When it comes to cooking, there’s a whole host of recipes out there that will detail exactly how and where to find the best quality ingredients as well as taking you step by step through the entire process that goes into making a delicious dish. But when’s the last time that you saw much detail going into the equipment that you use?
Sure, you might be told to “chop”, “mix”, or “fry”, but what with? Believe it or not, the tools that you use really can make as large a contribution to the success or failure of any meal as the ingredients or cooking techniques that you opt for.
So, let’s take a quick look through some essential kitchen accessories that you need to invest in to make a triumph of anything you produce!
Essential Kitchen Accessories
Kitchen knives are widely available and many of us start out with just one or two, mistakenly thinking that a knife is a knife and that as long as any given blade is sharp enough, it should do a sufficient job of cutting and slicing near enough anything. True, any blade will be sharp when you first buy it and you can always sharpen it yourself at home when it eventually dulls with use. But this isn’t the only asset of a good knife. After all, we don’t merely use chef knives to chop food. We use them to slice, dice, peel, and smash too!
The shape, size, and weight of the blade alongside the angle of its bevel will also make a huge difference to your food preparation and overall cooking experience. It’s not all too surprising, then, that there are various types of professional chef knives on the market, each serving a different purpose.
Start out with a chef’s knife. This is a must-have all-rounder and is the blade you’ll get the most use out of. What else you add to your collection will depend on what kind of dishes you enjoy making. A Chinese chef’s knife is general purpose but can also be used to scoop up and move chopped food, so is great if you use a lot of chopped ingredients, as you would in stir fries!
A Santoku knife is essentially a Japanese chef’s knife, which often has hollows along the side of the blade to prevent food from sticking. Once you’ve chosen your main chef’s knife, you should get smaller knives such as paring knives. These will allow you to perform more intricate tasks such as hollowing or coring vegetables, peeling, and dicing. If you eat a lot of thick, crusty bread, you should invest in a specialist bread knife. This has a deep serrated and scalloped edge which serves to prevent tears and keep each slice even.
As you start making increasingly complex dishes, you will soon realise where your current knives fall short or make cooking difficult and can thus search for what you need and slowly build your collection!
So many of us simply think “a pan is a pan” and raise our eyebrows skeptically when we see branded pans with premium price tags attached. But the truth is that pans can make or break a dish. Anyone who’s tried to produce a half decent fried egg without a non-stick frying pan will be able to profess this. Sure, you might be able to pick up a whole range of different cookware for cheap, but you’re likely to experience sticking due to inadequate materials or half-cooked dishes thanks to uneven heat distribution.
So much time and research go into the production of high-quality pans, so invest in them! Believe it or not, there are so many more options than the standard frying pan and saucepan too. Sure, these might be the two that you reach for most often. But if you’re making more specialist dishes, you’re likely to need something that’s built to fit your recipe.
Stock pots are essential for anyone who enjoys a good stock or stew. It is a large, deep pot with a flat bottom. Use them when the foods or liquids that you are cooking do not need to be extremely close to the heat source. Their tall sides also serve useful when trying to keep pasta fully submerged while cooking. If you’re interested in developing your Asian cuisine, you’re going to have to invest in a good quality wok. A standard wok will have high, sloping sides. This allows for a hot cooking surface from the bottom that cools as heat dissipates up the sides, which gives you great versatility over the cooking temperature as you can swish food up and down as necessary.
For those interested in sauces, invest in a special saucepan. This is much smaller than your average pan and has a lid to allow extra control over evaporation.
Now, you’re not likely to incorporate the use of a blender into every single meal. However, a high-quality blender can allow you to make a variety of sauces, and even smoothies. The main choice that runs through people’s minds is whether to invest in a hand blender or a static blender. Chances are that eventually, you will end up with both, as each has its own particular set of merits.
Start out with a static blender if possible. There’s a good reason for this: it simply has more power. The more powerful the blender, the creamier and smoother the liquid that it will be able to produce. They will also be able to handle firmer or harder substances more easily, such as frozen fruits or even ice cubes. Hand blenders are more useful for small jobs where you don’t want the clean up associated with the static blender. They are great for beating eggs, whipping up cream, and mixing cake batters.
These are just a few pieces of equipment that every dedicated cook should have in their kitchen. Remember that quality is key. See every kitchen tool or appliance as an investment piece, and it should serve you well in the long run!
Thanks for stopping by today, I hope you have found this post on kitchen accessories useful.
If you enjoyed this, you like to to have a browse at my other foodie posts.
*This is a collaborative post.