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August 2018
« Mar    

Some must haves in the kitchen:

These are some must haves in the kitchen to make life easier and your cooking more consistent.  I don’t have everything yet but some of these things are on my wish list!

Cast iron frying pan – I think these are a great tool, they distribute heat well and when well seasoned are a great alternative to no-stick pans (there is some health concerns about these and since I have a parrot, I can’t use them at all because they are very bad for birds) I cook everything in my cast iron pan, it is so handy and diverse.  (Cast iron care and seasoning post to come sometime soon)

Dutch/French oven – This is a heavy cast iron pot that is coated in ceramic, it holds and distributes heat very well and perfect for soups, stews, roasting and braising.  They come in a lot of sizes, I would recommend having both a smaller and a larger one for different applications.  A recipe that I used with my Dutch oven is Chicken Tikka Masala

Grill pan – Also cast iron, you can grill indoors with this tool.  Not exactly the same as outdoor grilling but it does allow some of the vibe to be there and it allows the grease to fall away from whatever you are cooking.  Plus most grill pans have two sides one with the grates and one side with a griddle.  (I don’t have one yet but this is on my wish list!)  They often come pre seasoned right from the store. 

Food processer/blender- Both of these are great to have to chop up or puree soups, salsas, sauces and much more. 

Pizza stone – Not only good for pizza, but you can do breads and other baked goods on here.  I also keep it in the oven when cooking to help the oven maintain an even cooking temperature, the stone retains heat and distributes it much like cast iron.  I put the pan right on the stone when cooking!

Instant read thermometer – Is it done?  To prevent food borne illness, an instant read thermometer can tell you if your food is cooked through and is done.  You should at least have a regular thermometer for this chore if nothing else. 

Quality Sharp Knife – Everyone should have at least one nice chop chop knife.  There are two types I would recommend for most of your cutting needs.  One is the popular Chef’s knife and my favorite is a Japanese Santoku Style.  There two other knives that should be in the drawer, one is a good paring knife and the other is a serrated (bread) knife, all others are just not needed.  The most important thing with the knife is to keep it sharp, chefs will sharpen their knives daily and hone them multiple times through the day, you don’t have to be this diligent since chefs cut with their knifes all day long but you should sharpen them once a month and hone them after every use.  You will hurt yourself quicker from a dull knife then a sharp one. 


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