Over the past two years I have fostered a serious love for cooking and baking. I spend most of my free time in the kitchen or trying to think of fun new recipes to try.
When I first started cooking I was under the impression that you needed several tools and gadgets in order to cook anything fancy or impressive, but that isn’t the case. While our kitchen is filled with lots of different dishes, pans, and tools there are a few items that we use almost every day or at least several times a week.
To me, these items are the kitchen essentials that I would be lost without:
- Chef’s Knife: This item is worth a splurge. I had a knife set in college and I rarely used it because the knife wasn’t good enough quality. I am someone who isn’t the greatest at using knives in the kitchen (read: I am too clumsy) and having a poor knife actually made it easier to cut myself. We received a professional knife set as a wedding gift and it has made all the difference!
- Cast Iron Skillet: Before we got a cast iron I honestly thought “why do we need this? What will we use this for?”. The answer is EVERYTHING! We have so many dishes that we use our cast iron for. It is great for meat dishes with a sauce, roasting veggies in the oven, and our personal favorite, English Muffins. (another version here)
- Wooden Spoons/Spatulas: I prefer cooking with wooden/bamboo utensils over plastic or metal because the plastic can often melt or chip and the metal can damage pots and pans.
- Baking Sheets: We use our baking sheets just about every day whether it is for roasting vegetables, broiling bread, or baking cookies. Finding good quality baking sheets that wont warp or bend is definitely a must. We use Nordicware baking sheets and LOVE them.
- Boos Block: Since Andrew and I have been married we have gone through 2 wooden cutting boards. The first one cracked and the second one started to warp making it difficult to use. We finally decided to get a Boos Block after hearing such great things. This board is incredibly sturdy and great quality. It of course requires some maintenance to keep it from warping, cracking, etc. but definitely worth it!
- Glass Bowls: When I am cooking or baking I like to work mise en place (mess in place) meaning I get all of my ingredients ready ahead of time rather than as I am going. For me this makes it go much faster and keeps things tidy. Having a set of glass bowls with various sizes is so helpful to prep ingredients!
Kitchen Aid Mixer: Ok so this one definitely isn’t a necessity but we use it for so much! If you are someone who cooks often I think this is a great kitchen tool. With all of the amazing attachments for the mixer you can use it for so many things (pasta, spiralizer, food processor, meat grinder, etc. Not to mention it is super helpful when baking)!
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