Stocking your kitchen for everyday home cooking is trickier task than it sounds. Between optimizing space, budget considerations, and the endless amount of tools available on the market, a person could spend infinite time just making a list. Luckily, our chefs here at Anybody Can Chef! have spared you the headache. Today, we’re going through the 10 essential tools you’ll need to be successful in the kitchen, sharing why you need them and how to use them!
If you buy one knife, make it a chef’s knife. While there are dozens (if not hundreds) of specialty knives available, a good chef’s knife is an all-purpose workhorse, and can handle any task in the kitchen. Whether rough chopping pecans for Pecan-Honey Mashed Sweet Potatoes or finely slicing scallions to go over a Sesame Cauliflower and Crispy Chickpea Bibimbap, you won’t want to go without a chef’s knife.
Cast Iron Pan
From Seared Steak with Lemon Jus to Chicken Mole, a good cast-iron pan can cook anything in the world. They’re a bit more expensive than aluminum pans, but a cast-iron pan will likely last your entire lifetime if cared for properly. They are also oven safe at any temperature, making them all-the-more versatile.
A good cutting board makes a world of difference. We suggest something heavy and wooden for all of your knife-work needs. The bigger you can go the better — for knife-heavy salsas and recipes, nothing beats having a nice, roomy workspace to chop veggies on.
Wooden spoons are just plain handy. Some recipes you’ll find may call for constant stirring. Wooden spoons are going to allow you to stir and scrape from pans without damaging your equipment.
Measuring Cups & Spoons
With Anybody Can Chef!, all of your ingredients and sauces will be already pre-portioned for your convenience. But, when you decide to branch out and start improvising, you’ll need some measuring cups and spoons by your side. While eyeballing a cup might be easy, smaller measurements will prove more difficult to correctly guesstimate.
Zested citrus is one of our favorite ways to brighten up a dish. From Lime Scented Rice to Lemon Garlic Israeli Couscous, a Microplane is a must-have kitchen tool. Another bonus: whole cloves of garlic can be Microplaned for a-la-minute garlic paste.
This one’s less glamorous than some of the others on our list, but a colander is a key tool in making dishes like Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes. They’re also handy for washing produce, which is a starting point for most recipes that you’ll find.
As you grow more familiar with meat and fish cookery, you’ll be able to test doneness by touch. But, to get to that point, you’ll need a meat thermometer. This essential tool is going to tell you when that steak has hit a perfect medium-rare, or when a pork loin is ready to come out of the oven.
Mixing bowls are beyond crucial in the kitchen. They come in many different materials, but we suggest glass, as it is heat-safe and non-reactive to food ingredients. Whether seasoning roasted potatoes or making an Apple-Pecan Salad, mixing bowls are a must-have tool.
Tongs are like the cook’s second set of hands. From home kitchens to Michelin-starred restaurants, you’ll find tongs wherever food is prepared. Tongs give cooks the ideal way to handle scorching-hot meat, seafood, and vegetables, and for that reason, are a key piece of any kitchen setup.
Bottomline is, whether you’re a professional chef or just starting to try out your luck in cooking, these kitchen wares are MUST HAVES for an easier, more fun cooking experience!