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.