In today’s day and age, fewer and fewer people are cooking at home. As delivery has become a common practice, it has become simply easier to order out and have someone else deal with the heavy lifting of cooking. And while that certainly has its benefits, it is not without its faults. Those unable to cook have much more likely to eat unhealthy foods that can negatively impact their bodies and potentially lead to many dietary issues later on in life. Instead, many professionals agree that preparing your own food will lead to an ultimately healthier individual as well as ultimately more appealing food for the cooker.
But then that asks a separate question: “What appliances should I have if I want to cook at home?”
That is what we are going to break down here. And we’re not just going to tell you about any old thing, mind you. Instead, two premier professional chefs, Lance Nitahara [https://www.ciachef.edu/lance-nitahara/] and Sabrina Sexton [https://www.ice.edu/newyork/explore-ice/alumni-profiles/sabrina-sexton] are going to break down their Top 15 kitchen must-haves. If you’re newly involved in home cooking, an up and coming chef, or someone simply looking to change to a healthier diet, this breakdown will have everything you need to cook like Gordon Ramsey (well, kind of).
- THREE KNIVES
While you might be tempted to run out and get the largest assortment of knives on the market, that may not be the case. Both chefs agree that, rather than spending your money on a full knife set, it’s actually better to invest in only a few essentials. According to them, you only need a chef’s knife, a paring knife, and a bread knife to handle the majority of your cooking requirements. And while certainly, those that seek to make cooking a profession will need an expanded assortment, for the 99% of us, these will handle virtually all of our cutting needs.
Sexton also recommends that you go for the forged knives rather than the stamped ones. This is because of their higher quality and longevity.
- CUTTING BOARD
Though it’s easy to consider glass or stone cutting boards to be worth getting, that may not necessarily be the case. Sexton argues that, rather than one of these expensive cutting boards, your best bet is to look into the much more practical wooden or plastic boards. While stone and glass boards are pretty to look at, they are actually fairly bad at much else. Ideally, you want a board that is hard enough and won’t get grooves in it whenever you cut with it.
It’s also a good idea to replace your cutting board every couple of years, as bacteria can build up in the grooves over time.
- KNIFE SHARPENER
Regardless as to whether you decided to get the forged knives as opposed to the stamped ones, a knife will inevitably lose its edge. In order to combat that, thus extending the longevity of the blade as a whole, it’s vital to keep them sharpened. “How much sharpening” will vary from person to person and the amount of time spent using the knives.
Nitahara says, “If you’re using your chef’s knife on a daily basis, I would say once every week to once every two weeks, depending on what you’re cutting as well.”
While most high-level chefs have mastered the art of using a sharpening stone, Sexton recommends that the vast majority of us should look into a knife sharpener. In particular, she recommends that the chantry knife sharpener is easiest for beginners and highly effective at its job.
- STAINLESS STEEL POTS & PANS
Despite the numerous types of pots and pans on the market today (from nonstick to cast-iron), stainless steel is probably your best bet outside of a few extra pans. Heavy-gauge pans, while a little harder to wash, will last much longer and will have great conduction.And you should store it in tủ bếp đà nẵng
- DUTCH OVEN
For important stew dishes, getting a Dutch Oven is very good and worth the inclusion. Their wide bodies and high sides make them perfect for braises and stews.
- IMMERSION BLENDER
Another essential for the home kitchen, immersion blenders are great for making smoothies, frothing up drinks, as well as being used to cut and chop various vegetables such as garlic and onions. Sexton says that the immersion blender (ie. a handheld blender) is one of her more heavily relied upon kitchen items.
Excellent for making soups, smoothies, or purées, Nitahara states that a blender is a must-have for all kitchens. When considering what type of blender to buy, he says it’s ultimately worth saving up for something with a bit higher quality rather than a cheaper brand.
- FOOD PROCESSOR
When considering whether to get a food processor or a blender, Nitahara says that both are worth the investment. As they both perform vital tasks in the kitchen, it’s better to just get both rather than try and make one do the other’s job.
- PRESSURE COOKER
When in a time crunch, a pressure cooker is your best bet. While they can be intimidating at first, there isn’t much that can beat them once you get them down. They can effectively turn a dish that would normally take over an hour to cook in a pot, only 20 minutes.
- DIGITAL THERMOMETER
For novice cooks, Nitahara and Sexton both recommend looking into a digital thermometer as opposed to the manual ones. Rather than guessing, both suggest that the instant and clearly displayed read from a digital thermometer wins every time.
A Microplane (also known as a cheese grater) is recommended by Nitahara as a great way to get things finely grated, such as parmesan cheese or garlic or ginger pieces.
- WOODEN SPOON
As plastic can melt when exposed to high temperatures and metals can heat up, Sexton argues that wooden objects, especially when using as a stirring spoon, are your best bet. In particular, while any wooden spoon is worth looking into, ones with a flat side are ideal as they can more easily scrape at the bottom of a pot or pan.
When getting a whisk, it’s important to look for ones that have thin wires. Big wires will allow much of whatever you are mixing to slip through making it less smooth.
- RUBBER SPATULA
In terms of spatulas, you are primarily going to want ones that are highly heat-resistant. Silicon spatulas that can resist high heat up to 400 degrees are ideally your best bet.
- VEGETABLE PEELER
Finally, the vegetable peeler is incredibly vital for any home cook or chef. Sexton says that she prefers the ones that have a Y-shaped peeler rather than the standard straight one.
In addition to these Top 15 kitchen appliances, here are some basic on hand tools as well.
- metal tongs
- a ladle
- slotted spoon
- measuring cups & measuring spoons
- a corkscrew
- a mixing bowl
- can opener
- baking sheets