Essential Cooking Tools

jasonw
By jasonw on Thu, Dec 13, 2012 - 5:29pm

Besides a heat source (and lots of things don't even need that), what are the essential tools you use in the kitchen to prepare your food?  What items would you recommend to a friend who is just learning to cook? Manual or Electric?  Items that last generations?  Share and discuss.

Note: If you're reading this and are not yet a member of Peak Prosperity's The Healthy Table Group, please consider joining it now. It's where our active community of culinary enthusiasts explores and share knowlege and experiences with cooking and food preperation. . Simply go here and click the "Join Today" button.

14 Comments

jasonw's picture
jasonw
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Sep 17 2011
Posts: 1018
Cast Iron Cookware

A well seasoned cast iron skillet with lid and a dutch oven are probably our most loved and cherished cooking tools.  One of our pans is at least on it 3rd generation of users and we anticipate our kids teaching their kids to cook on them.  They are great for almost any type of food, omelets to roasted chicken.  Low heat to searing temps.  And can used in open fire if needed.  Truly a must have for a well stocked kitchen.

And as a bonus you get a good workout when moving them around. 

thatchmo's picture
thatchmo
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 14 2008
Posts: 432
Knives!

Of course a good selection of quality knives and a way to keep them sharp.  I'm lucky- I only have to keep them sharp, my sweetheart gets to make them dull.  Full agreement on the cast iron cookware.  Althought slightly OT, a Rocket Stove, being so small and useful, might qualify as a utensil or tool.  Aloha, Steve.

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 601
Mixing bowls

A set of solid stainless mixing bowls. Both deep with narrow openings and shallow/wide. Purchase from a restaurant supply company for best bang for the buck.

Ladles, 1oz, 2oz, 4oz 

Silicone spatulas

Sharpening stones. 1000/4000/8000 grit and a flattening stone.

Stand mixer and replacement worm gear.

Attachments for mixer - Grain grinder, meat/veg grinder, pasta maker....

The list goes on.

 

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
Adding a few of mine

A sturdy stainless-steel spatula with a relatively thin profile (or at least a thin edge).

I greatly value my wire whisk, Rada veggie peeler, and large wooden cutting board. 

I also have my ex's grandmother's wooden rolling pin.  Very helpful for pies/cookies (and beautiful, oiled aged wood)

Measuring cups and spoons (I have both stainless to 1c and Pyrex to 4c for measuring)

Sturdy colander or strainer

Various thermometers - meat, candy

And the almost-too-mundane-to-list:  forks, knives, spoons; plates/bowls/cups; kitchen rags, dishcloths, dish basin, metal scrubbie; large slotted and unslotted serving spoons

Organic Raw Veggies's picture
Organic Raw Veggies
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 24 2012
Posts: 49
Manual steel stuff

Manual oil oil press, piteba. Manual stone grinder. Manual juicer. Berkey water filter. Steel spoons, cups, etc. Steel grill on legs for over a fire pit. Backyard fire pit. Wood. Steel colander. 5 gal buckets. Cutting boards, bleach. Ball jars of all sizes. Extra lids. Canning stuff. Beer and wine making supplies if you are into that.

Woodman's picture
Woodman
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 26 2008
Posts: 1028
simple kitchen tools

My grandfather's cast iron skillet always sits on the stove; I've used it nearly every night the past 25 years. Just wash with hot water and a stainless steel wool and wipe dry with a rag.

A big bowl and wooden spoon to make bread dough

A sharp peeler for you backyard potatoes and carrots

handcrank egg beater and/or whisk

1 old but good and sharp french knife from a yard sale, and a wooden cutting board for cutting veggies.

Sauce pan with a steamer basket.

Those are my main tools. 

 

 

Grover's picture
Grover
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 800
Absolutely most important item

The number one item: Someone else to do the cooking and cleaning!smiley

Grover

robie robinson's picture
robie robinson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 25 2009
Posts: 1148
manual oil press?

any more particulars? brand, efficiency, heat required?  thanks, Robie

Tycer's picture
Tycer
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 26 2009
Posts: 601
PTEBA
robie robinson wrote:

any more particulars? brand, efficiency, heat required?  thanks, Robie

PTEBA    http://www.piteba.com/eng/index_eng.htm

jasonw's picture
jasonw
Status: Diamond Member (Online)
Joined: Sep 17 2011
Posts: 1018
Update - Corkscrew

I think I have to add that a corkscrew is an essential cooking tool as it is always important to have a nice glass of wine available while preparing the meal.  Some good music, good wine, and the kids running around being kids.  Then a wonderful dinner around the table as a family.  Nothing much better than that. 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Kids' Play Cooking Set

You might laugh, but I picked a couple of sets of these up at IKEA for $4.99 (it was on sale then, normally it is $9.99) a few months ago for emergency kits for our cars. The pot and flat sauce pan fits right on top of a Sterno portable folding stove (the kind that costs $8 at Walmart).

Stainless steel, light, and "tested and approved for food contact." The strainer fits inside the pot for steaming. The pot itself can hold 12 ounces of water (there will still be about half an inch of space from the edge), but you might go with 10 ounces if you want something to get to a rolling boil. The flat sauce pan holds 4 ounces of water (again with some space from the edge).

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00130167/

Poet

 

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
Now that's resourcefulness!
Poet wrote:

You might laugh, but I picked a couple of sets of these up at IKEA for $4.99 (it was on sale then, normally it is $9.99) a few months ago for emergency kits for our cars. The pot and flat sauce pan fits right on top of a Sterno portable folding stove (the kind that costs $8 at Walmart).

Poet

I am impressed, Poet.  I get to IKEA about once every two years at this point, but I will remember this and hope they still have these little teeny pans.  Out-of-the-box thinking is one of our best allies (no, out-of-the-box is not the same as plug-and-play!)

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Thanks, Amanda! Also, A Little More Info On The DUKTIG Cookware

Thanks, Amanda!

I should also mention that the rounded sauce pan has a flat bottom (so it won't tip over). It holds 1 cup or 8 ounces of water with about roughly 3/4th inch clearance from the top edge (for those concerned about boiling.

I only packed the pot, the strainer, the lid, and the rounded sauce pan. I left the 4-ounce-capacity flat bottom pan alone as I figured being able to gently boil 4 ounces isn't really worth it - even if it is perfect for poaching an egg.

Our local IKEA is about half an hour away. The best time to go is with a family of 4 or more to the cafeteria on the few weekends of the year when what you buy and eat in the restaurant is directly deducted from your housewares/furniture/accessories purchases totalling of $100 or more. Once we gorged ourselves on smoked salmon, BBQ ribs, meatballs, mashed potatoes, drinks, etc. totallying about $47 (could have been higher if I had brought my parents) - and that's the price we took off our IKEA purchases later that evening.

Poet

Amanda Witman wrote:
Poet wrote:

You might laugh, but I picked a couple of sets of these up at IKEA for $4.99 (it was on sale then, normally it is $9.99) a few months ago for emergency kits for our cars. The pot and flat sauce pan fits right on top of a Sterno portable folding stove (the kind that costs $8 at Walmart).

Poet

I am impressed, Poet.  I get to IKEA about once every two years at this point, but I will remember this and hope they still have these little teeny pans.  Out-of-the-box thinking is one of our best allies (no, out-of-the-box is not the same as plug-and-play!)

Amanda Witman's picture
Amanda Witman
Status: Peak Prosperity Team (Offline)
Joined: Mar 17 2008
Posts: 409
Poet wrote: Our local IKEA is
Poet wrote:

Our local IKEA is about half an hour away. The best time to go is with a family of 4 or more to the cafeteria on the few weekends of the year when what you buy and eat in the restaurant is directly deducted from your housewares/furniture/accessories purchases totalling of $100 or more. Once we gorged ourselves on smoked salmon, BBQ ribs, meatballs, mashed potatoes, drinks, etc. totallying about $47 (could have been higher if I had brought my parents) - and that's the price we took off our IKEA purchases later that evening.

Poet

Again, I'm impressed!  Thank you for that tip.  We rarely (just about never) go out to eat these days, and I think the kids would be THRILLED.  I guess I'd better get on IKEA's mailing list.

The nearest IKEA is 2 hours away, but we could potentially combine the trip with visits to out-of-town friends and other rare treats in the area.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Login or Register to post comments