Minimalist Guide to Kitchenware
Our old kitchen, small and cozy
Most of us are not gourmet chefs. While I love to eat, cooking is not my strongest suit. However, because elementary cooking is a necessary life skill, it’s unlikely that you will be able to avoid the kitchen forever (and most Americans could find health and financial benefits from eating more home-cooked meals). As with any skill, you will only get better with practice. I find it interesting when one fills their home with expensive kitchen gadgets, yet lacks the knowledge to use them. Owning the fanciest appliances is pointless if you don’t make a habit of cooking.
One thing that will help you get the most out of your kitchen is a set of simple tools. As you improve, additional investment in kitchenware becomes warranted.
Pots and Pans
2 cast iron skillets – they are multipurpose and last forever. We tend to just burn and scrape off residue between uses (mix salt and oil to help with the process), prevent extended water exposure to prevent rust, if you do rinse one with water you need to dry and re-oil the pan immediately
1 stainless steel sauce pan – we used to have non-stick pots and pans but the coating becomes toxic if you scratch it. Another plus is that stainless steel can go in the dishwasher. If you go non-stick, make sure you keep metal objects away from the cooking surface; you will have to use wood or kitchen grade plastic utensils
1 stainless steel skillet
1 stainless steel mixing bowl
1 stainless steel strainer
1 baking pan
1 baking sheet
2 cutting boards
2 wooden spoons
1 wooden rice spatula
1 plastic serving spoon
1 rubber spatula
2 slotted spatulas – 1 plastic, 1 stainless steel
1 set of tongs
1 can opener
1 wine/bottle opener
3 knives – 1 cleaver, 2 chef’s knives
1 set of kitchen shears
1 pizza slicer (optional)
When we moved last winter, I did away with many of our eating utensils, plates and glasses. Before doing this, I noticed the excess promoted messiness as we would leave things in the sink for extended periods of time. With only two people, we didn’t need any more than 8 spoons, 8 forks, 4 sets of chopsticks and 4 butter knives. We don’t often have visitors as our space is limited, but when the occasion arises we simply wash all of the eating utensils or buy disposable ones. Personally, I don’t like to keep extra things around the house on the off chance that they might needed as more often than not, you never get around to using them.
As you can see, Stewart and I run on a very light set of kitchenware that is built on being multipurpose and durable. However, the food you eat doesn’t need to be basic like your tools. You should invest in an assortment of spices and use them to avoid creating bland meals. Or you can grow them yourself. Spices are a good way to keep your cooking healthy because they are big on taste but don’t add fat, sodium or other undesirable components to your dish.