Blog post on
05 February, 2016
Essential Kitchen Gear
By London Designer Outlet
Cooking can be great fun. Even if you hate cooking (or are at best indifferent to it), it is certainly an important skill to learn, even if you only learn a few basic dishes. Learning to cook can also help you save money, help keep you healthier, and potentially even make your household a slightly more creative place! Here are several kitchen essentials that will make cooking that little bit easier and more fun, and how London Designer Oulet (LDO) in Wembley can help you attain them …
1. A Pressure Cooker
Pressure cookers can take a little getting used to, but once you’ve learnt your way arpund them, you’ll wonder how you lived without them. Curries, dhals, stews, and lots more - all cooked in a fraction of the time using normal saucepans and more conventional equipment. Pressure cookers can save time, energy, and money, and help make excellent meals in minutes. Pressure cookers are especially excellent for preserving the nutrients in food as well.
Do not cut corners with a pressure cooker - a brand-name one from a reliable retailer is likely to be better-quality and far safer than others.
2. Wet & Dry Chopper or Grinder
Sure, you can get ones that do wet or dry only, but it’s always best to get a chopper that can do both. Choppers and grinders can grind coffee, spices, and nuts, as well as being great for preparing chutneys, purees, and sauces. These nifty devices can blitz things together in a second.
3. Food Storage Containers
There’s nothing worse than good food going to waste. Leftovers can be stored away and refrigerated or frozen and eaten another time - and getting good food containers of various sizes can help achieve this. They are also great for transporting food to friends’ and family members’ places.
4. A Proper Chef’s Knife
The right set of knives will always make a cook’s life easier. Whilst it’s always best to have a range of cook’s knives for different types of food, many always find one which they prefer - most often the multi-purpose chef’s knife, which can chop vegetables, mincing, slicing meat, and lots more. The right chef’s knife will last you many years, so choose wisely and don’t settle for something of inferior quality.
5. Food Processors
Often seen as a “kitchen luxury”, food processors can make life a lot easier for even the best of chefs. Repetitive tasks like kneading bread dough, shredding, grinding, and lots more can be made simple with a food processor, thanks to the interchangeable blades.
6. The Right Pots and Pans
A proper set of pots and pans will save you lots of money in the long. The key here is knowing which type of cooking equipment suits your stove type. However, for most stoves, a good range of cast iron equipment is ideal, especially as they don’t scratch and can be used for a variety of purposes. Avoid using heavy iron equipment on glass top stoves, though - the weight and heat might crack the cooker! Also, get decent-sized pots and pans - smaller ones don’t necessarily save any time or space, and can make cooking large amounts difficult.
7. Dutch Ovens - Ceramic or Cast Iron
If you’re a fan of slow-cooked food from the oven, Dutch ovens are fantastic. They retain heat really well, are brilliant for braising (whole chickens, pork shoulders, beef, and slow-cooked meat in general), are excellent for making soups, BBQ sauces, and beans, and lots more. They can be used on the stove or in the oven, clean easily, and food doesn’t stick or burn so easily. Dutch ovens are a fantastic and highly underrated piece of kitchen equipment.
8. The Flat-Ended Wooden and Silicone Spatula
Get one of each. Seriously. They will help with all sorts of stirring, smashing, mashing, cake-batter spreading and lots more. They are excellent “scrapers”, and can be used to collect pastry debris, cake batter, and chopped ingredients.
9. Digital Scales
Measuring is an artform, and getting the proportions right for a recipe can be notoriously difficult, especially if the recipe calls for precision. Baking in particular is like this, and if you’re looking to get an even product out of the oven every time, then you need a digital scale. Your cakes demand it!
Much underrated, tongs can help you turn meats or flatbreads quickly and safely when frying or griddling over a pan and taking pasta out of boiling water.
Get your kitchen stocked with these basics, and we can assure you that, with a little practice and patience (and maybe even a little guidance via the help of a friend/family member, cookbook etc.), you’ll make some of the best food you’ll ever have tasted.