Basic kitchen equipment and supplies?
Hi, I have a friend who has just moved into his own apartment after living with roommates/parents/girlfriend for his entire adult life (he's 33). He needs to equip his kitchen with quality equipment and supplies, and has a good enough job that he can afford quality stuff. He'll also need a good, basic cookbook to get him started, since he's incompetent enough in the kitchen that he hurt himself the last time he tried to cook.
Decent pot and pan set
Cast iron pan
A chopper/mixer/puree machine- I highly recommended
His budgetary freedom notwithstanding, the shotgun approach is not advisable. Figure out with him what he most likes to eat, day-in, day-out, and begin equipping on that basis. Other good starter books are Mark Bittman's "How to Cook Everything" and, seriously, "Cooking Basics for Dummies".
In no particular order....
A high quality chef knife and paring knife
Stainless steel measuring cups/spoons
An enameled cast iron dutch oven (as large as he can bare)
A stainless steel tripoly saute pan (12 inches)
A high quality non stick saute pan (12 inches)
Set of stainless steel mixing bowls
Ceramic or pyrex ramekins
Set of wood mixing spoons
Gallon and quart sized ziploc freezer bags
Wine steward styled wine opener and church key
Large high quality wood or bamboo cutting board
This is just a start....good luck
Here is a nice article by Mark Bittman on equipping a basic functional kitchen for a home cook - I think it is pretty helpful guide
I would say start with a basic set up of functional items - avoid whole sets of things that will go unused as it will add clutter and confusion
Lora Brody's Kitchen Survival Guide. It is available at Amazon. She wrote the book when her sons were moving in to their own apartments. It is witty and a fun read even if you are an accomplished cook.
When I was a Realtor I would give this as a gift to young buyers when buying their first home.
re: John Francis
I suspect Bittman is a bit too complicated at this stage, though I may bring my copy over for tutorials. Right now, I'm leaning towards How to Boil Water or something similar, unless one of his buddies have something else in mind.
The last time we were out at the local drinking hole, he talked about oven-baking bacon candied in maple syrup, and we vetoed it; we'd afraid of him burning the house down!
but it gives you a good idea of where he may want to go foodwise - why not a slow-cooker (or low slow oven) pulled pork - such a cheap trick - as a start. Great eazy party dish that yields very re-purpose-able leftovers. Make sure he is getting cookware that he knows will help make food he likes to eat and understands how it will do that.
Since $$ isn't a BIG stumbling block and you put the word "incompetent" in the OP, I'd like to know how he "hurt himself"?? I'd go "cheap" before investing BIG bucks in stuff he might not need/use.
I'm a big yard sale & thrift stop shopper and have made some GREAT buys on kitchen items... as long as CLEAN & working, with instructions (preferable). Can find name brand small appliances (like KA and Cuisinart) for pennies on the dollar, like:
- hand mixer (with attachments)
- waffle iron
- rice cooker
If ya find that you don't like/use something, clean it up and re-donate to thrift shop. Was a NO on juicer... too much clean up for me. was a BIG YES on "vintage KA stand mixer with bowl and all attachments!
Same with pots/pans and other cookware. Have found Griswold/Wagner/Lodge cast iron with very little... a little elbow grease and re-seasoning and put to work.
A LARGE pot should be on list... for pasta, soup, chili. A few "casserole" type dishes. Corning-ware (hopefully with lids, or OLD crusty Pyrex... there's a reason none of Nana's stuff has ever exploded and a dose of oven cleaner brings stuff back to sparkling.
And a few BASIC recipes (written or oral) on what to do with... whole or cut-up chicken, pork chops, ground beef, etc. OH, and how to cook basic RICE!
When niece was even younger (and expecting 1st child) she moaned about wishing she could afford to be a SAHM?!? She had a kitchen FULL of nice stuff (from wedding registry) that was rarely used & a kitchen drawer full of TAKE-OUT menus!! She had little kitchen/cooking skills (a LONG story) and was pretty intimidated by the whole thing. After baby arrived, I went over for a visit and brought dinner... chili. I cooked rice there, but you'd have thought I was winning competitions with the chili, the way they went ON and ON... will even admit to using a PACKET of chili "seasoning"!?! They have people over a LOT during football season... a big pot of chili could feed a bunch of hungry Eagle's fans for a fraction of take-out stuff.