Eat. Home. Live.

In depth ramblings about cooking, homekeeping, and whatever else I decide to write about.

My 5 Kitchen Must Haves

This morning, I was reading an article on one of my favorite money saving blogs, Wisebread, about the five kitchen luxuries that are worth the money and 5 that aren’t.  While I was reading it, I realized that pretty much everyone’s list would be completely different.A quick look at the comments section confirms it. Here are my five luxuries:

1. Slow Cooker– I use mine once or twice a week for everything from beans to stock to curry dishes. I love not having to tend to a meal. I put it on, and come back a few hours later to a flavorful dish that is ready to serve.
2. Good Pans– I have a couple of cheapy non-sticks from Ikea, which I love. But nothing compares to my Staub dutch oven and Le Creuset skillet. The author of the Wisebread article is right. You don’t need many good pans. I cook ever day and it is my main hobby. I have 5 pans and never have any issues:
  • Small non-stick sauce pot
  • Non-stick omelet pan
  • Large Staub dutch oven
  • Large Le Creuset skillet
  • Pasta pot with strainer 
From my experience, really good cooks don’t always have fancy kitchen, or tons of expensive do-dads. Not long ago, I actually read an article that said that the more expensive your kitchen is, the less likely you are to cook in it. when you consider the modest kitchens of the greats like Julia Childs and Mark Bittman, it’s easy to believe that assertion.
3. Good Chef’s Knife– This is another Wisebread favorite that I agree with. I actually have two. You don’t have to spend more than $30-50 to get a good knife. If you can learn how to properly sharpen our knives, they will serve you even better. Again, with knives, you don’t need very many. I have 4 good knives and a vegetable peeler: 
  • Paring (which I rarely use)
  • Serrated bread knife
  • Two chef’s knives
If you have good knives, store them upside down in a knife block, or store them in a lined knife holder to protect the blades.
4. Blender– I make all of my salad dressings from scratch. The blender is incredibly valuable for this task. I also use mine for smoothies and for pureeing soups. You can mix dressings by hand, but this really emulsifies them and gives them the best texture. 
5. Rice Cooker– I couldn’t cook brown rice or quinoa consistently without my rice cooker. Since we eat these foods regularly, the rice cooker is a must. It is probably my favorite kitchen gadget.  I have an Aroma digital model with Fuzzy Logic technology (which is essential in a rice cooker.) I got it for $30 at Costco.

What are the kitchen tools you can’t live without?

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This entry was posted on March 6, 2012 by in Cooking 101, Eat.