March 25, 2013
- 99% of the time, you need only one knife: a chef's knife. Make sure you have a good, sharp one that fits well in your hand. You may also want a paring knife (to peel), a bread knife (if you buy unsliced bread), steak knives (to eat steak and other tough items), and a cleaver (for bulky, tough items) but the chef's knife is the most important item you can have in your kitchen and you can perform 99% of knife tasks with it. Make sure you have a honing steel and use it often to keep it sharp.
- Get a cast iron pan! It is useful for so many things, and unlike teflon pans, it will never wear out - just re-season it if it gets sticky. Cast iron pans can be bought cheaply from hardware stores or big box stores. Lodge makes some good, inexpensive cast iron.
- Glass cutting boards may look nice, but they are impractical and hard on your knives. Go with wood (for longetivity) or plastic (for easy cleaning and care).
- When baking, follow directions exactly, or your results may vary in an unpleasant way. When cooking on the stovetop, usually you can improvise. For example, you can use any vegetables you want in a stir-fry, but don't try to replace the butter in a cookie recipe with oil. Baking relies on chemistry, while stovetop cooking has fewer restraints and rules.