Food does more than just nourish your body. The right dish can transport you to another world, and enjoying a delicious meal with friends and family can be a massive mood-booster.
Cooking is something everyone is capable of doing, but not everyone decides to put in the time and effort to improve their skills. Preparing high-quality meals takes more than just a simple ability to fry things in a pan or boil some water. You need the right recipes and skills, but you also need the right tools.
Are you interested in cooking amazing meals at home? Here are some of the top tools professional chefs recommend everyone have in their kitchen.
1. Side burners for your outdoor kitchen
If you cook outside on the grill, side burners will make your life a lot easier. Most of the time, when you cook outside, it’s going to be for multiple people. In many cases, you’ll need to use multiple burners to cook the meal faster. For example, you might want to cook chicken, boil potatoes, and fry up some onions at the same time.
Having side burners on your outdoor grill will make this possible. When you can’t fit everything on the main burners, additional burners will come in handy. You won’t ever have to worry about making people wait for you to finish cooking a hamburger just to warm up some sauce.
2. A knife sharpener
Sharp knives are not just easier to use, but they’re also safer. You don’t want to cut yourself with any knife, but a blunt knife will hurt more. This makes a knife sharpener an important tool for safety and efficiency.
Most chefs agree that you don’t actually need to buy an entire block of knives, and you can get by with just a few different types, like a paring knife, a bread knife, and a Chef’s knife. When you keep all of your knives sharp, they’ll be easier to use, and you will be less likely to hurt yourself.
3. Functional counter space
Although it’s not technically a tool, having functional counter space is a must. If you can’t move around your kitchen with ease, and make a smooth transition between the sink, refrigerator, and stove, then you’re going to struggle to cook good meals.
Not everyone can afford to get their entire kitchen remodeled, so do what you can to use your space as effectively as possible. You might have to rearrange items, like your toaster and blender, but it’s worth it because you won’t get frustrated when you’re trying to prepare meals.
4. A cutting board
It sounds obvious, right? Who doesn’t have a cutting board in their kitchen? You’d be surprised to know that many people don’t, and they either cut their food on plates or directly on the counter. That’s not good, and even butcher block countertops aren’t meant to be used for food prep unless you’ve spent the extra money to have them specially made for that.
A cutting board will be your best friend in the kitchen. It will give you a hard surface to slice fruits and veggies as well as meat. The best cutting boards are made from wood, and if you don’t want to move a heavy block, get bamboo boards – they’re a little lighter.
5. A pasta roller
Most people start out rolling pasta by hand, but no matter how much you enjoy this, it will get tiresome fast. Professional chefs might roll dough by hand for T.V. shows, but when they’re actually in the kitchen making full meals for restaurant patrons, they’re using a roller.
6. A microplane
You’re not supposed to use your cheese grater for lemon peels and other things that require a fine grate. That’s what a microplane is for, and everyone needs one of these in their kitchen. If you’ve never needed one yet, it’s only a matter of time before you dive into a recipe calling for lemon zest. You’ll be glad you bought one long in advance because large chunks of lemon peel just don’t cut it.
7. A mandoline slicer
Having a slicer that you can adjust for thickness is absolutely necessary. Sure, you can cut your potatoes manually, but a mandoline slicer will give you the perfectly thin potato slices you need to make potato chips.
What’s in your kitchen?
Whether you’re an aspiring chef or just looking for tools to make life easy, the items outlined in this article will help. There are plenty of other tools you can get, but if you start with these, you’ll notice a dramatic increase in the time it takes to prepare your meals.