Before I really started cooking, I thought I needed all these fancy tools in order to cook great meals. Don’t fall for the kitschy items that you see at the store!!! YOU DON’T NEED THEM! As long as you have all of the items below, you can cook an amazing meal (that is restaurant quality) with just using the items that are in your pantry or refrigerator.
- Cast Iron Pans
I can’t believe I didn’t have one of these sooner. A cast iron pan is essential. You cannot beat the sear you can get on a these! These are also great for shallow pan frying. So important to be sure to properly “season” your pan once you get it – otherwise they won’t last as long.
- Big Saute Pan
You can do SO MUCH with a large saute pan. These are great for cooking a ton of veggies, browning meat, chicken, really anything. The great thing about these pans are they can go in the oven!
- Good Knives
You really don’t need a fancy ginormous set of knives. I use three knives almost every single day – a chef’s knife, a Santoku knife and a pairing knife for the little jobs. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need much more than that!
- Good Cutting Boards
Don’t ruin your nice knives on cheap boards! Choose a thick plastic cutting board or a nice wood cutting board. Spend a little money on these and be sure to take care of them!
- Food Processor
This is probably my most recent purchase. I found a great one on Amazon and just hit purchase. These make your life so easy! You can easily chop almost anything and you can do huge batches!
- Rimmed Baking Sheet
You can’t have a sheet pan dinner without a rimmed baking sheet! These can be used to make anything from chicken to cookies in the oven.
- Meat Thermometer
This is also critical in ensuring you are cooking your food to the proper temperature. Buy a digital one that won’t keep you guessing!
- A Mandolin
I never knew I needed one of these until I bought one. This is the perfect way to julienne, slice or chop your veggies! Saves you so much time and they are perfect every time.
- A Microplane
I use this almost every single time I cook. This is great for adding a little lemon or lime zest to your food or even finely dicing fresh garlic!
Is there anything I missed? Something you can’t live without?