If you’re someone who loves cooking, you’re likely always looking for an excuse to summon all your favorite people and prepare a meal for them. The possibilities are endless, and good food always has a magical way of bringing people together and cultivating wonderful conversations that make for memorable nights. The following will explore a few kitchen items you might want to get your hands on if you want to be ready for an epic meal creation whenever inspiration strikes.
Slow cookers aren’t just for grandparents; they allow you to create meals you’d never be able to pull off with a regular oven or stovetop set up. Countless meals taste better if they’ve been cooked slowly at low heat for several hours, but in the modern world, most of us have obligations like work, school, and other activities that make it hard to schedule out eight hours for babysitting a pot on the stove. Slow cookers allow you to get that super juicy meat that’s tender and perfect while still having a life. As a bonus, slow cooking at lower temperatures results in less nutrient loss from preparation, making these meals healthier for you and whoever you’re cooking for. Combining a slow-cooked meal with a quick broil in the oven—let’s say a juicy chicken that’s been slowly cooking for nine hours given some spices and popped in the oven for a few minutes at 500—can create the perfect combination of crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, some foods require quick searing. Grilling is an art form, and the possibilities are endless, particularly when you get into mixing in cedar planks or smoking. Simply peruse through Restaurant Stella how-to articles, and you’ll be shocked by how many options you have when grilling. Be sure to get your hands on a grill scrubber and a tool that can handle flipping or moving objects on the grill without melting or burning. You’ll also want to experiment with fuel sources to find what works well with your meals and what has a negative impact on the flavor. Not everyone likes the same fuel sources.
Non-Slip Cutting Boards
For practicality’s sake, you’re going to want cutting boards that don’t slip around on your countertop while you’re chopping. Cutting boards that slip create unnecessary risk; there’s no need to deal with losing a portion of your meal to the floor or cutting your fingers if you don’t need to. Find yourself a few cutting boards that are designed not to slip around or something like a non-slip mat that goes beneath the ones you already have. This will give you more control over how finely chopped something is but also keep you safer.
A Good Knife Sharpener
While people talk about the importance of good knives (they are vital to a pleasant cooking experience), not enough people talk about the role of the knife sharpener. No matter how fantastic your knives are, there’s going to come a day when they feel a bit duller. This is inevitable, especially if you’re someone who uses your knives a lot. Find yourself a knife sharpener that you like and know how to use. Watch a few online videos if you have to; there’s a very particular technique that’s best for knives.
Bowls Of Varying Sizes
It’s crazy how handy it is to have a few extra bowls of odd sizes lying around. Mixing half your ingredients in one bowl and then half in another is sometimes what makes all the difference. The flavors of the first half can mingle while the textures of the second half blend together; you can throw everything into one dish at the last moment, and this helps preserve distinction in flavors. If you’re stuck using a single bigger bowl for everything, you might not even realize the possibilities that come with selective preparation.
Blender Or Food Processor
Yes, you can stir and mix and mash till your heart’s content, but some recipes call for extra smoothness. A machine blender or processor can help you perfect the texture of soups, sauces, and stews (having a portion of the stew blended and a portion not-blended makes for the heartiest, savory stew imaginable). Whatever model you decide on, be sure that you learn about how to take it apart and clean it. Food can get stuck and be left to go moldy if you don’t understand how to get the blades out and clean all sides of the device.
The above list should help you get your kitchen going. Of course, as you discover new recipes and cuisine styles, you might discover additional things that aren’t on this list. You also need to know yourself as a chef. If you’re messy, get an apron. If you like to grind your own herbs and spices, get a mortar and pestle.