Cooking is something most people do every day, so why not make it easy to create delicious meals. Investing in just a few pieces of quality gear will make preparing and creating your dinner a joy.
The cornerstone of any epicurean endeavour, good quality knives will make it a breeze to slice and dice to perfection. Buy as good a set as you can afford, and with proper care, they will last for many years, if not your lifetime.
Aside from the humble wooden spoon, of which you should have many, there are only a few absolutely essential items. There are many different devices and contraptions available to make life easier, but the few simple utensils below will cover most requirements:
• Tongs – vital for turning, gripping squeezing and a host of other uses. As with every utensil, buy the best you can afford and they will last for years.
• Fish slice (or spatula or turner) – essential for a wide variety of turning and flipping jobs, when a pair of tongs is too rough.
• Garlic press – the fastest, most convenient way to create finally crushed garlic. Throw the whole clove in and it will even peel it for you.
• Box grater – cheap and versatile, a box grater is ideal for a variety of grating and shredding uses.
• Whisk – a quick way to emulsify dressings, create mixtures for pancakes, scramble eggs for cooking, and more.
• Slotted spoon – the best way to fish poached eggs out of the pot, as well as serving boiled vegetables and more.
Chopping boards and bowls
There are many different types to choose from and mostly it comes down to personal preference.
Wooden chopping boards have the advantage of being naturally antiseptic, while colour coded plastic boards make it easy to avoid cross contamination.
You can cope with one large bowl to do virtually everything you need, but having three for four will make like easier. Ceramic and steel are the most common, however plastic nesting bowls can usually be purchased cheaply and give a wide range of size options.
Pots and pans
Pots and pans are things that people accumulate over the course of their lives. To start your collection, you will need roughly two sizes of pot and two of pan.
• Pasta/stock pot – the best way to boil pasta and cook soup.
• Saucepan – essential for making sauces and things like porridge.
• Large frypan – add versatility by purchasing one with a lid.
• Small frypan – great for omelets and sautéing.
Just the beginning
The kitchen is an area where you can always find something new and exciting to purchase. However, being able to cook with just the basics will make you a better cook and mean that when you do splash out on an expensive appliance, you will get the very most out of it.