In order for any kitchen to be considered well-stocked in the way of kitchen tools and gadgets, there are a few “must have” items that every cook (or aspiring cook) needs.These cooking accessories are truly the staples of any kitchen and no cook should be without these items when preparing delicacies of any kind. Cooking accessories and kitchen tools are the basics for any recipe and a great way to build up a truly amazing kitchen. You will be able to achieve all the classic recipes that Mom taught you and even more!
The Cast Iron Skillet
While for some this may be an obvious essential cooking accessory, many people do not have a cast iron skillet in their kitchen! A cast iron skillet is one of the most basic cooking accessories available. Around for decades, cast iron skillets are so versatile (yet incredibly heavy) they can be taken from the stovetop to the oven to the grill to the campfire. You can cook anything, anytime, anywhere with a cast iron skillet. In a cast iron skillet you can make traditional cornbread, scrambled eggs, or even a restaurant style steak! Also, if you have a small cast iron skillet, you can use it as a Panini or bacon press without spending the extra money!
The Dutch Oven
No kitchen should be without a Dutch oven. In fact, one or two ovens in different sizes are an ideal addition to any kitchen. The possibilities of what a Dutch oven can be used to make are absolutely limitless. A good Dutch oven is bottom-heavy and is typically used to make baked beans, sauces, soups, chili, stews, and even chicken and biscuits. To get the most out of your Dutch oven, be sure to get one that can go from the stovetop to the oven to the table. Some of the best Dutch ovens, especially those made of cast iron covered in porcelain, cost a pretty penny but will last you the rest of your life!
The Food Processor
The food processor is one of those essential cooking accessories that every cook, especially a busy cook, should have. A food processor can be an incredible time saver. A good quality, heavy duty food processor should last a long time. Food processors with plenty of power can be huge advantages when preparing food, especially if you are pressed for time. A food processor can help chop nuts in an instant, make salad dressings, dips, and so much more. In fact, most recipes these days assume that the kitchen is stocked with a food processor and include such instructions in their details.
The Roasting Pan
Another item no cook or kitchen should be without a basic roasting pan. This cooking accessory is a classic and a must-have in any kitchen. A good roasting pan will be made with durable materials and have sturdy handles for those heavy roasts and turkeys. You will be able to prepare the best turkey, hams, and roast beefs with your roasting pan, there is no need to buy more than one. They are versatile and a good quality roasting pan can last you for years. Furthermore, you can use them on the stovetop to sear meats before roasting or to make gravy. Stay on the lookout for a roasting pan that comes equipped with a rack.
Go ahead and splurge on a set of good quality knives, you will be thankful in the coming years. No matter what recipe you choose to make, chances are there will be a fair amount of slicing, dicing, and chopping. The best kitchen knives are made of forged metals – usually steel. Forged knives simply have the blade go all the way to the bottom of the handle so no ugly mishaps with falling blades occur. To go with your knife set, be sure to get a good quality knife sharpener to keep them razor sharp everyday!
The Butcher Block and Kitchen Cart
If your kitchen has the space, invest in a butcher block and kitchen cart. Most nice kitchen carts come with a butcher block right on top. The benefits of this combination are two-fold. You have the ultimate cutting surface right on the top (with a lot of extra work and prep space) as well as additional storage for your kitchen. Even the most basic kitchens can benefit from such a set up.
Whether you consider yourself a seasoned chef or a cooking novice, a set of good cookbooks is an essential kitchen accessory. Not everyone knows how to make everything. Every kitchen should be the home to a cookbook that shows how to make basic sauces and dishes – along with pictures so that you know what it’s supposed to look like! A good cookbook can be a lifesaver, even to the experienced cook when he or she runs out of ideas for the week.
Lisa Parker is a freelance writer who writes about cooking and baking, often providing recommendations such as utilizing certain kitchen supplies.