Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Few of my Favorite Things

I had a student in my class Tuesday ask me for a list of my recommended kitchen equipment. I usually hand out a list that I've had in my files from years ago. It was compiled from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking (which was actually my text book in culinary school). It's inclusive of many things for cooks and bakers alike but, after I handed it out I thought to myself, "this list needs serious updating".

I set myself to the task and ended up with this list-my must-haves for the kitchen. Keep in mind, I adore baking so there are some things you may not need if you don't share my love for all things sweet. Questions about anything? Let me know.

8-10 inch chef's knife (my favorite is this Bob Kramer from Shun)
2" pairing knife, sharp but cheap is fine. In fact, get two because one will sure take a trip into your disposal at some point
Serrated bread knife
Honing steel
Kitchen scissors
Needle nose pliers: for removing those pesky fish bones

Medium nonstick saute pan (6-8"): great for eggs, pancakes, omelettes, and fish
6 and 12" stainless steel saute pans, with a lid
1 quart, 2 quart, and 4+ quart saucepans
Dutch oven (I love my Le Creuset) or Stockpot
Grill Pan: preferably cast iron, great for those small apartments when you can't have an outdoor grill plus, this one works as a panini press too
Griddle: if you're one to make brunch or breakfast for a crowd, a nonstick griddle is great to have

Food processor: Cuisinart only. I bought another brand after my tank of a Cuisinart broke and it doesn't even compare
Standing Mixer: My Kitchen Aid mixer is always out on my counter-I use it all the time. If you are not a baker, this one isn't necessary

Liquid measuring cups: Pyrex are great, 1 and 2 cup versions
Dry measuring cups
Measuring spoons
Wooden spoon
Flat wooden spatula
Metal spatula
Pancake turner
Silicone rubber spatula(s)
Sauce whisk
Balloon whisk
Slotted Spoon
Stainless Steel mixing bowls

Wood cutting boards (my preference)
Plastic cutting board (if its headed for the dishwasher)

Rimmed baking sheets: I keep a couple half-sheet pans and couple quarter-sheet pans
Rimless baking sheet: one is nice to have if you're a cookie baker
Silicone baking mat
Baking pans: 8-9" round cake pan(s), 8-9" square cake pan, 9x13 Pyrex baking dish

Box grater
Rasp ('Microplane') grater
Press juicer
Vegetable peeler
Corkscrew (duh!)
Pepper mill

OK...what am I forgetting? I'm sure there is plenty so let me know. And expect and update here shortly. Happy Shopping!


Deana said...

Loaf pans (for banana bread), muffin/cupcake pans, wire cooling racks,I like a brush to brush on marinade or egg wash or whatever, and a good collander, and a good salad spinner. (Not sure if any of them qualify for must haves, but I use them all frequently).

So Jod, what about the things in your pantry you would spend a little more for (e.g., good olive oil) and the things you would say any brand is just fine)?

Thanks for your great blog! Deana

Kara said...

Probably not a must have for everyone, but as a frequent cook I just bought one of these pans am now wondering how I ever lived without it. It might sound random, but I love my new 9"x13"x3" (the 3" is the key dimension) straight sided baking pan. No more cutting lasagna noodles to fit the pan, and no more desserts running over because the pan wasn't deep enough.

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