An equipped kitchen is incredibly important for any home cook. Imagine baking a cake and not having any mixing bowls or chopping veggies for a stir-fry and not having a knife. Whether you are moving into your new home and need to stock your kitchen or you’ve been living in an ill-equipped kitchen for years – now is the time to take charge! While there are many, many cooking tools and equipment you can buy, here is a list of the top five utensils every kitchen needs.
I am not just talking about any old chef’s knife, I mean a good quality chef’s knife. Trust me, this is one tool that is worth the investment. A knife is the most used utensil in the kitchen and having a sharp knife that properly slices, dices and chops is a key component for cooking. Sharp, good knives are actually safer than dull, cheap knives because they are less likely to slip and cut you. A paring knife is also a great and inexpensive investment. It’s very sharp and great for chopping smaller veggies and fruit.
Mixing bowls are like your kitchen’s hands. You use them for just about anything from storing to cooking to baking and everything in between. Having varying sizes is important because you will likely need a small, medium and large bowl depending on what you are making. If you tend to have a big family or often make large quantities of food, I highly recommend purchasing an extra-large bowl. I personally love stainless steel bowls but any mixing bowls are great. If you tend to store food in your bowls consider purchasing silicon lids: they are reusable and easy to clean!
A kitchen is not complete without cutting boards. Where are you going to chop your onions – on the counter? I don’t think so! Similar to mixing bowls, having varying sizes of cutting board is important for any home cook. It’s also great to get a variety of materials such as wood, plastic or glass. Some people love to leave out a big all-purpose cutting board on their countertops. It’s a good idea to have designated cutting boards for meat and veggies/fruit to prevent any cross contamination.
Wooden Spoon & Spatula
A home cook’s kitchen is not complete without spoons and spatulas! How are you going to mix your batter, sauté your onions or scrape your leftovers without them? A wooden spoon is a great all purpose cooking utensil, it doesn’t scratch pots and pans which makes it safe for frying and sautéing. It’s also a great baking utensil perfect for mixing and scraping. A spatula carries out many of the same tasks as a wooden spoon, especially if you get a silicone one. Spatulas are great for lifting and flipping. Get a spatula with a thin front edge rather than a thicker one so that it easily slides under food.
Measuring Cups and Spoons
It doesn’t matter if you are baking or cooking, measuring out flours, grains, spices, sweeteners, vinegars and oils is important for making a good dish. Eyeballing when cooking is a wonderful skill to have; however, sometimes it’s important to be precise with the amounts that you are putting into your dish. Measuring cups and spoons will give you the precision you need (although some baking does require a scale) and you won’t have to worry if you added way too much of one ingredient. No one wants a meal that is too overly spiced or seasoned.
Equipping a kitchen is a must. So head to your nearest kitchen store, garage sale, consignment store or a family member’s basement to get these essentials! This is just a short list to get you started, let us know what your favorite essential kitchen utensils are!
Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.
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