Equipment Essentials

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by le francais, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. le francais

    le francais

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    At home cook
    I couldn't find a thread on this so here's my question:

    How much equipment does a cook really need? Beyond two of three knives and the obvious equipment such as an oven, cooktops, and a cutting board there's a whole world of tools and accessories but which stuff is really the most useful and versatile? Are there things every cook should have? For example how many frying pans and pots and saute pans does one really need? What sizes?

    As a poor but enthusiastic cook whom happens to be an art student who finally moved into a new place with a decent kitchen I am currently buying some kit but I am having a hard time deciding what I really need for the most possible versatility.

    Any advice?
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    How many do you cook for? That will answer some of the how many and how big of cooking pots and pans.

    What do you like to cook? If you like to cook Asian, a wok would be a good item to get.

    Vegetable peeler


    measuring cups/spoons


    various sizes of mixing bowls

    Storage containers for flour sugar and such

    Ladle, large serving spoons

    rubber scrapers

    9x13 pyrex baking dish

    rimmed half sheet pans

    cooling rack

    can opener

    lid lifter


    Power equipment, a handheld mixer is a good start. Later you can add blender, food processor, standing mixer.

    If you're into baking, then you should add some of common bakeware sizes

    9" pie pan

    8x8 cake pan

    9" round cake pan

    muffin tin

    any specialty shapes like Bundt or Angel food that you like to make.

    loaf pan

    Certainly more things can be added and I probably forget some important ones too.
  3. le francais

    le francais

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    At home cook
    Thanks! :) How many people do I cook for... Hm... Usually just my girlfriend and me, sometimes our parents come over too.

    I don't usually cook asian food, I tend to stick to French and Italian stuff.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I Just Like Food
    having checked your location, you should adapt my US measurements. But you get the idea.

    For what you've described, i'd want a big pot for stock, boiling pasta, soups, beans and that sort of thing. 12 quarts US.

    A Dutch/French oven of about 6 quarts for braises, soups and such.

    a 10 and 12 inch saute pan. I'm not a fan of the 8 inch pans, but you probably have more use for that than I with crepes and omelets and such.

    a 2 and a 4 quart sauce pan.

    A couple of different sized baking dishes for casseroles, adapt them to baking and roasting too.

    A baking stone would be a nice addition for breads.

    Rolling pin (see, I forgot an important item from my first list)
  5. thomas rhee

    thomas rhee

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    Professional Chef
    I cook a lot at home as well but the food I cook at home is more simple and not too much different from most home enthusiast cooks.

    For knives, even as a chef, the basic requirement is a 8" or 10" chef's knife, a slicer and/or sashimi knife, a serrated knife and a paring knife as well as a kitchen steel and sharpening stone.

    Other than knives, things that I like to have around and some are essential while others are "luxury" items.  It really depends on your cooking style and how many people you entertain that will determine if you need an item or how many you will need.

    - peeler (Kuhn Rikon are the best and they're cheap)

    - can opener

    - wine key

    - a nice set of dinnerware (plates, bowls, etc..) in varying shapes and sizes

    - a nice set of silverware including a good set of steak knives

    - a nice set of various glassware including wine glasses

    - a cutting board

    - cast iron pan

    - cast iron grill

    - non stick pan (8"-12")

    - stainless pan (8"-12")

    - stockpot (at least 8 quarts)

    - sauce pans (varying sizes from (2 quarts to 4 quarts)

    - roasting pan with roasting rack

    - half sheet pans

    - immursion blender

    - food processor

    - KitchenAid mixer

    - rice cooker

    - slow cooker

    - toaster or toaster oven

    - whisk

    - kitchen shears

    - butcher's twine

    - empty wine or scotch bottles with bottle pourers attached (for various oils and vinegars)

    - kitchen tong

    - fish turner

    - cooking and saucing spoons

    - cooking thermometer

    - kitchen timer (I have a Sysco 4 way timer but most times I just use the ones on my oven or microwave)

    - colander/strainer (preferably stainless steel)

    - high heat spatula

    - silpat mat

    - various baking pans/molds

    - stainless mold rings and cutters in various sizes

    - pastry bag with basic tips

    - portable digital scale

    - sieve or fine mesh strainer with handle

    - measuring spoon set and a 2 cup measuring cup

    - mixing bowls (various sizes)