Quick Recipes and Easy

Cookware: What You Need And What You Don’t

Cookware is always a rather contentious subject. I have seen chefs turn up to even the simplest of cooking jobs carrying more than it would take to maintain your average oil tanker (though maybe this is not the best use for your cookware), when all that was really needed was a knife and something to sharpen it with.

So what are the real ”cookware essentials”, the things that you really can’t do without? Well surprisingly you really need only a very small amount of things to get you going. Probably considerably less than you have already.

All the cookware you really need is a excellent knife, a means of sharpening it, a chopping board and a couple of pans.You may prefer a bit more cookware but you can cook with just that.

Don’t get me incorrect, I’m as partial to a kitchen full of mixers, blenders, electrical appliances and assorted useful, and otherwise, gadgets as the next person.

But although excellent quality cheap cookware ( yes it is possible )like grinders and blenders give you a lot more scope there are plenty of things that you can cook without them, but a excellent knife, or three, is absolutely essential.

The first and most essential piece of cookware you need is a cooks knife, thats as large as you feel comfortable with, an 8 inch knife with a blade that curves slightly to allow a rocking motion is a excellent start, then a smaller knife, about 4 inches, for cutting small vegetables and a carving knife.

If you buy one about 10 inches long it can also double as a bread knife. Although there is no point buying extra knifes just to line the pockets of the large kitchen eequipment manufacturers. A set can really be quite excellent value and give you more for a similar amount of money. But check carefully what is in the set first.

If you cannot find a set with what you reckon will be useful to you, don’t buy it. Many sets come with extras like a case or wooden knife block but try to see past the free gifts. Its much better to have a few excellent knives in your drawer than a fancy polished beech wood block with fifteen designer knives, fourteen of which you never use, and one that is not the right shape for your hand and gives you blisters.
I have a small, not very expensive set of French Sabatiers that are comfortable but not as posh looking as some of the more fashionable makes like the Japanese globals which I find too light which makes chopping a lot of veg for example much harder work.

If you learn how to use them properly then steel or grinding stone is a excellent way to keep your knives sharp otherwise there are a excellent choice of proprietary sharpeners that keep the knife at the right angle while you pull it through the sharpener. Pans also need to be excellent quality, nothing over the top, no need to spend a fortune. Just make sure they are of a excellent solid construction.

This promotes excellent even heat distribution and helps to prevent things burning. Stainless steel is a excellent option. A excellent wok on the other hand should be made of a thin light steel and cost very small, but always check that it has a excellent well-fixed wooden handle. The best place to buy this most useful of pans is (perhaps unsurprisingly) usually the local Chinese supermarket. A excellent chopping board is another necessity though two are better than one as this helps to prevent cross contamination if you designate one for uncooked meats/fish etc.and another for things like fruit and salads.

No matter how much you reckon you will always be careful and wash them between uses this is the best single way to prevent contamination between foods. Mixers can be useful if you intend doing a lot of baking. But unless you make bread on a regular basis (always a excellent thought), then buying a simple, excellent quality hand held mixer rather than a heavy stand alone version could save you a couple of hundred dollars in as well as a lot of space on your worktop.

A blender is always useful for soups and the occasional smoothie, and a grinder will give you a lot more options in your use of nuts etc.and will also provide a constant supply of fresh coffee for the more manic cook. A excellent way to combine the functions of all three is to buy a food processor.
A excellent quality machine such as a Moulinex or Robot coupe will save space and allow you to buy a much better processor than if you bought there items separately. There is an nearly unending list of kitchen equipment that you could buy (if in doubt walk into your local cookery shop and question the owner what he thinks you need!), but make sure you get the essential excellent quality cookware right and it will make your cooking simpler and more enjoyable.

nearlyhealthy.com nearlyhealthy.com is a new quality simple recipe, cookery tips and information site, for fantastic tasting food that is also simple to cook. Cooking should be a joy not a chore. Using the best ingredients and keeping it simple means your food tastes excellent with the minimum of fuss. Cookery book reviews, we choose the best in current and classic recipe books and food travel writers. Also product and excellent food suppliers.

Need to know the best food processor we take the time to choose so you don’t have to. Need to know where to find the best organic pork? We bring you the best suppliers and information.

We have started small but will add more and more content over the coming weeks so do keep checking back. We look forward to seeing you and listening to your comments and feedback.

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