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8 Week Challenge – Home Cooking Tools

August 15, 2012

Yesterday we started looking at the tools needed for cooking from scratch. These are basic items that make it possible to produce baked goods, meals and other food from your own kitchen economically and efficiently. Today we’ll continue that with a look at basics to provide homemade basics.

Pots and pans – invest in good quality pans and take care of them. Many colors and designs are available, but a bigger consideration is the quality of the pan.Solid pans hold up to use better than lightweight flimsy construction. Pots would be what you use for boiling water, soups and other things that generally indicate liquid. Small sized for a couple cups, a 1 quart, 2 quart and 8 quart are good. Good 7 and 12 inch skillets are needed – I’m partial to the cast iron. It’s often helpful to have 10 inch and sometimes even a couple of pans for bigger projects.

A Dutch oven is another useful preparation tool, as are casserole dishes. A larger camp style may be handy for indoor and outdoor use. Many like a tea kettle, especially in the winter.

Today’s appliances like rice cookers with steaming capabilities and coffee pots of various sizes and types can serve multiple purposes for tasks in traditional kitchens. But if you want tradition get some good quality wooden spoons. Spatulas and metal utensils also will be used often – if you get non stick pans be sure to use utensils that don’t scratch the lining. Tongs are essential for cooking and food handling. Stainless that can be used for serving or cooking as well as classic that can be used for tossing pasta or turning meats are essential.

Various tools such as a masher, ladles and baster are useful. You may read a recipe about skimming the fat off – there’s a tool for that. Whisking eggs and other dishes is made easier with the proper tool. Love grilling kabobs? Good quality skewers make it easy, both the larger ones as well as small ones for other occasions. Get some cooking brushes for basting or glazing – brushing on butter or other tasks.

Griddles, bean pot, wok and other items may be of use if you *use* them. If you love Asian cooking a wok may be something to add – if not, it just takes up space. Stock pots, pressure cookers and a food mill/processor all can be of use in a ‘homemade’ quest.

This covers the basics for on the stove. Baking has a realm of it’s own! A pastry blender, sifter, rolling pins, cake pans, loaf pans, cookie sheets, muffin tins, jelly roll pan, pie pans, tart pans, custard cups, wire racks and mixers all add to what you can make.Love cheesecake? Add springform pans to the list and make your own. Cookie cutters, pastry bag, cookie press and other tools empower you to create a wide range of snacks, desserts and other treats in your own kitchen. If you get into specialty things like making formed candy, decorating cakes or other special tasks there will be items needed for that, but this highlights the list of common things used.

Most people probably already have most of these items in their kitchen. Perhaps you have a set and don’t know what some of the items are – like the skimmer or other utensil. We’ve covered the basics here, touched on appliances in a past post, and set the foundation for a homemade future.

Are you ready?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rebecca permalink
    August 15, 2012 12:28 PM

    While they are more expensive, I highly recommend high-temperature spatulas if you’re outfitting or refitting a kitchen. Look for the “NSF” logo as commercial grade will last forever. I’ve had mine for over 10 years.

    Restaurant supply is a great place to look for high quality, yet budget-friendly kitchen tools designed to stand up to the abuse of a commercial kitchen.

  2. June 10, 2013 11:31 AM

    Reblogged this on DownTheBackRoad and commented:

    Many people want to buy direct, stock up, eat better but are puzzled in the kitchen. Here’s a post addressing basic kitchen tools.

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