Turn on the TV and you may come across an infomercial selling a “revolutionary” product for making the perfect omelet. Or flip through your Facebook feed and see a video for a new Kickstarter project for the sous-vide machine that will top all.
While these products and gadgets are definitely cool and worth trying out, you definitely don’t need them in order to create delicious meals from the comfort of your own home. In fact, there are only a handful of items that qualify as true must-haves for your kitchen.
No matter whether you’re a novice cook or a world-class chef, the items on this list are all you need to prepare any delicious and high-quality meal to your liking.
1. Chef Knife
This is probably the most overlooked of all the items on this list, but it’s certainly the most important. Your chef knife will be there for almost every step of the way as you create a meal from scratch, and you’ll need it for most any task during prep. Whether you need to trim the fat off a meat cut, filet a fish, mince herbs or dice onions, you can do it all with a well-sharpened and quality blade. Having one that’s a full tang steel blade – meaning it’s been crafted from a single piece of metal – is the safest option as it gives you the most stability and control during cutting.
2. Cutting Board
Let’s face it: what good is a sharp, perfect chef knife without a surface to cut on? A trusty and durable cutting board is one that goes with you anywhere you need to cut, chop, slice, dice and mince anything during your food prep. Generally, wood cutting boards are the best option because they protect your knives, your foo, and your overall cooking experience.
3. Cast Iron Pan
You’ll be hard-pressed to find something a well-seasoned cast iron skillet can’t do. A good cast iron pan retains and distributes heat more evenly and gives you the much-needed reliability and consistency that you need for searing meats, slow cooking curries, sauteing anything you’d like.
4. Food Processor
A single device that can help you chop, dice, mince, puree and mix dough all in one? There’s not much else that needs to be said about how useful a good food processor can be.
5. Slow Cooker
Perhaps one of the easiest and best items to have in your kitchen if you’re looking for a hands-off approach to your cooking. This is best especially when you’re making chili or anything that requires a long stewing process because it’s safer, less involved and more energy efficient than keeping your stovetop on.
Of course, there are so many more items that a well-stocked kitchen can (and should) have, but with this list of the basics above, you can cook delicious meals on par with those in five-star restaurants.
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