Tips to stock the kitchen with cooking tools

July 27, 2015

To fill out your supply of basic cooking equipment, you will need a number of standard, simple kitchen utensils. Buy sturdy versions of these tools that are dishwasher safe. Pick heat-proof plastic or metal tools that can be used with hot or cold dishes.

Tips to stock the kitchen with cooking tools

What you'll need

For stirring and mixing, you need stainless steel or wooden spoons; for lifting, tongs and a plastic or metal spatula; for lifting solids from liquid, a large solid spoon and slotted spoon; for serving, a ladle and pie or cake server. For handling hot dishes, you need oven pads or mitts. Use a colander for washing or draining foods. Kitchen scissors can be faster than knives for many chores, such as cutting up chicken or mincing herbs.

Roasting tools

If you roast a lot of meat and fowl, you'll need a meat thermometer and a metal baster, as well as the appropriate roasting pans.

Baking tools

To mix batter or dough, you need bowls of various sizes in either stainless steel, glass or pottery. Other tools include wooden spoons, rubber scrapers, an electric mixer, flour sifter, rolling pin, wire whip, grater and pastry brush. If you like cake decorating, you will want a pastry tube and tips for applying icing.

Measuring tools

For dry ingredients, you need a standard set of individual measuring cups from 50 to 250 millilitres (1/4 to one cup) that you can level off at the top. For liquids, use a one litre (four cup) heat-proof glass measurer, marked in millilitres and ounces along the side. You will also need a standard set of measuring spoons from 0.5 to 15 millilitres (1/4 teaspoon to one tablespoon) for seasonings.

Cutting board

Good knives should be used only on wooden or plastic cutting boards. Polyethylene is the favourite of many cooks. It's a thermoplastic that's heated, molded, cooled and cut into a chopping block. Usually there is a rough surface on one side to help hold food in place while you cut it. While it's a matter of debate whether polyethylene is more hygienic than wood, it is easier to sanitize — just put it in the dishwasher.

Other cooks still prefer wood. Most wood cutting blocks are made of maple, cherry or oak. Be sure to get one that is at least 3.5 centimetres (1 1⁄2 inches) thick for a heavy and secure chopping surface. A hardwood cutting board should be periodically rubbed with mineral oil to help seal it against impurities. Using fine steel wool, rub the oil in and wipe off any excess. Season a new board about once a week for the first month. After you use the board, scour it with a brush and soapy water to remove food particles. Rinse and wipe with a clean cloth dampened with a bleach solution to help sanitize the board. If possible, store it upright with space for it to breathe front and back.

Once you've ticked off each item on this kitchen tool checklist, you'll be ready to amaze your friends and family with your superiour cooking and baking skills. Bon appetit!

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