Welcome back to our comprehensive guide on How To Be A Master Chef for beginners and food enthusiasts! In today's posts, we'll go over the main appliances and utensils you'll be using the most in your culinary journey. If you've ever wanted to be a master chef, the time is now, so let's get started!
Cook the stress-free way by learning how to Organize and De-Clutter Your Kitchen!
Get To Know Your Main Appliances
You will more than likely be using several of your kitchen appliances constantly, so it is best for you to get to know them immediately. Your refrigerator, stove, oven, and other small appliances are all going to be working with you to make your kitchen function as it should. These appliances can be real lifesavers in the kitchen, making it important for you to realize just how they can make your life easier.
Befriend Your Refrigerator
This kitchen appliance is constantly running (cue the old school prank phone call “Is your refrigerator running?”). As you probably already know, refrigerators chill foods and beverages and keep them cold. These large appliances are found in numerous shapes and sizes, but the typical refrigerator is box-shaped and rectangular. To give you an idea, a family of four is shown to require a refrigerator that is at least 16 cubic feet. When most people think of refrigerators, they think of those big, white, boxes that get dropped on cartoon characters. The truth is, there are many different types of refrigerators, and some even have French doors! Typically, refrigerators have a side that is meant to keep food cold and a compartment that freezes foods. Within the refrigerator, there are usually compartments to hold a variety of necessities such as cheese, vegetables (crisper), butter, and even jugs of milk. There are also shelves on the doors that double as storage space. Packing a refrigerator can limit the amount of cold air that is moving around inside, making it so all of the food will not stay cold. The bottom drawers are the best places to keep any poultry, meat, or fish because these drawers are normally the coldest. We recommend taking out old foods every two weeks to avoid nasty smells and dripping, deteriorating foods. By making sure your refrigerator is consistently clean, properly organized, and full of your favorite fresh foods you will be one step closer to constantly cooking meals at home!
Finding The Freezer
Most of us don't need a map to find the freezer; it's usually connected to the refrigerator! The freezer is the place where all of the foods you need to save end up. From your grandmother's frozen soup to leftovers that you want to extend the life on, the freezer is the appliance that will do the trick. You are even able to prepare foods for days that you simply do not feel like cooking. We like to individually pack ourselves dinners, lunches, and even breakfasts that are easy to heat up and quick to serve. The microwave plays a big role in heating up these foods.
Some people are able to afford a freezer that is separate from the refrigerator. These are great for storing meats and frozen produce. If you like taking advantage of the meat sales and making smoothies, you may want to invest in a stand-alone freezer! Cooking in bulk is also facilitated with this investment. If you like having massive amounts of food on hand that you can simply toss in a microwave and heat up, write the check! Even though there are some items that are not meant for the freezer (lettuce, blocks of cheese, milk), you can store a lot of other foods that will make your life easier in the realm of cooking. It's very easy to forget about food in the freezer so make sure to check out what you have in there every so often!
Own Your Oven & Stovetop
Regardless of what your setup looks like, they all perform the same tasks. We prefer the good old granny ovens over the new glass tops, but you can make your own decision. This is more than likely going to be the appliance that you are going to use the most, meaning you better become friendly with it fast! The stove top contains the burners that you will be placing pots and pans of delicious food. Underneath the stove top is the oven. The oven is great for baking, warming, or roasting foods. There is a couple of different types of ovens, and they really vary depending on personal preference.
Gas is generally preferred by chefs due to the fact that the flame is adjustable. This lets the chef adjust the heat as he or she sees fit. Variations in the flame are also important to chefs because they know how to use this to their advantage. Cooking with a commercial gas range is actually known to decrease cooking times by 25 percent! Simple home ranges work well too. The fact that cooking with a gas flame means cooking with an open flame does tend to deter people from using them, but the truth is that if you are knowledgeable about cooking with an open flame, you should have nothing to worry about.
With gas stoves on the market, who needs electric heat? Well, electric heat is just as good as using gas heat and some people even believe that it looks better. With the sleek and modern designs of electric stoves, your kitchen will look great. The main difference between cooking with gas and cooking with electricity is that cooking with electricity does not give you that heat intensity you may be looking for. If you're accustomed to cooking on electric, you should continue to use electric. Electric ranges may have a slower response time, but they still work just fine!
Looking to cook food fast? How fast? Well, with a convection oven, now you can! These ovens are able to cook food faster and more evenly than standard gas or electric ovens because they contain a small fan in the back of the oven that allows air to move throughout the oven and around your meal. In essence, this is an efficient heating process that utilizes circulation to cut cooking time. With this oven, you can also use a lower temperature to perform the same task as a standard gas or electric oven. Is this necessary? Probably not. Is it cool? Heck yes! This oven is prized by bakers everywhere.
Induction heat is actually preferred by some chefs and many swear by it! Some people have even claimed that induction will replace every other system on the market. While we don't necessarily agree or disagree with this thought, we do know that induction cooking is unique because it uses a magnetic transfer principle to heat stuff up. This principle makes it, so heat passes by way of magnetic force from the burner to the pan. The coolest aspect of this is that if you were to put a piece of paper between the burner and the pan, the towel remains cool. This means that touching an induction burner will not burn you! These burners also contain the same adjustability that gas possesses. Heating made easy through… Science! The main downside to these burners is that you must use a metal pan that the magnet will stick to. Stainless steel is most commonly used.
Forget About Dishwashers
We hate washing dishes with a passion! Why would anyone want to wash dishes? What a chore! Washing dishes is arguably the worst part of cooking, making the dishwasher an appliance that you definitely want to own. Many homes and apartments have the dishwasher built in simply because they make our lives that much easier. While it is true that water and electricity are being used when running the dishwasher, a lot of people would much rather hang out and relax following their meal as opposed to washing dishes. Better brands of dishwashers tend to use less water and electricity and do not make as much noise. There are numerous cycles, levels of power, and times that the dishwasher can be set to depending on the brand as well.
One of the major benefits of using a dishwasher is that they typically kill off around 99.9 percent of bacteria, allowing parents of infants to have their minds at ease. There are also models that have a steaming cycle, making pre-washing your dishes a thing of the past!
You may have noticed that you have a switch in your kitchen that results in a loud “GARRRRRRRRRRRRR!” noise when flicked on; this is your garbage disposal. If you're cooking at home, the garbage disposal is a necessity! Rather than tossing food out or clogging up your sink, the garbage disposal grinds up all of those unwanted foods and allows them to be disposed of through the sink. When cooking, there is usually going to be something that you will have to peel or chop up, leaving waste that can go in the garbage disposal. Using the garbage disposal allows you to avoid putting food in the trash, ensuring the garbage won't stink like rotting food within a few days. You can also toss in a couple of citruses (lemon, orange, grapefruit) peels to keep your garbage disposal from stinking of rotten food. It is important to know that you should never put anything that is hard in the garbage disposal. The rule don't put anything that cannot be ground up without a problem.
Your journey doesn’t end here; it’s only beginning! These Tips On Creating A Safe Kitchen will be your new best friends in the kitchen!
Don’t forget to catch the next part of our guide to How To Be A Master Chef In 10 Days! We love hearing your feedback and comments, so let us know if you have any other tips for beginner cooks or your thoughts on this series. HomemadeRecipes.com was founded to create an online community where foodies, epicureans and chefs can share recipes and learn new ones! We need your help, however, in creating this community where you can come, share and learn. If you love to cook, love food or have some great recipes and ideas you’d like to share with us, shoot us an email and make sure to stay in touch on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest! We’re always looking for contributors and want to hear from you.
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