Many people just moving into their own places for the first time, or newlyweds setting up a kitchen, may be overwhelmed by the array of kitchen tools available. It seems that there is a tool for almost any job, and picking the right ones seems impossible. Does the person rely on the kinds of spatulas Mom always used, or should he or she think about something new? Some kitchen tools are indispensable, and should be purchased first. Then, the person can go ahead and look for interesting gadgets.
Quality and multipurpose use are a couple of things to keep in mind when purchasing kitchen tools. A good example is measuring cups. Measures for dry and wet materials are different. A cook has two options: either buy a set of dry measuring cups, and a liquid measure, or buy a measuring cup that is marked for both dry and wet measures. However, a cook should always have a 2-cup liquid measure in a microwave-safe material. This will come in handy for numerous uses in the kitchen.
A cook should also have two or three different sizes of spatulas around, and a set of rubber or silicon scrapers. Wooden spoons are also a necessity in a well-stocked kitchen. They can be used with any cooking surface and are non-reactive, which means they can be used for stirring any food, no matter its composition. They are absolutely necessary for making a roux or candy.
A set of basic kitchen tools should also include a cutting board. The debate still rages over whether plastic or wood is the best material, but both are good if kept properly cleaned and stored. It all depends on the cook's preference.
The discussion of cutting boards inevitably leads to talking about kitchen knives. A bride, for instance, can register for that US$500 cutlery set she's been drooling over, but someone looking for basic kitchen tools may want to start a bit smaller. A cook should have a minimum of three knives: a 7-inch butcher/chef's knife; a 4-inch utility knife and a paring knife. These, along with a set of steak knives, should meet most cooking needs.
A beginning cook should also have a grater, a soup ladle, two or three serving spoons, one slotted, and a set of mixing bowls. Don't forget a can opener that will open bottles, as well, along with a balloon whisk. An electric hand mixer is also one of the basic kitchen tools. With a little thought and some common sense, anyone can stock up on basic kitchen tools without sacrificing quality or breaking the budget.