Many chefs like to get their hands on any kitchen gadget they can find. Acquiring a collection of kitchen tools can be fun, but unfortunately, a lot of those gadgets end up never really being used.
If you are about to set up a commercial kitchen, there are some supplies and tools that you must have, while others you can do without. You can eliminate the clutter in your restaurant kitchen by narrowing down your list of commercial restaurant equipment to the essentials. This checklist of essential chef tools should help you out.
Here are 20 essential chef tools that you can find in restaurants:
1. A good chef’s knife
Every aspiring cook needs a good chef’s knife. That why it’s considered one of the most important essential chef tools. Be sure to choose a high-quality chef’s knife, as it will have many purposes in your kitchen. The perfect chef’s knife should be comfortable to handle, well balanced, and easy to control.
2. A sturdy spatula
Your spatula can be made from plastic or silicone, but a sturdy metal spatula would be a worthy investment. A spatula will allow you to easily cook, flip, toss, and serve anything.
3. A silicone spatula
A silicone spatula is another versatile tool every chef needs. It can be used to mix or fold ingredients, to apply frosting on a cake, or to simply scrape out a mixing bowl and minimize waste.
4. Wooden spoons
At least two or three wooden spoons are essential in a kitchen. This simple tool is perfect for mixing or stirring ingredients, it’s sturdy and smooth, will not scratch the bottom of pots and pans, and will not leach harmful chemicals or metallic taste in your food.
5. A slotted spoon
A slotted spoon, whether it’s made from wood, plastic or metal, is convenient for quickly removing solids from liquids, when you are boiling potatoes, for example.
6. A metal whisk
A sturdy metal whisk will make it easier to prepare batter, whisked eggs, or vinaigrette. It’s also the perfect tool for mixing dry ingredients together, or to break lumps that wooden spoons are not able to deal with.
7. A pair of kitchen shears
Kitchen shears can be used to cut open some plastic packaging, but they are more powerful than normal scissors. They can cut or trim different types of foods, and they should dismantle so they are easier to clean.
8. A pair of metal tongs
A pair of metal tongs can safely replace your fingers when it’s time to turn meat in a skillet, toss vegetables in a pan, or simply grab and serve any food item.
9. Cutting boards
A sturdy cutting board protects your knife, as well as the surface you are preparing food on. Depending on the types of ingredients you need to cut and on the size of your kitchen, you could have different small cutting boards to meet all your needs, or only a large one.
10. A box grater
A simple but sturdy box grater is perfect for shredding cheese, vegetables, or lemon peel. It can replace a food processor in certain situations.
11. Measuring cups and spoons
Even an experienced chef will sometimes need to measure some ingredients carefully, and a set of measuring cups and measuring spoons is essential.
12. A colander
A colander is a necessary kitchen tool when the time comes to drain a dish of its water, but it can also be used to wash fruits and vegetables before cutting them. A metal colander should be easier to use than a plastic one.
13. Mixing bowls
Any chef who needs to mix different ingredients will need a set of mixing bowls. Glass or metal bowls are a great choice, as they will not get stained or pick up any smell.
14. A food processor
A food processor is essential to your kitchen, especially if you plan on feeding many people. This is a powerful and versatile tool that can chop, slice, shred, grind, or blend pretty much any food.
15. A stand mixer
If you do a lot of baking, you need a stand mixer in your kitchen. But a stand mixer that comes with many attachments is really versatile, and can help you prepare different types of foods, not only cakes, cookies, and breads.
16. An immersion blender
Many chefs consider immersion blenders more convenient and useful than standing blenders. With an immersion blender, you can easily blend soups, sauces, smoothies, and more.
17. Skillets and saucepans
Any chef needs skillets, saucepans, and pots to prepare different types of meals. Look for quality cookware that will distribute heat evenly, will not scratch easily, and will be easy to clean.
18. Sheet pans
Sheet pans are frequently used for baking cookies, but they are versatile enough to roast meat or vegetables, or even to make pizza.
19. A baking dish
Baking dishes are necessary to bake any food that can’t be baked on a sheet pan. They come in different shapes and sizes.
20. A thermometer
Finally, a good kitchen thermometer will help you verify the internal temperature of anything you have been cooking in your oven.