Image via WikipediaFar too often people overlook the importance of using the proper tools when cooking fine meals. While there is nothing in the world that can quite compare to cooking with the finest and freshest of ingredients, using the perfect tools for the job at hand enhances the experience.
When it comes to pots, pans, and skillets, you should keep in mind that conductivity is of extreme importance. You should also select pots and pans made of a heavier gauge. This allows your pans to heat evenly, avoiding hot spots, which can lead to food that may stick to your pan or scorch during the cooking process. This means that simply stopping in at your local mass market retailer and purchasing any old set of pots and pans is probably not the best course of action for the best possible quality in your kitchen.
Kitchen knives are also important ingredients in the kitchens of today. If you plan to prepare many meals in your kitchen, then the quality of your knives is of the utmost importance. Your knives are an investment you will not make too often in your lifetime. For this reason, select a really good set and be prepared to make a sizeable investment in your knives. You will never understand, unless you've tried to prepare foods with knives of inferior quality, just how important it is to purchase good quality and well-balanced knives for your kitchen. You should also try the handles in your hand to see how comfortable they feel before purchasing a set of knives. If you do a lot of chopping and cutting during your meal preparation and cooking, you will want to make sure that the knives you are using feel comfortable in your hands.
If you are like me, and plan on cooking a great deal of meat, then you should also invest in a jacquard. This useful tool helps not only when it comes to tenderizing rather rough and tumble cuts of meat, but also pierces the surface so that rubs and marinades can penetrate for a more flavorful experience. This is by far one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, and it isn't a sizeable investment for the added value it provides to meals.
A good quality grater is another tool that no kitchen should be without. Many feel, with all the shredded cheese products on the market today, this tool is obsolete, but nothing is further from the truth. Shredded cheese simply doesn't touch the quality of flavor that freshly grated cheese provides. Remember that cheese isn't the only thing that these graters are useful for grating. Graters are excellent tools for grating citrus fruits, spices, garlic, chocolate, and even onions. If you do a good deal of baking in addition to your cooking, you should not overlook the value of having a quality grater in your kitchen.
Of course, there are many more cooking tools than I could possibly mention here. Those mentioned above simply happen to be among my personal favorites. There are all kinds of appliances that, in my humble opinion, no kitchen is truly complete without. In addition to these great appliances, many tools are simply matters of preference. Do you peel enough potatoes to warrant a special device? Or, do you simply opt to purchase an ergonomically designed potato peeler and peel them by hand? There are no "one size fits all" answers when it comes to kitchen tools, and serious budget constraints and restrictions limit many of us. My best advice, if this is your situation, is to purchase the best possible quality you can afford and build from there. Even if it means replacing one pot or knife at a time until you can manage a complete set of superior quality cooking tools, you will find it well worth the price you pay in the end.