The best kitchen essentials can make the world of difference when cooking. Included are all of my must have items that I cannot live without. Do you ever wonder what the best kitchen essentials are? Now you don’t have to. Just sit back relax, grab a coffee or tea and just start reading
Where did it start?
Do you have that feeling of utter happiness when you walk into your favorite kitchen store and go this is my happy place. Well I sure can. Over time, I can say my taste has definitely changed for the better. What I liked and felt I needed ten years ago is very different to today.
My kitchen is the hub of our home. We talk together and share many fond memories. I can think back to the times my mom and I spent together in the kitchen. She always made me feel special. Good quality cookware can make an ordinary meal extraordinary.
The Best Kitchen Essentials- Enameled Cast Iron –
On my quest for the best cookware, I fell in love with two brands that truly make the best enameled cast iron cookware.
Le Creuset- Le Creuset offers two lines. I always recommend checking the bottom of dutch ovens and bakeware to see exactly where it is made. The French logo is what I look for. A lot of the dish sets and bakeware is made in China.
For me, I tend to gravitate towards anything with a French logo. I have dreamed of going to Paris since I was a little girl. French cookware not only looks great, but is also made exceptionally well.
There is a reason Julia Childs went to Paris to learn how to cook. For Julia, her tools and cookware were crucial to her exceeding in a time where women were not accepted as professional chefs. She cooked with French Copper because she knew that copper distributes heat evenly. Due to cost and durability, these days we don’t cook with a lot of Copper.
We do, however, cook with enameled cookware. Why? Because of its durability and lifetime warranty. So many times in my kitchen I think to myself-what would Julia do? I’m sure she would love cooking with Le Creuset and Staub.
Staub- While I do have quite a collection of Le Creuset, The beauty of Staub is unparalleled. The beautiful colors they make are just jaw dropping. One plus is that the inside of the dutch ovens are enameled in black.
Having dutch ovens that are enameled make clean up a breeze. I have two very large dutch ovens from Staub in Black and Burgundy. I got both of them on clearance. They still look brand new even though they are used often.
Acquiring a collection can take time as it is a big investment. Enameled cast iron will last throughout your lifetime, and can be passed down to younger generations. But please remember, always hand wash. Never put them in the dishwasher.
The Best Kitchen Essentials- Stand Mixer-
While a stand-mixer isn’t considered a necessity for every cook, once you have one you cannot imagine life without one. From cakes to cookies to meringue, a stand mixer can do it all.
My personal recommendation is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer. Kitchen Aid makes a few different models to choose from. The one I use is a Pro series KitchenAid 6 Qt. Professional 600 Series Bowl-Lift Stand Mixer but ultimately, the choice in which stand mixer is best for you is up to you. With so many color options and attachments, let your creativity run wild.
You might be thinking- I have a hand mixer and that works just fine. That may be true, however, there are recipes that require some muscles. For instance, I can think of whisking a meringue by hand. There is a considerable amount of muscle that goes into making the perfect meringue. A hand mixer would work, but the kitchen Aid is so much easier.
Cheesecake is one of my faves. For a smooth batter, you need to beat the cream cheese for at least a few minutes. Why not put that Kitchen Aid stand mixer to use? Plus, I use mine so frequently, its a show piece on my countertop.
The Best Kitchen Essentials- Roasting Pan
Every year like clockwork, Thanksgiving comes around. You wake up early in the morning, prepare the Turkey, and watch and wait as it roasts for hours. You baste it over and over so that your turkey is moist and juicy. Then that moment comes when it is ready to come out of the oven. You put it on your counter and everyone goes yum.
And if you’re like me, I love cooking Turkey. Seeing that Turkey is the star of the meal, you really want to use a good quality roasting pan. A roasting pan is the perfect addition for every kitchen. It not only looks beautiful, but can be used year round for roasts and so much more.
I have two roasting pans. Can you believe that I walked into Sur La Table and they had a Mauviel Copper Roasting Pan with Rack. The one I had always dreamed of owning. I couldn’t justify the hefty price tag on it though.
As luck would have it, they had it marked wrong and had it listed for $100 dollars. I had to pinch myself. I grabbed it and ran to checkout. Every year, I take it out and polish it. It honestly is one of my favorite kitchen items that I own.
The second one I have is from All Clad. I use this regularly to roast chickens, make roasts and bake spiral ham’s. Always hand wash and use Bar Keeper’s Friend to keep it looking new.
The Best Kitchen Essentials- Food Processor-
Breville is hands down the best food processor I have ever used. For a long time, I questioned whether I needed this and was it worth the price? Absolutely. From mincing herbs, kneading dough, slicing, dicing, grating, pureeing soups, chopping and shredding-this workhorse does it all.
I purchased the Breville Sous Chef Food Processor, 16-Cup. This food processor is one of the heavier ones on the market. If you want something that is a little smaller, I suggest purchasing the Breville 12 Cup Food Processor. If you are a cooking enthusiast like me, give this one a try. I have had mine for over 6 years, and it is still a champ.
For those times that I do not need a big food processor, I use my Cuisinart chopper and grinder quite often. If I need to make a quick dip or make a quick crust for a cheesecake, this is definitely a product you should keep as part of your essentials. I use this at least once a week in my kitchen. I love that it is lightweight and easy to move around.
The Best Kitchen Essentials- Professional Blender-
Professional Blenders are so versatile. You can them use them for Soups, Smoothies, Dips and Spreads, Nut Butters, Ice Cream and Frozen Treats, Cookies, Cakes and Baking, Bread and Dough, Cocktails, Non-dairy Milks, Baby Food, Sauces, Dressing and Marinades.
My favorite blender is a Vitamix A3500. They are made exceptionally well and offer a 10 year warranty. They really stand behind all their products. This is definitely one of my favorite kitchen tools. I use mine all the time.
The Best Kitchen Essentials- Nonstick Cookware-
If you had asked me about non-stick cookware a few years ago, I would say it is not safe to use! As you probably already know, eating Organic is really important to me and my family, as is making sure my home isn’t filled with toxins.
The problem with nonstick cookware(Teflon is the most common) is while it does have some advantages like easy cleanup and being able to use less butter and oil, is that it can contain toxins.
The only brand of nonstick cookware I use in my home is by Scanpan. Why Scanpan? I can say that I looked into this brand for a while. I kept telling myself these pans cannot be worth the high price tag. What is all the fuss about? To be honest with you, I was so wrong.
I have been using Scanpan cookware for over a year. They are oven and broiler safe up to 500 degrees. The quality of these pans is the best I’ve ever seen. I can cook eggs like a dream. Nothing sticks to these pans. I hand wash mine and clean up is a breeze. While Scanpan does say that they are dishwasher safe, I have never put any of my quality cookware in a dishwasher.
The coating on Scanpan are PFOA and PFOS free. Scanpan was the first manufacturer of cookware to introduce an environmentally friendly product. The pans are made in Denmark and have a lifetime warranty.
My collection includes a Scanpan Wok, Scanpan Fry Pan, and a Scanpan 5.25 Quart Pan. My stove at home is an Induction cooktop. There are certain scanpans that cannot be used with induction. Always make sure you double check which pans work best with your cook top surface.
With fall coming to an end and winter coming, spend your time getting creative in your kitchen.
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