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11 Essential Kitchen Tools  
(+ a few mighty useful ones) |
  1 2 3

Tools make life easier. The right kitchen tools can seriously improve the efficiency of your cooking, thereby saving your sanity should the occasion ever arise where you have to cook for more than 2 people, and leaving you more time to actually sit back and enjoy your concoctions. The eleven non-electric tools listed below are the absolute bare minimum of what you’ll require if you’re going to be doing any sort of quasi-serious cooking in your kitchen.

1 a good chef’s knife, 8" blade
2 a good paring knife, 3" blade
3 a serrated knife

Don’t even think about trying to make do with that crappy chef’s knife you bought at Safeway for $4.99. Chances are high that within the first month of use, that blade will be duller than a butter knife … provided it was ever remotely sharp to begin with. Dull knife blades make chopping veggies a real chore, and can seriously endanger your precious little fingers, as they are far more likely to slip when used. Buy your knives at a good department store or specialty store; the initial investment may seem a bit high, but I promise you that they’ll last for much, much longer than their cheap counterparts.

4 a wood/plastic cutting board, as large as you can find

I prefer the look of a wood cutting board, and actually was lucky enough to snag a very beautiful, big, heavy one during one of my garage sale foraging sessions. But plastic, they say, is more hygienic, as it is less likely to absorb bacteria and other microscopic nasties. Personally I’ve never experienced any food poisoning problems, so really I suppose it’s a matter of personal preference. The main thing here, though is to get something BIG … that cute little translucent lime-green board you saw at Crate and Barrel may look awfully nice sitting on your countertop, but try to chop even one small onion and you’ll find you’ve already run out of workspace. Oh, and avoid glass-cutting boards at all costs … they’re really only good for slicing bread; any attempt to chop fruit or vegetables on a glass surface will chip and dull your blades.

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