Equipping your home kitchen doesn’t require hundreds of dollars or Swedish ceramics. Arm yourself with these eight essential, and manly, culinary tools and you’ll have all you need to dominate your kitchen right at your fingertips.
Mastering the art of food is about resourcefulness and creativity. Hunting and gathering are no longer about men and food; those terms now only apply to survival in general, whatever the scenario. Leave behind the bachelor on the frozen pizza and ramen diet. Equip your passion to live well– combine knowledge with tools and make a lot, using very little. There are a lot of contraptions out there designed for specific tasks but countless meals can be created with a handful of quality essentials — 8 to be exact.
This guide assumes that cutlery and cupboard fillers are already covered (bowls, plates, forks etc.)
1. Chef’s Knife
In many ways the knife is an extension of the arm, choose carefully. There are dozens of knife varieties out there but if a good meal is like a battle, a good chef’s knife is your greatest ally. It’s worth spending some money on because a good knife will last you a life time.
Balance is key–it should rest across your fingers and feel as natural in your hand as shoes do on your feet. The knife you want will have a 6-10 inch triangular blade that has a significantly thicker spine (blunt side of the blade) than the cutting edge. A slightly curved cutting edge enables a rocking motion when chopping; though some prefer a straighter edge. Look for thicker, heavier blades that do not bend easily; push your thumb against the edge to test it.
Forged knives are made from a single chunk of material. Generally, they are more balanced than blocked (stamped out of a roll of sheet metal) knives. Quality wise, a forged knife is to a stamped one as a fresh ground burger is to a frozen patty. A forged knife is thicker where the blade meets the handle; this section of the blade is called the bolster and also shows how thick the original metal was. The best forged knives are single pieces of metal that length-wise run from the tip of the blade to the back of end of the handle.
We reviewed a set by J.A. Henckels , they’ve done us right so far.
There are many places to shop for knives, I recommend finding one in a kitchen store near you that feels right. Once you find one you like you can probably find the exact model for cheaper online. Here is a good site to get an idea of styles and price ranges.
2. Honing Steel
Steel rod with a handle, often referred to as sharpening steel
Honing, not to be confused with sharpening, is crucial to the proper upkeep of your chef’s knife. A knife that slices easily through tomato skin and meat can be incredibly satisfying but few things are as frustrating as a knife that just makes lines on whatever you’re trying to cut. Honing realigns and straightens micros...