12 Kitchen Tools Every Man Needs
There comes a point in every man's life where the kitchen goes from the place that simply stores beer, to the place where creations are built. For those creations, you're going to need the right tools. Here's a list of 12 tools that every needs in their cooking arsenal.
Like with any other tool, quality is crucial. Spend some money on these items and they will last for years, if not a lifetime. Don't go kitchen tool shopping at Walmart and pick the cheapest one off the shelf. You'll only be asking for a inferior device that will just piss you off when it breaks. Take your time in selecting a new tool and do a little bit of research. You wouldn't invest money in stocks of a business you know nothing about (at least you shouldn't), so don't invest your hard earned money on something that you know nothing about.
Okay, this thing is expensive, but you're paying for quality. Also, the thing is practically indestructible. The dutch oven is made of heavy cast iron that will maintain a steady heat which is helpful for roasting and braising. The stylish red enamel is easy to clean and looks modern sitting on top of your oven.
Some consider a kitchen towel an accessory, but they are wrong. A good kitchen towel is clearly a tool for all the uses it provides. You can use it to grip a hot pan, steadying a turkey as you carve it, or simply wiping your hands off after getting greasy.
Buy a good set, made out of 100% cotton. Make sure they are something you don't mind destroying and replacing later on, or you may avoid using them altogether.
A year or so ago, I would have said absolutely no to adding a silicone spatula to the kitchen drawer. However, after receiving a set as a wedding present, I have changed my tune. As I was checking out the tag attached to the handle, I noticed that the silicone is heat-resistant up to 800 degrees--that's a bit hotter than what a standard issue kitchen puts out. You can use it to scramble your eggs, stir your vegetable soup, or even use it to apply icing to a cake.
I'm sure you're thinking that a sheet try is simply for baking cookies. Well that's just not true. You'd find a high quality sheet tray in just about any restaurant kitchen (even if they don't make cookies). With its raised edges, you can use this as a shallow bowl as well. Pile up vegetables to bake, slap a couple of ribeyes down, or even throw a roast on there. The possibilities are endless.
For some reason, I always enjoy tongs. As a child they were neat, as an adult they are handy. They're like an extension of your fingers, without the risk of suffering severe burns. Flip your steak over, toss a salad, or grab those spaghetti noodle out of the pot. Grab a good pair that won't rust. And don't take the little clip off that holds the tongs together (such as my wife did to ours).
Purchasing a knife is no where to cut corners. Pick up a durable eight-inch chef's knife for all your cutting needs. If you purchase a good one, you'll be able to cut through bone, carve up a ham, or even mince up garlic. Be sure to hand wash it after every use and keep it sharp. Proper care will lead to a very long relationship between you and your knife.
Speaking of knifes, you'll need something to cut on. A quality cutting board is the answer. Slice up those onions on a cutting board without risking scaring up your counter tops. Buy one constructed of thick wood. My cutting board is made of bamboo (my wife is somewhat of a 'green' freak) which has the benefit of quality with the added bonus of being a renewable resource. Avoid plastic cutting boards, they tend to melt if you sit something hot on it. Be sure to rinse off the board after every use and dab dry.
At some point your cooking skills will rise above heating up frozen fish fillets, and you'll step up to cooking fresh fish. The fish spatula is designed to preserve the flaky flesh of seafood. You can also use it for roasted vegetables and flipping pancakes.
Every kitchen needs a mixing bowl, make that bowls. Let's face it, you can probably never have too many. Use them for beating eggs, dressing salad, or marinating your favorite meats. I suggest stepping up from the plastic tubberware and pull the trigger on a stainless steel bowl set. The Amco set features a silicone, non-slip bottom to help prevent accidents.
When you start cooking foods that are beyond warming up that Red Baron's pizza, you'll come to the realization that you need some pots. I won't go into detail on all the uses a pot possess, if you need to ask, you're probably reading the wrong article.
Buy a set made of aluminum and/or steel. The set I have features silicone on the bottom of the handles so you can grab it while it's warm. Handy feature to have while in a hurry.
Forget scrapping stuck eggs out of your skillet, get yourself a nonstick skillet. This lets your omelet slide onto the plate with ease, and scrambled eggs soft and fluffy. You can also use it for saute vegetables as well. Don't scrub the nonstick surface real hard when cleaning. Once that teflon coating starts coming off, you've got a non-nonstick skillet.
Cast Iron Skillet
This classic is often overlooked in the modern kitchen, but I love my cast iron skillet. Granted it's not the easiest tool to master right off the bat, but once you reach success, you'll be pleased. My wife refuses to use it, but I very rarely cook without it. I grew up watching my Grandmother using it for everything, and I'm trying my hardest to imitate her. From burgers to bacon, sausages to eggs (not the easiest to master), and even old-fashioned corn bread. I'm willing to try anything with my trusty cast iron skillet.
Don't leave it in a sink of water though, that will rust it out. Also don't overdue it with the Ivory liquid. The detergent will remove that seasoned buildup that increases after each cooking. The older, more seasoned the skillet gets, the easier it is to cook with.