Nothing says ‘I’m not an adult yet’ like a fridge that contains nothing but Tabasco, packets of soy sauce, and a carton of milk (probably spoiled, lets be real).
But cooking is hard — it’s time consuming and not every young man has been taught how to do it right, let alone set up a proper kitchen with necessary ingredients and tools for making a quick meal.
Business Insider reached out to Jared Spafford Director of Culinary Operations at Snow Day, a maple syrup themed food truck launched by not-for-profit Drive Change. Drive Change employs previously incarcerated individuals to better acclimate them to the outside.
They also learn how to cook with limited resources.
Spafford sent Business Insider a list of items — from tools to spices — that should go inside the modern gentleman’s kitchen.
If you build it, it will come, and it will be delicious.
Blenders require little introduction -- every man's got to make a margarita from time to time. They're also useful for making milkshakes and smoothies.
The name is pretty self-explanatory for this one: a spice grinder grinds spices. If you grind them yourself, your food will be significantly more flavorful.
You can get one here.
There is a special place in hell reserved whoever decided it was ok to drink ground dirt (commonly referred to as 'instant coffee').
Instead, pick up a french press so that you can make a delicious cup for yourself every morning.
You'll need a solid apron to keep your clothes from looking like a Kandinsky painting.
Skip the basic butcher looking apron, and definitely don't get one with a tasteless design (you know the ones we're talking about). Instead, opt for a classic navy or grey one.
A decent navy apron retails for just $12.95, which is infinitely less than what your drying cleaning bill would be otherwise.
Took anything from corn on the cob to soups and stews you're going to need a big pot. When you get really good at the whole cooking thing, you can make your own stock for soup.
If that ever happens.
Quart stock pots have a range of prices. Super basic models can be as cheap as $32.49, while mid-range models are about $51.96. If you're looking for a real quality piece, there are models in the $106.40 price range.
Cast iron skillets can cook almost anything from egg dishes, lasagnas, desserts, and roasted vegetables. You can put them on a stove top or in the oven for baking.A
And if you live in a city, a cast iron can act as a grill substitute, so you won't have to do without quality steaks.
We don't joke around when it comes to knives. Getting a truly quality crafted knife is worth the investment because it will last you forever. If you opt for a cheaper option, it will get dull pretty quickly. And then, in the long run, you'll spend way more replacing bad knives instead of just buying one great one from the start.
We recommend the MAC Pro 8-1/2in, which costs $159.95.
You're probably wondering why you need an offset knife. Easy. The 'offset' handle keeps you hand away from surfaces while you cut.
Serrated means that the blade looks kind of like a mini saw, which is useful to cut through foods that are hard on the exterior and soft on the interior. Think: a loaf of bread or cabbage.
A quality offset serrated knife comes in around $US59.95, and can go much higher.
Good knives are expensive, so you're not going to want your cutting board to ruin them immediately. Pick up an end grain cutting board, which is specifically designed to not dull your knife as quickly as a plastic cutting board would.
Plus, because of the pattern on the boards, knife marks won't be as visible.
Again, the name is pretty self-explanatory. But you do want a specific tasting spoon so that you can experiment with salt, pepper, or spice levels right on the spoon -- without ruining your dish completely.
A tasting spoon goes for about $5.99.
When it comes to spices, we recommend that you buy them whole and then grind them. Your food will be way more flavorful that way.
Here are some basics to build your spice collection:
- Sea salt
- Mustard Seeds
- Turmeric (Or upgrade: Star Anise)
- Garlic and onion powder
- Bay leaves
- White and red peppercorns
- Dried herbs: thyme, rosemary, sage.
You're going to want to have something fresh in the house, too. These ingredients will kick any recipe you're making with frozen food up a notch. Definitely check your local farmers market for foods that are in season.
Here's what you need:
- Herbs, including dill, thyme, cilantro, and basil
- Lemons (For cocktails and for food.)
- Bacon - Real, quality bacon. (Check out Flying Pigs Farm or your local quality butcher)
Paella (aka a Spanish rice dish with all sort of delicious things mixed in) is a summer favourite. We recommend picking up a pan so that you can prepare this dish on weekends.
However we have to warn you: if you make paella, you won't be able to kick your friends out of your house.
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