The Five Kitchen Tools Every Aspiring Chef Needs

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These days more men fancy themselves as a dab hand in the kitchen. Celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver have inspired countless men and women to ditch the ready-meals and the fast food and to test their newly found skills on concocting an array of delicious dishes. But it’s not just about great food and recipes, there are also a few basic cooking implements and gadgets that are essential for anyone looking to make quality food at home.

1. A Thermometer

To save on all kinds of burn injuriesfrom when you just couldn’t resist testing that sugar, meat or sauce with your finger, get yourself a thermometer. Not only is it an essential tool if you want to make caramel, cheese or yoghurt, but it can also be used to cook meat just how you want it and to make sure your chicken is cooked through. It’s a simple tool and one that will cost you just $10.

Just make sure you get a kitchen one. They have a long metal prong that you can use to rest in sauce or stick into meat.

2. Vegetable Slicer

We’re all guilty of being transfixed by those infomercials on vegetable and fruit slicers. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but unlike many other informercial “As Seen on TV” products, this one actually works. It’ll cut through anything with ease and give you perfect slices, dices and cubes. The better ones also come with spiralizers, which help to spice up salads and can even be used to make vegetable pastas.

3. A Sharp Knife

It’s a no-brainer really, but the majority of home cooks don’t have a sharp knife and if they do get around to buying one, they don’t keep it sharp. You need a proper knife to make proper food. It can make life so much easier and for some food, including sushi, it’s essential. Try cutting a tomato or a roll of sushi with a blunt knife and you’ll understand just why this is such an essential tool.

It’s not that difficult to keep a kitchen knife sharp either. It only requires a few swipes on a leather, stone or metal sharpener every now and then. You don’t need to spend big on an electronic sharpener that will only end up gathering dust. Just get something cheap, small and easy and you’ll find that you use it more, as opposed to giving up on the idea of constantly plugging an electronic one in or finding batteries for it when it runs out.

4. A Stand Mixer

These can be expensive, but you usually get what you pay for. They can help to knead dough, mix cakes, create meringue and much more. They are an asset to any home kitchen and they are such an essential part of modern cooking that they can also be found in professional kitchens around the world.

So, stop splashing out on the latest fad kitchen gadget, save your money and get some of these. The hand mixers are a lot cheaper and in many cases just as good, but you’re more limited to how you can use them.

5. A Food Processor

It seems like everyone has one of these gathering dust and grime in a cupboard somewhere, most likely from the time they convinced themselves they were going to start making healthy smoothies every morning—not unlike that tub of matcha tea powder in the back of your cupboard or the unopened pack of chia seeds.

They are not just for smoothies though and are also great for sauces, soups, pate, hummus and desserts. And if you ever do get around to using those seeds and that tea, then having a food processor makes it a breeze to create all kinds of healthy concoctions. Just throw in a little fruit, add some water, sprinkle in some seeds or green powder and you’re good to go.