Cooking is a skill that many people have mastered, but few can do it well. Whether you love to cook or just like to make yourself dinner every now and then, there are a few items that everyone should have in their kitchen.
Must-Have Kitchen Items
The must-have items vary depending on what you prefer cooking, but they include everything from pots and pans to fresh ingredients.
It takes time and dedication to become a truly talented chef. However, there are some staples you will want in your kitchen if you plan on cooking consistently. The following list of items should be considered for any cook’s inventory:
Set of Knives
A set of knives is essential for every kitchen. They are good for everything from cutting vegetables to carving meat. The set should include a chef’s knife, bread knife, cheese slicer, meat cleaver (for chicken and fish only), paring knife, and kitchen shears.
If you plan on cooking at least four nights per week, consider investing in high-quality knives because they are easier to maintain and last longer. A knife sharpener should also be added to your must-have list because no matter how well you maintain your cutlery, they will eventually dull. Cleavers, forks, and steak knives are also considered kitchen staples.
A cooktop is a common term for a range. A cooktop like the Duxtop 9600 LS is used when cooking food in pots or pans with oil or water, but it can also be used to sear meat. It includes an oven for baking, a broiler drawer underneath the burners to roast chickens and vegetables, and sometimes even six separate gas flames. When purchasing a cooktop, make sure it has at least six burners because the heat distribution increases the cooking time.
An electric stove is ideal for people who live in apartments without access to natural gas lines. It is also great for those who do not want to smell like burned food after using their oven and burner continuously for several hours. Nevertheless, because it is more difficult to maintain consistent heat levels, make sure you purchase an induction stovetop. Induction stovetops heat up rapidly and evenly, so they are great for cooking food at a fast pace.
Pots and Pans
Different pans are necessary for different types of food. For example, a non-stick pan would be ideal for making pancakes while a stainless steel skillet is preferred when searing meat and frying bacon. Cast iron and ceramic need to be handled with care but they make great casserole dishes. All pots and pans should include a lid, but make sure you purchase sizes that are appropriate for your kitchen.
Pots and pans should be selected based on the following criteria: their material, size, and weight. For example, a small pot can easily become too heavy to lift if it is made from cast iron or any other heavy metal. On the other hand, some pots and pans may be too small to cook an entire chicken. In addition, it is difficult to sauté vegetables in a pan that does not have low sides.
It is hard to cook baked goods without an oven. Baking can be done on the stovetop, but it often takes much longer because the heat source must come from below instead of all around. If you plan on cooking homemade bread and desserts regularly. Make sure you have a spacious oven that comes with a stainless steel rack. The rack is necessary for allowing hot air to circulate around food, which increases the cooking time.
A set of oven mitts is another essential for any kitchen because they are needed when dealing with scalding liquids and piping hot dishes. If you are baking several items at once, consider investing in a second cooling rack or metal trivet. Oven mitts are also great for protecting your hands when retrieving dishes from the oven.
Refrigerators and Freezers
Having a stocked refrigerator and freezer is extremely important for any cook, but it is not an absolute necessity. If you plan on cooking three meals per day you will need to have a place to store fresh ingredients. In addition, cold storage is necessary for storing leftover food.
If you have a large family or often host dinner parties consider investing in a second refrigerator or freezer because it is difficult to fit entire meals in one appliance. Even if your kitchen comes with a pantry. You will still want to keep a few items cold because they spoil easily. However, if you do not intend on eating in every day, then a large freezer and fridge are only necessary when bulk purchasing ingredients.
A microwave is not considered an essential kitchen tool, but it can be helpful when cooking for one or two people. If you have a full kitchen already equipped with pots and pans, then it might seem unnecessary to own one. Microwaves are great for defrosting or reheating leftovers. They can also be used to cook vegetables that only need a few minutes (e.g., green beans, asparagus). If you do not have a microwave in your kitchen, then consider using the stovetop instead of an oven when cooking vegetables and other short-cooking foods. On the other hand, they are often used for reheating leftovers and making popcorn.
Having a stocked kitchen with the right cooking tools is essential for any cook, but not all items are as obvious. You may need to do some research into what you might find helpful before making your purchase.