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Basic Kitchen Tools

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5 replies to this topic

#1 anusha1

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 10:52 AM

I recently received a copy of How to Cook Everything, and I am enjoying trying out the recipes, in addition to my experiments with the interesting items you do in the NY Times (creamed corn -- who knew?) Anyway, as I am just starting to get my kitchen tools together, are there any tools that you would deem essential for the beginner cook? Thanks

#2 markbittman

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 08:05 PM

Not to be entirely lazy, but there is an extensive section on exactly that question in How to Cook Everything.

#3 vengroff

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 07:28 AM

One of the tools you mention in that section is a kitchen scale, which you say, "is not essential, but as you progress in your cooking you will find it useful."

I personally find a good scale an absolute necessity. Most European home cooks would probably agree. I find that weighing ingredients is not only more accurate, but often far easier than using cup measures. The problem is that most American cookbooks, unlike European ones, rely on cup measures almost exclusively. Do you think this will ever change?

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#4 mamster

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 08:04 AM

vengroff, you're nothing but a scale shill. Also, you're right, of course.
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#5 Andy Lynes

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:06 AM

I would take the time to think about what sort of food you are most likely to be cooking regularly and only purchase items that you will use often. My personal approach is to limit the number of appliances in my kitchen and do as much by hand as possible. But I do have a food processor and blender which are essential.

In terms of knives, you want the biggest cooks knife you are comfortable handling, a small pareing knife for vegetables and a bread knife which will also do you for tomatoes (the skin will blunt a non serrated edge) and carving ham. A boning knife, fish knife and turning knife are all desireable if you intend to do a lot of meat, fish and fancy veg prep, but that will probably come later.

Whatever Thomas Keller says, I've found kitchen tongs absolutely indispensable and you'll also want to have wooden spoons, slotted spoons and serving spoons. Get a couple of balloon whisks, a large one for eggs and a smaller one for dressings.

You can never have enough mixing bowls, baking sheets, roasting pans and gratin dishes, so fire at will when it comes to these items.

Get the best quality sautee and frying pans you can afford. Get copper bottomed saucepans if you can but avoid pans made totally of copper as they are a bugger to maintain.

Approach expensive gadgets like mandolins and ice cream makers with caution, are you really going to need them? However, if you have the room and the cash, go ahead.

Hope that helps.

#6 =Mark

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:08 AM

A spatula.

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Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.
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