Kitchen Equipment To Help You Break Free Of Your Cooking Comfort Zone
Cooking is something most of us know we should be doing more of. The concept of home-cooking and its importance is not something that has greatly wavered over the past fifty years or so. But what has changed is the amount of time most of us have to dedicate to whipping up a delicious meal every single night. In decades gone by, many women did not work full time, meaning that their role within the family was to stay at home and have a meal on the table every night of the week. When there was no 9-5 to attend cooking something from scratch every day wasn't too much of an ask, but these days it can be a great deal more complex. As a result of this, many of us buy homes that are equipped with a fantastic kitchen but end up rarely using them. A neglected kitchen is your worse enemy when it comes to what you are likely to create in there. Limited resources mean a limited selection of meals, and it can be easy to become disheartened in your cooking ability if you only have a small repertoire. Home cooking doesn't need to be Michelin star to be innovative and exciting - but sometimes deviating from what you are used to can produce some pretty impressive results. Your first step should be to make sure your kitchen is as equipped as possible with all the things you need to be able to whip up something interesting, that your family will be pleasantly surprised to see. After all, you wouldn't sit down to paint a picture without paper and brushes, and you wouldn't try and landscape your garden without a decent pair of shears. Cooking in your kitchen is much the same: you need the right tools at hand to enable you to pull off something worthwhile. This might seem like going right back to basics, but if your kitchen has barely seen the light of day since you got your house, you may want to consider replenishing it with some of the following items.
A selection of chopping boards
No family kitchen is complete without a chopping board. Even if you aren't a keen cook per say, they still come in useful for cutting bread for sandwiches and fruit for snacks. If your current chopping board moves when you cut on it, the whole thing is pretty much redundant. Not only can this be pretty annoying when you're trying to prep, but it can also be dangerous too. Wooden chopping board, although they look pretty, can often be especially bad when it comes to slipping around the kitchen counter. Not exactly what you want when you have a huge bread knife in your hand! For this reason, make sure you get a chopping board with plenty of grips attached., so it won't go anywhere mid-chop. It can also be advisable to get some different chopping boards for cutting different types of food on. Why? Well, cross contamination is a very real problem in many households across the country, and by using just one chopping board, you could be unknowingly putting yourself and your family at risk. Buy color-coded boards for different types of food, so you are never chopping vegetables on the same board that raw meat has just been on. Of course, everyone washes their chopping boards after use. But with statistics showing that the average chopping board can contain almost as much bacteria as a toilet, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
A broad range of cookware
Take a good, honest look at your kitchen cupboards. If you only have one or two small pans to your name, it's somewhat unlikely that you're going to be pulling a fabulous family meal out the bag anytime soon. It is true that cookware can sometimes be intimidating, with so many different shapes and sizes of pans that have seemingly different uses. Not to mention all the new kitchen gadgets that seem to get released every other week! For the novice cook, you may wonder where on earth to begin. But in reality, most of the items in a top rated ceramic cookware set are all things that you could easily end up using on a daily basis. The bread and butter of your kitchen cupboards will be a skillet - or rather, several skillets in different shapes and sizes. You can get a lot of use out of these handy pieces of kit, whether you are frying off chicken breasts or making your homemade sauce. Get hold of a few which have varying heights, as the last thing you want is your mixture spilling over the top and burning itself onto your stove. If you are looking for ways to be a little healthier, your cookware can also be the deciding factor in how healthy your food is. For example, there's nothing wrong with roasting your vegetables, but it does involve a hell of a lot of oil. Consider investing in a steamer instead, so you can ditch the excess calories and steam your way to a tasty yet healthy meal. If stews and slow cooks are your things, a deep dish pan is an absolute must, as is a Dutch oven - once you start using them, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it.
A good set of kitchen knives
A set of sharp kitchen knives should be rudimentary in virtually every kitchen across the country, but the vast majority of us don't own any professional ones. There are a few different reasons for this. Perhaps you are naturally nervous around knives, or maybe you have young children or pets and are concerned that they may get hold of them and cause themselves harm. These are totally natural things to be worried about, but thankfully, there are solutions for both scenarios. It may come as a surprise to you, but you are much more likely to harm yourself with a blunt knife then you are with a sharp one, due to the force that is needed to cut with them. When you use a sharp knife, you will find that the blade simply glides through whatever it is you are cutting, meaning you are much more in control of the whole movement. As far as being concerned about your children go, only invest in some protective plastic blade covers for your knives. Sticking them in a knife block, rather than laying them in a draw, can also be a useful method for keeping them out of harm's way. When you are buying professional knives for your kitchen, be prepared to spend a little more money than you would in a high-street store. It might seem a little extortionate, but remember that these knives are not only safer; they are also an investment, as they will last for years without breaking or going rusty. Typically, a good kitchen knife set is made up of the following components: a chef's knife, a carving knife, a bread knife, a utility knife and an all purpose knife. Try and use them for the things they were intended for, and bear in mind that you may need to sharpen them a couple of times a year if you use them a lot. Your cooking might feel limited at the moment - but by investing in some of these top quality items, you can watch it come on in leaps and bounds.