Pots and pans are your basic types found in most
stores. I like heavy (thick walled) pots to cook in. Just about every
Louisiana kitchen has some cast iron cookware also, especially a big Dutch
oven. To the right is my pride and joy. A cast iron frying pan or two is also common. I have one that
I use only for corn bread. [Cast
Iron Seasoning]. Also used widely is a good stock pot,. two or
three gallon will do. Non-stick cookware is great but keep the steel utensils
out of them. A deep fryer is
also good to have.
Knives consist of at least one chefs knife, a boning knife and a
paring knife. When purchasing knives spend a little more on quality forged
stainless steel types. Read
More...When buying a set of knives that come with a block
holder look at the description on the package carefully if the knives are
hidden in the block. You want to be sure you're getting the knives with
the cutting edges you need. Some sets come with all serrated edge
Along with this get a sharpening tool and LEARN HOW
TO USE IT! If I have to work with a dull knife I just as soon throw the
stuff on the ground and run over it with the lawn mower. Fact is, when I go somewhere and I know I'm going to cook I bring
my own knives! Read more..
Spoons are also essential. A few gravy spoons and a nice big
ladle for those soups and gumbos is a must. When purchasing these spend a
few more dollars on solid stainless steel types. Chrome plated spoons
(usually the real shinny ones) are okay but sometimes the chrome plating
will come off with heavy use and it will start rusting. There is also
a roux spoon you may like.
Spatulas are a "can't do without" in my kitchen.
Although good for flipping cackle-berries (eggs) I use them to make rouxs,
sauté vegetables or just about anything that requires scraping the bottom
of a pot or pan. It's just logical, a flat bottom pot, a flat scraper! I
use the plastic type because they can conform to uneven surfaces, and,
they don't make that "fingernails on a chalkboard" noise!
Forks and Tongs can't be forgotten. Having a few of different
lengths of each won't hurt. Remember: Forks are for holding meat as
you cut it. Tongs are for turning as it cooks. Not vice versa! If you
pierce a piece of meat that is cooking with a fork here, you get on your
knees in front of the house (so your other chef friends can see
Cutting boards come in various materials. I like the wooden
ones, but, it's your preference. Get something you can handle easily. Some
people don't like wood because it holds things like salmonella (when
cutting chicken). You can wash the
board using soap and very hot water (the hot water should run over the
surface for at least 30 seconds continuously). Note: The hot water
principle holds true for all cooking utensils. Shown here are wooden and
Both work fine but polyethylene is USDA and NSF (National Science
Foundation) approved, and recommended by the H.A.C.C.P. (Hazard
Analysis and Critical Control Point) agencies. When purchasing a board
keep in mind what you'll be using it for. I have pretty big boards so I
have plenty of cutting and holding space, it's my preference. You can also
have a small board on hand to handle the light stuff. Watch the weight
too, some of these rascals are heavy.
Whisks are useful to blend liquids, and, a couple of sizes will
A clip-on cooking towel. A WHAT? Otherwise known a golfer's
towel (small towel with a clip on it to hang on your belt loop). I just
can't do without mine when the going gets tough!!! Don't use it to wipe
fresh meat juices on, use paper towels.
Cooking Twine, used to tie stuffed & rolled meats and
poultry legs, is handy. It's 100% cotton twine.
Thermometers (meat and frying types) are required hardware.
Guessing is not acceptable! Cooking is ALL temperature sensitive. My eyes
can't tell the difference between 250° and 350° and I doubt if yours
Bakers stuff. I'm not much of a pastry guy (yet) but having a good mixer is
required (I heard)! Maybe you can help me here!
As your cooking grows so will your tools. Each of us finds the tools
that work right for us and we use them. Whatever you buy spend a few more
bucks and get something good, you won't regret it.
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