- Food and Cooking
List of Kitchen Utensils Every Cook Should Have or Receive as a Gift
Basic Kitchen Utensils
If a fire destroyed my kitchen, here are the first items I would wish to replace. A lot of extras can fancy up one’s meal preparation, but these basic eight will get any cooking job done.
The List of 8 Essential Cooking Utensils
- Quality cutting knife
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Microwave and conventional oven- capable casserole dish with lid
- One big pot with lid
- One frying pan with lid
- Colander (metal)
- Long large stirring spoon and a turner/flipper
Quality Cutting Knife
I fought the idea that “you get what you pay for” in the kitchen knife department for a long time. However, I finally needed to concede it is true. Between using bargain-store steak knives to try to chop crunchy vegetables and fruit and then buying a Cutco knife to support the seller (someone from my place of worship), I learned the difference between tearing at food and cutting it. All you NEED is one knife. Sure, they make all sorts of specialty ones, but just get a basic mid-sized knife. This should be possible for under $150 USD. Then, care for it and it will not let you down.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
If you are going to follow recipes from your computer or food network television programs or even passed down from your family, most give specific amounts of the ingredients to be used. Don’t fake it. Just buy the tools and use them. These can be gotten very inexpensively.
Casserole Dish with Lid which is Microwave and Conventional Oven-Capable
Most of the computer-using world is also a microwave oven using world. I love the way vegetables can be steamed in a microwave. Also, microwaves are grand for melting or softening butter and reheating casserole dishes. Therefore, it behooves one to own a proper receptacle for the microwave. The lid is for steaming, since there is a concern these days about using plastic wrap and having some chemicals leach into the food. The reason it should also work inside a conventional oven is because you may want to make those baked beans or chicken casserole the old-fashioned way. Choose the largest size that will fit in your microwave oven.
One Big Pot with Lid
How big is big? This depends on the size of your stove burners and the number of people you will want to be able to serve on a semi-regular basis. For the sort of entertaining I like to do, a 5-quart pot is too small. However, it may be perfect for you. Picture a gathering for which you want to make a nice pot of chili or soup. Then, shop for the pot that would be adequate for your imaginary group. Make sure it has a lid for the same steaming need described above.
One Frying Pan with Lid
Once again, the size depends on the considerations of burner bigness and how many people will be served. My largest stove burner is about 9 inches in diameter, but a 9-inch pan looks so puny. I can go only a little larger, though, because what is the usefulness of a frying pan that is not receiving heat? For a frying pan, the lid serves to not only retain heat, but also to prevent splatters and grease burns.
Colanders are fabulous. They can hold produce fresh from your own garden and hold those fruit and veggies for rinsing. Salad greens, potatoes, strawberries, apples – you name it and a first rinse is very easy with a colander. Also, they are great for draining food cooked in water. Picture the huge pot of pasta. When the pasta is done, you pour it all into a colander in the sink made of metal or any substance which can withstand boiling water. Then pour the drained noodles into the serving bowl. Easy peasy, as my niece would say.
For your fresh cheese coatings on a hot dish or finely chopped veggies or fruit for a salad, this is the basic tool. You do not need a fancy electric spinning thingamabob.
Long Large Stirring Spoon and a Turner/Flipper
You won’t get far with your pot and pan, if you can’t stir or turn the food that is in it. One or two spoons and flippers will suffice.
Do not sweat having fancy kitchen apparatuses. These utensils are the essentials. Enjoy your cooking!
Photo and text copyright 2012 Maren E. Morgan.