Kitchen Essentials: Tools, Accessories, and Requirements for Cooking
How do you create space?
- Put items away in cabinets.
- Use containers to keep things together.
- Keep counter-tops free from messes.
- Always have a spot for things. After using a kitchen tool, place it back into its predetermined location.
Ample room for working
Any cook will tell you that the most basic requirement in a kitchen is the room to cook. Just like an artist needs their own space to create, a cook is also entitled to the same privileges. It is important to have plenty of space to move around freely and make culinary masterpieces.
A kitchen that is too small can pose some problems in terms of flexibility and ease of movement. A big, spacious kitchen is inherently more conducive to the creative process. However, this is not always a likely situation in most homes. If you are limited on space, consider opening up the area by removing some of the clutter or unnecessary items from counter-tops.
Every good chef knows the importance of knives. They are a critical component of preparing a meal. A good knife can vastly alter the amount of prep time and can also make a difference in the refinement of your meals. A knife must be appropriate for the task at hand. As you already know, there are many types of knives available. You must select the one that can get the job done in the fastest most efficient ways. There are always sets that can be purchased online that will provide you with a wide assortment of these handy tools. Learn the differences between the various types of knives and what to use them for/how they are helpful in the kitchen. After learning the basics, feel free to utilize what works best for you at any given moment. It is, however, imperative that you have working knowledge of the basics.
Electric Stand Mixer
A fancy mixer isn’t always necessary. But, you must have a standard version of this. It is especially important when baking. Working with flour using a simple whisk is feasible, but it is often a tedious task that can be made easier with the use of a proper mixer. The KitchenAid mixer is the glorified version of this machine; with its many attachments and options that takes it from a simple mixer to a baking mecca. Certainly, there are more affordable options out there than the infamous KitchenAid. Shop around and you can find deals online (ebay, amazon). One thing is certain, this machine will drastically aid in baking or in basic cooking preparation.
Although you may be wondering why a simple hand whisk isn't enough for basic baking, you will soon realize that a mixer will greatly alleviate the additional stress and difficulty in the baking process. Baking can be a hard task, depending on what you are trying to whip up. If you are seriously considering learning how to bake and make more complicated recipes, this tool is an absolute must.
A food processor will also save you time and effort in the kitchen. Pulsing vegetables in a press of a button is this machine's forte. Recipes can be made easily with a decent processor. If you are going to choose one, make sure it is big enough to handle the tasks required in the kitchen. For these machines, the bigger the better. Of course, get one that is reasonably in your budget, but do not get the small varieties of these. In fact, the small versions are harder to use and can only handle a small volume at a time.
Some people like to substitute a food processor for a blender. This is perfectly acceptable if it works for you. Personally, I like to have a separate blender and food processor. However, with the appropriate blender, it can do just as good of a job as a reasonably priced food processor. The main point here is to have a machine dedicated to processing veggies and other foods to incorporate into your culinary creations.
Pots, pans, and everything in between
Investing in the right tools to cook is especially important when you are first starting off on your cooking journey. The right pots and pans for a particular recipe can either make or break the creation you are trying to replicate (or invent). Sauté pans, slotted spoons, and graters are just some of the utensils you should think about purchasing. These tools come in handy at the right moments, and can be a lifesaver when trying to whip up something quickly.
Although these investments should be made slowly and wisely, a basic skillet for sauteing and heating food is a necessity. This pan can be quite versatile and can be used for a multitude of kitchen tasks. This really should be one of the first investments you should make. If you can't purchase anything else, be sure to purchase a great kitchen pan. A non-stick, non-toxic version is always the best option to choose. Sometimes cookware can come in sets and can be a great value when purchased together. Consider your options, and make the choice that fits in with your lifestyle and needs. KitchenHacker has a great website that tells you the different types of pans and how each are used in cooking. Be sure to follow their tips and tricks as it will be well worth it.
14 Important Spices and Herbs
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Chile Powder
- Dill Weed
- Bay Leaf
Spice rack with spices and herbs
A collection of spices is mandatory for cooking. Many recipes call for spices, and having them readily on hand is a major advantage. Dried spices are wonderfully convenient, but the freshest ingredients are always preferred in any recipe. Dried basil can be bought readily in supermarkets and can be freshened up with a few spritz of water. Growing a basil plant is ideal, but this takes a bit of gardening skills. Whether fresh or dried, one thing is for certain: a spice rack is mandatory in cooking.
Specialty spice racks can be purchased online, or you can just clear out a small section in the cupboard to store them. Make sure you store them in cool, dry place. Ease of access and the ability to grab and go quickly is important in spice rack placement. There really is no need to invest too much money into a spice rack if you are just starting off your collection of spices. A small section should do the trick.
Stay clean with an apron
Lastly, every cook should have a decent apron. Cooking is a messy task and inevitably you will find food on your clothes or body. There is a saying "a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen." This saying is certainly true, but it also extends to your body. Whether it be a tomato sauce spill, or a flour explosion--food somehow winds up on hair and clothing. If you have a little child as a tiny helper, food will almost always wind up everywhere.The best way to minimize the mess is by utilizing an apron. There are a variety of aprons available for both men and women. In fact, aprons can be downright stylish. Make your fashion statement by choosing the right apron for yourself. Who knew functionality can be so fashionable?
Aprons can be purchased anywhere, and I have seen quite a great selection at stores like TJ Max, Target, and Amazon. Have fun with this purchase because cooking should not only be essential, but also enjoyable.