Maybe you’ve just let go of take-out menus and want to start your kitchen adventures. Or maybe you’ve moved into a new place, a completely empty one, and you need to start from scratch on stocking up your kitchen. Either way, here is a basic list of essential kitchen tools you should have.
When I first moved from my parents’ house, my new kitchen was completely empty and I had to stock it little by little, whenever I had some extra money for the task. I really wanted to cook and have a healthier lifestyle, so the tools of the trade were pretty important to me. The problem with that is that, no matter how comprehensive a list of what you think you need is, there will always be some things you forget. And then discover that you need something when your pot is already on the stove so to speak.
You read a recipe and discover that there’s some mysterious process requiring some tool or other that you don’t have. And hey, you’ve just moved in, so that means you don’t have a close relationship with your neighbors yet to borrow kitchen equipment. Not to mention those moments when you're in a store and your eyes are caught by some cute colored kitchen item you probably won’t need. An egg timer, anyone? It’s hardly essential. This is where this list of essential kitchen tools comes in. To help you have everything you need and keep you from useless albeit colorful purchases.
Essential kitchen tools are items you would use every day, made from quality materials so they don’t break too easily, items which you can use multiple ways and which don’t have an extravagant price tag.
8 essential kitchen tools everyone should have
1. A chef’s knife
It’s important to use a quality chef’s knife in the long run. Not only it’s more cost-effective, but it also makes things easier for you, saving you time. It’s a very versatile tool you can apply to fruits and veggies, meats. It works with smaller foods and also with large ones.
2. A cutting board
When it comes to chopping, and dicing, you don’t want to improvise too much. I did lack a cutting board for a while and it was a nightmare to prep for cooking. I don’t ever want to go through that again. It’s your choice between a plastic one and a wooden one, but I always go for the latter. Get it in a reasonable size, too. You can read here more about choosing and maintaining your board.
3. Spoons (and forks and knives)
It’s pretty obvious why you need forks and knives for eating. But spoons are special because you don’t only use them for eating soup. You also use them for cooking. And when it comes to that, know that you will need a wooden spoon and a metal spoon, at least. Metal spoons are great for tasting the food. But what’s great about wooden spoons is that they don’t heat when you leave them in liquid, say when you’re stirring something. They also don’t scratch nonstick pans.
4. A nonstick pan
This is a very versatile tool to have at your disposal. Especially if you can’t buy a full set of pots and pans. Buy a nonstick pan with a lid and a long handle. You can use it to cook meats, make eggs for breakfast, and caramelize onions or glaze vegetables. Don’t get a plastic one and make sure that it’s made from quality stainless steel and is oven-safe.
5. A sheet pan
You can do so many great things with it in the oven! You can roast vegetables or meats or both of them at the same time. You can also bake! Make brownies, cookies, even pizza! Get one made from 18-grade aluminum because it conducts heat evenly and doesn’t change its shape under heat. Not to mention that it lasts for years.
6. A can opener
Yes, you can open cans with the blade of a knife, but do you want to? I once got a deep cut in my hand because I was missing a can opener and I was just so stubborn. You might also ruin your knife, and that would completely suck. A can opener is excellent, you can use it for canned tomatoes, tuna, sweet corn. Don’t pick something made out of plastic, go for a classic model that looks sturdy.
7. Mixing bowls
They’re the bread and butter of the chef. There are so many things that need mixing in the kitchen, a wide variety of dishes, so they’re basically indispensable for you. Go for stainless steel when you choose them. They will be easy to clean and don’t absorb smells or flavors.
8. Mortar and pestle
Maybe you don’t see them as one of the essential kitchen tools, but you might in the near future. A stone mortar and pestle, for instance, to mash herbs and mince garlic to perfection.