ESSENTIAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT
Here is a list of some of the kitchen tools that, from me, make a real difference in the kitchen. We will chat more about your personal kitchen essentials during your Kitchen Cleanse consultation. I use these tools everyday and help me make tastier food quicker!
At home I have three knives that I use daily, a 20cm chefs knife, a bread knife and a small vegetable knife. I would imagine this is a good start. Like shoes, knives are a personal choice and you should never ever buy any knife without holding it in your hands, as the weight of the knife is very important. There is nothing wrong with cheap knives (they are light and sharp), but just like a cheap pair of shoes, they will need replacing whereby investing in a knife made by a company that just makes knives is a long term investment. A blunt knife is of no use in the kitchen so I would also invest in a trusty knife sharpener to keep your knives sharp.
I can say with confidence that there is not one oven on earth that is exactly on temperature! Whilst at chefs school we knew our ovens and fought over who gets to bake their cakes in the moderate ovens knowing that you are in trouble with a oven that is about 20c too hot. We were not allowed thermometers in order to improve our skills with different ovens. Why guess?? I travel with my own oven thermometer! There is the world of difference between a 160c, 180c, 200c and 220c oven? They are cheap and for me a absolute no brainer, its going to change the way you cook forever.
Organic Kitchen Indispensables
Speed peeler, salad spinner and vegetable brush. Organic fruit and vegetables fresh from the harvest needs a good wash, scrub and peel. A good quality U-shape speed peeler is cheap and a godsend in the kitchen, whether you are peeling veg, shaving Parmesan or finely slicing fennel or asparagus. A good salad spinner are a really important in the kitchen. I use the bowl to wash all my fruit and veg making it possible to recycle the water into my garden. You need to make sure washed herbs and leaves are really dry before storing to avoid spoilage, So get spinning!. A good sturdy vegetable brush not only washes dirty roots super quick but the hard bristles will scrub away the first layer which means you don’t have to peel those potatoes or carrots!
Everyday essentials I have a few in different shapes and sizes. I would recommend one large wooden heavy board preferably with a edge and a medium light wooden board and a slightly less glamorous red plastic board to cut raw meat on. All professional kitchens have use a red board and if you think about it why in the world would you cut meat and bread on the same board?
If I had to have a pic of my favourite kitchen equipment – it would be a spatula. It must have a broad flat flexible silicone top easy for scraping and spreading.
- scraping pestos, cake batter, hummus, dips, ice cream, creams, spreads – anything!
- spreading icing sugar, cake batter, hummus on a plate, ice cream
A microplane is a small handheld grater and I am happy to see the prices have come down a bit. I have them in every shape in size but you only really need one. Perfect for making curries and salad dressings. I would recommend this one available in most online kitchen shops. This is mine here.
- grating garlic
- grating ginger
- zesting citrus
- grating hard cheeses
- grating chocolate
- grating nutmeg
Pestle & Mortar
There is a reason that this tool have been used for centuries in most cultures around the world. The very underrated pestle & mortar is indispensable in my kitchen, I use it daily.
- mincing garlic
- grinding spices
- grinding herbs
- making the best pesto
Not all P&M’s are made equal. What are we looking for is a large and heavy STONE or GRANITE P&M with a rough and unpolished interior. The best one in my kitchen is this one which I bought from Woolworths.
TOP TIP: give the interior a good rub and scratch, if pieces of black stone comes off walk away, black pesto is never a good look.
Lifters & Tongs
I use small lifters in my kitchen and have a few wooden ones (slotted and solid) which are inexpensive and versatile as I stir with them too. They look great, good for any pan or pot surface but don’t put them in the dishwasher. Tongs give you better control when you are grilling veg and meat, great for picking up any hot things and for serving food. Tongs, like knives, like shoes are personal, I find hard to grip tongs frustrating and dangerous in the kitchen so try before you buy.
Great, cheap, pretty but wash by hands. I have a variety of slotted and solid with long handles, thin handles and more sturdy handles. TOP TIP: I have one especially for curries (easy to spot the yellow turmeric stained one) and one for sweet stuff.
Proper Pepper Grinder
Easily overlooked but so important. What we are looking for is a grinder that grinds whole peppercorns finely as there is nothing more unpleasant than biting on a whole peppercorn. This is a difficult one to test though and I think one will have to grind your way through a few.
I want you to really go for it with these and get your hands on a whole selection of nested mixing bowls. It can be cheap and easy to wash metal ones, pyrex glass or fancy porcelain ones. You will use them all the time for mixing, marinating and storing in the fridge or freezer if you get lidded ones. It is very useful if you can find bowls with handy measurements inside the surface.
I love mine and it is any busy cooks best friend. I know its expensive but think of it as another set of two hands as it helps you chop, grate, mix and puree. It is single handily the best investment I have made in my kitchen.
A Large Pot
A large, heavy based bottomed cooking pot is really a must-have. Good for batch cooking, dinner parties, curries, stews and I even bake bread in mine. We are talking fairly large here, ideally a 28cm pot that could hold about 6 plus litres.
Great ones have a good non-stick coating, a nice thick bottom and an ovenproof handle. I have one non stick and one cast iron pan in my kitchen which I reserve for high temperatures. When selecting a non stick pan, look for PFOA free.