THE WELL STOCKED KITCHEN: UTENSILS

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Every day on television and in advertising, we receive messages about the tools we “need” to have available in our kitchen to make delicious dishes. But the truth is that very few of these newfangled items are actually necessary.

When you’re outfitting your kitchen, there are only a few tools that should actually be must haves on your list. And this list rarely changes over time. What tools were used regularly in your mother’s kitchen will likely be similar to what you should have available, as well.

To start off your kitchen on the right foot, we wanted to share with you our favorite utensils to have available in your kitchen. This list includes everything you need to have available in your perfectly well stocked utensil drawer.

HOW TO STORE YOUR UTENSILS

Typically we recommend either displaying your utensils in something such as an old crock, keeping them hanging on a utensil rack, or storing them in an organized drawer.

Whatever method of storage you decide to use for your home, there are three elements that you want to keep in mind before putting your utensils away in their new home.

Are they clean? Depending on how you usually wash your dishes, utensils can be difficult to keep entirely clean, especially when using the dish washer. If you’re using wooden utensils, always hand wash. But if you decide to use plastic utensils, then make sure to give them a good rinse prior to putting them in the dish washer and ensure that they are entirely cleaned following.

Are they sturdy? All of your utensils should be sturdy and in good condition in order for them to help you cook efficiently. Throw away old, rusted, stained utensils and keep a list handy so that you can re-stock next time you head to the store.

Are they organized? Speaking from experience, if you can’t find the appropriate utensil that is relevant for the dish that you’re making, than it won’t be doing you any good. So keep your utensils organized and near your usual cooking space in the kitchen so that you can find what you need when you need it and know when you need to re-stock on a specific utensil that might be useful.

THE LIST – UTENSILS

Now let’s get down to business!

We’ve created two lists for you to reference, one that includes basic utensils, and one that includes utensils that you might want to consider if you are cooking more advanced dishes.

THE BASICS – FOR WHEN YOU’RE JUST STARTING OUT…

  • 2 – 4 Heat-proof Rubber Spatulas

  • Metal Spatula

  • Fish Spatula

  • 2 – 4 Long Wooden Spoons

  • Large Metal Kitchen Spoon

  • Large Slotted Metal Kitchen Spoon

  • 2-ounce Ladle

  • 4-ounce Ladle

  • 2 – 3 Wire Whisks of various sizes

  • 2 – 3 Metal Tongs, 12-inch to 16-inch length

  • 1 Medium Mesh Screen Strainer, 6 – 8-inch diameter

  • 1 Fine Mesh Strainer, 4 – 6-inch diameter

  • Large Colander

  • 1 Set of Measuring Spoons

  • 1 Set of Dry Measuring Cups

  • 2-cup Liquid Measuring Cup

  • 4 Metal Mixing Bowls, 10 -18 inches in diameter

  • 4 Glass Mixing Bowls, 10 -18 inches in diameter

  • Vegetable Peeler

  • Pizza Cutter

  • Can Opener

  • Cheese Grater

  • Micro Planer or Zester

  • Timer

  • Instant Read Digital Meat Thermometer

  • Pepper Grinder

  • Corkscrew

  • Rolling Pin

  • Plastic Board Scraper

  • Citrus Juicer

  • Potato Ricer

  • Un-waxed Parchment Paper

  • Bamboo Skewers

  • Butcher’s Twine

  • 1 Dozen + Kitchen Towels

  • Hot Pads

THE SECOND TIER – FOR THE ADVANCED CHEF…

  • Oyster Knife

  • Tomato Shark

  • Melon Baller

  • Meat Mallet

  • Pastry Cutter

  • Piping Bag with Fluted Tip

  • Biscuit Cutter

  • Flour Sifter

  • Palette Knife

  • Cheesecloth

  • Mortar and Pestle

No need for that special spatula you’re seeing on television or some expensive gadget for the dish you’re only cooking on one holiday with the family. Stick with these tried and true basics and you’ll have all of the utensils you’ll need to cook delicious dishes simply and in limited time.

Coming up soon… what you should have available in your well stocked knife kit.