The tools no homemaker should do without
If you just bought a new home or are renting a place for the first time, you’re probably excited with the prospects of setting up your new kitchen and redecorating (or heaven forbid, remodeling). Spending more money on a kitchen remodel is probably the last thing you want to do so maybe hold out for a little bit and consider some affordable DIY crafts to spruce up the space instead. You likely have some firm ideas of what you want in terms of kitchen utensils & accessories, but allow us to offer you a list of what you need. Here’s our breakdown of what we suggest:
1. A chef’s knife that is comfortable to use. It’s a standard and it’s going to get a lot of use. Pick one that is comfortable to grip, with an ideal length of about eight to ten inches. Take care of it and keep it sharpened. If possible, handle as many as you can before buying one so you know what feels right and what doesn’t.
2. A good paring knife is next in order. Obviously you’ll want to look at various makes and find one that is very easy for you to handle. It’s utilized for fine detail, one that you’ll use for tasks that require precision. You want to keep this tool sharp. Believe it or not a dull knife can be dangerous. It’s more likely to skid off from food and cause an accident, possibly even cut yourself. It’s not pleasant – a dull knife’s cuts are more like thick tears in the skin. Sharp knives are necessary to perform optimally and if you’re nicked it’s a clean and easy heal.
3. In order to help maintain your knives’ blade’s efficiency you want to own a honing steel. It’s a metal or ceramic rod that keeps the knives edges functioning favorably until they go dull. It isn’t a sharpener, but it should be used often. Just a few swipes will do the trick before putting the knife to use. Typically a good one that is used a lot will need to be sharpened by a pro every six months or so.
4. Of course, you need a skillet. The perfect all-purpose kind is stainless steel and about ten inches in diameter. Pick one with a heavy base; it helps to even out the heat. Don’t bother with non-stick surfaces, you’ll get more versatility out of those of regular metal.
5. Another no-brainer is the need of a solid pot, with a four quart or greater capacity. Boiling pasta may be a challenge but you’ll be able to handle all sorts of soups and sauces. Avoid those made of aluminum (they can actually chemically react to acidic foods) you need one that is sturdy and dependable. Look for stainless steel or enameled cast iron pots, they’re strong.
6. Protect your countertop by adding a cutting board. Get one that is large enough to serve as your work surface. It doesn’t really matter if you choose one of wood or plastic, although wood is a tad classier. They’ll both last as long as you properly care for them. Always clean them right after use with hot soapy water. You can put a plastic one in the dishwasher, it’s made to be resistant. Don’t get one that is made from a ‘super’ solid surface like glass or marble, they will affect the integrity of your knives.
7. You’ll likely be cooking roasts so the next imperative accessory is an instant read thermometer. And don’t skimp with a cheap one, find a workhorse that’ll last and serve you well. A good thermometer only takes a few seconds to determine and report the meat temperature. Use it faithfully with meat, bread, even water – you’ll never want to do without it.
8. Don’t forget your utensils. These are your incidentals in a group. You’ll need a good solid and slotted spoon. How about a couple of heat resistant spatulas? Turners and flippers are integral. A slender French style whisk is necessary and so is a ‘balloon’ style whisk to beat air into whipped cream and egg whites (the French whisk is just used for mixing).
9. Speaking of mixing things, you can’t do it without mixing bowls. Big ol’ mixing bowls are multipurpose. You can use them to mix salad and serve it as well. It’s easier to work with a mixing bowl that is too large than small.
10. A workplace is only as good as how well you maintain it, thus the importance of kitchen towels. They should always be on hand to wipe up spills, clean counters, even serve as pot holders. You’ll want to wash them after every use for sanitary purposes.
And there you have it, the ten kitchen essentials that every person should own. The next step: filling in your kitchen cabinets and spice racks with the most essential herbs & spices that you encounter while cooking. Throw in all of your personal favorites and you will have a kitchen that is ready to do your bidding as you work to become a culinary master (of the world!).