10 expert-approved kitchen essentials for new homeowners
The expert-approved kitchen essentials ensure culinary success
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New homeowners know hundreds of kitchen gadgets on the market, ranging from ultra-practical must-haves to whimsical utensils. Of course, this can be challenging, especially for the beginner cook, to differentiate between the two. Of course, new homeowners want to have everything they need to whip up incredible meals in their new kitchen; still, it's important to remember that a pantry full of appliances and gear doesn't always guarantee culinary success.
Although it's tempting to get all the trend-driven culinary bells and whistles, home cooks and professional chefs alike will agree that it's the essentials that make the most impact in the kitchen. To help you build up your kitchen pantry, we spoke to a handful of experienced cooks and chefs to get their insights on the best kitchen essentials that are well worth the investment and the pantry real estate.
1. This high-end air fryer/oven combo tool
"The number one most essential kitchen appliance I recommend to all my friends is an air fryer/ oven combo like the Ninja Foodi Oven," explains Ali Van Straten, owner, and creator at Champagne and Coffee Stains. "We have had ours for a few years now [...] It's completely replaced our oven. We use it for literally everything---breakfast, lunches, and dinner! It's also really nice because during the summer, it doesn't heat up the entire house like the oven does, as well as it folds up, so it doesn't take up too much counter space."
2. This practical multi-purpose knife sharpener
"As a chef who requires very sharp knives, I highly recommend the Chef's Choice Pronto Pro, which produces a perfect edge for most Asian, American, and European-style knives," explains Jessica Randhawa, owner and head chef at Forked Spoon. "Unlike other knife sharpeners, the Pronto Pro uses diamond abrasive disks at an ideal angle to produce the perfect edge. It also has a polisher that creates a burr-free razor-sharp edge."
According to Randhawa, a simple sharpening session with her Pronto Pro once a month takes about 45 seconds per knife and produces a perfect result every time. "The only time it takes longer than 45 seconds is when there is a deeper gouge in the blade that I want to be worked out of the knife's edge," she adds.
3. A good set of measuring spoons
According to Elena Dyulgerova, founder and chef at VegeVega.com, measuring spoons are essential to your kitchen. "Whether you bake regularly at home or cook meals often for your family, measuring your ingredients is essential to a successful recipe," she explains.
4. A small but practical garlic press
"When it comes to garlic, we all know how smelly it can be. No matter how much you wash your hands, you will still smell [from the] garlic," says Dyulgerova. "I like to use a garlic press because it saves me all the chopping, then washing my chopping board and hands vigorously."
5. A bread knife/long serrated pastry knife
"As a bakery, we believe everyone should have a decent bread knife," explains Natasha Tatton, co-owner and bakery manager at BReD. "Victorianox has a great bread knife/longer serrated pastry knife. It keeps sharp and it's curved so it's more ergonomic, helping to control the slice, so whether you're a professional or using it at home, it is good value for the money.
6. This multi-purpose Dutch oven
"We also recommend home bakers who don't have a commercial bread oven like us use a Lodge Combo Cooker because the steam from the dough cannot escape and it ensures a soft crust, it holds heat well, so the dough has a long cool down," explains Tatton. "You will only need to buy one Dutch oven in your life as they are so sturdy!"
7. A small but mighty electric potato peeler
"A kitchen essential that I truly can't live without is an electric potato peeler. It saves so much time when I am cooking roasts, and there are so many elements to keep an eye on---having the potatoes peeled is one task ticked off the list!," shares Anna Silber, founder, and CEO of Cook for Folks. "I would recommend this model from Starfrit. It can peel any vegetable, including zucchini and carrots, and you can even use it on fruits like kiwis and apples."
8. A great cast iron skillet
"I would say that without a doubt, a great cast iron skillet is always worth the investment," adds Narcisse Burchell, home cook, and food blogger. "You can use this kitchen staple for any and everything; from desserts to dinner party dips [and even] deep frying." The pre-seasoned sidekick lasts for decades and could become an heirloom helping to feed your family for years to come.
9. A splurge-worthy Vitamix blender
"Some things in the kitchen are worth splurging on because they'll save you money in the long run," says Bri Bell, registered dietitian, and blogger at Frugal Minimalist Kitchen. "For instance, our Vitamix blender is close to 15 years old and still working perfectly! I've burned out enough cheap blenders in my life to know that it's worth it to have a blender that will blend things well without having to be replaced every year or two like cheaper models."
10. A multi-functional food processor
According to Vicky Cano, chef and recipe blogger, a food processor is one kitchen appliance worth every penny. "Its multi-functional design makes it a must-have because you can use it for pureeing, blending, chopping, juicing, and much more," she explains. "So, if you buy a food processor, there is no need to purchase other kitchen appliances separately. Hence, you can save money in the long run!"
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