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5 Cooking Tools Every Beginner Chef Should Have
Posted: Saturday September 4, 2010
Many food-obsessed people think they need to have a kitchen full of all the latest appliances and fancy kitchen tools. If you watch a typical hour of television on certain cable channels, you're likely to see a number of commercials advertising all kind of goofy products that promise to slice and dice and generally make your life easier. But if you believe the hype, you'll soon have a kitchen full of pricey gadgets that you'll never even use.
That being said, there are a few essentials that any well-stocked kitchen should not be without. In addition to the standard utensils and implements, it's also a good idea to have these classic cooking tools easily at hand whenever you're cooking.
Cutting boards and knives: If you want to be able to cook food at home, it's best to start with knives and cutting boards. These are the implements that you'll use for every meal. As you're cooking, your cutting board will be a sort of home base-the spot that you return to again and again as you move through the cooking process.
Mixing bowls: In spite of what the name suggests, mixing bowls are for more than just mixing. They're where you put all your ingredients during different stages of the cooking process. For example, if you're cutting up several different vegetables to roast on the skillet, you'll use a mixing bowl to add each vegetable as you cut it up. Later, mixing bowls are also useful as serving dishes for salads and other mixed dishes.
Measuring spoons and measuring cups: Especially if you're going to be cooking recipes out of a book or off the internet, you're going to need some measuring tools to help ensure that all your ingredients are in the right amount. You might be surprised by how easily a seemingly minor mis-measurement can ruin a meal. If you want your dishes to have a professional flavor, use your measuring cups and spoons to make sure everything is present in the perfect amounts.
Cast-iron cookware: Non-stick cookware is popular these days among non-professional cooks, but most professional chefs scoff at it. If you want to be a truly skilled cook, you're going to have to learn how to cook with cast-iron pans. Even though they tend to stick, it's important to learn how to use oils in the cooking process both for anti-sticking purposes and for flavor. Plus, non-stick cookware comes with chemicals that many people are wary of.
Timers: When it comes to cooking, it may help to think of time as just another ingredient; if you put in too much or too little, things can go awry. And when you're waiting for something to cook, it's very easy to lose track of time, to forget what you were doing, or to misjudge the amount of time that has passed. That's where a handy, easy-to-use timer comes in. If possible, find one that allows you to set multiple timers at once for the various components of your meal.
Caterina Christakos is a published author and reviewer. Read her original article source here.