The success of a home cook isn’t necessarily based on skill alone. A well equipped kitchen is essential. Each of our Chef’s Plate recipes comes with a list of items you’ll need at home. Our mission is to make dinner as simple and delicious as possible, and having the right tools will go a long way to help make that happen. So, here is our top 10 list of most essential kitchen tools:
Good Quality Knives
A sharp, good quality knife is the most important tool for not only a home cook, but chefs as well. In fact, if you watch any cooking shows on television, you’ll see that most of them carry their own set with them at all times. Even our own Chef Rosso is very particular about his knives. Believe us, once you have a good one, you’ll never go back.
There are many different types of knives. Buying one can be daunting. We suggest each home kitchen have an 8 inch chefs knife. This will be your all purpose knife for everyday carving, chopping, slicing and dicing. This is the knife you’ll use most often, and should be the biggest investment. A paring knife is also an excellent tool when you need a smaller, more compact blade. And, last but not least, you’ll want to have a good quality bread knife. You won’t use it often, but its the best tool for cutting a loaf of bread without flattening it out.
Ingredient Specific Cutting Boards
Chopping your protein and vegetables on the same cutting board can easily spread germs. Having colour coded or labeled cutting boards for your proteins and vegetables is important to keep a clean and healthy kitchen. Colour coded boards are an easy and inexpensive fix to help keep your kitchen organized and healthy.
Various Sized Skillets and Pans
Many of the items you’ll cook when ordering from Chef’s Plate will designate the size of the skillet or pan you’ll need. This is important. The right pan size can will ensure even heating and the proper cook on your ingredients. Having the right size pot or pan can also save you time. For example, it is much faster to bring a small pot of water to a boil then a large stock pot. So invest in a good set of pots and pans, you’ll be happy you did!
A Wooden Spoon
Wooden spoons are excellent at scraping the delicious bits of browned goodness off the bottom of a pan while not damaging your cookware or delicate food. They are very sturdy, easy to clean and ergonomic, making them easy to maneuver. You’ll probably want a couple. Luckily they are fairly inexpensive, so make sure to have a good supply.
Multi Sized Mixing Bowls
As a home cook, you’ll use your mixing bowls for almost every meal. Having a variety of sizes will help you save space on your workstation and make it easier to blend things to the appropriate consistency. Overloading a small bowl can cause food to be under mixed, which can ruin the whole dish.
You’ll note that the first step on each Chef’s Plate recipe is to prepare the ingredients. Having prep bowls by your side makes for easy and clean cooking. Keeping the bowls close allows ingredients to be easily tossed into pots or pans and your work surfaces clean. They usually come in sets of 3. We recommend at least 2 sets. Luckily they are small and easy to store.
This isn’t really a “tool” per se, but having a variety of oils is a great way to ensure the recipe comes out exactly right. We recommend having vegetable oil and olive oil on hand at all times. But you may also want to consider other oils, like coconut oil, grape seed oil and canola oil.
Tongs are just necessary for some recipes. They make flipping, tossing and handing some ingredients so much easier. The rubber tipped tongs are great for more delicate food, while stainless steel is perfect for meat and hardier foods.
Kitchen Salt and Pepper
Seasoning food is something seasoned chefs do that home cooks often forget. Keep a salt and pepper shaker by your stove so you can taste and season as you go. Many home cooks have 2 sets of salt and pepper, one for the kitchen and one for the table.
Good Quality Measuring Cups and Spoons
It is important for any cook to have a good set of measuring cups and spoons at their disposal. Stainless steel and glass are usually a good way to go because they will not scratch or warp. However, when buying plastic, make sure it is good quality. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to read the measurements after one too many dishwasher cycles.