10 Kitchen Essentials Every Guy Should Own

Above: 1. French oven from Le Creuset  2.  R2 Pro Chef’s Knife from Takamura  3. Walnut Cutting Board from Boos Block  4. 4-quart saucepan from All Clad  5. Flexible Fish Spatula from William Sonoma

There are far too many kitchen gadgets overcrowding countertops these days, do you really use that Kitchen Aid mixer? Didn’t think so. It is time to pare down your kitchen to the bare essentials.  Here are our 10 kitchen must-haves for men who actually cook.

1. 8” Chef’s Knife: An eight to ten inch chef’s knife is as versatile as a great pair of denim; you will use this knife in 90% of your kitchen tasks. Just remember, the more blade you have, the more knife you have to do the work for you.  A chef’s knife is strong enough to cut through the leg joint of a chicken and nimble enough to carve up a roast.

2. Paring Knife: A paring knife picks up where your chef’s knife leaves off. It’s best for slicing and mincing items that are too small for a larger blade, such as garlic, shallots, or even strawberries.

3. Cutting Board: It is true what they say, thickness matters. When it comes to cutting boards, the thicker the better. Thin wood will warp and split easily.  And make sure to skip the cheap plastic cutting boards – they can’t handle the heat. Just remember to dry your wood after rinsing and a natural oil treatment will help keep it in commission for years to come.

4. Mixing Bowl: Always go for a stainless steel mixing bowl with a non-slip rubber bottom; you don’t need an entire set.  Go with a larger size bowl, this will work perfectly for beating eggs, dressing salad, or finally baking your girlfriend a cake.

5. 12” Tongs: Most professional chefs own multiples of these. The twelve-inch tongs can be used to handle just about anything, from a steak on the grill, to spaghetti in boiling water, or an un-tossed salad.

6. Flexible Spatula: Reach for a flexible fish spatula for all your flipping needs. Originally designed to preserve the flaky flesh of seafood, this light, flexible fish spatula is also perfect for roasted vegetables, or even pancakes. Bonus: the slotted feature helps drain off any extra oiliness.

7. Silicon Spatula Spoon: Toss out your tired old wooden spoons – this guy does double duty. The perfect tool for stirring or serving that can also scrap out the last remnants of peanut butter in the jar.

8. Dutch Oven (aka French Oven): No, not that type of Dutch oven, the kind you cook with. These sorts of things can be pretty pricey but there are worth their weight in kitchen gold. Trust us, you will use it more often than you think. Look for an enamelled Dutch oven, the enamel makes it easy to clean and the heavy cast iron will maintain a steady and even heat for roasting or braising.  Look for oval shaped for more versatility.

9. 4-quart Saucepan: There is no need for an entire set of pots, stick with this size, it is the workhorse of pots. The four-quart saucepan is the perfect size to boil a big patch of pasta or boil a single egg. Look for a high quality saucepan that is made from a combination of steel and aluminum.

10. Skillet: A stainless-steel skillet is perfect for everything from sautéing pork chops to caramelizing onions. Look for one with a lid and stainless steel handle, this way you can sear a roast on top of the stove and toss it in the oven to finish cooking the meat to perfection.

Bonus: Cookie Sheet: Don’t think of this as simply a cookie sheet to be used for baking cookies, and consider using it to rest a just seared steak or to roast a perfect batch of root vegetables.

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