Okay, here is the promised list blog.
Below you will find my basic everyday cooking kit. But before I get to the list I want to make a few important remarks.
First of all, this kit is rather specifically tailored to my personal needs. Due to my very severe allergies I tend to avoid plastics (which are porous, or toxic, or tend to melt) and aluminum. Both of these items are cheaper than what I use and are fine for the beginning cook who does not have to deal with my levels of reactivity. I will advise you to always avoid Dollar Store items however. I certainly do. I got tired of cookware that melted, bled, or burned through.
I use a LOT of Pyrex. I find that it suits my needs nicely without taxing my budget. It is also not overly expensive, is dishwasher and microwave safe, and has shown amazing resistance to fumbling, extreme temperature changes, and so forth. It is easy to clean, is nonporous (thus reducing the chance of allergens cross contacting in my foods), and usually come with a lid which makes it instant “tupperware”.
I also have a strong preference for Victorinox cooking knives with the antimicrobial handles. I first came across these when working in a Subway in Asheville and was impressed by their strength, durability, ease in washing, and compact size.
Most of mine have the clamshell serrations as I find that this allows me to cut, chop, dice, or even thinly slice pretty much anything. Their basic utility knife cuts grapes, tomatoes, breads, meat, fat, and gristle with the same basic ease.
I do have a few non-serrated blades as well but these are for the rare specialty items I cook.
I actually had a fair amount of ceramic on my list but I have since gotten rid of it. Frankly, I am too clumsy to use it – I chipped, broke, or dulled the blades and broke the dishware. Also ceramic knives require wood cutting boards or plastic ones and the risk of cross contact or toxins was too great.
I use bamboo for my cutting board and even for some of my daily use cookware. Water resistant, nonporous, yada yada.
And I have a few kitchen gadgets, but again these are for the unusual items I cook. An apple corer is a must have for someone who likes baked stuffed apples, for example. Coring an apple with a knife is just a good way to get cut.
I also use glass jars to store my bulk dry goods, and glass bottles for my oils. Again this is because they tend to be study, nonporous, easy to clean; but here I have the added benefit that I can see how much of what is n each container and that makes restocking simpler. It also helps prevent mice and other pests as sealed glass jars are much harder to breach than plastic bags.
Finally, I only have ONE (1), got that one, singular, example of each item on my list. You don’t need to clutter up your kitchen with lots of stuff or with bunches of things you are never ever going to use.
Finally, all of that said, do you need to spend a million zillion dollars on professional cookware? Unless you are cooking at the Biltmore House or some other five star resort, no. Such environments require tools that can cook up to seven meals daily, be washed constantly in industrial soups, and withstand insane temperatures. You won’t require that. I cook three meals a day everyday and still have almost all of my original stuff ( dropped a bowl and a glass.) My whole outlay was about $240.00 USD and has lasted me for about two years.
And people without my allergies can go cheaper. Dollar Store glassware (clear) seems safe enough, and Big Lots and Walmart offer specials on full dish and flatware sets all the time. There are also internet bargains, and thrift stores.
I’d just never ever buy dollar cookware (outside a thrift store). I know I’ve said that already but it bears repeating.
All that said here is my list.
Bamboo cookware set
large slotted spoon
Stainless steel flatware
Serrated steak knife
Serrated utility knife
Serrated paring knife
Hook blade paring knife
Sheepfoot utility knife (medium)
silicon spatula – used to fold butters, fruit mixes, dough
bottle opener/ corkscrew
One Pyrex measuring cup (4 cup)
Two Pyrex measuring cups (ounces and alcohol measure)
One dehydrating tray
“Pots and pans”
Three sizes of Pyrex baking and casserole dishes with lids
Two sizes of Pyrex baking pans without lids
One large Pyrex mixing bowl (4 qt)
One Pyrex bowl (soup)
Two small Pyrex bowls with lids (sauces, small storage)
One bowl – ceramic, I use for salads
One 16 oz glass
One 8 oz glass
One glass water bottle 22 oz
One glass water bottle 16 oz
One large crockpot
One cast iron skillet 16”
One cast iron griddle skillet 16”
One universal fit pan lid
One miniloaf cast iron bread pan
One turkey roasting pan with lid
One whisk (!)
And that’s the lot.
Hope this gives you a place to start and happy cooking!