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Kitchen tools every cook should have

The funny thing about cooking is that each dish requires a certain set of tools to get the desired result. Kitchen tools are the sort of items you don't realise you need until you go to reach for them and they're not there. Before you get stuck trying to open canned soup with a knife (please don't ever do this), check out this list of culinary essentials (like a can opener).

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Tools for food preparation

  1. Measuring spoons and cups
  2. Kitchen scales
  3. Peeler
  4. Grater - The most commonly used are the hand grater and the box grater. The first is flat with a handle, which allows for easy storage, but has only one perforation type, meaning you may need multiple to achieve the desired coarseness of whatever you're grating. The box grater has four sides, generally with four or more perforation types, and is free standing, giving you a stable platform when grating against it.
  5. Can opener
  6. Set of knives - Read our guide to kitchen knives to get the right blade for each task.
  7. Knife sharpener - There are three types you should know about: the whetstone, sharpening steel and pull through. A sharpening steel doesn't actually sharpen a blade (grind down the metal to create a new, sharper edge) but hones it, meaning it realigns a blade for straight, clean cuts. A pull through sharpener has a slot or slots where the blade is placed with pre-set angles so you don't have to do a lot to get a nice, sharp blade, and has the benefits of being easy to control and compact for easy storage. Whetstones are arguably the best knife sharpening tool and the one that requires the most practice. Some have a coarse side and a fine side for ultimate blade refinement, and are used by running the knife blade back and forth across it. To clear up some confusion that the name gives it, a whetstone will either need to be dry or lubricated with oil for proper use, this depends on the stone material.
  8. Chopping boards - Wooden chopping boards are the most durable and aesthetically pleasing, and are always a crowd favourite for bread or used as a grazing platter. If you're worried about cross-contamination of meats and veggies, plastic chopping boards that come in colour-coded packs are great for peace of mind during food prep. 
  9. Mixing bowls

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Tools for cooking

Utensils

  1. Tongs
  2. Whisk
  3. Slotted spoon, wooden spoon and ladle
  4. Spatula - You'll want a sturdier spatula, sometimes called a turner, made out of steel, wood or unyielding plastic so you can easily flip things in a pan, as well as a soft silicon spatula to help scrape out every last drop or sauce or cake batter out of a mixing bowl.
  5. Colander
  6. Oven mitts

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Cookware

  1. Non-stick pan
  2. Large pasta or stock pot
  3. Roasting pan
  4. Cast iron casserole or dutch oven
  5. Immersion or stick blender - Unlike a regular blender where you put food and liquids in it then have to pour it out, an immersion blender is a handheld stick with controls at one end and the blades at the other. These are extremely useful for making soups as you don't have to blend in batches or wait for it to cool before putting a lid on a regular blender, and can also be used to make smoothies. 
  6. Rice cooker

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