Whether you need to cut a piece of steak, peel a potato, or grate cheese, prep tools set the stage for how well (and how safely) you eat. Ever heard the saying “the safest knife is the sharpest”? Well, that’s true. A dull knife makes you work extra hard to cut through your food so the chances that you will slip and cut yourself are much higher. Look at prep tools as the place to start when you think about what you need for a kitchen. Here is a basic list:
- Meat knife
- Veggie knife
- Cheese grater
- Wooden spoon
- Garlic press
- Salad spinner
- Set of mixing bowls
Pots and Pans
Your pots and pans are another very important piece of the puzzle in cooking real food. You may have inherited an old set or bought one right before college, but be warned: old or poorly made pots and pans can cook food unevenly at best and, at worst, are made of poisonous materials that can get into your food. If you have a really old set, it might be time to toss them in favor of newer, safer cooking tools.
You also don’t need to buy the sets that have 50 pieces. Stay tuned for our downloadable list!
After you’ve made that delicious meal, you’ve got to save it for tomorrow. While you shouldn’t break the bank on food storage you should try and get the highest quality material that you can for food storage. All of those containers will impact the taste of your food, and remember that glass is the best. If you can’t get glass then look for thick, durable rubber or silicone. The next best option would be thick re-usable Tupperware, and lastly the disposable tupperware you see in the grocery store. Try not to re-heat anything in those.
You’ll need a few sizes ranging from tiny (for sauces or small toppings) to large (for soups or larger pieces of meat). This way your great cooking will never go to waste.
A food processor is as essential as a stove or refrigerator. It dices! It slices! And it’s big enough to handle large volumes of food. For the occasional small job you can use the mini food processor—not a must have but very handy. Of course the number one reason to have a blender is to make amazing smoothies but it’s also a natural for pureeing soups and sauces. An immersion blender is something in between, very versatile. It’s a handheld device that can be directly inserted into cookware to quickly puree a soup, sauce, or salad dressing without transferring the ingredients to either a food processor or blender.