Happy Tuesday TKW Family! On this week’s edition of Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer, I’m going to be sharing with you what I deem the cooking essentials every foodie needs. Today we’re focusing on the equipment. So while you’re making out that list for your favorite foodie, let TKW’s Holiday Foodie Gift Guide: The Cooking Essentials help you out and stop you from racking your brain on what to get them.
This edition today is all about cooking essentials – pots, pans, general kitchen equipment (well okay other than a toaster or microwave – you get the picture). These are items that I use day in and day out and LOVE! Yes these items do lead to Amazon where it’s an affiliate link (the small commission I make off of that helps fund TKW so thank you for your purchases!). For those of you that know me, you know how incredibly critical I am about the items I use. If I don’t use them, I don’t promote them.. period! And while some of these items may be out of your budget I will list some alternatives that I have used and do love.
As you can see in my world the following are the basic cooking essentials every foodie needs
1. Pressure Cooker – pressure cooking has revolutionized the way I cook!
2. Amazing set of pots and pans (stainless) – Remember pots and pans are an INVESTMENT. You want SUPERIOR quality, not something you have to replace every year.
3. Roasting Pan with rack and lifter forks – Whether you make turkey, chicken, pork… a roasting pan is essential!
4. Dutch Oven – From soups, roasts, to no knead breads you a dutch oven is crucial!
5. Cast Iron Pan – Cast Iron cooking is honestly amazing. In a cast iron pan what you can make is endless from cakes and brownies, to eggs, steaks, sauces.. the list goes on!
6. Crock Pot/Slow Cooker (I never know what to call it) – we all have busy lives and these items are perfect for those low and slow dishes where you really can set it and forget it!
7. A great Non-Stick pan.. Period!
- All-Clad PC8 Precision Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker. So let’s talk about Pressure Cookers for a second. A few years back I bought my first pressure cooker. Pressure Cooking was that one aspect in the kitchen that my mother instilled the fear of God in me. I can remember as a child her telling me I was never allowed to touch it as I could get hurt. The lid would fly off, it would hiss and spit. Finally I bought one and wanted to see if they changed. My lord have they ever! I mean a whole rack of ribs done in 30 minutes?! C’mon! Where have you been all my life! This little item should be at the TOP of your gift giving for the foodie in your life! The All-Clad one is for the stove top. If you’re looking for an awesome electric model I highly suggest the Emeril by T-fal CY4000 Nonstick Dishwasher Safe Electric Pressure Cooker!
- All-Clad 600822 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Cookware Set, 10-Piece. I cannot preach enough about the superior quality of All-Clad’s products. When you purchase cookware you need to look at it as not just pots and pans but an investment in quality. Yes, the quality of the pots and pans really do affect the outcome of your product. No more hot spots or uneven cooking. I have loved their products for years and being both a dual engineer and a home chef I trust in their products. So let’s talk about the price. Yes I know they are expensive and not within everyone’s budget but what I love about this company is twice a year they have an in-person factory sale as well as online-sales multiple times a year where you can save up to 70%! Now if you can’t swing those sales then just help build their collection with a piece a year or maybe two (one for the holidays and one for their birthday). Trust me, when you foodie opens up their gift and see that shining pot staring back at them, they will get tears in their eyes! To go the pieces route try these: All-Clad 6110 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan / Cookware, 10-Inch, All-Clad 6203 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Saucepan with Lid / Cookware, 3-Quart, All-Clad 6405 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Saute Pan, 5-Quart and All-Clad 6508 SS Copper Core 5-Ply Bonded Dishwasher SafeStockpot / Cookware, 8-Quart.
- All-Clad 501631 Stainless Steel Large Roti Combo with Rack and Turkey Lifters Cookware. I can remember my Mom having an old roasting pan growing up that no matter what she cooked in it, everything stuck… I mean even gravy stuck. And since I was the youngest it was my job to scrub that thing out every time she used it. I hated that pan. As I got older and started to build up my own kitchen I knew that I wanted a roasting pan that I didn’t have to worry about things getting stuck or have to be at the kitchen sink for an hour scrubbing it out. This pan is AMAZING! I’ve had my pan for years and it still looks brand new! And on a side note.. those turkey lifters are like weapons for those nights you live in the woods and you’re at home by yourself and the power goes out. Just sayin..
- Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven, 6 quart. For as long as I can remember dutch oven cooking was a huge thing in my family. Mom kept her dutch oven on the stop top as she used it almost daily. What I love specifically about this dutch oven (other than it’s gorgeous color – you don’t have to get red) is that the inside is enameled. I’ve had this pot for close to 10+ years and it’s made everything from soup to stews, roasts to no knead breads. This pot is heavy, durable and one that’ll last your foodie for years and years!
- Lodge L8SK3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Skillet, 10.25-inch. Simply put, when it comes to cast iron cooking I only trust Lodge. Cast Iron cooking is one of the more older ways of cooking and one of the best ways. The pan gets scorching hot and requires little maintenance to last generations. In this skillet you can make steaks, chicken, soups, pizza, cookies and brownies. Honestly the possibilities are endless!
- Hamilton Beach 33969A Set ‘n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker, 6-Quart. This crock pot/slow cooker – whatever you call is it awesome. It’s light and so easy to clean. I’ve had this model for gosh… forever I swear and it still looks brand new. Slow Cookers are perfect for that foodie that is constantly on the go and only has a small amount of time to cook. For a more robust model that allows you to take it from stove top (which means you can sear meat in it) to the crock I HIGHLY recommend the All-Clad Deluxe 4-QT. Slow Cooker with Cast Aluminum Insert.
- All-Clad 4221 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Nonstick Brunch Pan / Cookware, 10-Inch, Silver. Nonstick pans are quintessential for any foodie kitchen. These pans are perfect for eggs to crepes. Nothing sticks to them and you don’t have to worry about the nonstick stuff flaking off. Again, when it comes to pots and pan you’re making an investment here. This pan is so worth it!
So that’s a wrap for the Cooking Essentials. However don’t worry as I’ll be posting more essentials soon – Baking, Ingredients, Gadgets/Gidzmos/Utensils for your favorite foodie in your life.