Submitted by: Joanne Perez, Real Bite Nutrition
Do you really need that food dehydrated? What about that crepe pan? There are thousands of kitchen gadgets on the market and everyone should have at least one frivolous “tool,” but here’s a list of the tools that every kitchen needs to have.
- Sharp Knives & Scissors – There is nothing worse that a dull knife. Sharp knives cut with less force so there is less damage to your food, keep delicate foods (herbs) looking fresher, are more predictable so safer and speeds up your prep. These 3 knives must be in every kitchen: Serrated, 8-inch Chef’s and Paring.
- Plastic Cutting Boards – At a minimum, you need to have two plastic cutting boards- one for raw proteins and one for cooked foods and produce. Look for cutting boards made of polyethylene plastic, which is inexpensive, durable and easy to clean (dishwasher-safe), and color code your boards to prevent cross-contamination.
- Pots & Pans – It is better to have a few high quality pots & pans than lots of different sized cheap ones. Stainless steel is best, but nonstick ones are great for new cooks and those looking to use less oil. Just remember to always use plastic utensils to prevent scratching. Every kitchen needs to have the following pots & pans: 10-inch Sauté Pan, 8-inch Skillet, 1 ½ quart Saucepan, 8 quart Stockpot and 12 quart Stockpot.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons – Eventually, you will be able to judge how much a teaspoon is, but you always need to measure when baking so a good set of measuring spoons & cups is a must have.
- Mixing Bowls – A set of 3 stainless-steel mixing bowls that fit inside one another is a great option for a new kitchen.
- Small Tools – You don’t need every gadget, but every kitchen must these tools as a minimum.
- Slotted Spoon – A draining and retrieving must.
- Tongs – You can lift, flip, mix or move items with tongs. Tongs made of stainless steel ones are the most versatile.
- Spatulas – A good spatula scrapes, scoops, stirs, and mixes. It is a good idea to have a few different sizes.
- Can Opener – Go for one that cuts on the side not the top of the can. This will prevent rigid edges and the top from falling into the can.
- Thermometer – Every stovetop and oven is different so sight, touch, smell or even a timer can leave you scratching your head when it comes to doneness. The best way to check is with a thermometer.
- Timer – Do you want to guess what time you put the cake in the oven?
- Grater – This might be the most versatile and useful tool in your kitchen. Look for a box one with six different grate options to shred, shave, dust and zest.
- Vegetable Peeler – Not just for peeling potatoes, but can be used to make “zasta”. Keep one on hand that has a julienning blade and also a serrated edge.
- Steaming Basket – The best way to cook your vegetables and keep them crisp and bright in color. Make sure it is adjustable so it will fit any size pot.
- Mesh Strainer – You can do everything you would do with a colander plus you can separate out bigger chunks of food or fat, sift and of course, drain pasta and rinse vegetables.
- Immersion Blender – This hand blender does so much more than just blend. You can use it to chop, whip and mix. Plus you can work in the same bowl or pot so less clean up.
As you get more comfortable in the kitchen, you can add more pots and pans, knives and cool gadgets, but you are more than ready to enter the culinary world with the items above. There is nothing more satisfying than eating something that you create. Bon Appetite!