Okay, everyone, step away from the microwave.
A microwave can be used for simple recipes and still be considered cooking, but if all you do is open up a tab on a can and dump its contents into a container, listen up. The first step reaching outside your cooking comfort zone is to have some other appliances and tools on hand.
These tools are meant to make your cooking easier. Also, just having some of these will raise your level of “sophistication” and be the building blocks of starting your kitchen.
1. All purpose pan
If you do all of your cooking in the microwave, you probably don’t have anything that can work on the stove. You don’t need an expensive set of pots and pans if you’re smart about your selections. Choose a pan that is mostly flat and has some depth to it. That way, the food will cook more thoroughly, and the extra depth will allow you to cook some sauces or other foods items typically cooked in a pot.
2. Pan lid
If you’re buying a brand new pan, the lid will (hopefully) already come with it. Make sure to find a pan with its lid. I always thought that the lid was useless, but covering your dishes while cooking allows the heat to stay contained. Your dishes will cook more thoroughly as a result.
If you’re also trying to eat healthy while learning to cook, a steamer is a must. I never liked vegetables because I reheated them from a can or a frozen pouch. A steamer is a simple tool that cooks fresh veggies. It makes all of the difference.
4. Glass pan
If you were just getting comfortable with the fact that you will be using the stove, prepare yourself for another obstacle. The glass pan will be an all-purpose dish for your oven. It should be fairly deep and wide. A 9″ x 13″ is a good bet. This dish will allow you to cook a variety of recipes, including some comforting casseroles.
5. Crock Pot
This is a no-brainer for college students. Crock pots are made to throw a bunch of ingredients in. The Crock Pot will cook for you, and you can leave it on during a busy day of classes. You’ll come home with dinner ready for you, by you. I just advise to purchase a smaller sized Crock Pot if you will be cooking for one.
This item wont be used as frequently, but I think its important and has a lot of uses. The hand-held blender can help make soups creamy-smooth, as well as make some smoothie bowls. It’s a fairly cheap tool (like $20) and it will come in handy.
7. Cutting knife
These recipes I will show later in the semester will require some basic chopping. I am no chef; I am clumsy, and I used to fear putting my fingers near something so sharp. However, a good knife will make the cutting easier for you. I suggest something like above.
8. Bottle opener
If you are 21 or over, grab a bottle opener (beer or a wine bottle) and pour yourself a glass. You’ve successfully stocked your kitchen and are ready to start cooking.