Thanks to celebrity chefs, television food shows, a treasure trove of recipes on the Internet and the campaigns to encourage more cooking, we have all become amateur chefs. Heck, we are even starting our own food websites, catering companies, restaurants and small cafes because of it.
As we experiment with more vegetarian dishes, Indian cuisines and menus comprised entirely of fish, we realize that we need some kitchen equipment to help us get started on these adventures.
Yes, it does take more than just a frying pan and an oven to make some Korean meals.
Over the years, professional chefs and cooks have used a wide array of kitchen equipment for their own meals, whether at a restaurant or in their own home. Everything from certain types of blenders to specific brands of stand mixers, there are just so many pieces of kitchen equipment that can be taken advantage of to cook that perfect meal for a cozy tit-a-tete or a feast for four.
Here are five tips from professional chefs for purchasing kitchen equipment:
No, Expensive Doesn't Mean Better
We, as consumers, tend to make the mistake that a hefty price-tag must mean that the product is far superior than another one that has a cheaper price. This isn't always the case. Indeed, expensive doesn't always mean better, and this is important to remember as you shop around.
A Warming Drawer is Your Best Friend
If you are someone who is doing the cooking in your home for five people then it would be wise to have a warming drawer, especially if you are preparing a massive meal to feed your hungry family members. This will ensure that your side meals or appetizers stay warm.
Of course, if you own a restaurant, catering enterprise or small cafe then it is essential to have a warming drawer. You will soon realize this if you're serving three separate tables of six patrons!
Double Oven: Yay or Nay?
Let's be honest: not everyone has the space (see below) for a double oven. So, you have to ask yourself: is a double oven absolutely necessary? If you are someone who bakes often and entertains a lot then it is a worthwhile investment. On the other hand, if it's just you or you and a couple of other people then it isn't necessarily worth it.
A double oven is one of those nice-to-haves.
Perform an Inspection of Your Kitchen
Before you leave to visit a department store or go on your computer to buy some kitchen equipment, it would be a prudent idea to perform a thorough inspection of your kitchen.
Why should you do this? Well, you can determine how much space you have for certain types of kitchen equipment, you can find out just what appliances you already have and you can determine what foods you normally cook or bake in your household kitchen, or restaurant.
You may want that state-of-the-art gas oven or massive blender but you may not have the space.
Refrain From Making an Impulse Buy
Finally, and we're all guilty of doing this from time to time, you need to refrain from making an impulse buy, which can be hard if you are a dedicated amateur chef in your home.
As you are browsing at all of the various kitchen equipment at the store, you may be tempted to whip out your credit card and purchase it. At the time, you're conjuring up all of these images of you cooking a six-course meal for 10 people and baking an credible, pie, cake and strudel. In reality, you may not do any of this and will just order a pizza for you, your family and guests.
If you are interested in buying that kitchen appliance then you should wait 24 to 48 hours. Perhaps by then you will realize that that kitchen equipment is not necessary for your home.
Professional chefs, seasoned cooks and restaurant aides have seen it all. They know what kitchen equipment is needed and will last a long time and what kitchen appliances are unnecessary, even for your home (remember, chefs cook in their own homes, too, you know!).
We are gradually cooking more and more, which is certainly a positive trend. The more we cook the more we realize that we need certain kitchen equipment to cook specific culinary delights.
Do your research, inspect your kitchen and be conservative and you will do the right thing.