Whether you’re an avid chef or just a guy that prepares the basics, the significant time you find yourself spending in the kitchen will be much more enjoyable and effective if you have the basic tools of the trade. This becomes even more important if you are cooking a special meal for a special someone.
So if you’re moving into a new place or are just taking the opportunity to ensure you have a properly stocked kitchen, the following are the must-have items for every kitchen.
Also known as a cooking knife, the chef’s knife can make your food prep so much easier. There’s nothing more frustrating than a dull or ineffective knife. Typically about eight inches in length, there are a variety of styles, which can be fit individual preference. This is your main tool and is used for disjointing large cuts of meat, slicing, mincing and chopping vegetables as well as slicing meat.
Cast Iron Skillet
The true value that a good cast iron skillet can provide is the ability to retain heat and it’s non-stick capabilities. Cast iron cookware has been used for thousands of years, but came back in to favour during the 60’s and 70’s. Because of their versatility, they can be used to cook anything from your morning eggs to baked goods in your oven. Many chefs actually avoid cleaning the skillet to maintain seasoning.
If you want to eat healthy and with a palette that doesn’t feel like a frat boy’s meal plan, rice is a great option. And more importantly, this doesn’t mean eating minute rice when you prepare it, which is not a healthy option. To do it right, a quality rice cooker not only provides a healthier option, it’s also super easy and efficient. Essentially, you prepare you rice in the rice cooker, press a button that lets you know when it’s ready. If you are smart enough to invest in one with a timer, you can simply prep in the morning and have your rice finish up by the time you arrive home. Add coconut oil or vegetables to make a more tasty and interesting side dish.
Wood Cutting Board
Obviously, if you’re going to be doing all that cutting with your chef’s knife, you’re going to need something to cut on. But why a wood cutting board? Because it’s actually safer and more sanitary. This is mainly due to the fact that over time with extensive usage, plastic cutting boards can develop scars where bacteria can build up when not properly cleaned. We recommend a maple of beech wood cutting board that’s easy to clean and has a long shelf life.
When it comes to cooking meat, there are lots of tips that advise you how you can tell how cooked the cut is at a given moment, whether it’s by feel in pressing it, by texture, colour or even the amount of juices sitting on top. These are all valid but if you really want to ensure you’re going to serve your meat perfectly, then you really should be using a meat thermometer. Thermometers now have features such as alarms for notifications, timers and other options that make it next to impossible to over cook your cut.