When starting out with cooking it is important to have all the necessary equipment before you get started. Below is a list of cooking essentials for beginner cooks that should help any budding chef get up and running in the kitchen.
To get you started there is no need to buy an expensive 10 piece knife set. Initially you should be able to perform many tasks with a decent quality Chef’s Knife and a Paring Knife
Typically Chef’s Knives are used as a multi-purpose knife, which can perform various tasks such as mincing, slicing and chopping of meat and vegetables. It is important to buy a good quality Chef’s Knife as it will make preparing food that much easier.
Similar to the Chef’s knife, this knife is a much smaller general purpose knife. Paring knifes are designed for intricate work such as peeling and coring in areas where a Chef’s Knife would be unsuitable. It may help to purchase a vegetable peeler, however as this is an essentials list so the paring knife will be able to fulfil that role as well.
A cutting board is an essential for food preparation. Typically made from wood or synthetic, this will protect your counter top without blunting your knives. Synthetic boards are ideally what you should look at purchasing as wooden boards tend to absorb
Another essential item you may need will be measuring equipment. Measuring spoons can come in very useful when working with ingredients. They typically come as a set measuring from 1/4, ½, 1 teaspoon and 1 tablespoon. These can be essential when cooking as you can quickly and easily measure ingredients. Measuring spoons are typically made from plastic which makes them very easy to keep clean.
You will want to get yourself a medium sized saucepan, which you will generally be used for simmering or boiling things such as pastas, soups or vegetables.
If you will be cooking meats, you will more than likely find a frying pan an essential. It is best to purchase a non-stick pan where possible which should benefit a beginner.
A mixing bowl is another essential addition to your kitchen equipment. Mixing bowls come in a range of materials such as plastic, metal or ceramic. Stainless steel bowl are relatively inexpensive and are useful for most purposes. They are also light and easy to clean, so can be perfect for beginners.
A wooden spoon is an essential for the beginner. Wooden spoons will help to protect the non-stick coating while stirring, where metal spoons may scratch or damage the surface of your pan. Wooden spoons are also non-reactive in acidic ingredients.
One the essentials when oven cooking is the Baking Sheet. Purchasing a rimmed baking tray will allow you to cook range of things from biscuits and cakes to roasting vegetables. These are relatively cheap to buy so you may consider buying multiple pans one for baking and another for roasting, however this is by no means essential.
While not essential, these final three items won’t break the bank and will certainly come in handy at some point.
While not quite essential enough to make the essentials list purchasing a whisk is a nice addition if you plan on baking often.
While not an essential addition. A colander can certainly be useful when draining pasta or washing fruit, vegetables or salads.
Another non essential, but certainly a welcome addition which can save you time in the kitchen is a grater. A Box grater is preferred as it will be the most versatile giving you options to grate, shred or zest ingredients.
Luke Kingston works for East 2 Eden, online home and cookwear retailer based in the UK. Please visit www.east2eden.co.uk to view their range of products and special offers.
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