Sunday, February 10, 2019

What To Buy For Your Kitchen When You Move Out

It is time to move out! But you have no idea what you need in your first kitchen. Knives? Bowls? A Pasta Machine? Ok, maybe not that last one.
But you will need to buy some things for your new kitchen and there are definitely some tools and kitchen equipment everyone needs. The question becomes, what should you buy for your kitchen when you move out?
Every person’s kitchen needs to be prepared to cook a quick meal for yourself, for a special someone or a party. In order to do so you will need some basic kitchen equipment.
Below is a list of the top 5 things our team recommend you have in your first kitchen. We tried to avoid spending too much money on your first kitchen tools. 
Now you don’t need a lot of new or expensive tools in your first kitchen. Trust us, you could spend thousands of dollars on a few knives.
But, one you don’t want to spend your entire budget on just knives and two supposedly it is said that some of the best grandmothers in the world could cook an entire 7 course meal with a sharp knife and a cutting board.
So let’s start there!
Every chef and home cook needs to have a sharp knife. Just because you are a home cook, does not mean you should shy away from buying several good knives that perform multiple tasks. This is why we would recommend you buy a knife block instead of just a single knife.
A single chef knife can solve a lot of problems. However, we would argue you will need more than a single chef knife when you move out. Sure, you can cut your steak with a butter knife, or just slice everything with a chef knife. Trust us, there are better options.
So below is the Cangshan V2 Series knife block. It is a good combination of affordable and practical. We hate cheap knives that are flimsy and dull quickly. Instead, we recommend just starting off with a great knife set. Why settle for a temporary knife set that just doesn’t cut it…

Haha, bad joke. But seriously. Take it from a team of people who grew up with knives from second hand. There are better options.
If you are not enjoying cutting fresh vegetables with your knives, then you are doing it wrong. If it is a struggle to slice through onions, or other every day produce, then you should consider a new set.
There are obviously more expensive knife blocks. Yet, if you are just moving out, then perhaps those knives are not right for you. We do prefer Wusthof, but that is because most of us were professional chefs who spent the very small paychecks we got on new knives and modernist cuisine. 
For a student, or young millennial moving out, the knife block we recommended above will more than suffice!
However, a knife is only half of the story. You should not be using your knife on a most any form of countertops. Unless you want to ruin both your knife and possibly your countertop. More importantly, you don’t want to use your knife on one of those paper thin cutting boards. They break quickly and really aren’t great investments. 
Again, you could buy a very expensive Boos Block (which of course we really love) or you could be more reasonable. Instead of buying a $100 plus cutting board that requires some maintenance. You could buy a much more affordable bamboo cutting board.

It doesn’t have the same weight as a Boos Block. However, it does the job really just as well!

Plus, you will save over a hundred dollars.
Once you have the basics down, your kitchen is ready for at least one or two nice toys. Now this will be up to you. Having both of the next two recommended products would be great. And most of our kitchens have both. However, we have collected them over a several year period because both of these pieces of equipments are quite expensive.
Personally we would recommend first buying a kitchen aid mixer. This tool is versatile and allows you to make anything from cakes and frosting to pasta dough easily.
kitchen aid mixer on sale
This is why buying a kitchen aid  mixer is great. It saves a lot of time and muscle. Need to whip cream, give it a minute or two and you’re done. French buttercream, done, kneading pasta dough, etc….etc….etc.
So owning a kitchen aid will make your life just that much easier. Its efficent, and allows you to get back to your Netflix binge that much sooner. Plus, it allows you to look like an absoulte pro in your kitchen when you throw parties.
So it is a must for someone that likes entertaining.
Now if you already have a kitchen aid. Another great kitchen tool to have in your first kitchen is a Cuisine Art Food Processor. The food processor is a very versatile and helpful tool.
Again, if you are planning to entertain, a food processor can allow you to do a lot more work much faster. If you want to make guacamole, salsa, or filling for ravioli!
It is much faster than trying to chop everything by hand. Don’t get us wrong, many chef’s don’t like using food processors because they feel like it takes away from the art and the flavor. However, for the home chef, it saves so much time!

food processor
So consider buying one of these tools to help save yourself loads of time!
Now let’s go back to the products that are considerably cheaper.
mixing bowls
No really, you really need to buy some mixing bowls. We have noted that some people like to rely on just about every other handy container to mix salads, cookie batters and pancake batter. 
Look, just invest in a good set of mixing bowls so when you are itching to bake its super easy and not limited by the size of your containers.
It will make all your baking that much simpler!
When moving out it is important that you have the essentials in your kitchen. That way, you are ready to entertain or just provide a basic meal for yourself. Why waste money and your health on food that isn’t as tasty or as healthy anyways!
Yes, new knives, cutting boards, mixers, and other utensils cost money. But consider it an investment in yourself!
Thanks for reading! We try to support this blog by recommending products that would be helpful and using affiliate links! So if you like our content then please share this post with your friends and if you happen to need a product from Amazon anyways, then perhaps consider purchasing it after clicking on the link!
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Sunday, February 3, 2019

Gift Ideas For Chefs And Home Cooks

Well it is that time of year again! It is time to buy your family and closest friends great gifts to show how thankful you are. The question is what gifts are you going to buy them? What is the perfect gift?
Our team has collaborated to create a list of some of our favorite gifts and kitchen tools we would love to get this year. So if your friend or loved one loves to be in the kitchen this list of amazing gifts will help guide you. You might find the perfect gift or who knows, you might be inspired by looking through this list.
We hope you enjoy reading through our various excerpts about the gifts and let us know if you have any favorite gift ideas in the list below! We would love to have more possible great ideas below for gifs that people would love this holiday season!

The Flavor Bible

cook books for chefs
Look, our team is a bunch of book worms! So we always love books as gifts. Now some food books have beautiful pictures, others have amazing recipes. The flavor bible is neither. So why do we recommend you buy this book as a gift? Because if your friend is a major foodie who loves being creative in the kitchen or maybe your son or daughter wants to be a chef one day, this is the book for them.
The Flavor Bible is a reference book for flavor. It helps young and experienced cooks gain a better idea of how flavors blend. It also helps them create new dishes and new concepts by looking for what flavors work with other flavors. It is a great starting place to help all cooks get inspired. In addition, it is a great tool to help chefs create amazing dishes.
For many of us it was a differentiator when we worked in the restaurant industry because it lets you know what is possible. Flavor profiles you might have never thought of appear and new combinations that don’t even exist in the book suddenly make sense. We would love to provide our own personal experiences if you have a young cook who would like some examples!

Kitchen Aid

kitchen aid gift
Do you have a significant other that loves baking or perhaps a son or daughter? A great gift idea for them is a kitchen aid. Now this does lean on the more expensive side of gifts but it is still cheaper than that IPhone X that they wanted and it makes much better cakes.
Many of us grew up with the hand held mixers…and it was a terrible experience. It is much more convenient to start a Kitchen Aid and have your hands free to mix in other ingredients. Also, if your recipes are alot like some of ours waiting for a dozen egg whites to hit stiff peaks while having to hold your mixer is no fun. Instead, getting to walk away is really nice.
Of course, what is great about a kitchen aid is it provides much more than just mixing cakes, doughs and just about everything else. It has a great pasta attachment that again allows for much more hands free approach to making pasta.
So consider buying a kitchen aid instead of that very expensive tablet or IPhone.

Anova Culinary Immersion Circulator

Let’s say instead of a baker or a young cook you are friends with a really great chef who loves cooking and experimenting with new techniques and recipes. Then consider buying them an immersion circulator.
Immersion circulators are great gifts that have become significantly cheaper and more accessible to home cooks and expert chefs. You no longer need a $1000 machine from polyscience. Instead, there are many more affordable and they are great gifts for those of us who look at the kitchen as more of a lab. If you have a friend or family member who goes on and on about modernist cuisine then we can almost guarantee this is the gift for them.

Leather Chef Knife Roll

chef knife roll
Let’s say your friend is already a professional chef. They love cooking, they talk about sharpening their knives every weekend and how much they love cleaning cast iron pans. The chefs are the thoroughbreds. They are the craftsman, they might not be into all the fancy molecular gastronomy of the 2000s but you better believe their classic technique and love of their craft is second to none.
If you have someone like this in your life and your struggling to find them a gift. Consider getting them a really nice knife roll like this one. Something you know they will take pride in and cherish. This gift is not for that friend that destroys everything they own. No, this is the friend who is the reason you do have nice things.

Sourdough: Recipes For Rustic Bread

gift guide for cook books
Alright…another great baking book. You are probably tired of seeing books as gifts in this list but everyone needs a good sourdough book. Owning one book devoted to the secret art of sourdough is a must. If I were to tell you to pick one baking book then I would lean towards this one. Understanding sourdough, gives the baker a much better understanding of where bread has been and where it is going. Bread before yeast relied on so many different forms of leavening. Starters were one form! So being able to understand this mother of breads will help you further define your skills. The key is getting this as a gift but making sure you see some of the fresh baked bread show up at your door!

 Escali Primo Digital Kitchen Scale

Do you have a friend who loves being precise and loves to bake? Then consider buying a bakers scale like the one above as a possible gift idea to ensure high quality outcomes. Personally, as a pastry cook, most of my recipes were in grams. So I did have to flip back and forth between grams and oz. That is where this baking scale came in handy! When I was baking gateau, bread, gelato, custard, and everything else. What is also great about this scale. Is it is relativity cheap. Thankfully…One weekend while I was away someone happened to steal my scale…I never did find it, I just had to buy another scale. Hopefully, when you get this gift your friend does not suffer the same fate!

A New Knife

No list of gifts for chefs would be complete without knives. Now, we could talk about all the fancy knives with damascus steel and Japanese styles. However, we are a big fan of the classics and german steel. Wusthof is one of our favorites. It has several tiers but they do stand to be a little pricey. Amazon has this chef knife for a little over 100$. This is a great deal for this style of knife. What this knife offers is a sturdy structure, and hard steel. This means it retains its edge very well. This was my personal Chef knife throughout my entire career. Even when I happened to chip the tip of my knife, it was easy to sharpen the knife and bring back the tip. It fits great in any Chef knife bag or roll and you don’t have to sharpen it as often as you would a softer steeled knife.
What I really like about this knife though is its grip. There are several other tiers in the Wusthof family. Each of them have the same steel and blade for the most part. The issue with the other knives is that they feel cheap. The hilts are made out of a funky plastic and it really doesn’t have that full tang effect. So if you want a knife under 100$ then you could pick either the Wusthof, or Wusthof Classic. Now, there are many other knives that you could pick up, so if the Wusthof isn’t the right one then consider continuing to look for another knife for a gift.

The Children’s Step-By-Step Cook Book

gift ideas
Alright, you might be laughing at this gift recommendation. There is a real soft spot in my heart for this book in particular. If you have kids ages 3-10 that want to learn to cook, this book is a personal favorite. My mother and I used this cookbook a lot when I was a kid. I remember making the cream puffs, and chocolate truffles a hundred times (ok, maybe just a couple of dozen times). They were just so simple and the pictures made the whole experience seem so easy. You are not going to learn any fancy techniques here, just a few basics. Personally, this book is more about the time spent with your kids vs. what you will learn from it.
It doesn’t have anything too difficult or unsafe and it offers great exposure to any young and budding chef.

The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

new gift ideas

Alright, one more book gift idea. In this case the book’s title alone…sell me…
Some people have cloths, bags, or power tools. I have my books and sometimes authors and book publishers know how to sell their products. At least The Food Lab is a good cook book!
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend this book for beginners. It would be like drinking from a fire hose. The author of this book cleverly designed it like a bunch of research papers. Instead of recipes, they breakdown materials, methods, procedures, data, conclusions etc. The Food Lab tells the end user how to properly approach experiments and eliminate bias (scientific method). In the end, the book is a great combination of learning about food, learning how to make your food better and learning a lot about the whys.
That is why I don’t recommend this book for inexperienced cooks. All you will end up with is a bunch of facts with no context. The value will be very little. If on the other hand, you have a few years of cooking under your belt, then you can start making valuable connections. Suddenly you start to understand temperature, acidity, etc, on a whole new level. It is like the first time you realized what calculus really was, or other subject that you really enjoyed in school (ok, I might be one of the few that enjoyed calculus).
Just saying, for 2019, you got to “Science the shit out of cooking”.
We do hope you enjoyed this list of great gift ideas for 2019. We hope it helped guide you towards new ideas and possible gifts that you would like to get your loved ones. Again, do let us know if we missed any gift recommendations in the comments below. Have an amazing holiday season and happy cooking!
Thanks for reading! We try to support this blog by recommending products that would be helpful and using affiliate links! So if you like our content then please share this post with your friends and if you happen to need a product from Amazon anyways, then perhaps consider purchasing it after clicking on the link!
If you want to read more cooking content then click the links below!