Kitchen Essentials for the Bachelor’s Kitchen

There’s nothing more frustrating than not having the right tools to do a job.

For those of you wanting to spend more time creating meals in your kitchen, here’s a good primer on The Kitchen Bachelor’s essential cookware and kitchenware to stock your drawers and cupboards:dream kitchen?

  1. Pots – I like having both a medium and large sized pot (one for general use and another to make stock, stews, chilli, soups, etc.)
  2. Pans – if you have the money, spring for a cast-iron, if not at least a good quality stainless steel and a non-stick.
  3. Chef’s knife – really, you need something sharp
  4. Paring knife – for pealing
  5. Oven mitts
  6. Wooden spoons
  7. Slotted spoon
  8. Vegetable peeler
  9. Can opener
  10. Strainer
  11. Oil bottles – nothing more annoying than pouring too much oil and having to dump out oil – get yourself a bottle with a spout
  12. Salt cup – I prefer to have my salt in a little cup that has a lid, rather than using a shaker – which tends to build moisture if you’re shaking over a steaming pan or pot; also gives you greater control on quantity.
  13. Pepper grinder – everyone needs fresh ground pepper
  14. Zester/Grater – for lime/lemon zest and grating cheese
  15. Whisk – to impress your date with meringue or some baked goods
  16. Metal bowls – I use these general purpose bowls for everything from marinating meats to mixing salads
  17. Decanter – aerate your good wines at least 3 hours before serving
  18. Coffee grinder – not only to grind your fresh coffee beans, but also to grind up pesto sauces or curry mixes
  19. Air-tight containers – I use these vacuum-seal containers to store various spices and coffee beans

Some ideas on where to shop for cookware in Vancouver:

  1. Dunleavy Food Equipment – This warehouse on 7th and Manitoba is catered to those in the food business, but it’s open to the public and you can save yourself a few dollars by purchasing at wholesale prices.
  2. Ming Wo – I’ve picked up some good deals on contemporary square bowls that have always received great compliments.
  3. The Gourmet Warehouse – Hastings – good selection of stuff
  4. Home Sense – good deals on named-brand stuff
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The Kitchen Bachelor’s Knife

If Kitchen Bachelor has provided a sliver of inspiration to try out some recipes, one thing to consider acquiring is a real Chef’s knife.  (Side thought: this reminds me of Crocodile Dundee saying, “That’s not a knife…THAT’S a knife!”.)

Once you’ve wielded a razor sharp knife making dinner for your date and she realizes how manly you look…forget about it, you’re in!  The same way a tradesman relies on the steady performance of his tools, a chef’s knife is the workhorse of a chef.  This will set you back about $100 but you’ll use it 99% of the time and save you the frustration and inefficiencies of blunt knives.MAC knife in action

On my 32nd birthday,  my sis and bro-in-law gifted me with a Japanese, Santoku knife (*correction: see the comments section) with a Granton-edge, made by MAC.  Santoku (Japanese for “3 uses”) is a style of Japanese knife that has a broad and snub-nose designed for dicing, mincing and slicing.  Granton-edge describes the flat edge of the blade which has a series of shallow dimples which act like air pockets to allow the knife to slice through food without sticking.

In Chinese culture, you’re not supposed to present knives as gifts as it’s bad luck, but you can negate this “bad luck” by giving back a penny to your presenter, as though you’re purchasing this item.  Yes, I know, very superstitious, right?

Here’s how to select a knife:
1. Try before you buy
2. Determine if it feels right in terms of weight and balance
3. Check to make sure there’s enough room under the handle for your knuckles
4. Make sure it’s sharp (should slice paper easily) and how well it keeps its edge

Using your knife:
– Start slow, this is probably the sharpest knife you’ve ever used
– Learn some basic knife skills and practice them (I found this great video from Dani Spies – she’s cute and gives some great tips: http://www.danispies.com/archives/howto_video/video_basic_knife_skills_video.php

Care for your knife:
This is your baby, take care of it with these tips:
– After use, wash, dry and store immediately – you don’t want your knife rusting
– Do not leave your knife in the sink – great chance someone will slice themselves
– Sharpen your knife when you notice dulling (Options include: wet stones, ceramic rods, diamond sharpening steel and electric sharpeners.  A wealth of information can be found here: http://www.consumersearch.com/knife-sharpeners/review)

Enjoy your best friend in the kitchen.  I hope this is useful information for all you future Kitchen Bachelors, bachelorettes and aspiring home chefs.

The Kitchen Bachelor's Knife

If Kitchen Bachelor has provided a sliver of inspiration to try out some recipes, one thing to consider acquiring is a real Chef’s knife.  (Side thought: this reminds me of Crocodile Dundee saying, “That’s not a knife…THAT’S a knife!”.)

Once you’ve wielded a razor sharp knife making dinner for your date and she realizes how manly you look…forget about it, you’re in!  The same way a tradesman relies on the steady performance of his tools, a chef’s knife is the workhorse of a chef.  This will set you back about $100 but you’ll use it 99% of the time and save you the frustration and inefficiencies of blunt knives.MAC knife in action

On my 32nd birthday,  my sis and bro-in-law gifted me with a Japanese, Santoku knife (*correction: see the comments section) with a Granton-edge, made by MAC.  Santoku (Japanese for “3 uses”) is a style of Japanese knife that has a broad and snub-nose designed for dicing, mincing and slicing.  Granton-edge describes the flat edge of the blade which has a series of shallow dimples which act like air pockets to allow the knife to slice through food without sticking.

In Chinese culture, you’re not supposed to present knives as gifts as it’s bad luck, but you can negate this “bad luck” by giving back a penny to your presenter, as though you’re purchasing this item.  Yes, I know, very superstitious, right?

Here’s how to select a knife:
1. Try before you buy
2. Determine if it feels right in terms of weight and balance
3. Check to make sure there’s enough room under the handle for your knuckles
4. Make sure it’s sharp (should slice paper easily) and how well it keeps its edge

Using your knife:
– Start slow, this is probably the sharpest knife you’ve ever used
– Learn some basic knife skills and practice them (I found this great video from Dani Spies – she’s cute and gives some great tips: http://www.danispies.com/archives/howto_video/video_basic_knife_skills_video.php

Care for your knife:
This is your baby, take care of it with these tips:
– After use, wash, dry and store immediately – you don’t want your knife rusting
– Do not leave your knife in the sink – great chance someone will slice themselves
– Sharpen your knife when you notice dulling (Options include: wet stones, ceramic rods, diamond sharpening steel and electric sharpeners.  A wealth of information can be found here: http://www.consumersearch.com/knife-sharpeners/review)

Enjoy your best friend in the kitchen.  I hope this is useful information for all you future Kitchen Bachelors, bachelorettes and aspiring home chefs.