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Old 08-06-2007, 12:19 AM   #1
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What cooking utensils should I get...?

I'm a noob cook and my kitchen has, let's say, less than adequate cooking utensils/anything related to cooking. Right now all i have are 3 cutting boards, some lame knives, 1 10 inch frying pan, and 3 pots. What should I get if I want to be serious about cooking?

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Old 08-06-2007, 12:31 AM   #2
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Sounds like you need to start small and build up as you build on your experience. It depends on what kind of cooking you're planning on doing and what sort of skill level you're at.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:15 AM   #3
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well I can cook meat? :D and fish as well. Haven't gotten to being able to gut and de-bone fish...
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:33 AM   #4
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Do you really want to gut and de-bone fish? Ugh! How much money are you looking to invest? How gadgety do you want to get? How quickly do you want to build up your supplies?

The first thing I would suggest doing is probably invest in a good knife or two. I love my Global knife but there is an Australian company called Furi that I've heard good things about too. There's nothing more frustrating than poor quality knives.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:44 AM   #5
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Hi. Here are some suggestions: measuring cups (different ones for dry and liquids) and spoons, 3 or 4 different sizes of mixing bowls, a whisk, a couple of spatulas, a box grater (for cheese, citrus zest, etc.), vegetable peeler, set of utensils such as slotted spoon, solid spoon, ladle, pancake turner; a food processor is a great help, but not essential. Good knives are essential. My DH bought me a set of Cutco knives, along with a meat fork and a spreader, because his parents received a set as a wedding present in 1959 and were (probably still are) using the same knives.

Hope this is helpful.
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krnxguhj33
well I can cook meat? :D and fish as well. Haven't gotten to being able to gut and de-bone fish...
I consider myself a pretty experienced cook and would never think of gutting fish I do need a boning knife for chicken, though ...
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Old 08-06-2007, 07:52 AM   #7
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Gutting and de-boning a fish is not a novice activity. Start slower than that. CaroleC's advice about investing in a quality knife is excellent advice. That is one of the most important tools you will have.

A 10 inch fry pan is a good all around general pan so unless that one is junk then I would not spend money to replace it if you could be spending that money on some other things.

Locking tongs are a very important and inexpensive tool that I would not want to be without. Another great tool, especially for a novice, but for experts as well, is a probe thermometer. Too many times people want to know how long to cook something. Cooking by time does not work all that well because there are too many factors that come into play that could alter how long something needs to cook. If you cook by temp instead (using the probe thermometer) then you will be much more successful.

There are a million other things you could get too of course. You should really figure out what types of things you will be cooking and go from there. For instance, if you like deep fried food and want to do a lot of that then you will need some things for that. Those things will be different from the things you will need if you want to do a lot of roasting or stir frys or something else.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:29 AM   #8
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A 10 inch cast iron fry pan will prove invalueable for going straight from the stove top to the oven. In fact consider two or three pieces of cast iron. The price is right, and it will last you a life time...


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Old 08-06-2007, 10:56 AM   #9
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I'll just state my essentials though some have been mentioned already. These are the things that I use every week and/or each time I cook.
  • A good chef's knife or a santoku
  • A boning knife (good for cutting a chicken into pieces and for fileting your fish
  • A knife sharpener
  • A steel
  • Tongs (mine don't lock but some sort of tongs are a must)
  • Silicone oven mitts (they can also be used to pick up whole chickens or larger cuts of meat up off of a grill
  • A couple whisks and they should be the kind with the bigger handle. Don't get one with one of those skinny handles. If you have a lot of whisking to do the skinny handle is hard to hold for very long.
  • Funnels come in handy when making salad dressings, among other things
  • Nesting bowls for mixing and whisking
  • A set of small (roughly 1-cup bowls for mise en place) with lids would be nice but not necessary
  • An olive oil bottle (opague, not see-through)
  • A salt cellar for kosher salt
  • Kitchen scissors - cutting is much faster than trying to rip open.

And one of the handiest things is not a "thing" but a method - mise en place. It's where you measure, chop, cut, slice, dice, everything in the recipe and have it in order ready to go. That way you know if you are out of something and the onions (or whatever) aren't cooking to death while you are chopping the next ingredient. This is what the bowls are for. If certain things get "thrown in" at the same time you can add those to the same bowl i.e., chopped celery/onions/garlic, salt/pepper/oregano, etc.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:45 AM   #10
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Nobody has mentioned a colander?

I canít live without mine, so definitely add that to the list!

Also, if youíre going to be boning a lot of meat, especially cutting up your own chickens, consider a good filet knife. It doesnít have to be expensive, just flexible and sharp. Iíve got a good boning knife in my set, but I prefer the filet knife for cutting up chickens. It just feels better to me.

And if you ever do get around to prepping and boning your own fish, youíll need that filet knife anyway! Itís a handy skill if you catch your own fish (or buy them whole from the market), and it's not that hard to do. Heading, gutting, and scaling the fish is super easy. The trickiest part (and it's not that hard) is filleting the fish, but practice and patience teaches you that.

Skinning a catfish is something different altogether!
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