Supplying a new kitchen can be a challenge because of all the paraphernalia you need to prepare meals. Moving into a new residence can mean a lot of eating out until everything is unpacked, resulting in a big bite out of your monthly budget. Deciding what is necessary to prepare meals and what items are simply extras is not difficult if you have a checklist of the kitchen basics.
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Pots and Pans
Purchase heavyweight pots and pans. Buying good quality pots and pans saves money in the long run. The size of the pots depends on whether you live alone or regularly cook for a large group, Single-size skillets and pots take up less room in the cabinets and are the perfect size for frying a burger or two or heating a can of soup. Larger-sized cookware results in fewer cleanups if you cook for more people. Every kitchen needs a sauté pan or skillet to scramble eggs, sauté, fry or brown meats and vegetables and, if it has a lid, simmer gravy or other entrées. A saucepan comes in handy when boiling eggs, heating vegetables or sauces, cooking rice or boiling potatoes. A Dutch oven with a lid serves as a versatile pot useful in preparing soups, deep frying, cooking pasta or roasting meats.
Baking trays are necessary for homemade or frozen pizzas, biscuits, rolls and cookies. If you bake desserts, purchase round or square cake pans. A 9-by-13-inch casserole dish is vital to most kitchens and is versatile enough to bake casseroles, roast meats or function as a large serving dish when you have company. Depending on personal habits in the kitchen, muffin tins, pie and loaf pans may appear on your checklist.
A large plastic serving spoon, a rubber spatula and tongs are necessary accoutrements in a well-stocked kitchen. Measuring spoons and cups take the guesswork out of preparing recipes. Invest in high quality knives. A chef's knife is versatile enough to slice and dice fruits and vegetables or cut up a whole chicken or other type of meat. A paring knife peels fruits and vegetables. Quality steak knives with serrated edges slice through pork chops, steaks or a loaf of homemade bread. Mixing bowls are invaluable to mix cake batters, mix ingredients for casseroles or even to use as large serving dishes. Keep plenty of forks, knifes, spoons and plates on hand for you and any guests.
You can substitute a jar lid for a biscuit cutter, a clean glass jar or can for a rolling pin, or a folded towel for a potholder. Use a deep pot as a mixing bowl or use a cup with a handle as a soup ladle. Empty jam or small canning jars are useful as country style drinking glasses. A trivet or potholder serves as a cooling rack.
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