Alright, friends, this is it - the serious version of how to outfit your kitchen. In an earlier post I did a guide of the essentials for a starter kitchen. This time I'm tackling the essentials for the serious home cook. These are all products I've found to be extremely useful. I'm not too big on one-use items (the only exception being my rice cooker), so everything on this list will be useful to you for multiple recipes and types of food.
Knives & Cutting Boards
I'll start with what I consider the most essential - good knives and cutting boards. If you aren't chopping, you aren't cooking. I consider multiple cutting boards necessary, especially if you are cooking with raw chicken or other meat. Please, never buy a glass cutting board. They are tricky to use, not very durable, and dull your knives.
If I could only have one kitchen item, I would hands-down choose a chef's knife. They are incredibly useful. I love Santoku knives because the ridges help chopped food slide off more easily, however, it does make them more difficult to sharpen. Finally, I consider a paring knife an essential item to take care of the small details - like removing skin from fruit.
Here's are some of my favorites:
Pots & Pans
The quality of your pots and pans can seriously affect the flavor and cook time of your food. Investing in a few good pots and pans is absolutely worth it. I don't have a huge kitchen, and pots can take up tons of space, so here are the ones I love:
Bakeware & Baking Essentials
I absolutely love making bread, muffins, and cookies. The good baker has a small, but powerful arsenal of supplies. Sure, you can whip all this up with a simple plastic bowl, a wooden spoon, and a lot of elbow grease, but if you want some seriously helpful equipment - look no further than the list below. I own and love all of these items (like, weirdly love them).
The trouble with small appliances is that you can spend a lot of money on them and never end up using them. I've had my fair share of useless equipment, but I've found when I buy just a few items and I focus on getting high quality items, I end up using them a lot more. Here are my recommendations of the six small appliances I find most useful:
PS - I love the food processor the most!
There are tons of other great kitchen products out there, but I hope this list has provided a great starting point for you if you're looking to seriously outfit your kitchen. Let me know if you have any questions or comments, or any kitchen items you'd like to recommend!