You’re halfway through the creme brulee, guests already arriving early, when you realize that you don’t have a mixer. Does this nightmare sound familiar? Learn to love your kitchen and avoid disasters by always having these 10 essentials on hand.
1: Knife Set
Knives aren’t “one size fits all” anymore. Size and sharpness matter, especially in more involved cooking projects. Invest in a good set of stainless steel knives and be prepared for anything.
2: Wooden Spoon
It only takes one burn from a metal stirring spoon before you realize that a heat-resistant wooden one is better!
Again, heat-resistant models are better, and for spatulas that means something with a silicone tip. Buy the detachable kind and you’ll find cleanup a lot easier as well.
4: Cutting Boards
This is the canvas of the kitchen, so don’t be afraid to spend a little money and find a cutting board that’s comfortable to you. Consider things like size, shape and material before you haul a new one home.
Almost anything that doesn’t go in the oven will require a skillet of some kind, so look for something sturdy and versatile that can handle everything from Asian stir fry to the all-American grilled cheese.
6: Replacement Burner
No one thinks of buying replacement burners because you usually have several more if your favorite stops working. But what if they’re already in use? What if it’s Thanksgiving and you need all your burners? Keep at one least properly-fitted replacement under the sink.
This is another tool where it’s important not to skimp on the extra features. A locking feature will keep it from tearing up your dishwasher mid-cycle, and a no-slip grip could prevent a real spaghetti disaster some day.
You’ll want something big enough for pasta but small enough that your soups and sauces won’t drown in a cast-iron cavern. Six to eight ounces should do the trick, especially if you buy them in a set.
9: Refrigerator Filters
When the in-laws drop by for an unexpected visit, you’ll be glad you had the tools to mask that smell coming out of your crisper. Check out sites like Frigidaire-store.com for fridge filters and other air purification tools.
One of the great unsung tools of the culinary arts, a high-quality mesh strainer will filter more than just water. It will also wash away lumps, seeds and impurities, leaving your dishes delicious and pure.