With the ever-encroaching holiday season, many people will begin to cook meals at home. The desire to prepare meals and feel like it was done by a Michelin star chef is highly sought after. The issue then becomes, how do those professional chefs cook and produce such delicious foods? What’s more, how can you become a professional chef at home?
The simple answer would be to take classes and learn those high-end culinary techniques. However, more than anything, chefs are only as good as the tools they use. To make a comparison, painters can be trained and have those skills, but without a paintbrush, their skills will be extremely diminished.
We here at Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies aim to show you the kitchen tools professional chefs use and how you can set up your kitchen like a professional. These are the top 20 items any home chef should have to cook like a professional at home.
The greatest concern in one’s kitchen should always be safety and protection. Safety is essential, whether it comes from how you handle your equipment, tools, or how you prepare your meals.
It’s simple to keep your hands safe from hot pans, pots, and other objects. Any experienced cook should always have a set of oven mitts and potholders on hand. Bringing the same concept home helps you avoid any unfortunate mishaps.
Wood fire pizza ovens and stone pizza ovens are becoming increasingly popular in homes. People are enthralled by the prospect of creating their style of pizza to serve at events, parties, and family gatherings. Consider the following things if you’re a home cook looking to replicate those great pizza outcomes you’ve seen elsewhere:
A dough docker or a pizza dough roller is a kitchen utensil that looks like a spiked rolling pin. The main function of this tool is to roll over flattened dough to prick the surface of the dough evenly to prevent over rising or large air pocket formation which tends to burn easier.
18. Pizza Cutters-
Slicing your pizzas in correct portion size can be challenge without these kitchen tools. Typically formed as curve cutters or wheel cutters, these tools are usually made of stainless steel for durability. The design of the cutters is intended to prevent damage to the pizza’s top layers or toppings.
17. Pizza Screens-
Pizza screens are excellent for baking any handmade pizza. The screen enables the dough to breathe, preventing soggy crusts and allowing for more uniform cooking. These screens are typically made of aluminum or anodized aluminum and range in size from 8″ to 40″ in diameter. With the use of the pizza screens, you can get the conventional, fluffier crust textures you’d find in any normal pizza joint.
Measuring and Storage
Food storage is always important in any kitchen to keep products fresh. Maintaining quality is always a chef’s responsibility, whether it’s straight out of the package or newly cooked after a meal. In addition to keeping your refrigerator or freezer clean, using the right containers in your kitchen will help you stay organized.
Baker’s or chefs understand that precisely measuring ingredients is critical to achieving a delicate taste balance in any meal. Measuring accurately and ensuring that the recipe is followed is made simple by using measuring cups and spoons. While most experienced chefs can accomplish this by taste, these measurement instruments ensure that your meals are always on target at home.
Why do I need a thermometer if I know what temperature I’m cooking at and how long I’ll be cooking for? To put it another way, a thermometer enables any operator to precisely prepare food items to the correct temperature. When preparing meat, poultry, or fish, this is very crucial. Achieving those perfect temperature levels allows any home chef to create high-quality dishes that you would find at a high-end restaurant.
13. Baking Pans-
A sheet pan, also known as a baking pan, may be used in a multitude of ways, making it excellent for cooks and bakers alike. This pan can handle bacon, veggies, messy cake batter, and a variety of other foods. Usually constructed from aluminum or steel for durability, these pans can also come in various sizes to fit the needs of any chef. Typically, quarter size or half size sheet pans are best for home use.
12. Sauce Pots-
The sauce pot is a larger piece of cookware designed for use on the cook top which is beneficial for any chef. Sauce pots are used for simmering or boiling large quantities of ingredients together because they have vertical sides that are the same height as their diameter and two short sturdy handles.
11. Frying Pans-
The versatility of frying pans is what makes them so useful for any home chef. This kitchen tool is a flat-bottomed pan which is great for frying, searing, or browning various food items. Usually constructed from copper, cast iron, and aluminum makes these pans durable for any kitchen.
In addition, some pans are coated with non-stick material for easy cleanup. This pan comes in a variety of sizes, making it suitable for a wide range of foods. Investment in a good set of pans can last any home chef for years to come.
To take a dish to the next level, most experienced chefs utilize a grater or a microplane to add that next level of flavor. From zesting a lemon or grating your high-quality cheese, these kitchen tools are a key part of any chef’s arsenal. With these items, adding that 5-star dish will be a cinch.
9. Mandolin Slicers–
Any at-home chef knows that time isn’t always on their side. Hand slicing a pound of potatoes, or any vegetables is no small task for one lone cook. This is where a mandolin slicer helps and provides the ability for the chef to prep those items quickly and efficiently.
A mandolin slicer provides the ability to achieve those smooth, consistent even cuts that make cooking those food items simple. A great tool for home chefs who have feed lots of people with not a lot of time to prepare.
A vital part of any operation whether it be at home or in a professional kitchen, the mixing bowl is an essential element. Whether it is combing wet or dry ingredients, making doughs or batters, or even making salads or sauces, this tool has multi-functionality.
Mixing bowls are constructed from a variety of materials such as stainless steel, plastic, ceramic, glass, and copper which can also vary in sizes from 1-1/2 to 12-quart bowls. Usually easy to clean and maintain, a quality bowl set can allow any home chef the ability to succeed.
A whisk is an essential tool for any baker or chef, whether at home or in the restaurant. A whisk’s main function is to mix both wet and dry products, making them a key part of the food prep process. In addition, the action of this tool allows for air to enter the process, thus increasing the volume of the product.
Typically whisks are constructed from stainless steel or a hardened plastic for durability, while measuring anywhere between 6 to 24 inches in length. Similar to whisks, whips are larger versions constructed from similar materials, but tend to measure between 24 to 60 inches in length.
The rubber spatula is one of the most underappreciated kitchen tools. With its multi-functionality, this utensil can do everything from scraping the last bit of brownie batter out of the bowl to sautéing food items in the frying pan.
These tools come in a variety of shapes, sizes and are constructed from a variety of materials. It’s a good idea to look for ones constructed of silicone or a high-heat material rather than conventional rubber spatulas, which will melt if exposed to high heat.
A utensil that many chefs use in everyday life while working is tongs. Kitchen tongs should be considered as an extension of your fingers. Whether it’s picking up hot food items from the pans or oven to turning them over to ensure even cooking, this utensil is a vital part of any operation. Adding them to your home provides the same capabilities as it would in any professional kitchen setting.
It’s critical to keep your knives sharp and of good quality. In the kitchen, a dull knife blade can cause injury, especially when cooking a variety of foods. A knife sharpener is important for any chef who wants to guarantee that their kitchen tools are always of the greatest quality. Just like your car needs an oil change after a certain number of miles, sharpening a knife after frequent usage is necessary to ensure proper handling skills.
3. Kitchen Shears-
Kitchen shears should be part of each chef’s cutlery collection, whether you need to snip herbs, open food packing, or break down poultry items. You might wonder why you’d want to buy kitchen shears when you already have scissors. The reason is simple: the pivot point of the blade is farther away from the handle on these scissors than on traditional scissors, allowing for stronger force when cutting through tough foods.
Cutting boards, whether solid wood or hard plastic, are an essential part of any cook’s culinary prepping process. A cutting board is a sturdy, dependable surface that allows any chef to securely slice, dice, mince, or prepare a range of culinary products. Its smart for any home chef to consider having a set of cutting boards, as they can prevent injuries especially when using their knives to cut food items.
Just like a painter uses a brush to create their artwork, a chef uses their knives to create their masterpiece. Every chef around the world starts any dish by using their set of knives. Every chef should have at least these three knives:
A chef’s knife is the most important tool in every chef’s arsenal. This knife is typically 8-10 inches long and is mostly used to chop and dice fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Furthermore, this knife can help prepare a wide range of meats and other culinary items.
A paring knife is another item in a chef’s inventory. This knife’s main purpose is to do more detailed chores including peeling fruits and vegetables, scoring meats, and mincing garlic. Its blade is normally between 2-1/2 and 4 inches long.
A serrated knife is another quality knife needed for any chef. Compared to a saw, this knife can cut through tough food items with hardy exteriors such a crusty bread.
Any cook should consider the comfortability and balance of the knife when selecting a set of knives for their house. Remember that the knife is an extension of your hand, thus being able to operate with it comfortably is the goal.
Overall, having the essential kitchen tools and making a consistent effort to try new dishes and methods is what it takes to become a home chef. You won’t always get everything just right, but neither do expert cooks in the kitchen. The key to any kitchen’s success is having the right tools to do the job!