Thursday, 15 July 2010

Kitchen equipment recommendations from a chef

As mentioned in an earlier post, I asked my sister, a Leiths' trained chef, for her suggestions on where to spend money on kitchen equipment.  Here is her, surprisingly short, list.

Kitchen Equipment List

Knives! One big chef’s knife, one small paring/office for veg cutting, and one steel for sharpening – serrated is also useful for tomatoes and fruit, but not vital.

1 big saucepan, one small, both stainless steel, not non-stick, the best quality you can afford – they will last. A handle that isn’t screwed on, is part of the pan, or it will start wobbling and fall off.

A good big chopping board, wood is good as long as you don’t worry about hygiene! Just don’t use it for raw meat, get a plastic one and keep it only for that.

A frying pan – opinion is divided on this one. I like a good, solid non-stick one which, I admit, won’t last forever unless you’re militant about no metal utensils and watch other people like a hawk if they use it…Or some serious types get e.g cast iron and just season it very carefully. Never seem to manage it myself.

A good large mixing bowl; lightweight metal is good for most things.

A nice big balloon whisk, electric hand whisk also v useful., or see below if you have the funds… 

[Digital scales: I recently had to reprimand Penny for using old-fashioned scales for baking.  They just aren't accurate enough for cake-making...]

More extravagant items include

A lovely, solid, and supposedly lifetime-lasting Le Creuset. A casserole for 6-8 people is probably your best bet, in whichever colour you won't get bored of.

A Kitchenaid or Kenwood mixer. Kitchenaid is my preference, but Kenwoods are known to be v reliable and long-lasting, though just don’t have the glamour factor.

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