non-stick skillet. Then you'll want their stainless steel counterparts - a small and large stainless steel skillet. Thirdly, you'll want a saucepan and a stock pot.
Finally, and also optionally, is a wok. A wok is used for quick, high-heat dishes like stir fry.
On the utensil side of things you'll want a large variety since you never know which tools you'll need when you go to make each different recipe. If you're a baker, a rolling pin, whisk, and spatula may be necessary. If you're more into cooking you'll want utensils like a meat mallet, a slotted spoon, tongs, a ladle, a vegetable peeler, and a wooden spoon.
In summary, we learned some of the best tools that you will need in the kitchen when you're becoming a home cook. You don't need to get all of these tools at one time, but over time, getting a few of them here and there will have your kitchen stocked.
Remember the most important tool in the kitchen is a proper knife. It'll make it safer and easier for you in the kitchen. If you're looking for a place to start acquiring kitchen tools a sharp knife is the perfect place.
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