Spending on cookware is an investment. Or it should be. If you believe that a man lives to eat or even that he eats to live, in both situations the cookware must last you long and assist you in your cooking in the best way possible, even if it is slightly more in price than you thought you could budget for. Having said that, there obviously are budget constraints for everyone, and in this article we will try and find out which items/ kitchen product should you try and spend your best buck on, and which ones you would rather try and save a bit on. The products discussed are the most common cooking products available in most regular kitchens.
YOU SHOULD EXTEND YOUR BUDGET FOR:
- Food Processor: For most busy, urban kitchens, a food processor is the heart of the kitchen, much in the same way that the kitchen is the heart of the home. A food processor chops, kneads, juices, mixes, whips and does most other things that would otherwise be inconceivable to be done by hand, unless of course, that is all that you have to do. It is a great decision to spend good money on a food processor since it can really help you in a lot of chores, save you an immense amount of time and money. Cheap food processors, first of all will have limited usages as well as these will be prone to frequent breakdowns and will severely hamper your capabilities to cook. So therefore, invest in a good food processor, it will last you a long time and will be a real work horse, saving more money on the long run than you spent on it. Try and find a comprehensive food processor with as many processing capabilities that you normally would comprehend using, such as juicer, mixer, grinder, whipper, kneader etc. Don’t think of how you cook today; think of how you’d like to cook going forward.
- Chopping Board: It is funny to see how less most cooks think about a chopping board. True, much of the chopping and slicing is done by a food processor these days but it is also true that nothing can replace the versatility and usefulness of the humble cutting board. Whereas most home cooks try and go stingy on the chopping board, if you ask any professional chef, you would probably understand what we are saying. A good quality chopping board is absolutely essential to a kitchen and this is where you must spend a little bit more than you have budgeted for. Although plastic and fiber chopping boards are more convenient and are being widely used, there is no comparison to a good quality wooden cutting board. Some people have reservations of the hygienic quotient of a wooden chopping board, it has been found that bacteria don’t really multiply faster in a wooden board than on a plastic one. In addition a wooden chopping board is the best choice for your expensive knives and mallets etc since the wood absorbs some of the impact unlike the plastic or the fiber. So therefore, whatever you do, do invest in a good quality chopping board, it will last you a lifetime and will carry fond memories for you too.
- A Skillet: There is no taking away from the fact that a great frying pan, or possibly a set of those will be your main cook top companion as long as you intend to cook. It is important to do substantial research in order to come down upon the kind of skillet you will feel most comfortable with and that will be most efficient as a cooking material for your style of cooking and your individual requirements. If we were to really recommend, we would say it is better to have more than less in the skillet department. Invest in a good quality cast iron skillet, a stainless steel one and definitely a non stick one preferable with an aluminum core. The reason you should have at least three skillets is because these are used for entirely different cooking techniques and until you must, you should try and give them their due by using the pan suited to the particular kind of cookery. So therefore, our belief is that you must invest in good quality, sturdy, long lasting and may be slightly over your budget skillets, they will really serve you well.
- The Oven: It can be said that most home cooks use the oven less than they could. One of the main reasons behind it is the lack of awareness and understanding about how an oven can really be a great medium for doing most kind of cooking’s. If you invest in a good quality oven which can reach high temperatures and has the functionalities of a grill, a microwave and convection, it can take a lot of burden off your cooking. Ovens are quite versatile and once you take the fear out of baking, it becomes one of your more trusted workhorses in the kitchen. So our advice is, do spend some good money on choosing your oven, it can do things that you don’t think possible presently. Good ovens do last long, really long.
THINGS THAT YOU COULD SAVE ON:
- Knives: Most people when shopping for knives spend way more than they should. With a little bit of research and understanding, you can really question the heavy price of the expensive knives out there and save yourself a lot. What generally happens is, that when we go shopping for knives, we want to pick the best, professional knives that claim to be used by professional chefs, little understanding that knives of that sophistication is only required by chefs that use those extensively, for many hours a day and also spend a considerable effort in maintaining those, not generally possible in a home environment. So next time you go shopping for knives, buy the ones that you need, not the ones that the professionals use.
- Thermometers: Many of us are sucked into the argument of buying expensive food thermometers, little realizing that these have an extremely limited use and that the visual and other sensory mediums are the best ways to judge the cook on your food. Until you are planning on cooking something very fancy, like a sugar sculpture or are a professional cook, you can easily save yourself from spending money on expensive food thermometers. If you must, buy the basic ones, you will be surprised how infrequently you will eventually use them.
There could be many other examples of expensive kitchen equipment/gadgets that many home cooks buy on a whim but eventually don’t end up using it much. It must be understood that money spent on products that you don’t regularly use is in a way money blocked and a thorough distinction should be made on selecting the cookware that you see yourself using and feeling comfortable about.