If you are hoping to push home cooking to the next level, it makes sense to have all the right equipment to execute your foodie creativity without restriction. Unsure what to buy? Here are six tools every budding chef should have:
1. Strong, Durable Pans
Pans designed by luxury cookware brands give you much more control over your cooking. With the right saucepans, frying pans, and griddles, you can seal, sauté, steam, simmer, boil, braise and slow-cook to your heart’s content. Even better, you can do it over and over again without worrying about your pans warping, chipping, getting scratched, or degrading.
2. A Fantastic Set of Knives
It’s all well and good to learn various cutting techniques, but if your knives go dull or break easily, you’ll end up wasting money and failing at your cutting and chopping game. So, invest in knives that are as high-grade as you can afford, doing plenty of research on what other people recommend before you bite the bullet and splash out.
3. Good Cutting Boards
Cutting boards can be really cheap, but when they are not high-quality, they quickly crack, swell or otherwise break. Cheap plastic cutting boards may even become worn enough to potentially contaminate your food with plastic particles.
Instead, choose something like a bamboo cutting board, which is highly sustainable as the tree matures in as little as three to five years, compared to the 50-100 years maturity age of hardwood. Although no cutting board will last forever, when you choose a higher quality one, you get much more use out of it, and it retains its shape and quality for longer.
4. Mise En Place Bowls
Mise en place means “everything in its place,” and you’re not a budding chef until you’ve got some of these essential pieces of kit. These little bowls are designed to hold your fresh ingredients, and they save a lot of time, particularly if you need to focus on the intricacies or precise timing of your cooking method. With mise en place bowls on your side, you can deftly whip up an omelet or stir-fry without missing a beat.
You can start by using any containers that you have, but eventually, some strong glass bowls specifically designed for this purpose will be helpful additions to your cooking kit.
5. An Apron
An apron isn’t a tool or a piece of equipment per se, but it is essential when you’re a budding chef. It is not only a way to protect your clothes from food stains and debris but also a way to get into the role of chef. It is like your uniform – a signal to your brain that it’s time to cook up a storm. If you are eco-conscious, try purchasing an apron made of eco-friendly material such as linen or sustainably grown cotton.
6. A Cleaver
A good set of kitchen knives won’t always include a cleaver, which is why you may need to add one to your kitchen tools. A cleaver is essential because it allows you to cut through denser materials like bone or thick veggies like squash. You can also use it for crushing, smashing, and scraping up ingredients to put in the pan. It’s particularly essential if you want to cook with a lot of meat or if you do a lot of Chinese cooking.
With the equipment above, you’ll be more equipped to make delicious food at home. Who knows? You may even set yourself up for a career in the culinary arts one day.