There are certain tools no kitchen should be without. Items such as pots, pans, knives, food storage containers and flatware sets are standard. And yes, every kitchen should have the basics within an arm’s each. But there are a number of additional kitchen tools that should be considered, especially when cooking hearty meals during the colder months. Whether you are a seasoned home cook or just starting out, here are the kitchen items you may need this autumn…
A stock pot is a must for large batch soups or homemade broths. This kitchen essential is great for big families, and can save the day when you need to put together a large meal for a number of people. It is designed with narrow, tall sides, which insures that its liquid contents evaporate slowly in contrast to a normal cooking pot where the liquid has much more exposure to the air. Stock pots are commonly made of stainless steel or aluminium. This makes them much lighter than a heavy duty casserole pan and which certainly helps when you are carrying it to the kitchen sink to drain! If you’re making a hearty stew or soup at this time of year it’s a good idea to make a larger quantity and freeze the extra portions.
Essential for quick and easy autumn meals, roasting pans are rectangular metal pans that can be used under high heat and in your oven. These types of pans are much thicker than your common baking sheet that you use for cookies and pizzas, which means that they will not warp under the heat. Many roasting pans are designed with grooves and a draining pan that sits below to accumulate fat or liquids that drip through, which keeps your oven clean and free of messes. There are a number of all-in-one roasting pan recipes where you simply pile in fish, chicken or pork with vegetables and sit back while a delicious autumnal dish bakes in your oven.
So you purchased an expensive set of Chef’s knives. Now what? Over time your set of knives will become dull and you will start to notice that they are not cutting through food as well as they once did. Keep your expensive knives in good shape with a honing rod. By honing your knives with a honing steel, you can extend the lifetime of your kitchen knife set. Honing rods are used to realign the blade edges, which can curl to the side over time. Although it is not visible to the human eye, this microscopic occurrence does happen. Using this kitchen tool often will not only keep your knives in good condition but will allow you to cut though food items quickly and efficiently, with no snagging or hooking.
Kitchen shears should be a part of your kitchen tool lineup. I’m not just talking about a pair of scissors – I mean big, sturdy shears that are ONLY used for food prep. They’re great for cutting up an entire chicken and make quick work of chopping up all other meats too. You can even cut up an assortment of vegetables while quality, heavy-duty kitchen shears, which often makes the job much quicker and easier. Look for a pair of kitchen shears with sharp blades as well as a handle that features a comfortable and sturdy grip.
So what do you think? Should these items have a home in your kitchen? Do you already have some of these items? What other autumn cooking essentials do you think is missing from this list? Let me know in the comments below.