Kitchen Gear - The Basics

I love cooking, but to cook you need stuff. Not a ton of stuff, but the right stuff. We've accumulated many kitchen items over the years since we left our parent's homes, but we are looking to add more things now that we are creating a home together. For any of you looking to buy new kitchen "gear," I recommend getting Alton Brown's Gear For Your Kitchen.

 The book is divided into 6 chapters:

Pots and Pans
Sharp Things (Knives)
Small Things with Plugs (Small Appliances)
Kitchen Tools Unplugged (Gadgets and other tools)
Containment and Storage
Safety and Sanitation

In each he goes into specifics on what to look for in the product he's discussing and explains the differences in each. He makes his recommendations, or explains what he uses, but gives enough information to make an educated choice even if you go a different direction (everyone has a different cooking style). For example, he tells the reader the list of pots and pans that he keeps in his kitchen, but goes into enough detail about all the types of pots and pans that if you prefer something else, you are at least an educated consumer making the choice. I like his writing style as he makes something that could be a dull read pretty entertaining.

The introduction and last chapter are pretty informative. The introduction asks you to do a kitchen clean out, over the course of 60 days, to whittle down what you really use (and eliminate unitaskers not used frequently) and make room in your kitchen for the things you need, making it more efficient and pleasant to cook in.

The last chapter on safety and sanitation was an eye opener. While we all know what we should do, it's easy to take short-cuts (using the dish sponge to wipe off a counter top?). It made me more aware and was a good reminder on the subject.

Obviously, there are things he mentions that we have no need for based on our cooking style. But for those things that we were looking to purchase, it was a good overview of the qualities to look for. I also love that he included Bob Vila, MacGyver, and astronauts in the introduction alone. Now if that hasn't gotten you interested...

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