Ask the Experts: Kitchen Gear

Plastic Wrap and Tin Foil

This is a tool, yes it is. And it has hundreds of uses in the kitchen. I am surprised how many do not use this stuff. Everything from covering a marinating bowl of chicken, to using tin foil to separate burger for grilling. You name it, this stuff has a use for it.

Bottles

Bottles you say? Yes I do, and I mean ones for olive oil, vinegars etc. You will use them a lot. They are a handy way to have quick access to these commonly used things. They store well, look nice and if you place a pour spout on them, you can easily control the amount you use. For such an inexpensive item, they have so many uses.

Heavy Dutch Oven

What do you use one of these things for? Well, what cant you use them for. These heat so well and evenly, you can bake a roast in them, a chicken. Bake chili in it and place home made biscuits on top once it is done, and bake the biscuits for a great and unique dinner. You can use these on the stove also for stew, chili, soup. These things are amazing and once you use it, you will use it again.

Counter Top Mixer

Now of all the suggestions we make on here, this one tends to be the one that most look at with trepidation. Yes they are a bit pricey. Yes they are heavy. However you will use it all the time once you get it. Everything from cake mixes to breads, to making homemade noodle dough and more. What cant you do with one of these? This tool is a must have in my kitchen, and I use it several times a week.

Mesuring Cups

I know it sounds silly, however I know a few home cooks who do not have one of these. Get a one cup and four cup pair, make sure they are glass and you will gets years of use out of them. Measuring cups are great for just about everything. I use mine everyday here in the kitchen, and you will never go wrong.

Nestes Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls are something the average cook will use every day. Buying a nice set of them that nest inside of each other is a great idea and huge time saver. We suggest metal ones as they are sturdy, dishwasher safe and can be dropped without worry of breaking..

Large Sppons, Wood and Metal

Spoons are a basic kitchen must have and most kitchen have far too many. Buy ones that are sturdy and avoid those sets they sell in nets... You can get a nice four spoon set less than fifteen bucks, heavy means they will last and not bend. If you can make sure you have a nice mixture of plasic, metal and wood. If you buy wood get Olive wood, it lasts longer and does not soak the flavors up.

9x13 Clear Baking Dish

There are a lot of good brands out there that make these dishes. These are great for all kinds of foods like Lasagna, Enchiladas, Casseroles and more.

Good Set of Measuring Spoons

Measuring spoons are basic essentials. Avoid the ones that slide back and forth, they are gimmicky and work horribly. Pick a food set that has from a "Pinch" to a cup. I suggest buying metal ones as they last forever.

Colanders

You will be amazed at what these can be used for, and once you get a set of them you will wonder why you did not have em before now. These do everything from draining to steaming. Yes steaming, and I am writing an article for this site on how to steam things using a basic colander.

Quality Sharp Knives

Hands-down the most important tool in your kitchen. A quality-made knife stays sharper longer and can be re-sharpened and used for years to come. Invest a few more dollars and get quality, AVOID the 39.99 box block sets, they are cheap and sharpen horribly.

Deep Skillet

I would suggest getting a nice and heavy pan tht is deep. Also, get one with a metal handle, and you can double its use as a baking pan. Some suggest non-stick some say Stainless. Stainless is the best, however if it is priced out of your budget go with a nice non-stick version. You can do everything with these things. From making a casserole to frying chicken to makng a curry or beef stew.