Since my time in parent’s bakery, I have seen products and gimmicks come and go. The kitchen is no place for gadgets or equipment that does not function well.
I will share my favorite kitchen tool essentials with you and show you some really cool new things. (And maybe some clunkers too). I’ll show you what materials are best for the job at hand and how to take care of them to protect your investment.
Kitchen equipment are tools and you get what you pay for. So make your dollars count and buy things that can multi-task. Each piece is an investment. It should make cooking easier, your meals better, and provide you and your family more enjoyment in the kitchen.
Frying Pan, Non-Stick (10 or 12 inch)
Purchase a high quality non stick pan, many now are made ‘green’ which have better scratch resistance and withstand higher heat. Some even will do a decent job of browning meats. However always use a medium heat setting for your non stick cookware. A Non-Stick fry pan allows you to cook delicate things like eggs or fish.
Get a heavy bottom cast iron Dutch Oven and you will never need to replace it. Buy one big enough to feed your entire family because it’s a great one pot meal maker. This is a solid investment and the enameled coated ones look fantastic and clean up easily.
Sauté Pan (Stainless 3 or 6 quart)
You will want a stainless sauté pan. They come with lids so you can reduce liquids and are fantastic for browning meats. Think of as a frying pan with higher sides and a lid. Again this is an investment so buy one big enough to cook for the whole family.
Sauce Pan (3–4 qt.)
You can get either non stick or stainless for a sauce pan. You may want two in different sizes. Sauce pans look like mini pots and are very versatile for heating liquids, cooking vegetables, and making sauces.
Stock Pot (6 qt. at minimum)
Here you will want a stainless pot because it will last longer. This is what you make soups and chili in or boil large quantities of water.
Saucier (Stainless 2 qt.)
A saucier is a small pan with gently curved sides that allow a spoon or whisk to evenly stir the liquids so that nothing sticks to the sides and burns. Some have a spout too. It is used for making and reducing sauces. You can use it for other things too.
Chef Knife, Paring Knife, Serrated Utility Knife,
Buy fully forged knives even if you need to purchase one at a time. They will last longer, stay sharper longer and be safer to use. Later on you can a good bread knife and a carving knife to your set.
Measuring Cups and Spoons, Serrated Peeler, variety of silicone Spatulas and “Spoonulas”, Whisks, Wooden Spoons, and a Pizza Cutter
All gadgets should feel comfortable in your hand and seem to be made of sturdy, easy to clean construction. Eric and I love silicone because of its heat resistance and how well it stands up to a hard-working kitchen.