The Top 10 Kitchen Tools Every Home Chef Must Have
Do you prepare meals at home more frequently these days
Do you regularly prepare your own meals from scratch or do you use a meal kit service? The task is made simpler and more pleasurable in the kitchen when the proper instruments are available. Here is a list of the top ten appliances that every home cook needs.
1. A knife set
Any serious home cook needs high-quality knives. For efficient work and injury prevention, the proper instruments for the job are crucial. A chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a serrated knife are the three knives that are most useful to have.
Your kitchen’s best friend will be a chef’s knife. It can be used for a wide range of tasks, including cutting nuts, trimming meat, and slicing vegetables. Look for a knife with a weight that feels right for you—not too heavy, not too light.
Paring knives are perfect for finer tasks like deveining shrimp or slicing grape tomatoes, garlic or potatoes. Serrated knives are a natural choice when it comes to slicing bread, but they are also useful for slicing larger tomatoes.
Try signing up for a meal kit service like Blue Apron if you’re still unclear of what knives are best for the job. You learn which knives are best for each chore in the step-by-step directions, along with cooking methods you can use with other meals.
2. A sturdy cutting board
A kitchen essential is a sizable wood cutting board. A chopping board that can fit a large roast or longer veggies, like celery or carrots, is a need. Using a plate or countertop to cut on is not only uncomfortable, but it can also harm your knives’ blades.
Aim for something with a thickness of between 1 12 and 2 inches if you want something more robust. Boards with more thickness are less likely to crack or split. They also frequently weigh more, which reduces the chance of slipping and accidents. Put a wet paper towel or a shelf liner underneath the board for added security.
Just remember that while disinfecting them, wooden cutting boards shouldn’t be soaked in water and instead need to be scrubbed thoroughly with hot, soapy water. This might result in cracks, and the moisture serves as a haven for microorganisms. Regarding microorganisms, it makes sense to designate a separate plastic board for raw meat and poultry.
3. Pots & pans set
A wide selection of pots and pans can help you in the kitchen. No matter if you’re a natural chef or a fan of meal kits like HelloFresh, it’s essential to have a few different sizes to accommodate various food kinds. Additionally, you might need the ability to cook several different dishes at once on the burner.
Aim for nonstick if you want cooking and cleaning utensils that are the simplest. Compared to stainless steel, nonstick pans require far less upkeep and are less expensive. On the other side, stainless steel lasts longer if it is properly maintained.
4. A top-notch blender
You might be surprised at how flexible a strong mixer is. You won’t need that immersion blender or food processor for smoothies, soups, sauces, hummus, pesto, and nut butters any longer.
Even better, high-quality blenders can help you boost your nutritional intake or save time. It’s amazing how smooth and creamy the end product is when compared to blenders that are more conventional. The days of straining blended soups and sauces after puréeing them are long gone. This not only saves time, but also guarantees that the fiber and vitamins that are often lost during the straining process are not lost.
Good blenders can also handle foods like hummus and nut butters that contain very little water. I advise using the tamper to keep things moving and stop the blender from overheating when mixing thicker meals like these.
5. Stand Mixer
Every home baker needs a stand mixer. You can quickly prepare anything, including meringues, bread, cakes, and cookies. If you buy the right attachments, these machines can also serve as meat grinders and pasta rollers.
A wire whisk, dough hook, and flat beater are typically included with stand mixers. Even pouring shields are included with some models. Always start at the slowest speed before gradually raising it when mixing, and make sure the mixer is locked while doing so.
6. Combination Slow/Pressure Cooker
If you haven’t already, consider the convenience of a pressure cooker or slow cooker, particularly when they come with two functions. No matter how good a cook you are, time is a precious commodity that is probably in limited supply.
A slow cooker makes it simple to start dinner in the morning and have it ready and waiting for you when you return home from a hard day at work because it can be set and forgotten. On the other hand, a pressure cooker can significantly reduce the cooking time without compromising flavor or texture if you are wanting a slow-cooked stew or braise but don’t have the time to prepare in advance.
7. Cast iron pan
Despite being the unsung heroes of the kitchen, cast iron pans are frequently forgotten about at the backs of out of the way cabinets. Cast iron has so many advantages. They are excellent heat conductors, incredibly durable, and reasonably priced.
Cast iron pans are excellent for browning vegetables and putting a nice crust on steaks and other foods. Cast iron may be used to cook stir-fries as well because it retains heat efficiently, much like a wok. Cast iron is excellent for shallow frying because it retains heat effectively. Oh, and don’t forget the Dutch babies or the cornbread. The list is endless.
Eggs, delicate fish filets, and acidic dishes are a few things you should normally steer clear of cooking in cast iron. Eggs and fish may stick and break up in the pan even if it is well-seasoned. In this situation, using a nonstick is safer. Acidic foods like tomatoes or vinegar can react with the pan’s metals and harm them.
Cast iron pans can be effectively cleaned and maintained by adding approximately an inch of water to the pan and bringing it to a simmer. Pour off the water after using a wooden spoon to gently scrape off any foods that have caught on. Rinse it thoroughly in the sink, then dry it with a cloth or paper towel.
If necessary, use a little dish soap from time to time. Then, after using the pan, rub it with a few teaspoons of neutral oil, such as vegetable oil, for a quick seasoning. The oil-filled pan needs to be heated. It should be taken off the hob, the excess oil should be wiped off with a cloth, and it should cool before being stored.
8. Dutch oven
The best choice for a Dutch oven is enameled cast iron, if you’re thinking about buying one. The interior is made of cast iron, which helps the surface retain heat while being nonstick and simple to clean. These pans are indispensable to any serious home cook and are highly flexible.
Soups, stews, and braises all taste fantastic in Dutch ovens. It makes it simple and practical to deep fried food at home. Even a loaf of bread can be baked inside a Dutch oven, and you can roast big pieces of meat or make pasta in one. The options are genuinely limitless.
9 . Salad Spinner
A salad spinner is useful for more than just salads and may completely change the game. Any green vegetable, including lettuce, kale, and spinach, can be cleaned and dried with a salad spinner. Even though a large basin with a colander in it works just as well for washing vegetables, the spin-dry feature is unbeatable.
Washing kale to keep in the fridge for later use or washing greens for a salad that night, it’s critical to drain any extra water. Watery greens can significantly dilute salad dressing, leaving your salads limp and flavorless. In the fridge, too much water can also encourage the growth of mold on vegetables.
A salad spinner can also be used for cleaning berries, rinsing and draining canned beans, soaking broccoli or leeks, and washing and drying herbs. They are helpful for cleaning so many different kinds of food and are well worth the price.
10. Thermometer with Instant Read
It’s crucial to keep a trustworthy thermometer on hand, especially for items that are otherwise challenging to judge when they are finished cooking. For large cuts of meat, poultry, and fish, like roasts or whole birds, it is a must, but it can also be useful for smaller cuts. The thermometer will eliminate any uncertainty if you haven’t mastered the poke test for determining doneness on individual pieces of steak and chicken.
For deep-frying, thermometers are also helpful. Even if you are a seasoned practitioner, it can be challenging to distinguish between, for instance, oil at 350F and 375F.
Too little heat could cause the food to soak up too much oil and get mushy. If it’s set too high, the outside can burn before the inside is cooked.
When baking bread or heating sugar, intermediate to experienced bakers may need a thermometer. For cakes and custards, some recipes specifically specify the appropriate interior temperature. The only surefire way to ensure your dessert is successful before the taste test is to check the temperature.
These ten kitchen utensils will be very helpful to you. Regardless of your particular requirements, everyone might benefit from a solid set of knives, pots, and pans. Cooking will be so much more pleasant if you have a strong foundation of tools at your disposal, and you’ll be able to spot any holes in your collection with ease.