So, you want to cook. That’s lovely. Honestly, truly, it really is. I actually find it sad that more people don’t cook so I’m legitimately applauding your efforts right now. I get it, you have a full time job, a family...You’re trying to travel, pay off debt, have a social life, be a productive member of society, save money, watch Game of Thrones, all while you save the world.
I just don’t find that as a reasonable excuse to not cook yourself a decent meal like...twice a week? I limited it to two meals a week because with leftovers, that’s still at least four days of eating.
I’m just saying.
Eating is a necessity. With the amount of money you spend eating out, even getting “healthy” meals, you could be saving a lot more money by just shopping wisely (I’ll probably do a post on shopping...if enough people want it) and taking a little time out of your schedule to cook for yourself. And obviously, it can be healthier. Derp.
But to eat, you have to cook. And to cook, you have to have the necessary tools, so let’s start with the basics. Let’s note, I’m not saying you need to have the best equipment out there. Obviously, quality over quantity. Over time, you’ll know what you use most and you’ll want to invest in some decent products, but this is stuff you can find at your average large corporate store or online. Also, this is like bare minimum equipment. You really don’t need a whole bunch of stuff that’s just going to take up space and get used once then tossed aside. If you become more passionate and interested while on your culinary quests, you’ll add to your collection.
Skillet- I recommend three: one cast iron, one large nonstick, and one small nonstick.
Sauce pan- At least two-three. Nonstick, various sizes.
Large pot- Stock pot! Not for just stocks, but for your soups, stews, and various things you’d be surprised you need a big ass pot for.
Glass baking dishes- Stop buying throw away aluminum pans, invest in a few glass dishes. Extremely versatile, and you can usually buy them in packs of 2-3 with lids included.
Sheet pans- For baking, roasting...putting things on...
Colander - The proper term for a strainer. Get one.
Scissors- Kitchen shears are so valuable and so under utilized. You can do a lot with some sharp scissors that you might not feel comfortable doing with a knife...like...spatchcocking a chicken....
Cutting board- Personally, I have many cutting boards. I like nice wooden ones, but my most used are a set of three plastic ones that are all different colors for their different uses (red for meat, yellow for poultry and seafood, green for produce). They are dishwasher safe, nonporous, and probably safest to avoid cross contamination. If you get wood, please....please...do not wash it in the dishwasher, I personally avoid putting or cutting raw meat on it (especially raw poultry), and take care of it!
Kitchen thermometer-Don’t go ball out, just go look in the utensil aisle, get you a meat thermometer and a regular ol kitchen one.
Knives- There will be a longer post on JUST knives. For your basic needs, invest in a good Chefs knife. Go to the store and actually feel the knife in your hands. And spend about $20-$50 on it. And for the love of 8lb 6oz baby Jesus, do NOT wash your knives in the dishwasher.
Mixing bowls-Plastic is cool for basic needs but glass and metal are better because of their nonporous materials, they don’t usually give off unwanted flavors that have been picked up, and they’re great when you want to bake!
Measuring cups/spoons-....I will hope I do not have to explain this.
Utensils-Forks, spoons, spatulas, whisks, peeler, etc etc stuff and things of various sizes
Tupperware- Shoutout to the plastic gawds. Great for long term storage but also when you’re doing your mise en place (getting your ingredients ready and in place before you cook). Try not to lose your lids.
Blender/hand mixer-I meeeeean, I have this in here, but....I only have a blender that gets used like maybe once a month (that’s a stretch), but it’s getting used more as I make more sauces and dressings and soups and smooth things.
That’s all for now because I’m binge watching Top Chef and it’s my only day off. Let me know what are some of your essential, basic, starter items in the kitchen. Do you have questions about anything? Holla at ya gwalla.
Yall boy hol’ em.