By: Carlos Dragonné
Let’s see… in this place we have recipes for all kinds of situations. If your friends come to visit you without warning or want to make a romantic dinner… Or it happens that you have to receive the family at Christmas… There are a lot of options that, on top of everything else, start from eating well just for the sake of eating well. The kitchen is that space, where many times we can find even the answers to questions that have been chasing us for days and that shows that there is nothing that a good time preparing dinner, does not cure. So let’s see the basic utensils you should have in your kitchen.
However, it suddenly dawned on me that we haven’t talked much about the basic utensils you must-have in the kitchen if you don’t want to depend on pizzas at home. So let’s start with the things you need, yes or yes.
BASIC UTENSILS: KNIVES
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Decent knives. No… those who sell at traffic lights don’t qualify. Several times we’ve told you the number one rule of knives: it’s more dangerous to have a bad knife than a good one. It’s better that they have three good knives than one of those kitchen sets they sell at the supermarket that have saved us from more than one gift engagement at some wedding of people we didn’t even like that much in the first place. I prefer two brands of knives over all the others: Wüsthof and Shun. And from there, I start thinking about the knives I want. Because, yes, there are many types of knives but you’re going to need, mainly, three. A Chef’s Knife of, at least, 25 centimeters, a Santoku and a Bread knife. Let’s start with those three and, if you’re up for it later, I’ll give you some other tips so you can put together a decent kit.
Now, if your budget is not too high for any of these three options I suggest these colorful ones that are perfect for those who take their first steps in the kitchen. It comes with different types of saws that will help you cut from bread to fillet fish. The price is less than $500 pesos and they come in beautiful colors that will brighten up your kitchen.
BASIC UTENSILS: CUTTING BOARDS
Specific cutting boards. Why do you want the knives if not to cut? And where do you plan to cut your food? I put the word “specific” because one of the most important things for hygiene and health in your kitchen is that there are boards for everything. Although the ideal is to have a board for fish, one for red meat, one for chicken, one for vegetables and one for fruits, if you get a board for meat and one for vegetables we are on the good side.
I recommend Bamboo boards, they are better than wooden ones because they avoid contamination of your food, they wash very easily and they come in several sizes so you can use one for each type of ingredient, and as if this wasn’t good enough, you can use them to present your snacks at meetings. Nothing like having a product that you can take full advantage of. You can buy them online here
BASIC UTENSILS: PANS AND POTS
Two pans and a pot. You don’t need any more. If you find two pans, one 28 cm in diameter and one 20 cm in diameter, you’ re on the right side. Obviously, you should buy pans that last and have quality, because if you buy the three-cent ones, remember that what burns in your pan will end up in your food. I just got myself ones out of granite that didn’t disappoint me at all. The wonder of this pair is that they come a little deeper than usual and are also good for stews. And as for the pot, you can buy one of the same material so you can make your stews, broths, soups and so on. Option two is that you acquire a complete battery with which you will have pots of different sizes, this is the one we have at home and you can acquire it here. Just remember two things: one, the better quality your pans are, the longer they last and your food doesn’t burn, and two, stainless steel is much better than Teflon pots, don’t use it! It’s toxic and it ends up sticking to everything.
The next step is a slow cooker, but for that, I made a review of the best ones we tried.
BASIC UTENSILS: SPICES AND EXTRAS
Good salts, spices and oils. Some years ago, getting ingredients was quite complicated in Mexico and among the most complicated were the different salts that are available. Today we can find pink salt, Celestun salt, volcanic salt, smoked salts and an enormous variety that can be used in different dishes. Look for them, get yourself a good spice collection. Have curry, garlic powder, mustard, aniseed, cardamom and as much spice as you can. Buy a spice rack, make a space in the cupboard and take advantage of it to fill the kitchen with aromas whenever you feel like it. And while you’re at it, look for oils. Canola, sesame, avocado, grape, virgin olive, extra virgin, coconut, soy, rice, safflower, sunflower, cottonseed… well, whatever you can find. Depending on what you’re going to cook, one oil will do better than another. We love the one we show you in the picture because we can easily name it with a Maskin Tape, the cans can be cleaned very well and it doesn’t take up much space.
Tijeras, pinzas, cucharones. I still remember my mom screaming all over the house looking for the culprit who had taken her kitchen shears to cut paper or use them for homework. Kitchen scissors are very useful for cutting meats, vegetables, herbs, and even tortillas for tortilla soup or chilaquiles into triangles. We have had these for years, at least more than 10, they are the same brand, and we have not had to sharpen them. They even come with a nut-splitting attachment that has been very useful countless times.
My grandmother would have wanted the tweezers of today, the silicone that protects the handles and the tips are ideal for not extending the heat in the piece and allow them to last much longer. The ones we recommend are not only of very good quality and one of the most sold on Amazon, but they are also colorful and the colors always make our kitchen more cheerful which makes one-self cook with more desire and good taste. You can buy them here.
The ladles are an indispensable utensil in the kitchen, but there is something else, they must be made of stainless steel for several reasons, but the main one is that they DO NOT BURN, nor do they end up deformed and melted all over the stove because it is typical that at some point they are going to leave them on a frying pan. Seriously, avoid having to throw away the black plastic ones, the good ones last so long that you will end up inheriting them to your grandchildren.
Graters are a kitchen staple, but not the one that destroys your hands when you try to grate cheese or citrus fruit, and one that is easy to wash and store. This is a marvel and has been with us for years, the model has not changed over the years because it is a utensil that was designed so well that it does not need improvement. This is the same brand we have at home that is so good that we decided to include it in our will :-)
BASIC UTENSILS: HOME APPLIANCES
Blender, Mixer, Toaster and Processor. Let’s see… imagine this. Sunday, 9 a.m. – you didn’t go out on Saturday, so you’re not “raw” – and you’re in the mood for an old-fashioned breakfast. Some eggs with bacon, toast, a couple of hot cakes and a chocolate shake. We already have the pans… we already bought the oils so we can make them without any problem. But… What about the bread? The hot cakes? The smoothie? Let’s face it… nothing gives us more confidence at breakfast than going back to those days when we were kids and there was a smoothie on the table waiting for us to start the day. And to accomplish that, we need the right blender that you’re going to find here because even if we didn’t go out on Saturday, it’s not like we go out on Sunday so early to buy a smoothie. And while we’re at it, the mixer for the hot cakes with the flour to which we only add water, we turn on the blender that you can buy here at medium speed and use the other pan that we don’t dirty with the fried eggs. See? It all makes sense now.
Do you know why I know that this is the minimum necessary if you want to get into the kitchen? Because I remember that when I first went to live alone, these five elements were the first ones I bought in order to survive. And yes… I mean these five elements before the refrigerator, the TV or even a new bed. I’ll be sharing with you the tips of certain utensils that we are starting to test so that our kitchens become the main room.
This list is the result of an exhaustive search in department stores, supermarkets and online shopping options. The recommendation we give you is the best option quality – price and have a guarantee of purchase. Even with the price in USD they are still cheaper than the ones offered by sites in Mexico.
You will also be interested in the list of the best slow-cooking pots
Our recommendations go directly to the Amazon USA website for a reason, the products are cheaper and have a much less complicated return guarantee than when you buy from the Mexico store. Also, even with the exchange rate they are cheaper.
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