I’ve given a bunch of recipes on here – and I will give out more – but no matter how good the recipes you have are, if you don’t have the equipment, you’re not going to be able to make them. Here is a list – and I’m sure other people will have things that they say they can’t live without – of things I think every kitchen should have.
- Knives – This is something of a no-brainer, but every kitchen needs to have good knives. A good knife is one that is comfortable in your hands – I can tell you what knives I like, but you have to hold them and feel them for yourself. At a very minimum you need a good chef’s knife, a good serrated blade for bread and cakes, and a tournet knife. 99% of the time I don’t use any knife beyond those – including when I was in a professional kitchen environment.
- Cutting boards – You should have a few – at least one a “show” cutting board that you can bring to the table for carving meat or cutting bread. Cutting boards should be wood or plastic – never glass. Glass cutting boards will kill your knives.
- Spatulas – for both spreading and flipping. I have bamboo, plastic and metal for flipping and plastic and silicon for spreading. When it comes to flipping – or anything else – and non-stick pans: DON’T USE METAL! Metal will scratch the coating and you’ll end up with a pan you paid a lot of money for that no longer has it’s non-stickiness.
- Pots and pans – Make sure you have different sizes – if you want to heat up enough of the spaghetti sauce that you made the other day for dinner tonight you want to use a small sauce pan, but if you want to make a soup you’re going need a bigger pot. I like cast aluminum frying pans – they distribute the heat well and aren’t as heavy as cast iron and they have teflon or other non-stick coating on them.
- Blender stick – These are amazing. This is the primary electrical appliance I use in the kitchen. Mine can work as a blender, an electric whisk, or a mini-chopper. For most day to day use, this is it.
Now I could go and give you the big list of things that I have in my kitchen like my big mixer that I use when I make breads and cakes, or my food processor (that mostly makes bread-crumbs), but the list above represents most of my everyday tools. There are lots of things that I take out once a month (or not even as much) like a mortar and pestle, a mandolin, or a coffee grinder (for grinding spices) that I have – but before you buy something and spend a lot of money on it (and some of thee things can be really expensive) think how often you’re going to use it. And if you know someone that wants to buy a used bread maker, let me know.