Fancy yourself as a bit of a Heston Blumenthal? Perhaps you’re more of a Raymond Blanc? If you think of yourself as a bit of a gastronomic great, don’t let the kitchen in your bachelor pad turn into a storeroom for expensive gadgets. If you are serious about cooking, it’s the basic items you should value more than those impressive-looking gizmos.
If you already have a kitchen full of gadgets, we bet you can’t even remember what most of them are for. Except for the hugely expensive espresso machine and the NutriBullet (must-haves for the man cave), get rid of the fancy gadgets. You don’t need them. Liam Houghton, a gentleman with aspirations of a fine batchelor pad – after spending many an afternoon at Classic Interiors in Solihull – and writer of this here article says: “If you haven’t used it in the last six months, move on. Restock your kitchen cupboards with these carefully chosen essentials and you’ll be ready to cook some serious food.” Nuff said.
- Exceptionally good knives
A set of really good knives are the envy of many a budding chef. Don’t skimp on the cost. There’s nothing worse than poor quality knives that don’t cut it – and they literally don’t. You’ll need a good knife sharpener too, to keep them in tip-top condition.
- Stainless steel pan set
A good set of pans will impress your guests (well at least anyone with a bit of cooking knowledge, and those with a bit of style for that matter). They not only look good they are truly the best for cooking.
- A NutriBullet
Oh come on. The NutriBullet is an essential piece of kit for those healthy smoothies after your gym workout.
- Extremely expensive espresso machine
Keep the super-charged espresso machine (invest in a good one if you haven’t already). Coffee in the morning is essential. A crappy cup of coffee definitely won’t do. It’s got to be real good. If George Clooney can drink good coffee, then so can you.
- The hard-core cast iron skillet
This is probably the kitchen’s most essential item. It’s definitely the most versatile workhorse of the kitchen. It provides great heat for searing and frying. It’s fabulous for steaks, a crisp hash or a rosti, but can be used to cook almost anything. You can even make pizza in it.
- Le Creuset casserole dish
The Le Creuset casserole dish is perfect for getting something on the go before your guests arrive. There’s nothing wrong with a sumptuous beef stew and an exceptionally good glass of red.
- A butch butcher’s block chopping board
All kitchens require a good chopping board. In your man cave kitchen make sure it’s a mega one.
- A microplane zester
Truffle anyone? That’s why you need a zester. You want to impress. Shave liberally over pasta or risotto. This little item sorts the men from the boys in the kitchen. It’s essential for zesting lemons and limes too.
- A set of stainless steel mixing bowls
These are your go-to mixing bowls for everything from bread dough to pastry, salads and desserts. Get them lined up when you are working in your very organised kitchen.
- Spring loaded tongs
How else are you going to turn your perfectly cooked steak?
- Silicone basting brush
Think sticky succulent chicken pieces. That’s why you need a basting brush. If there’s a baker in you, you’ll need it for the lemon drizzle cake too.
- A whisk
For light, fluffy omelettes, cakes, batters and sauces, the whisk is a basic kitchen item no chef can do without.
- A sieve
If for nothing else, the sieve can save a lumpy sauce. Essential for when things don’t go to plan and the whisk hasn’t done the trick.
- A colander
For the pasta darling, pasta.
- A wooden spoon and a silicon spatula
For mixing and cooking you can’t do without a wooden spoon and a silicon spatula. Your silicon spatula will scrape the last drops from your pan or mixing bowl.
- Measuring cups
Unless you are supremely confident about going off piste in the kitchen, you’ll need to stick to at least some recipes and for that you’ll need to measure your ingredients precisely.
- Essential store cupboard ingredients
Last but not least, you’ll need to stock up on some store cupboard essentials. It’s a pretty impressive feat when you can knock up a plate of food at short notice.
Here’s a list of the basics:
- Olive oil
- Chilli sauce
- Fresh herbs
- Booze (beer and/or wine)
- Kidney beans
- Baked beans
- Tinned tomatoes
- Dark Chocolate
Whether you’re alone, with a mate, or you’re inviting an impromptu date back for a romantic night in, with this little lot on standby you’ll be able to rustle up a quick and impressive plate of food. Think spicy bean chilli or a herby frittata. Pick up a bag of salad, and some salmon, chicken or steak and your menu choice gets even better.