It’s the season for new years resolutions! I know at least from where I’m standing, a lot of resolutions involve getting in the kitchen more and going out to eat less. If you’re sitting on your couch watching “Chopped” thinking, “I don’t even know where that ingredient comes from, much less how you cook it.” I have some tips for you. It all starts with your equipment. Below, I’ve put together a list of things that will help you get started on your road to kitchen glory.
- Chef’s knife – Have you ever tried to cut something with a dull knife? Talk about terrifying. It always seems to slip off whatever you’re cutting and B-line straight for your finger. Get a solid 9-inch rocker knife or chef’s knife. It will make that Sunday morning prep a whole lot easier. Keep it clean and dry, because you can ruin a knife pretty quickly if you don’t take care of it.
- Cutting board – I always get a kick out of the little cutting boards at the store. The ones that would be perfect if you were trying to cut up an 8th of an apple. For nearly everything else, you want a big wood cutting board. I like the ones with the little moats around the edges so when you cut that perfect medium rare rib-eye, the counter doesn’t look like a scene from Kill Bill. Also, you can sand and oil the wood boards to keep them fresh and clean.
- Cast iron skillet – This thing just screams badass. It’s heavy, solid, and doubles as a weapon against intruders. When you aren’t using it for home protection, use it for veggies and meat. The trick with this bad boy is keeping it seasoned and clean. Don’t use ANY soap when you clean a cast iron skillet. Just hot water and a scrub brush. You can find all kind of blogs on how to season cast iron, but I just cook bacon in them a couple times and let the grease soak into the pores of the iron.
- Blender – If you don’t have a blender, you probably aren’t having super shakes. If you aren’t having super shakes, you’re an idiot. But don’t worry, I was an idiot for 22 years of my life. Depending on who you ask, I’m still an idiot, but at least I’m drinking shakes. They’re packed full of nutrients our bodies needs, and they’re born in a blender. When you’re picking a blender out, keep in mind that you’re going to have to clean this puppy every day. Do yourself a favor and get one that’s easy to take apart and clean.
- Bluetooth speaker – If you enjoy food prep and cooking in silence, you might be a serial killer. The number one complaint I hear about making dinner is that you’re too tired or stressed from work to commit to cooking. My answer to this is the speaker. Turn on a little Sinatra and sauté some onions, it’s good for the soul. My favorite way to unwind after a long day is to bump around the kitchen listening to music, making food I’m proud of.
So there you have it. A few kitchen essentials to start you on your way to kitchen badassery. And the great thing about kitchen tools is that the more you use them, the more confidence you gain to cook new and delicious food!