Checklist of Essential Equipment for Every Kitchen
Whether you are completely new to setting up a kitchen, or a ‘seasoned’ pro, we wanted to provide you with our own useful tips and tricks about essential kitchen equipment and the importance of these.
Keeping your kitchen stocked up with the proper tools is important and is the very first step in creating culinary masterpieces! Having the right tools will not only make the activity in cooking easier, but it will make entire cooking process more enjoyable! It’s known to many within the industry that those who wish to be best cook, having the appropriate cooking equipment is crucial to cooking success and minimal frustration.
Within this article, we first dive into the topics of high-quality knives, particularly exploring the importance of the ‘Chef’s Knife’. We also briefly touch upon our recent collaboration with Allday Knives, where we designed a set of 3 knives within the kit to allow you to perform all your culinary desires easily and effectively.
We then take a look at reliable cutting tools, from sharpeners, cutting boards and other time-saving paraphernalia that have been released throughout the years, including mandolins and peelers!
Once researching the cutting tools, we go into detail on the right preparation, mixing and measuring tools, including the basic tool you need to get ready, such as measuring cups and the humble mixing bowl.
After you have this equipment checked off your list, you can look into the different types of cookware and bakeware required to cook your cuisines to perfection!
And last but by no means least, we end things on the importance on safety equipment. A commercial kitchen must always be kitted with safety tools of fire extinguishers and smoke detectors – we want you to create beautiful dishes, but in a safe and productive way please!
First things first, we want to explore the most essential knives for you to have in your kitchen.
Brendan McDermott, a chef-instructor and knife skills expert at New York’s Institute of Culinary Education proclaims that equipping yourself with the proper knives is key! It’s within this statement that tells us that knives are the basic building blocks for good cooking.
However, it’s important to note that you do not need to splash out on the most expensive knife set… it’s about knowing what knives perform the best tasks carried out within your kitchen in an effective and correct way. Of course, there is always a knife for every budget, but as long as you have a good one, you can influence your culinary performance through this with only a handful of knife types, in which we will be showing you the three most essential knives to have within your set.
The Chef’s Knife
Food and Wine consider this knife as the ‘workhorse’ of any kitchen due to the wide range of tasks it can perform, from delicately slicing vegetables to butchering different cuts of meat.
The blade on this knife ranges from 8-10” in which is curved to allow rocking motion when cutting. The Japanese version of this knife is called ‘Santoku’, in which is slightly different in being 6-7” with a straight ledge to allow short, downward strokes. This knife allows cutting to be controlled and maintain powerful strokes. With a sharp blade that yields a clean, even cut, the possibilities are endless when using this specific knife, which is why it is favoured as one of the ‘must-haves’ within the culinary industry.
The Bread Knife
This knife is also known as a ‘serrated’ knife, in which has a scalloped edge, resembling a saw! Eater states that this knife is your go-to for cutting through anything with a hard edge and a softer interior. As reference in the name for this knife, it’s great for cutting a delicious loaf of bread, but they are efficient in also slicing cakes due to their long blades cutting the slices evenly. It’s important when choosing a bread knife that the blade is long, typically between 7-10”. The long blade can ensure your cutting is precise with minimal effort required, when the rocking motion of back and forth is of ease.
The Paring Knife
F.N Sharp describes this knife as the ‘baby’ of the family of the knives set, being small but yet still powerful! This knife is perfect for detailed and delicate cutting that requires control, such as cutting strawberries or slicing a clove of delicious garlic. Although you could do this with a Chef’s knife, using a paring knife with allow more ‘dainty’ ingredients to be cut in an efficient way.
You need to keep a look out for the grip on this knife, where your hand needs to feel comfortable when using the knife in the air.
In light of this, we are delighted to announce our recent collaboration with Allday Goods.
Allday Goods was founded by Hugo Worsley, a London-based chef turned knife maker whose mission was to help solve the global plastic problem. From this, Allday has created a range of colourful knives, where the handles are crafted from the waste materials of plastic and the blades made from recycled steel from Sheffield.
We have created three essential knives where the handles are made from our recycled tub lids: A Santoku knife (Chef’s knife), Bread Knife and Paring Knife. If you are interested in receiving one of these sets, you can enter our giveaway to receive a limited edition set!
Reliable Cutting Tools
Quality kitchen cutting tools are necessary for even the most basic food prep and cooking tasks, so it’s highly important to invest in the correct cutting tools that will allow you to perform your tasks within the kitchen.
Using a cutting board will not only provide protection for your countertops from the knife, but it also makes the process of cutting safer for you as it prevents the knife from slipping.
Many people like to purchase a wooden chopping board due it’s solid and sturdy function in which allows the board to be great for bread and meat carving. However, the setback is that wooden board absorb odours and can be easily stained in comparison to a plastic board.
A plastic chopping board can be less aesthetically pleasing in contrast to a wooden board; however, they are more hygienic. They do not absorb juices like wood and can easily withstand washing and sanitising. In most kitchens, plastic boards are also colour coded to match what is being cut, for example, a red board means raw meat and a blue board means raw fish etc.
Mandolins are used to slice ingredients very quickly and in uniformity. They allow you to slice at a much quicker pace in comparison to a knife. Great British Chefs states that mandolin’s can be used to prepare many firm vegetables, including potato slicing for a delectable dauphinoise dish. You can even use a mandolin to thinly slice the beetroot and apple within a salad.
Having a good pair of kitchen scissors is a great addition to have within your equipment and makes tasks easier to perform! With super sharp blades and a sturdy handle, you can cut joints of meat such as chicken thighs off of the bone! You can also use scissors to cut slices from a pizza, and trim the top crusts of a pie off.
Ever tried to peel a potato with a paring knife? It can be quite difficult, time-consuming and at times dangerous! A hand-held fixed blade can remove the skin from fruit and vegetables at a much quicker (and safer!) pace in comparison to a knife. Not only this, if using a knife to peel, you are more likely to waste the fruit of veg that you are trying to peel. A Peeler on the other hand will cut even and thinly sliced peelings, making the best use of the ingredient. You can either have a peeler in a Y-shape or straight ended, the shape really is down to your personal preference.
As we know, knives are one of the most important and commonly used items in your kitchen kit, so it makes sense that you need a good sharpener to ensure your knives do not get blunt! It’s believed that some professionals will even sharpen their knives daily, as a dull, unsharpened knife is not only ineffective, but also not safe to use. Most chefs recommend using a rod-shaped steel sharpener, but a good option for household kitchens is an abrasive hand-held block sharpener due to it being so easy to use.
Preparation, Mixing and Measuring Tools.
Kitchen prep, mixing and measuring tools are essential to get the precise blend of ingredients for the dish you are making. You may find that your recipe didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, simply because of the inaccurate ingredients being added. Dishes, particularly baked goods, need measured ingredients to ensure a balanced bake.
Dry Measuring Cups
The purpose of dry measuring cups is to weigh ingredients such as flour, sugar, spice in either plastic or stainless-steel cups. The cups come in the following sizes: ¼, 1/3, ½ and 1 cup. You need to scoop with cup with the ingredient and then remove the excess with a flat utensil such as a knife.
Liquid Measuring Cups
Did you know there is a difference in measurement between liquid and solid ingredients? That is why you should have a liquid measuring cup within your kitchen equipment to ensure you are measuring the correct amount of liquid for your recipe. You will find liquid measuring cups come in clear glass or plastic so that it is easy to check the level of liquid you have with the measuring lines on the outer. The measure ranges from usually 50ml – 1 ½ Litres.
As discussed, most baked recipes require precise measurements which is why measuring spoons are used to ensure the accurate amount of ingredients is being added in. Measuring spoons are great for gaining the correct measures for smaller ingredients, including spices, salt, and essences. Measuring spoons come in a range of sizes from ¼ teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, ½ tablespoon and 1 tablespoon.
Mixing bowls are one of the most common and useful equipment’s used within a kitchen. Not only are the effective in mixing your dry/wet ingredients, but they are great for working doughs in, mixing salads etc. Mixing bowls come in many different materials including plastic and stainless steel. Most chefs prefer stainless steel as these are rust-resistant and dishwasher-safe.
Although it sounds generic, a wooden spoon is one of the best utensils to have within your kitchen equipment. Not only are they useful for mixing, but they are gentle and won’t scratch the bottoms of your pots and pans. Wooden spoons also do not conduct heat; therefore, you won’t burn yourself when mixing a hot mixture.
Cookware and Bakeware
Whether you are new to building your kitchen equipment or already a pro, it’s key to understand the essential cookware and bakeware required to perform your culinary tasks to an effective level.
A Non-Stick Frying Pan
You should invest in a non-stick frying pan as it gives you the confidence to cook as high temperatures knowing that your food will not get stuck to the pan’s surface. Whether you’re frying a simple egg or whipping up some pancakes, you can cook your dishes on a naturally smooth surface for crisp, tasty results without the use of too much oil/butter.
You can’t complete your essential list of cookware equipment without a saucepan! Because a saucepan is deep, it makes the perfect tool for heating liquids to your preferred temperature. Keep a look out for a saucepan that’s walls are as thick as the base so that heat is evenly distributed throughout the apparatus, causing even cooking. If you are heating up soup, we recommend a small pan, whereas you would required a large saucepan with a lid when cooking a pasta-sauce dish.
Did you know the word ‘wok’ literally translates to ‘cooking pot’ in Cantonese? The traditional cooking apparatus has a rounded bottom in which allows both liquid and heat to be focused in one spot, maximising the cooking of your ingredients. The high, sloping walls also help retain the heat, allow for a fast-cooking time in comparison to your ordinary frying pan. You can use a Wok for making stir fries because the height of the walls make it ideal for retaining food whilst stirring and tossing. Because the sides provide a natural gradient in heat, you can also move ingredients near the sloping sides to avoid them being scotched from the heat.
A baking sheet, which is also known as a sheet pan, is one of the most versatile and important bakeware equipment you can own. In a rectangle shape, baking sheets have a raised edges to prevent liquids and loose ingredients from escaping when you are tossing them in the oven. Small-sized baking sheets are perfect for baked treats, including cookies and shortbreads. You can use larger baking sheets for roasted chicken or delicious roast potatoes.
Don’t Forget Kitchen Safety Equipment!
Although a kitchen is one of the most exciting and creative environments to work in, it can also be dangerous! Here are a few safety apparatuses that should be present in any commercial kitchen:
- Smoke Detectors – Around half of home fires are caused by cooking accidents. You need to prevent this with installing a working smoke alarm within your kitchen and every level of your home. A 10-year sealed battery smoke alarm is the best options due as you do not have to change it over as often as lower battery ones.
- Fire extinguishers – Dishwasher Hero states that Class K Extinguishers are used in commercial kitchens. These contain Potassium Acetate and Potassium Citrate, in which the blend is effective in putting out fires made from cooking oils.
- First aid kits – You should invest in a first aid kid that offers a wide selection of items for injuries which can be caused in the kitchen, including burns, scalds, and abrasions from knives.
- Oven mitts – These can prevent burns when you are handling hot items from the oven, such as baking trays.
- Aprons – You should invest in a good quality apron to allow that extra barrier between your body and substances that can cause harm to naked skin, including hot grease and oil spurts.
You can purchase your very own Maldon Salt Apron to wear in your kitchen today!
You’re all ‘kitted’ up!
This article explored the essential kitchen equipment you need to perform your everyday tasks, whether you are a pro chef or a keen home-cook, everyone deserves the most necessary and effective equipment to create culinary masterpieces.
Make sure you have your Maldon Salt stocked up in your kitchen as well! If you are running out, please feel free to browse on our Where to Buy Page to find your nearest store in which stocks our beloved Maldon Salt.