Essential Kitchen Equipment for Foodies.

They say the kitchen is the heart of every home and since mine is a room I spend a lot of time in, catering to our large family and creating fab food for my foodie friends, I know how important it is to have the right equipment.

dinner party table

Of course people have their favourite brands and designs but I still think there are some items which are a must-have in every kitchen if like me you like to cook great food without too much effort!

Obviously any "must have" list is subjective. I had a real comedy moment at a dinner party a few years ago when the host apologised for the quality of his dessert as he had discovered his kitchen equipment did not include an egg separator. We have teased him un-mercilessly since and he has had a variety of types of egg separating gadgets bought for him.

I do not have an egg separator. I have my fingers to crack the egg and hold it allowing the white out while retaining the yolk. I teach those with less nimble digits to crack the egg onto a saucer then place an egg cup over the yolk while tipping the egg white into another bowl. Simple.

I digress.

OK so what do I consider essential. Well a good oven of course. My ideal combination is an electric fan oven with a gas hob. I like the reliably even circulation an electric fan oven offers, especially for baking, but like the instant response of a gas hob which avoids things boiling over.

range cooker with electric ovens and gas hobs

Although I have a fantastic range cooker I still use my microwave a lot. My parents got a microwave decades ago when they were still very new and I've never been without one since.

microwave oven

I love them for speed and convenience- my children love warm milk and it's so easy to make quickly in the microwave. They are great too if you like stress free dinner parties. I often choose meals which have elements which can be made in advance then reheated quickly without risk of drying out.

I also use my microwave a lot to speed up defrosting.

Next in my essentials list would be a large fridge or even better, fridge-freezer. I have two fridge freezers both with generous compartments so I can take advantage of supermarket offers and freeze seasonal fruit, veg and herbs. Rhubarb in particular freezes very well so when you are sick of the seasonal glut you can save some for when you fancy it again.

If you have the space why not look at commercial fridges and team one with a large separate freezer? You could save lots of money picking up meat, bread and even wine when they are reduced in price or on special offer. I bought five fresh large chickens the other day because they were on offer at just £2.25 each!

Every good chef relies on their knives and I think buying decent quality knives is a good investment. Treat yourself to a sharpener too and your knives could last a lifetime.

Another useful if not strictly essential item in my kitchen is a bookstand which actually doubles as a tablet stand as I find as many recipes online as I do in a cookery book nowadays. A stand helps keep your book or tablet out of any mess or moisture and is much easier to read at an angle.

cookery book/tablet stand for kitchen

They usually incorporate some method of stopping the pages accidentally turning too so you don't end up like Rachel in Friends who started making an English trifle dessert but didn't spot she'd lost her place in the book and ended up including mince from the savoury Shepherds Pie recipe on the next page.

Last but not least on my list of essentials is a radio. Not traditionally classed as kitchen equipment of course but very handy to help make the dull chores in the kitchen fly by. I love my duck-egg blue digital radio which is pretty much permanently tuned to an 80's station.

digital radio in kitchen

Disclaimer: Collaborative post.

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