These days, you can find all sorts of gadgets for your kitchen. I can hardly tell what some of them are for! I’m not one for extra tools stored in drawers that are not often used and take up precious room. So that got me thinking. What are the tools of the trade that make your time in the kitchen easier and more efficient?
- Knives. Hands down, the number one item every cook needs are good quality knives. Invest here as it is worth the extra money. I personally like Wusthof, and there are other choices on the market as well. Make sure to get a knife block, and only hand wash your knives.
- Cast Iron Dutch Oven. I use my cast iron 5 1/2 quart dutch oven all year round. It is not just for soups and stews. It is great for browning meats, baking chicken, and sautéing. It is my go-to pot multiple times a week. I only have 1, and it is always on deck.
- Wooden Cutting Board. A must have for a well equipped kitchen. There are lots of options on the market with varying colors and thickness. I’ve had a lot of luck with Boos Block. A light oiling periodically keeps it moist, and looking great after many years of use.
- Good Pans. Good quality pans ensure your recipes turn out great every time. You don’t need multiple pans of each size, but I do recommend that a well-equipped kitchen has a 1 quart sauce pan, a 3 quart sauce pan, a 10 inch fry pan (both stainless and non-stick), a stock pot, and a french skillet. Beyond that, it’s all gravy.
- Salt Box and Pepper Mill. This may seem like an odd item for the fifth spot, but sea salt and a good pepper mill are the basic spices every cook needs handy. My salt box is chipped in several places, but those are memories of many great meals shared among friends. I’ve had that salt box through 4 moves, and hope to have it for many years to come.
I cannot entirely end the list there, so honorable mention goes to…your hands! When all else fails, your hands are often the best option to get the job done. So, wash up, and get in there!