Tool Up the Kitchen

Whether you are outfitting your first kitchen or wondering what items you really need, picking out kitchen tools can be daunting. There is an endless array of kitchen tools you could buy, but this list should get aspiring home chefs well on their way to delicious meals.

pots and pans Pots and Pans – There are hundreds of types of pots and pans at every price point. You will at least need one medium skillet, one medium saucepan, one large pot, and a baking sheet. A nonstick skillet is nice for healthy cooking and a broiler pan and casserole dish may be needed if you plan to bake or roast.

Measuring cups – You will need two kinds – a set for dry ingredients and a liquid measuring cup. Metal dry cups are recommended as they will last a lifetime and the measurements won’t wear off. Glass measuring cups are recommended for liquids as they can withstand high heat.

Measuring spoons – A metal set is recommended for durability.

Chef’s Knife – This is an item where you might want to consider splurging. A good knife, well cared for, can last for decades. Look for an 8-9 inch blade.

Knife Sharpener – Whether you choose an inexpensive hand sharpener or a pricier electric sharpener, this is an essential tool to help keep your Chef’s Knife working perfectly.

Wooden Spoon set – A good set should not splinter and should include at least one spoon and a flat spatula or turner. These utensils are ideal for use with nonstick surfaces because they don’t scratch.

Slotted Spoon – Essential for dishing out foods that are cooked in liquid, look for a spoon with a sturdy handle and holes that aren’t so large that small foods will slip through.

Spatulas – You will need two kinds – metal and rubber. A metal spatula is needed for turning and picking up delicate foods like pancakes and serving heavier items. A rubber spatula is necessary to completely clean out a jar or mixing bowl.

Grater – It is pretty much impossible to grate cheese, vegetables or ginger without a grater. Invest in a sturdy one that has a variety of grating surfaces.

Colander – Whether you are draining pasta or washing vegetables, a colander is essential. Look for a sturdy, metal one with smaller holes so you don’t lose your food.

corkscrewVegetable peeler – You can probably peel your food with a knife but it will waste a lot of time and food. Debates rage on about whether a Y-Peeler or a straight peeler works better. Look for a sturdy design that feels good in your hand.

Can opener – If you are going to eat canned food, you can’t get to it without an opener. You can choose electric or hand crank. If you get a hand model, look for metal moving parts with a comfortable handle.

Corkscrew – As with a can opener, if the bottle has a cork, there is no other way to get to it. Again, look for metal moving parts.