According to a survey by the Food Network, 28 percent of Americans say they can’t cook. Cooking is an intricate art, for sure, but it doesn’t need to be difficult.
If you own a handful of essential cooking supplies, you can whip up a range of delicious meals. Having the right kitchen tools means that you can try any recipe you like.
Do you know the difference between a chef’s knife and a paring knife? Do you know why you need to own measuring cups? If not, you’re in luck.
I’ve drawn together a list of the most important kitchen supplies you need in your home. Ready to learn to love cooking, and start impressing your family and friends? Then read on and start enjoying the culinary arts!
A good set of knives are among the most important kitchen tools that you need. Sharp and well-balanced knives make cutting and chopping your ingredients easy. Learning how to chop your food into consistently-sized chunks will do wonders for the texture and taste of your meals.
You should own, at a minimum:
- A chef’s knife. A well-made chef’s knife is the key to culinary success. Look for a knife that’s razor-sharp, well-balanced, and comfortable to hold.
- A bread knife. While you can guess what this serrated knife’s main use is, it can also be useful for slicing pastry, cakes, and pizzas.
- A paring knife. The paring knife is used for fine work, like peeling and coring. This knife should be exceptionally sharp and easy to hold.
- A ceramic honing rod. This will keep your knives sharp. A blunt blade is more dangerous than a sharp one, so use it regularly!
A Large Chopping Board
Eschew the tiny chopping boards that you get in IKEA. Your chopping board will be among the most used kitchen supplies that you own.
Get one as big as your work area allows. Working in cramped conditions saps the fun out of cooking.
Essential Kitchen Utensils
- Wooden spoons have been used in the kitchen for thousands of years. They don’t transfer heat or impact the food’s flavor, and they don’t scratch non-stick pans.
- A spatula can be used for everything from turning meat and veg to stirring sauces. Buy one made from stainless steel.
- A slotted spoon is perfect for removing vegetables from boiling water. One made from silicone is your best bet.
- A ladle is a must for serving soups and stews.
- If you often grill or roast meats, a good set of tongs helps you easily flip any food.
Pots and Pans
Good meals come from good pans. If you’re still using those non-stick pans that you bought for $10 back in the day, stop. Invest in these solid pans:
- A ceramic grill pan. You can use grill pans on the stovetop and in the oven, making them extremely versatile kitchen utensils. The best ceramic grill pans can be used for everything from grilled cheese sandwiches to marinated veg.
- A stainless steel sauté pan. These pans should be used for cooking meat, vegetables, and aromatics. The ingredients will stick lightly while cooking, creating fond on the pan’s base which will make delicious sauces.
- Cast-iron skillet. For frying up meats, you can’t beat a cast-iron skillet. These pans will last forever and retain an incredible amount of heat.
- A high-quality non-stick frying pan.
- Small, medium, and large saucepans.
- A stockpot. If you want to make Italian Sunday gravy, warming stews, or delicious stocks, you’ll need a tall stockpot.
- A casserole dish.
Measuring Cups and a Measuring Jug
Eyeballing ingredients gets old fast and makes for unreliable success. Invest in a set of measuring cups for dry ingredients and a demarcated measuring jug for wet ones.
You’re going to be using these kitchen supplies a lot, so invest in good quality ones. For the cups, we’d recommend buying ones made of steel. For the jug, buy one made of Pyrex.
Want to make a cake for the ones you love? How about a delicious marinade for meat or fish? You’ll need a set of mixing bowls.
Look for ones made of toughened glass, and avoid plastic. Glass doesn’t absorb flavor, so you can use these bowls over and over again without polluting your other dishes.
Buying one of these changed the way I cook. Stick a meat thermometer into a roast, and you’ll instantly know when it’s done. No need to see if juices run clear, no need to cut a slice to see if it’s still pink in the middle.
Look for a thermometer that gives readings quickly. It should be able to tell you the meat’s temperature in under five seconds.
Most people forget a blender when buying kitchen stuff, but it’s extremely important. With a blender, you can make smoothies, sauces, and soups with ease. Invest in a good blender with large, strong blades.
A strong pair of kitchen scissors are essential. No matter whether you’re simply opening a packet, cutting through a crab’s shell, or slicing a pizza, scissors make your life a little easier.
Other Awesome Kitchen Supplies
These kitchen supplies aren’t as important as the ones we’ve already looked at, but they will make your life a lot easier.
- A spice grinder. Store-bought spices lose flavor over time. If you buy a spice grinder, you’ll have fresh, delicious spices whenever you want them.
- A sous-vide. This little gadget keeps water boiling at a consistent temperature. Seal up ingredients in vacuum bags, put them in the water, and cook them to perfection.
- Oil infuser. Want to make your own version of that chili oil they have at Italian restaurants? Add your ingredients to an oil infuser for more flavorful, delicious oils.
- A stand mixer. Stand mixers are expensive kitchen tools, but for making batter and kneading dough, they can’t be beaten. Look for a mixer with a variety of attachments, such as a dough hook.
Buying these key kitchen supplies will make your culinary life that little bit easier. Ready to start making incredible meals? Then take a look at the cooking section of our blog and find a recipe that you want to try!