Cooking: Getting Started

If you haven’t been cooking from scratch, now is the time to learn. With gastronomy being more popular than ever thanks to big name chefs on cooking shows, it is becoming easier and easier to cook well. With more people interested in cooking, the necessary equipment is becoming easier to get hold of, too. Here’s what you’ll need to start.

Pots and Pans

If you’re contemplating a foray into the world of food, the first implements you’ll need are two good quality non-stick frying pans (one small, one large) and a large soup pot with a lid. These are relatively inexpensive and easy to find – try your nearest home depot or even online for the best prices.

You'll need two pots and one large pan to start cooking

Bear in mind that as a general rule, the more money you are prepared to invest the longer your pots and pans will last. You should also invest in an oven-proof sheet pan. This is fantastic for dishes that require time in the oven.

Utensils

Knives

A large, sharp knife is an indispensable kitchen tool – you’ll use it on a daily basis, so if you can afford to splash out, it’s advisable to do so.  A good, sturdy knife is an indespensible kitchen utensilTo select a knife with good durability, strength and ergonomic design for easy handling, always hold the knife in your hand before you buy it. Look for:

Grip

Does the knife feel good and sit comfortably in your hand?

Structure

Have a look at the steel in the blade. Does it run all the way to the hilt? Are there any signs of welding or joining? Ideally, the knife should be made from one piece of steel.

Balance

A well-balanced knife requires less work for chopping than an unbalanced knife – a balanced knife will put less strain on your arm.

Wooden Spoon

You can pick up a wooden spoon from pretty much anywhere, for a small price. Wooden spoons are best because they won’t scratch your non-stick pots and pans.

Silicone Spatula

This is essential for flipping eggs and chicken… for anything that requires frying or browning, a silicone spatula is your best friend.

Metal Tongs

These are super handy for handling hot ingredients. Look for silicone tipped tongs, as these will not destroy your pots and pans.

Cheese Grater

This doubles up as a lemon-zester as well. Look for a microplane grater as the box graters can be ungainly and difficult to control.

Food Prep

A Colander

You’ll need this to wash vegetables and drain pasta, rice, etc. Metal colanders are easier to clean than plastic ones.

Cutting Board

This is a must – I recommend buying two. Always use one for vegetables and a separate one for meat to avoid cross-contamination. Wooden ones tend to warp, so try an easy-to-clean plastic one.