What do I need in my kitchen? Tools/Cookware Reccomendations, please!

Discussion in 'Cooking Equipment Reviews' started by katrinas, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. katrinas


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    At home cook
    I've been cooking for a long time, but finally realized this is what I love and want to do. Probably not professionally, but I really like spending my time in the kitchen.

    Well, I have a set of pots/pans. They are WearEver Freedom 18/8 Stainless Steel. We got a knife set with the pots & pans, but they are kinda crappy. The blade keeps coming out of the handle of one of them. Yet, my Mom refuses to trash it. If I ever get a chance, that bugger is gone!

    And a bunch of random utensils, and a hand mixer. A pizza pan and a 13"x9" baking pan. That is basically everything I have. Oh, and a crock-pot.

    What items would you recommend I need? I've got a small budget.

    I tried the search bar, but either I'm lacking in sleep or just blind!

    Last edited: Mar 7, 2012
  2. kitson


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    Home Cook
    I think your tools are very good,much better than mine. I am a new cook but I like cooking. Let's make more delicious food.
  3. denverveggienut


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    At home cook
    Here are some things I find extremely useful:

    12" cast iron skillet

    8" cast iron skillet

    big stock pot


    bamboo stirring stick

    metal spatula/burger flipper

    big spoon


    colander (bonus if it fits into your stockpot)

    Chinese cleaver (a thinner vegetable one rather than the bone-crushing ones)

    paring knife

    some method of sharpening the knives

    wood cutting board

    second cutting board if you do meat/chicken/fish

    box grater


    big Chinese bowls- good for prepped veggies, eating cereal, soup etc.

    a couple of even bigger bowls for mixing things

    Mason jars for food storage

    A lot of this stuff can be cheap, cheap, cheap. You probably already have a stock pot and a saucepan in your set, so no worries there. The cast iron stuff takes a little extra care, but it is inexpensive, works very well, as is versatile. You can bake in it, too. Basically, you need a big one and a little one. I measured the top diameter of mine, not the base. Anyway, 8" versus 12" makes it sound like they're close in size, but they're really not. Lodge is the only remaining US maker of cast iron, and their stuff is good and comes pre-seasoned. Make sure to keep hot pads near the stove. Cast iron teaches you to use them, because the handles get hot! It is nice to have lids for your cast iron skillets. If some of your existing lids fit the new skillets, then you're good to go. The cast iron lids are heavy and expensive.

    I like Chinese cleavers. Most folks like Chef's knives. People say good things about Victorinox/Forschner knives. Like the skillets, just get a big one (for most things) and a small one (for detail work). Make sure you have some method for sharpening. Self-adhesive sandpaper of various grits stuck to mousepads is supposedly an effective way to get knives "scary sharp." I used a Crock Stick for years, and am now moving to Japanese waterstones, but there is a learning curve for that, and they're not cheap. 

    A big cutting board makes things easier. Stay away from cutting boards made of glass or hard plastic or any kind of stone. They'll dull the knives.

    I like Mason jars for food storage. They don't work with everything, of course (think- leftover pizza!), but for the things that do work for, they work very well because the glass doesn't retain odors or warp out of shape in the dishwasher.

    Hope this is helpful!

    John Bratton

    Denver, CO