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Cooking for Geeks by Jeff Potter

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Chapter 2. Initializing the Kitchen

FIGURING OUT WHICH TOOLS TO HAVE IN THE KITCHEN CAN BE A DAUNTING TASK, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE JUST STARTING OUT. With so many products on the market, the number of decisions to be made can overwhelm anyone, especially overly analytical perfectionists (you know who you are). What type of knife should I buy? Which pan is right for me? Where should I store my cherry pitter?

Take a deep breath and relax. To a newbie, kitchen equipment probably seems like the key to success in the kitchen, but in all honesty, kitchen equipment isn’t that important. Two sharp knives, two pots, two pans, a spoon to stir and a spatula to flip, and you’re covered for 90% of the recipes out there and have a better kitchen setup than 90% of the world. Heck, in some parts of the world it’s just one pot and a spatula that’s been sharpened on one side to double as a knife. I know one culinary pro who backpacked through New Zealand for a year; she narrowed it down to a paring knife, vegetable peeler, heatproof spatula, and cutting board. Still, while having great kitchen equipment won’t make or break you, having the right tool for the job, and one that you’re comfortable with, does make the experience more enjoyable.

Back to the list of questions. The right answer to any question on which piece of kitchen equipment to use is: whatever works for you, is comfortable, and is safe. This chapter will cover the basic must-haves, but ultimately it is up to you to experiment and to adapt ...

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