Making life easy in the kitchen

By Al Brown

Making life easy in the kitchen

Having the right equipment in your kitchen can make cooking twice as easy and the good news is you don’t need a lot of tools.

I’ve always said, ‘give me a knife, skillet and chopping board, and I can light a fire and cook you dinner’.

When it comes to equipment knives will always be my number one. You need them a lot and for the average person three knives is plenty. A small paring knife for the fiddly jobs like peeling garlic and scraping the skin off ginger. A good chef’s knife – which come in all different sizes – choose one with a handle that best suits your grip. And a filleting knife with a soft blade for filleting fish or to bone out a shoulder of lamb.

Using a good knife and the right knife will make certain jobs easier and you may get slightly obsessed.

As far as cooking pans go, the cast-iron skillet is the greatest pan out there for a whole lot of reasons. It’s the original non-stick pan, and it will last a lifetime. It retains heat like nothing else because of its thickness and it’s beautiful to cook on. It also has relatively high sides, which means you can make a stew, sauté, or cover and roast.

You can go high end and by a Le Creuset cast -iron skillet but you can also get really good quality mid-range skillets. I’ve used Lodge from America and simply adore them. I take mine camping with me. They’re rough and ready, they take a beating, and the handle is never going to break.

A wooden chopping board and set of tongs complete the package of old school tools. I feel confident knocking up a whole lot of great dishes with these.

Always choose a wooden chopping board over plastic.  I can’t stand plastic chopping boards and it’s proven that wooden boards (if you look after them and clean them) are safer hygienic-wise than plastic ones.

When it comes to kitchen gear, always buy quality. You don’t need a lot and it will last a long, long time.

And, if there was one new-world tool I’d add, it’s a wand blender with its attachments. It allows you to make mayonnaise or salsa quickly. These are the only tools I travel with if I’m going on holiday or to an event.


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