Becoming a good cook is a process that takes a lot of time, but what some people don’t realize is that it also takes some basic tools and equipment. No matter how good your skills are, if you don’t have the essential tools to perfect your cooking, reaching the highest level of your cooking talent may even be impossible. Check out this list and stock your kitchen with the 10 tools that will help you be a better cook.
1. Cutting board
Nowadays you can get wood, plastic, and glass cutting boards. Plastic and glass are considered to be the most hygienic, which is why you can use them for anything, from meat to vegetables. Wood ones, however, are normally used only for cutting bread and other dry foods. Make sure to give the boards a good wash after every use.
2. Food scales
Some kitchen beginners think that everything can be measured by guessing the amount of the product, but this behaviour is arrogant and usually results in bad dishes. Your food scales will guarantee that every recipe you try will turn out exactly as you expect it to. This is especially important for baking – correctly measured ingredients are the biggest secret of a successful baker.
3. Chef’s knife
If you’re only beginning your journey in the kitchen, or if you don’t cook too often, there is no need for you to get a dozen of various knives – get one that is high quality and expensive, and use it for various tasks, like chopping vegetables, cutting meat and poultry, slicing, dicing, and any other cutting job.
4. Meat thermometer
When you’re cooking a steak, a whole chicken, or a large whole piece of meat, it’s often hard to tell when it’s ready, which often results in undercooked or overcooked, dry meat. These issues can be easily avoided by purchasing a meat thermometer and sticking it into the meat whenever you need to know if it’s cooked. Remember to never leave the thermometer in the oven – take it out after reading the temperature.
Peeling vegetables and fruits with your basic knife can be quite a chore, but with a brand new peeler this process will go really smoothly. Just take your potatoes, carrots, beets, or any other produce, apply your peeler, and remove the skin with zero effort. The sharp end of the peeler can be used to remove potato eyes and imperfections from fruits. Pro tip: a peeler can also be used for shaving cheese, chocolate, or coconut.
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6. Box grater
A lot of recipes call for shredded or grated ingredients, and while you can use expensive food processors for these tasks, nothing will work better than a humble box grater, which gives you an opportunity to choose hole sizes. This means that you can use small holes for grating cheese and chocolate, and larger holes can be used for shredding carrots and other vegetables.
7. Measuring spoons and cups
Like kitchen scales, measuring tools help you follow the recipe as closely as possible, ensuring that you have the necessary amounts of every ingredient. Measuring spoons are generally used for solid ingredients, while cups are designed for liquids and are made of clear plastic or glass to make the amount of liquid visible.
The most common use for a strainer is draining cooked pasta, but in fact this tool can be also widely used for rinsing vegetables and fruits, especially small ones like berries, which cannot be rinsed in any other way. Additionally, if you often cook with salad greens, a strainer will help you get the greens clean without damaging their texture.
A spatula has a wide range of use in a kitchen. First, it works great for mixing dough or batter. Second, it’s essential for turning over the food in the pan, especially meat, chicken and fish. Third, it can be very helpful when you need to pick cookies, cake sheets, or other baked goods from the baking sheet without breaking them.
10. Pepper mills
Salt and pepper are a staple ingredient in any cuisine, and while you can get ground pepper in a store, pepper always tastes better when it’s freshly ground using a pepper mill. You can get an individual mill for each type of pepper you use, and additional ones for spices like coriander and cinnamon, which also taste better when they’re freshly ground.