Essential Kitchen Items can be hard to identify. When you first leave home, or move into a new apartment, you invariably end up with too many kitchen utensils or not enough, and you're missing all the most essential kitchen items. Eventually, you realise either that your kitchen cupboards are groaning under the weight of items you'll never use, or that you're still trying to cook with nothing but an aged saucepan and a blunt knife. Here is my guide to some absolutely essential kitchen items.
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Cheap knives are a false economy; if you really want to cook well, it's better to spend more on a versatile, good quality knife. Not only will it make preparation easier, but will last a lot longer.
Sieves are definitely one of the essential kitchen items. Anyone who has tried to drain pasta without one, and watched half of it disappear down the sink, will know what I mean. You need a couple of different sizes: one sieve with small holes for rinsing rice etc., and a larger one (or colander) for draining pasta and rinsing salad.
Pots and Pans
Again, this is something that is not worth buying cheap, as they will soon scratch. Buy a large and small frying pan, plus a small, medium and large saucepan (assuming you don't have lots of people to cook for). That should cover most possibilities, and having a large saucepan will allow you to cook soups and large quantities to freeze.
Storage containers are useful for keeping leftovers or freezing batch cooking, so it's worth having a number of them in different sizes. They can also be used to store items such as flour to avoid spillage.
Technically you can manage without a freezer, but it does come in very handy indeed. With a freezer, you can always have something ready to cook quickly, whether it's a meal you cooked yourself or something you bought. A freezer means that you can store leftovers, buy in bulk and freeze bargains.
A food mixer is an essential kitchen item if you like to do a lot of cooking. It will only make mixing, chopping and pureeing much easier. If you can't afford a mixer or don't have the space to store one, a hand mixer can be a useful substitute.
Unless you only ever cook ready meals, you can't manage long without a mixing bowl. Try to mix something up in a dish that's too small, and the result is a right mess! They aren't expensive, so get a couple of different sizes.
If you cook any recipes that involve measuring liquids, a jug is essential. Rough estimates can be made using a glass, but that won't work if more precise measurements are needed. Measuring jugs are inexpensive, and can also be used to serve gravy and other sauces.
If you fry anything that you intend to remain whole, such as hamburgers, a fish slice is a definite requirement. Without it, the burgers will fall apart when you attempt to flip them! It also allows you to stop things sticking to the pan.
A couple of wooden spoons, or a spoon and a wooden slice, are simple but essential kitchen items. The advantage over metal implements is that they won't scratch the pans as you stir them. A wooden slice is also great for baking, so that you can get every last scrap of mixture out of the bowl.
These are just some of the essential kitchen items that everyone should have; of course, there are others, depending on what you like to make, but there's really no need to have everything under the sun. With these essential kitchen items you will have most possibilities covered. What is the most essential kitchen item that you couldn't do without?
Top Photo Credit: weheartit.com
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