Want to cook like the professional chefs you see on TV? It starts with having the right tools for the job – and in this case the job is cooking. Every cook needs a core set of utensils to use to prepare his meals But, in addition to this core set, there are other items, that while not mandatory, make life easier in the kitchen.
Basting brushes – these are used to baste meats, cooked vegetables, and so on with fat, stock, or some other liquid. This is not a necessary tool because you can baste with a spoon – as many home cooks regularly do. A brush does, however, let you baste with the liquids in a more even fashion. In addition, a bush lets you "paint" the liquid into places that would be hard to reach with a spoon.
Vegetable brush – nobody likes to eat dirty vegetables. Many cooks like to clean vegetables such as carrots and potatoes by scraping off their skin and rinsing them under water. But some cooks that are really into healthy eating, use organic vegetables and hate throwing away what they consider to be an essential part of the vegetable. In many vegetables the skin has more nutrients than the other parts of the plant. In addition, it contains roughage which is good for you. These cooks will simply use a vegetable brush to clean the dirt off the skin.
Tongs – old time cooks do not need these, they do just fine using forks. For the less experience cook, however, tongs will make it easy to remove those pieces of chicken from the fryer. You'll find them very helpful as a reasonable replacement for your hands. When a piece of food has cooked on one side, instead of using your hands and fingers to turn the food, use your tongs instead.
Kitchen shears – are a very under appreciated utensil. These are simply heavy duty scissors and they are especially adept at opening electronic products that seem to be always sold in those rigid packages that are almost impossible to open by hand without injuring yourself. But they're also good for their primary purpose in cutting chicken bones and the like. But buy ones that are ergonomic in design. You'll find that they're a lot easier on your hands.
Food Mill – this is a fun utensil. It's ideal for making foods like sauces, jams, baby foods, and even mashed potatoes. You place foods such as tomatoes, potatoes, and so on in the top bowl, turn the handle. The food is ground down into fine pieces, pressed through a base sieve, to produce a lump free product. Everything you can do with a food mill, you can do using other tools, but you probably will not have as much fun.
As you can see – none of the items on this list are absolutely mandatory. And yet, millions of each product are sold every year in the stores. That's because, even though we do not absolutely need them in the kitchen, they all make kitchen life much easier.