So you think you can cook? Here is a brief list of must-have home cooking items!

Thai Peanut Butter Chicken over Rice Noodles
Submitted by charner on Fri, 02/21/2020 - 09:25

Android/Google Photos users: Isn't it wild that you can search your Google Photos using a term like "food" and all of your hipster foodie pictures come up? I think it is! Probably some AI wizardry at work. Anyway, I digress - I wanted to write something quick about some of the MUST-HAVE items that you'll want to get in your kitchen or cookspace.

1- Microplane: https://www.amazon.com/Microplane-Premium-stainless-zesting-grating/dp/B...
A microplane, otherwise known as a zester, is my new favorite tool. Grating cheese and getting lemon/lime zest is the selling point, here. Easy to clean, lightweight, and an absolute must have. Grating cheese from a block of your favorite cheese tastes way better than pre-shredded. It is also thinner and you will use less cheese overall.

2- Stainless pans and pots: https://www.amazon.com/T-fal-Stainless-Copper-Bottom-Cookware/dp/B00OBFI...
I am highlighting the T-fal stainless set since there are two different sets of this brand in my kitchen. Many people fear the stainless and gripe that the food sticks and whatnot. Nonstick is nice for certain things, but if cooked properly, stainless will be your go-to. The secret behind making a stainless pan non-stick is simple. Lubrication and Movement. Personally, I can cook an omelet, steak, stir fry, sauces, etc and it'll come out better and tastier than on a non-stick. But, that doesn't mean I won't grab a non-stick for something.

3- Large pot for soup: https://www.amazon.com/T-fal-Specialty-Nonstick-Dishwasher-Stockpot/dp/B...
I have a few large pots and only highlighted one I use and abuse all the time. 12+ quarts is a must. I am a big soup/stew guy, so these are a must-have. But, lately I've been using a store bought rotisserie chicken (what's left of it) to make chicken stock and these pots are essential. I will throw the carcass including any skin, chopped celery/carrots, onion with skins, garlic, salt, and pepper into the pot with enough water just to barely cover everything. I'll let it cook for 4-6 hours and use and/or put the rest away for later use.

4- Airfryer: https://www.amazon.com/GoWISE-USA-5-8-Quarts-Electric-Recipes/dp/B0777RJG6D
I picked a random choice of airfryer, but you get the idea. You probably can't go wrong with any airfryer. If you're shopping for one, I'd recommend a 5+ quart basket and digital display. This is the 2010's version of a microwave. Everything cooks fast and is delicious. They are usually easy to clean as well! Join an airfryer Facebook group and be amazed at the various recipes out there.

5- Griddle: https://www.walmart.com/ip/Blackstone-4-Burner-36-Griddle-Cooking-Statio...
The Blackstone 36" griddle is an amazing cook station for your home, campsite, tailgate party, or whatever else you need one for. If you don't think you need one, rest assured, you do! I prefer the 36", but a 28" is available. Quite honestly, I would buy a 48" if they had it. This griddle uses propane as a heat source and is a heavy and quality grill. The newer designs have a better grease/oil run off design which is huge. My older model required you to get crafty with some foil or you'd have a mess on the ground. I love being able to make restaurant-quality food, and a griddle top is a must have! I've made everything from breakfast food, Philly cheesesteaks, smash burgers to asian-inspired stir frys, pasta, and pizza. Well, the pasta was pre-cooked, but I have made homemade pizza on it!

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