A well equipped kitchen puts the tools you need at your finger tips! With right tools you will be ready for whatever culinary adventure Chef Gerry takes you on.
Kitchen gadgets can be so enticing - their advertised purpose makes perfect sense, and they look so shiny and new. But oftentimes they become dust collectors once they’re in the kitchen, because you just don’t NEED them.
This is a BASIC list to get you started on the way to having a well equipped kitchen. Make sure to check back next month for a Baking Equipment list as well as a few additions to the basics.
THE BIG STUFF:
A kitchen workhorse - 12”, aluminum clad in stainless, sloped sides. You’ll be able to use this pan to sear, pan roast, make pan sauces, almost anything. If you only want one pan, this is it.
8” NON STICK SKILLET
Because everyone needs to scramble or fry an egg once in awhile.
4 QUART POT WITH INSERT
Boil water and use the insert for pasta or remove the insert and make soup.
An absolute must! From weighing flour (see our Nibbles & Bytes to see why THAT’S important) to portioning servings to making sure your meatballs are the same size so they’ll all cook evenly, a digital scale will never collect dust in your kitchen.
There are only two knives you need in any kitchen - a chef’s knife and a paring knife. One of the most important things to remember about a chef’s knife is that one size does not fit all. All hands are different, and what’s comfortable to me might be awful for you. You need to “test drive” a knife. And if the store won’t let you test it out (after you whip that onion or carrot out of your pocket) move on to another store. Sizes can range from 6” to 12”, the weight varies and so does the grip. This is one item you should not go cheap on. A good knife with the proper care can last you a lifetime.
If you haven’t been doing much cooking, a food processor can be overwhelming and a little intimidating. A mini chopper is inexpensive and easy to use. Aside from chopping garlic and small amounts of veggies, you can make pesto, dips or dressings.
Unless you’re planning to crush a lot of ice, you don’t need a big blender. Opt instead for a stick blender. It’s small and light, greatfor pureeing.
THE SMALL STUFF:
Get a set for dry measure (1/8, 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 1) as well as a 2 cup liquid measure.
The deeper the bowl on the spoons, the easier it will be to measure.
Don’t be tempted by one of those huge balloon whisks, they can be unwieldy and awkward. Medium size is perfect.
No explanation needed.
These can be indispensable for turning whatever is in your skillet. On occasion I even use mine to grab something on a high shelf!
One is vital, two even better. And keep them dry - a wet oven mitt can give you a nasty burn when hot.
Like the chef’s knife, these range in size. A 4” or 5” will serve a multitude of uses.
Another must have. Use it to grate anything small. Cheese, nutmeg, even garlic. Which means you don’t need a garlic press.
Great for scraping a pan or sliding under food when a pair of tongs just won’t do.