It’s time to stop ordering pizzas and reheating ready-meals in the microwave, and instead time to start preparing homemade meals. But what do you need? Here’s a list of the key kitchen essentials that you can use to make any dish you can possibly desire. Remember to buy quality equipment because although it might seem expensive initially, the best equipment will last your life. And if you don’t want to invest in the kitchen essentials, our chefs will always carry top-of-the-line equipment. Prices start at £39 per guest.
Kitchen Utensils 1: Essential knives
There are three knives that are truly essential to any cook. The first is a chef’s knife, which is the biggest and used to cut meat; a paring knife – the small blade – and a third knife, which is a slicing knife, and is used to peel fruit and vegetables or cut things into strips.
Kitchen Utensils 2: The best chopping board
One of the most essential components of the kitchen is a good cutting board. If you choose a hardwood one it will prevent bacteria building up. Otherwise, there are some great plastic sets to cut fish, meat and vegetables separately. They might be less attractive but they can go in the dishwasher.
Kitchen Utensils 3: The robot that does everything
It might be a big investment, but the robot that does everything combines the traditional blender with an electric whisk, stick blender, grater and does everything a lot quicker than using the component utensils individually.
Kitchen Utensils 4: The one-pot slow cooker
Slow cookers are brilliant inventions. They allow you to simmer, braise, stew, roast and even steam food. They can be left on while you’re at work, too, with many coming with ‘keep warm’ functions. Plus, if you lift it often enough you won’t need to do dumbbells in the gym.
Kitchen Utensils 5: The precision scales
Although you can probably get away with using a good old measuring cup for your recipes, some of the most precise ones do require a fine balance. Some professional chefs even weigh their liquids when preparing food. We’d recommend getting an electric set, this way you can measure all your ingredients in one bowl and just keep setting back to zero.
Kitchen Utensils 6: The skillet
If you’re not a pro at using the stove, one good option is to buy a nonstick skillet which is much easier to master. It uses less fat than a traditional frying pan, and drains off the fat from the meat. Plus, you get that nice griddle texture seared in.
Kitchen Utensils 7: Durable pans
For your pans, a nonstick coating is probably not a priority. Choose stainless steel as most recipes you cook up are unlikely to stick to the bottom, and your pans will last longer. If your kitchen is small, opt for removable handles so they take up less space.
Kitchen Utensils 8: The ovenproof dish
This is key to cooking your roasts, casseroles or your crumbles. Plus you can take it out of the oven and put it straight onto a heatproof slab in the middle of the table to serve your guests with style.
Kitchen Utensils 9: The magical silicone sheet
Silicone sheets can be used instead of parchment paper. It doesn’t stick to food or the tray so can be used again and again.
Kitchen Utensils 10: The cake moulds
Choose from the many shapes and sizes of moulds available. To start, it’s good to have a pie pan, a round cake pan, and muffin tins (which are also used for cupcakes). If they’re made from silicone they don’t need to be greased before pouring in the batter, as they won’t cling to the mould and wash easily.
And remember, even if your kitchen is not equipped as well as a Michelin restaurant, you can always contact the Chefs of La Belle Assiette to prepare a gourmet meal for you at home. From £39 per guest.