Cookware & Cutlery

Kitchen Utensil Basics

Kitchen Utensil Basics

Setting up a kitchen for the first time especially for those who are new to being a home maker needs some sensibility and practicality. There’s always a need to consider the basic utensils for ease, comfort and enjoyable cooking. Think of the basics but make it a well equipped kitchen. This makes cooking fun and never feels it a chore and a bore.

Kitchen knives

This is a very important tool in the kitchen. We have different kinds of knives and each has its specific use. We have the chef knife, serrated knife, paring knife utility knife and the hallow edge knife or slicer.  These knives should be durable and rust proof. So it is better to invest on high carbon stainless steel knives. Handle of knives should be riveted to the blade and have a good grip and handled comfortably.

Electric sharpener or knife steel

Knives should be maintained as sharp as can be. It is more likely that a dull knife can cause injury than a sharp one. Knife steel should be used to keep knives sharp.  Electric sharpener is also recommended for maintenance.

Knife block

Blades of the knife will be well protected when placed in a knife block. This also keeps the knives in just one place.

Cutting board

This is important unless there’s already a built in cutting surface in the counter top. Whether it is made of wood or plastic, always keep it clean by washing it with hot soapy water after every use to avoid bacteria from building up. Replace cracked chopping board as soon as possible. Bacteria can hide inside the cracks.

Tongs

Basically used for tossing, combining, lifting and turning the food. Stainless tong is a good preference.

Spoons

Used for cooking, mixing and stirring. These are made of wood, stainless and plastic. Wooden spoon is a good choice as it is heat resistant. Just like the plastic-made spoon, it is good for non-stick pans and pots to avoid scratch. Wooden spoon should be of the hard kind.

Spatulas

These are of various sizes and shapes and are made of wood, plastic and stainless steel too. The wooden spatula is used for mixing when sautéing.  Plastic spatula is used in turning over food like eggs. We also have the rubber spatula, great for scraping the content from mixing bowl and food processors.

Whisks

We need to have at least a manual whisk instead of using a blender or an electric mixer. The most popular is the balloon type.

Strainer

This is important when removing unwanted particles in making sauce and purees.

Can opener

A manual can opener is preferred rather than the electric especially when there’s a power failure.

Vegetable peeler

Use vegetable peeler for easy peeling of vegetables and fruits especially the root crops.

Grater (box type)

This is convenient for grating cheese.

Funnel

Have at least one medium size of funnel. It is useful in transferring liquids to jars or bottles.

Thermometer

This is important especially when cooking large cuts of meat to prevent over cooking and a need to have the internal temperature monitored to a certain limit for safety reasons.

Tongs, spatula and basting brush (outdoor use)

Specifically used for grilling so it should be made of long, wooden handles to protect hands and arms from too much heat. These should be sturdy.

Essential pots and pans must include:

Frying pans

At least two 2 frying pans, one 5 inches and one 9 inches for frying, sautéing, and reheating foods are necessary. Specifically, one non stick (the small size) and one cast iron (the big size).

Sauce pans

This should also include at least 2 pieces.  One quart and 4 quarts are the sizes needed for practicality. This can be used for boiling water, for cooking rice, sauces and vegetables and for reheating.  Preferably, this should be made of non stick or stainless with aluminium core for fast heat conduction. This is great for cooking for large family gathering.

Sauté pan

This is used for sautéing, frying and pan searing.

Dutch oven

Have in possession a  9.5 quarts Dutch oven or at least one that is right for you for slow cooking and wet cooking.  This is great on oven and the stove. Good for large amounts of sauce and soups.

Wok

This is perfect for deep frying, sauce making, stir frying, stewing and sautéing. Make sure that it is seasoned well before use.

Some bake ware essentials if you love to bake.

Always think of investing on kitchen utensils that are durable and can last for years but not really so expensive.

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