Essentials for Every Chef's Kitchen

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While it may seem like cooking is a dying art in the American kitchen, that’s far from the reality. A survey by ReportLinker found that over a third cook at home every day, and half cook between three and six days each week. If you just purchased one of the Connecticut homes for sale – or a new home anywhere and want to stock that new kitchen with all the essentials that will allow you to be the best chef you can be, be sure it includes these items.

Chef’s Knife

Most chefs will tell you that a good chef’s knife is the most essential tool in the kitchen. A sturdy, forged steel knife that will stand the test of time will be good for just about every task from mincing parsley to chopping carrots and boning a chicken. Of course, you’ll need a parer, slicer and a serrated knife too – nothing does a better job of slicing through fresh bread than its saw-toothed blade.

Wooden Cutting Board

A wooden carving board will be gentler on your knives and it also harbors less bacteria than a board made from another material. 

Slotted Spoon

It doesn’t matter if it’s metal or wooden, but you need a slotted spoon which acts like a mini-strainer to remove solids from liquids, often used for pulling on smaller pasta noodles or potatoes from boiling water.

Cast Iron Skillet

A cast iron skillet has a thick heavy bottom and sides that can heat evenly at high temperatures and retain heat for a long time. They can also be placed right in the oven for making cobblers and corn bread. These pans are pretty much indestructible - provided they’re cared for properly, they’ll last a lifetime.
Nonstick Pan

While you can cook almost anything in a well-cared-for, well-seasoned cast iron skillet, for certain dishes like scrambled eggs, omelets and crepes, you really need a good nonstick surface.

Enamel-Coated Dutch Oven

An enamel-coated cast iron Dutch oven is the perfect kitchen tool for soups and slow braises. Used on the stovetop, the wide, tall sides help to retain eat and you won’t have to worry about splatters when cooking larger amounts of vegetables and meat at once. It’s big enough to make large batches of soups and stews that can be saved for eating throughout the week, and it’s also good for boiling pasta and deep-frying. Used in the oven, it’s ideal for pot roasts as the thick walls and heavy lid provide low-and-slow heat transfer, resulting in more tender, juicier roasts with minimal evaporation.

Sheet Pans

You’ll not only need sheet pans for baking cookies, but you’re likely to use them for dinners too, like a deep-dish pizza or foil-wrapped fish fillets, or for roasting veggies.

13 X 9 Baking Pan

There are practically an endless number of recipes that can for 13 X 9 baking pans, from sheet cakes to hearty casseroles. They come in attractive colors for convenient serving too.

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