Are you ready to channel your inner Gordon Ramsay … or at least avoid burning the toast? From sautéing vegetables to flipping pancakes, you’ll need more than just your appetite to thrive in the kitchen, rather than just surviving on packets of instant ramen.
Here’s the secret menu of seven essential kitchen items every beginner chef needs to succeed. Grab your apron, and let’s dive in!
If there’s one thing every beginner chef with sub-par gear has to deal with, it’s the struggle of food that sticks to your pots and pans. Or, even more annoying — cookware that doesn’t heat evenly, which can mean no matter how perfectly you follow directions, you’ll struggle to cook things evenly.
To solve these common issues when you’re starting out, you need sturdy ceramic cookware. Known for its non-stick properties, this cookware makes cooking and cleaning as smooth as butter. Whether you’re simmering a sauce or frying up a storm, ceramic cookware offers even heating and exceptional versatility.
A chef’s knife isn’t just any knife. It’s the knife. You can chop, slice, and dice with a precision that will make cooking a breeze in a way you never knew was possible if you’ve been using less-than-sharp, less-than-ideal kitchen tools.
Invest in a good-quality blade, and you’ll feel like a kitchen ninja. But don’t forget to care for your knife. Sharpen it regularly, wash it by hand, and don’t let it air dry to avoid rust. If you care for a quality chef’s knife, it can be with you for life.
Behind every great chef’s knife, there’s a trusty cutting board. You may think, “It’s just a board; what’s the big deal?”
Oh, but it is a big deal.
Your cutting board is like the stage for your culinary performance. You wouldn’t dance on a rough, uneven surface, would you? Choose a board made of wood or bamboo for a sturdy platform, and make sure it’s easy to clean. Your knife (and fingers) will thank you.
Look, measuring cups and measuring spoons are useful and can be accurate. But if you truly want to upgrade your kitchen expertise, then what you want is a kitchen scale rather than some upscale cups or spoons.
A kitchen scale gives you greater precision when it comes to measuring ingredients, and it allows you to have less washing up when you’re done cooking. When you have less clean-up after the fact, it’s easier to motivate yourself to get into the kitchen today, tomorrow, and the day after that. It’s a simple change that doesn’t cost much but seriously upgrades your experience.
These versatile vessels are where the magic truly happens. Whisking eggs and tossing a salad is made easier with the right set of mixing bowls, which can make you feel like a maestro. Choose a set that nests together to save space, and make sure they’re microwave-safe and dishwasher-safe so you can use them for anything and everything.
They may be called mixing bowls, but to you, they’re like trusty sidekicks in your culinary escapades. You can use them in a bain-marie, as a serving bowl for a salad at your first dinner party, and in a wide variety of new ways you have yet to discover.
The close cousin of ceramic cookware, a non-stick skillet — especially one with high walls like a sauté pan — can make all the difference in your culinary experience. This is the tool you reach for when you’re craving pancakes or trying to perfect that golden-brown sear on your steak.
A slick surface ensures your food slides onto the plate rather than getting stuck to the pan. Investing in a non-stick skillet is like getting VIP access to the world of frying and sautéing. If you want to master that all-impressive spatula-free flip, this is the pan you need.
From the ever-versatile ceramic cookware to the humble grater, these kitchen products are here to make cooking easier and a lot more fun. That’s half the battle, especially when you’re starting out as a home chef. Anything that makes the process more difficult, confusing, or more likely to fail could dampen enthusiasm and have you reaching for the delivery menus. Making sure you have the right equipment to succeed is key.
Whip out that chef’s hat and embrace the joy of creating, tasting, and savoring food you’ve prepared successfully, all by yourself! The more you practice and get to know your go-to kitchen implements, the more your skills will improve. With the right tools, you’ll be a gourmet chef in no time.