So, you can tell your brunoise from your batonnet. Your cakes never sink and your bottom’s never soggy. When someone asks for medium rare, they get it, and guests are always asking for seconds. You’ve grown used to hearing the baying crowd’s demands that you open your own place. Because you’re here, we think it’s safe to assume that you’re looking to turn things up a dial or two more, and get your kitchen properly kitted out. If so, read on; our 5 IDEAL things to bring your home cooking to professional level.
A HIGH QUALITY KNIFE SET
You know what they say; a poor workperson always blames their tools. And ask any chef what their top tip would be for better cooking, and the answer will be resolutely, resoundingly choral; a good set of knives. Ideally, and at least, you should have a set of three including a chef’s knife, a serrated bread knife and a paring knife. With these to hand, there will be nothing you can’t handle when it comes to chopping.
Other useful additions to your block or roll would be a filleting knife for precision fish work and a boning knife for making light work of butchery. Almost as essential is a proper implement for sharpening; chefs tend to favour a wet stone, but a steel also works well.
A DIGITAL THERMOMETER
If you’re often inviting people round for dinner and cooking meat, for example, it can be a worry to know whether you’ve properly cooked things through. Precision and consistency is key here, and as such, it’s time to invest in a digital thermostat, stat. These usually come with a probe that you can put into a piece of meat to tell you what the temperature is in the middle. Get to grips with the appropriate, safe temperatures for various cuts of meat and you really can’t go wrong.
MULTI-FUNCTIONAL FOOD PROCESSOR
No kitchen is complete without a sturdy, multi functional food processor. There are plenty out there that come with multiple attachments, blades and settings which make blending, slicing and emulsifying practically anything a breeze. Homemade mayo? A doddle. Cheat’s pastry? No one will know. Those brightly coloured purees you see smeared across professional plates? They’ll now be adorning yours, too.
OLD-SCHOOL POTATO OVEN
Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, nothing beats a potato cooked properly. Instead of an imprecise, gung ho approach to spuds, consider investing in a potato oven, such as these from Nisbets, for the exacting standards you should be striving for. Don’t be fooled by the name; these dedicated ovens are also brilliant for bread and perfect for pastry dishes, too. An investment, but one which will satisfy all your carb and starch needs.
How many times have you had to rush home from work and prepare something for impending guests in a slapdash fashion? The mess and chaos would surely get you fired from a professional kitchen, faster than you can shout ‘service’! Well, to avoid the last-minute dash around the kitchen, look instead at buying a slow cooker. Not only are they great for things like stews, casseroles and clear stocks, but they’re also quite energy-efficient too. And that’s what we’re all looking for right now, hey?