Master Chef – 5 Essential Items Every Kitchen Needs

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These days, it’s all too easy to hoard belongings that may come in handy someday but never actually end up being used. The kitchen is no exception – between Christmas gifts, sale items, and old equipment that’s on its last legs but you just can’t bring yourself to part with, most of us have cupboards crammed with appliances and utensils that haven’t seen the light of day in years. Realistically, most cooks only need a handful of essential items for their kitchen to be functional and practical. If you’re looking to cut the clutter, read on for five must-have items below:

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

Quality Cookware

If there’s one thing you shouldn’t feel guilty about splurging on for your kitchen, it’s cookware sets. Having a range of decent pots and pans at your disposal will not only help you create meals that are tastier, but also improve the efficiency of your cooking as a whole. The reason for this is because cheaper cookware is more prone to hot spots and uneven heating, which can result in poorly prepared or burnt food. High-quality cookware, however, is equipped with superior heat diffusion and responsiveness, and will stand the test of time.

Mandolin Slicer

If you haven’t already heard of a mandolin slicer, prepare for your life to be changed forever. This handy device is a kitchen workhorse that allows you to quickly and uniformly slice, shred, or grate almost any fruit or vegetable, and takes all the hard work out of your meal prep. Ideal for everything from chopping up vegetables for a salad to preparing perfectly-shaped French fries, most mandolins also come with a variety of attachments so you can create ripple cuts, ribbons and even julienne your ingredients.

Mortar and Pestle

There’s a reason this ancient tool is still being used in kitchens today – it’s highly effective at what it does! As well as giving you more control over the consistency of your ingredients, a mortar and pestle is the best way of getting the most flavor out of herbs and spices. However, the trusty mortar and pestle isn’t just limited to herbs. You can use it to make basil pesto and nut butters, crush garlic and ginger to put in your stirfry, turn whole chillies into chili flakes, grind sea salt and more.

Chef’s Knife

A chef’s knife is one of the most versatile kitchen tools and can be used to slice, dice, smash, chop and peel all manner of ingredients. Instead of buying an excessive knife set, take the time to look around for a decent chef’s knife, as this is the tool you’ll be reaching for nine times out of ten when you’re in the kitchen. Make sure to check out this in-depth guide to getting the best knife. When shopping for a chef’s knife, look for one that’s comfortable to hold, is sharp (or easy to sharpen), and sturdy enough to last you for a long time. A cordless fillet knife is a necessity as well.

Wooden Chopping Board

If you’ve found the perfect chef’s knife, the next thing you need to consider is how to look after it. The best way to ensure your blade doesn’t dull prematurely is by investing in a decent wooden chopping board. On top of their attractive look, wooden chopping boards are the most hygienic food preparation surface. Unlike plastic cutting boards that can’t effectively be disinfected, wooden boards absorb bacteria until they eventually die. Additionally, they make for a more eco-friendly choice than their plastic counterpart.

You don’t need the entire contents of your local kitchen store to be a great cook. Instead of buying items you don’t need, focus on building a small but reliable collection of high-quality goods that’ll last you well into the future and make cooking easier, tastier, and more enjoyable.

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