Cooking is one of my greatest joys. I find quite a bit of personal fulfillment in making something delicious for my family while exploring new flavor pairings and food. However, it hasn’t always been that way. I used to loathe cooking because it took too long and nothing ever turned out how I wanted. Lots of undercooked or charred to a crisp chicken. Soggy veggies. Over-flavored noodles. I just couldn’t seem to get it right.
Then I took a knife skills class at Sur La Table. It was a gift that completely changed my relationship with food. You’re probably wondering how a knife class changed my cooking. Well, let me tell you…
I learned that cooking is all about the tools – having the proper ones and using them correctly. I never thought much about the knives I was using in my kitchen until I took this class. Guess what… quality, sharp knives make cook prep phenomenally faster (and safer). The class also featured other kitchen tools (it is a marketing channel for Sur La Table, after all), and in the end, I had a beautiful, palatable meal to eat. Ta da!
Since then, I’ve truly and deeply loved cooking. I find it to be a great creative outlet for me. I mean, in the end, I get to eat my creation! This love didn’t come from just getting a nice set of knives. Over the years, I’ve accumulated other tools that keep my enjoyment in the kitchen high.
Here are the seven kitchen tools essential to becoming a master chef (or at least making you feel like one!)
- Knives: This one seems obvious but most people hesitate to invest. Sharp, quality knives make all the difference. Don’t go crazy though. You don’t need to buy the block with a hundred different knives in it. Just make sure you have a chef’s knife (I prefer the 6″ or 8″ over the 10″), a serrated bread knife, a paring knife, and of course, steak knives. Personally, I prefer Wustof knives and you can start your collection here. Don’t forget the knife sharpener!
- Garlic Press: Years ago, I would have told you that I wasn’t a fan of garlic. It was too powerful. Turns out, I didn’t like it because I wasn’t preparing it properly! Using a garlic press to mince not only gets the garlic to the correct size, but it also releases the juices and flavoring for better incorporation into the dish. If you buy this set from Amazon, you also get a silicon roller that strips the garlic clove of its casing like magic!
- Glass Citrus Juicer: No need for fancy appliances or handheld squeezers that are prone to break. Use a good ol’ fashioned glass juicer to squeeze out the flavor!
- Potato Masher: Silly, I know. But come on, making potatoes from scratch is so amazing. Also, if you’re into deviled eggs, a potato masher is a great way to break up the yokes.
- Can Strainer: I’m about to change your life for less than $8. A can strainer allows you to drain the liquid from a can without losing any of the contents. This one, in particular, fits inside a tuna can for easy squeezing to drain.
- Prep Bowls with Lids: I adore my Pampered Chef prep bowls. They are a great size and the lids allow me to prepare ingredients ahead of time (perfect for Thanksgiving or food prep). Don’t know a Pampered Chef rep? You can get them on Amazon here.
- Wood Cutting Board with Drip Edge: I use my wood cutting board multiple times a day. In fact, it’s my primary food prep surface. We prefer wood over plastic in our household, because it’s easier to clean and we don’t run the risk of plastic breaking off into our food. The added drip edge collects juices from meat and veggies (oh, those tomatoes!) while cutting. Overall, it’s perfection! Here is one similar to ours if you’re in the market for one!
Use this list to jumpstart stocking your kitchen and you will be ready to tackle all the delicious meals you can dream of!
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