Getting started with cooking can be both exhilarating and intimidating. Having the right equipment can help you on your journey to developing skills in the kitchen which will allow you to express your culinary inventiveness! Grab an apron, be willing to “get a little messy” and enjoy the adventure. Remember that mistakes in the kitchen are building blocks to help you learn and grow in becoming a more proficient cook.
Read on for 5 things to pick up to get you started -
1. A set of good knives.
In particular, a chef’s knife, paring knife and serrated knife for slicing bread. Knives should be comfortable in your hands. For your paring knife which you will use for peeling and coring, look for one where the blade extends through the handle for optimum support.
2. Cutting Boards.
If we want to cut this necessitates a cutting board. Your best bet is to have a selection of wooden and plastic. Wooden boards can also be very decorative for your kitchen. They are also very porous so keep these for fruits, vegetables and herbs. Many people keep a separate wooden cutting board for bread. Plastic cutting boards can easily be sanitized and run through the dishwasher so keep these for raw proteins. If you want to really get organized you could get a set of color coated cutting boards as they do in professional kitchens and have one designated for meat, fish and poultry.
3. Mixing Bowls.
Look for a set with various sizes, optimally in glass or metal. Plastic can be porous and tends to pick up flavors from what you last prepared. A wide and shallow shape will allow you to do your mixing without added splashes and spill. Many mixing bowl sets come with seal-type covers for added ease. Skid-proof bottoms and pouring spouts are also beneficial features to look for.
4. Set of Cookware.
A wide range of cookware sets can give you the essentials you need to get started. Sets range anywhere from three to 18 pieces. Look around to see what you most want to invest in. Try and choose a set that will give you a saucepan, skillet, frying pan, sauté pan and a stock pot for boiling pasta and making soups.
5. Spatulas and Whisks.
Having both rubber and metal spatulas will take you from getting into those corners in the mixing bowl to flipping your pancakes with no flops! Purchase a whisk with thin wires for whipping up that soufflé you will prepare for your upcoming dinner party! Avoid whisks that appear flimsy. You want a good base so you are not wasting effort.
Need some extra support? Taking a community cooking class, watching YouTube videos on cooking and investing in a cookbook for beginners can be resourceful. A bit of advice – start with “cooking the foods you love”.