10 Essential Kitchen Tools
Using the freshest ingredients available is perhaps the most important step in preparing healthy, delicious meals, but what about how it is cooked, or what it is cooked in? Many home cooks tend to overlook the importance of basic kitchen tools when preparing meals. Having a kitchen that is stocked with the right tools and gadgets can make all of the difference when it comes time to prepare meals. The right tools save time and make meal preparation less stressful.
Choosing The Right Pots and Pans
Although some brands can cost several hundred dollars or more, a set of good quality pots and pans does not have to cost a fortune. When shopping for a reasonably priced set of pots and pans, be sure to consider these recommendations before purchasing.
- Choose pots that are made out of stainless steel. They are far more durable and much easier to clean than those made of other materials.
- Stainless steel is not a good heat conductor, so a good quality pot should have a fairly heavy bottom made from another material such as copper or aluminum.
- Avoid pots and pans that have plastic handles and knobs as they can become weak and break.
- Check to be sure that the handles are stainless and that they are welded on rather than being attached with screws. Handles attached with screws can come loose and fall off.
Choosing the Right Kitchen Knives
Absolutely nothing makes cooking easier than a set of sharp, good quality kitchen knives, but there is no need to go overboard when selecting which knives to buy. A well equipped kitchen has only four essential knives. A chef`s knife for chopping, a paring knife for peeling, paring and coring, a slicing knife and a boning knife for meats.
Here is an amazing guide about how to choose the best kitchen knife sets published on Simplyfreshdinners.
Other non-essential knives that are nice to have are a serrated knife, fillet knife, a cleaver and a pair of kitchen shears.
- Choose knives that have a good weight balance between the handle and the blade. If a knife is sharp and well balanced, it almost does the work itself.
- Be sure to sharpen knives regularly ( every 2 -3 weeks depending on how often they are used) with a sharpening or honing stone.
- Use a steel between sharpening to keep a good edge on the knives.
Basic Cooking Essentials
There is no need to run out and buy every gadget that is advertised on television or in magazines. An efficient kitchen contains many essentials but is not cluttered with unused gadgets and appliances. The following list contains just about everything that is needed to cook.
- Dutch oven, 1 1/2 and 3 quart sauce pans
- Steamer insert
- Medium and large covered casserole dishes
- Large, medium and small colanders
- Small and large non-stick fry pans
- Double boiler
- Medium and large saute pans
- Large roasting pan
- Kitchen timer
- Meat thermometer
- Heat diffuser
- Basting brush
- Pepper mill
Besides these cooking essentials, there are as many small appliances available as there are kitchen tasks, so be sure when choosing. Start by outfitting the kitchen with the basics and move up from there. Some good small appliances to have include a toaster / toaster oven, coffee maker, food processor, upright mixer and an immersion blender.