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Things from the professional kitchen that every home cook should have


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For example, I think every home kitchen would benefit from having a big roll of commercial food film (what we home cooks call plastic wrap). The large-format commercial rolls make a mockery of the ones you get at the grocery store.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Assorted dishers. We have several sizes from our local restaurant supply house that get used to produce cookies of uniform size.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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A lot of professional kitchens could use a chef too.

Dishers = ice cream scoops.

Sheet pans are so useful. It's amazing to me that they're not a standard kitchen-store item, yet a lot of home stores only have cookie sheets.

I think the Microplane line and the Vita-Mix have now crossed over to the home.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Is a scale commercial?

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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A reliable sous vide set-up.

An industrial strength submersible mixer.

A Hobart with legs that reach the floor.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Someone else to clean up.

Quoted for truth. I've been constantly lamenting, while baking and cooking up a storm, that I didn't have someone to clean up after.

A stand mixer, even a cheaper one, will make cakes, cookies, and bread a lot easier to do.

Half sheets are a necessity and very cheaply bought at Sam's Club. Made in the USA, too.

To expand on dishers, ladles in different sizes are also quite useful. You'd be surprised how many people don't think of adding more than one size to their utensils.

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For cheap? Benchers ... those wide scrapers in either plastic or metal ... or both. Well, yes, both, because a plastic one won't do what the metal ones will. Parchment paper. Tongs ... the more the better to hang on the oven door handle. A mandolin ... my Zyliss one is now in my place of work because in the situation it's way better than the elderly Berkel.

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Power rollers . . . for dough, pasta, fondant, etc.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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a really good hood

I too smoke out my family on a regular basis. I do not understand why builders continue to put in hoods that vent back into the kitchen. Don't even get me started on the over the range microwaves.

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Commercial plastic wrap deserves its own shrine. And I'm embarrassed to say I've never bought any. But every time I leave my butcher shop or a restaurant kitchen I resolve to rectify this.

Of the many commercial doodads I like, sheet pans are the most indispensable. I have a pile of half sheets and have recently discovered the 1/4 sheet. Surprisingly useful. Baking pans are also up there ... the 14 gauge, straight sided aluminum ones. Big stockpots: no reason to buy anything but commercial beaters. And little stuff: tongs, fish spats, pallet knives, etc...

I've never found use for hotel pans at home. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Notes from the underbelly

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A speed rack.

Steve Lebowitz

Doer of All Things

Steven Howard Confections

Slicing a warm slab of bacon is a lot like giving a ferret a shave. No matter how careful you are, somebody's going to get hurt - Alton Brown, "Good Eats"

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Paul, if you're referring to large hotel pans, no, I have no use for them in my home kitchen. I do however use several of the 1/9 size pans for storing everything from side towels (add those to the list) to doodads (corkscrews, thermometers, etc.). http://bigtray.com/abc-steam-table-pan-st1904-sku-abcst1904-c-19820.html

Something I forgot to mention: Cambro containers. They are superior to all consumer-grade storage containers, especially the big ones that I use for flour, sugar, cornmeal, etc. http://bigtray.com/cambro-camsquare-food-storage-container-6sfscw-sku-cam6sfscw-c-13420.html

Also: plastic bus tubs, in other words the plastic basins that bussers at restaurants use to collect dirty dishes. I use these not only to clear the table but also as bins for potatoes, onions and the like. http://bigtray.com/traex-bus-box-1527b-31-sku-trx1527b31-c-25290.html

I guess the items mentioned above break down into realistic and unrealistic for most people. A commercial hood with Ansul system or a commercial deep fryer, probably not going to happen. But anybody can get a box of Crystal Wrap.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Burn cream. I don't know what the brand was or what it was, but the best stuff I've ever used for a burn came out of a commercial kitchen....

I cross over a lot of stuff, but I use plastic gloves alot now. It's easier when you're working with chicken or fish or whatever and you need to grab your toddler from doing something he shouldn't be doing. Ripping gloves off is faster than washing hands~

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Commercial plastic wrap deserves its own shrine. ...

To speak as one of the uninitiated, what am I missing out on there?

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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Ditto on the plastic gloves and assorted sized dishers. I use dishers for all sorts of things - cookies, cupcakes, scooping soft cheese onto vegetables, etc., etc.

Good knives, of course. NOT a matched set and not even a lot of them. Just 3 good knives.

Oven safe saute pans. Until I got a couple, I had no idea how convenient they would be.

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