If you don't normally cook, social distancing has probably made you think about starting to learn. With shelter-in-place directives in many states, and public spaces such as theaters, parks, museums, bars, and restaurants all shut down, people are turning to cooking not just for sustenance, but for pleasure and entertainment as well. If you are new to cooking, check out a few of the basics in this article to help guide your new culinary endeavor.
For a new cook, measuring cups and spoons are essential. While you may think your guessing skills are on point, tossing too much of a certain ingredient in a dish can wreak serious havoc on a recipe. Always having measuring cups and spoons on hand will help you make delicious recipes every time.
There are multiple sizes of whisks for a reason. Small whisks are used to break up food into smaller pieces, such as eggs for scrambled eggs or salad dressing. When you're trying to get a lot of air into a batter, bigger whisks are better. Use a bigger whisk for things like brownie batter or whipping cream.
If you're the type of person who is always on the go this pot will definitely become your best friend. It is perfect for making soups or chilis while you run around the house doing other things. The size makes it perfect for a large batch and the heavy bottom is perfect for browning. Seriously, you need this in your life.
While it may be easier to just sprinkle some pepper from a store-bought tin on your pasta, you'll never want to go back to that once you try pepper from an actual grinder. You're left with a sharp seasoning that will bring extra flavor to any dish. Plus, it'll last a pretty long time, if not forever.
Who doesn't love cheese sprinkled on everything?! A fine microplane grater is just what you need to turn a block of delicious cheese into tiny specks of flavor. You can also use it to shave things like lemon, chocolate or spices. Use the grater when garnishing foods such as pastas or salads.
Y-shaped peelers make peeling vegetables, and just about everything else so much easier. The handle is easy to hold and gives you the leverage you need to peel vegetables with ease. You'll be amazed at the countless recipes you can now make with a Y-shaped peeler in hand.
A solid silicone spatula is good to have for hygiene purposes. In a normal spatula the two pieces detach, allowing for water, grime and mildew to grow in between the cracks. After only a few other tools, a spatula is one of the most useful. It can be used to scrape food from a bowl, cook meat on the stovetop or make soup.
Squeezing lemons by hand is a hard task that rarely ever gets you the amount of lemon juice you need. A citrus juicer allows you to get more lemon juice out of your lemons every time. Use it any time a recipe or drink calls for lemon juice for that extra tart flavor!
Offset spatulas are the perfect spreading tool. The different sizes allow you to tackle different recipes in the same manor. You can use the small spatula to spread avocado on toast and the large spatula can be used to ice that delicious birthday cake you made.
A cast iron skillet is a must-have for any new chef. Its heavy bottom and even heat conduction makes it perfect for cooking meat, fish, eggs or basically everything. You can also transfer things from cooking on the stovetop to the oven in the same pan. Plus have you ever heard of a skillet cookie?! Yes, go buy a cast iron skillet and make one now.
It's called a fish spatula because it's perfect for flipping fish. The flexible blade makes it easy to flip the fish without it falling apart. But because of its flexible blade, it is also good for transferring fresh cookies out of the oven, flipping anything on the grill, making eggs, pretty much anything that needs a gentle touch.
A scale may seem a little too high end for you and your starting cooking needs, but it actually makes cooking and the cleaning up process a lot easier. Instead of having multiple measuring cups and spoons lying around, simply have a bowl on the digital scale and measure out all ingredients in the bowl. Everything has a serving size, such as 1/4 cup, and what that equates in grams. Less fuss and less clean up. It's a win win.
If you're only going to own one knife, this is the knife you need. It can cut literally anything and everything. From slicing a thick slab of meat to thinly slicing potatoes, it can do it all. Since it does a lot of work, it needs a lot of love too. Make sure it stays pretty sharp because a dull knife not only can cause damage to your meats, but you as well.
On the other hand, a pairing knife is good for small tasks, like cutting cherry tomatoes. While it isn't necessarily essential to have, it comes in handy when trying to cut smaller foods.
When starting out on your cooking endeavors, it's always a good idea to have a digital thermometer. There's nothing worse than sitting down to eat a delicious dinner only to find out the meat you made is still raw. Gross! An instant-read thermometer allows you to see the temperature of the meat so you know for sure when it is done.
A colander may not be on everyone's top "to buy" list, but it does come in handy. It is perfect for washing veggies, beans or straining pasta. You'll be able to wash them thoroughly and drain all the water.
Having a corkscrew will mean you'll never have to use an unconventional method of opening a bottle of
Seriously, who doesn't love mashed potatoes?! And we're not talking about the frozen, pop in the microwave kind either. We're talking homemade, buttery mashed potatoes. A potato masher is a must have. The curved head will allow you to get into the corners of the bowl so you're not left with chunks.
While this spoon may not seem necessary, once you start using it, you'll never stop. It's perfect for getting veggies or eggs out of boiling water or oil. Whatever you use it for, it will become a staple in your kitchen.
Tongs are another kitchen must-have. They can be used for turning meat on the grill, tossing vegetables in a skillet or even mixing together a big salad. Make sure to buy tongs with scalloped tips for a firm grip on whatever you're grabbing.