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13 essential kitchen tools for the home cook

You only need a baker’s dozen to cook marvelous meals at home

We would be more than happy if you ate with us seven days a week, but we know it isn’t an option for most. Plus, who doesn’t love a home cooked meal?

Many people think they need a kitchen full of fancy gadgets and complicated accessories to become a master chef. You don’t. Whipping up a delicious meal at home requires a handful of basic kitchen tools, a pinch of ingredients, and a dash of creativity.

Here are some basic kitchen tools that the home chef just can’t cook without…

Basic kitchen utensils that every home cook can’t live without

A quality set of knives. It is really difficult to dice vegetables, fillet a fish, or peel and core an apple with a dull knife. A good set of quality knives is essential to preparing any meal. Be sure to include a large chef’s knife and a paring knife (great for small and precise cuts) in your set.

Mixing bowls. Used to mix all types of batter, create your mom’s meatball recipe, or simply toss veggies in olive oil, a set of mixing bowls will definitely be put to good use.

Cutting boards. It’s not recommended to cut, chop, or julienne anything on top of your kitchen counter. Having at least two cutting boards—one for meat and one for produce—is key to the creation of any meal. A nice wooden one makes a great display piece when not in use, and small plastic cutting boards are excellent for herbs, fruits, and veggies. They are also cheap enough to replace when needed.

Wooden spoons. Whether you’re whipping up a sassy sauce or stew, you’re going to need something to stir it with. Also excellent for sautéing mushrooms and onions, and scrambling up some eggs, wooden spoons are the first cooking utensil that most cooks reach for.

Whisk. A whisk can handle a lengthy list of duties, making it hard to live without. Whether you’re whipping up some waffle batter, mixing cake batter, or creating a simple salad dressing, a whisk is the right tool for the job.

Measuring cups and spoons. Since most recipes require measurement, it’s a good idea to own a basic set of measuring cups and spoons.

Iron skillet. For use on any cooking surface, an iron skillet is an excellent replacement for nonstick cookware. Easy to clean and versatile for both stove stop and oven use, your iron skillet will also add flavour and iron (an important nutrient) to anything you cook in it.

Glass baking dishes. If you’re going to be making meals with the help of your oven, you will need at least one glass baking dish. Used to bake chicken, fish, vegetables, and much more—like cinnamon buns—a set of two or three should suit your needs.

Baking sheets. Prominently used for big batches of chocolate chip cookies, a baking sheet (or two) is also an excellent option when baking a fillet of fish or roasting root vegetables. It will even come in handy to roast nuts and seeds, and whip yourself up a bunch of homemade granola.

Grater. Having at least four different sized graters is great, but an old-school boxed grater will do the trick. You will use it for shredding cheese, grating carrots, ginger, onion, and zucchini, and for zesting lemons and limes.

Sauce pot + stock pot. Smaller sized pots are wonderful for melting butter, making oatmeal, and heating up leftovers, while larger pots are excellent for creating soups and stews, and boiling pasta.

Slow cooker. This marvelous kitchen appliance is inexpensive and does most of the work for you. With a small amount of preparation, the slow cooker allows for a delicious hot meal ready when you are. What more could you want?

Food processor. This jack-of-all-trades chops, shreds, blends, and purees like nobody’s business. This must-have kitchen appliance will become your best friend in no time.

Now you’re ready to get your kitchen set up and start nurturing your inner master chef.

A bonus addition to any kitchen is a hand blender. It takes up little space and is inexpensive. It can be used to blend smoothies (in the attached container), create quick dips and salsas, and blend fresh, healthy soups.

Make sure you don’t forget the salt! Most recipes require a pinch of salt for flavour, so your kitchen won’t be complete without it.

Bon appétit!

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