Does Your Kitchen Have These Basic Tools?
Even if you have been cooking for a long time you are still probably keeping your eyes open for new tools, utensils and appliances for your kitchen. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and intimidated by some of the kitchens that you may see on cooking shows. Your kitchen doesn’t need to be quite as grand but you should make sure that you have the proper equipment to help you cook and bake like a pro.
You Should Have Multiple Skillets
A frying pan is simply a low sided pan that is often called a skillet. It will have a long handle and is usually made from aluminum, stainless steel or cast iron. Normally skillets come in 4 sizes, oversized (12 Inches), large (10 Inches), medium (8 inches), and small(6 inches). Cookbooks often refer to specific size frying pans, so it is necessary to understand the measurement of each one. Periodically you will have a dish that needs you to place a skillet in the oven, so it is necessary to purchase skillets that are ovenproof and that can hold up against the heat of the oven. You can find frying pans or skillets that have removable handles in most kitchen stores.
One separate type of skillet is an omelet pan. This is usually any skillet that has very sloped sides. The sloping sides make it easier to flip the omelet or slide it onto a plate. A traditional skillet can be used for omelets but their sides tend to be higher and don’t have any slope to them.
Assorted Pots And Pans
Pans can be found in 3 sizes (1-, 2-, and 3-quart) and it is a good concept to have a couple of in each design for warming soups and making sauces. Saucepans have long handles and tight fitting lids.
Dutch oven or Kettle: A Dutch oven or kettle is a large heavy stock pot with a tight fitting cover. Unlike a sauce pan, these pots do not have long silicone coated handles. Instead they have 2 tight fitting handles along the rim on opposite sides. Dutch ovens are best for soups, stews, and braising meats. Kettles are excellent when you have a big stew or pot of soup to make or if you enjoy house canning. Some people will call a Dutch oven a casserole or a pasta pot.
A double broiler is 2 pans getting the job done of one. When using a double broiler, merely position one on top of the other. Water in the bottom pan simmers gently to prepare or melt the contents in the top pan. This is a terrific piece of cookware for preparing fragile sauces or melting candy to make chocolate.
Grill And Griddles
A grill pan is a special skillet that has deep groves that enable fat to drain away from your food. The grooves also add lines to the items you prepare, making them look like they have been scorched on the barbeque grill. A grill pan also is available with a flat cooking surface, called a griddle. There are two types of griddles that can be used in most home kitchens. One is the stove top type which sits on two burners of the stove. The other is the electric griddle, which is a counter top appliance. This is an appliance that you can keep in a cabinet until it’s time to cook. It will have a large, smooth, non stick cooking surface and is great for breakfast foods like eggs or pancakes, as well as grilled sandwiches.
How About A Wok?
A wok is a pan with deep, sloping sides that help keep food pieces in the pan when you are stir-frying. They are available with rounded or flat bottoms, and often can be found in electric variations.