Monday, January 17, 2011

Where to start

To start cooking, we need some basic equipment.

  • A stove/oven - gas or electric as long as it works

  • Some pots and pans - preferably at least one nonstick pan or skillet (10 inch or 12 inch depending on the number of your eaters) and one traditional skillet (same sizes). A stockpot (8 quart or bigger), a medium saucepan (3 1/2 quart or so) and a small saucepan (1 1/2 - 2 quart)
  • Knives - chef, bread and paring

  • A few spoons and spatulas, preferably one heat-resistant
  • A cutting board, preferably two (one for chicken only)

  • Mixing bowls in different sizes

  • Measuring cups and spoons

None of this has to be fancy or expensive. But everything needs to be sturdy and capable of doing the job. It's all too easy to get frustrated while cooking if your equipment isn't doing what it's supposed to do (aka, cooking instead of burning). It may not be the most appealing idea to spend your money on kitchen tools (altho it's one of my favorite ways!), but much of it will last decades, if not a lifetime. And if you're going to be using these things to prepare potentially three meals a day for the rest of your life, isn't it worth it?

If you're just starting out, you can buy basic things like cutting boards, spoons and bowls at places like Target , IKEA or even dollar stores. Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond and major department stores all carry a variety of cookware brands in a range of prices.

The one tool I'm a stickler about, however, is knives. I'm pretty certain that before I started culinary school, I'd been using dull knives for about my whole life. Again, like everything else, they don't have to cost an arm and a leg.

Thankfully, if you can't afford or don't want to spend much, there is a highly rated and recommended brand of reasonably priced knives called Victorinox/Forschner. They can be found online and at local restaurant supply stores and the Fibrox-handled (non-slip!) 8 inch chef's knife typically costs around $25.

I'll start working on a list of the cookware I own in case you want specific recommendations.

Alright, I think that's enough for today. Now go shopping or better yet, go cook some dinner - I expect to some dirty pots when you're done!

1 comment: