Convenience foods and TV dinners from the freezer, in some parts of the States good home cooking has all but disappeared and young people eat this type of food every day of their lives. Some have no idea at all how to prepare fresh food or even how to use basic kitchen equipment.
You may be one of these people, Would you know where to start with buying kitchen equipment especially if money is not plentiful? A fairly small, simple list of items will give you all the equipment you need to get started. And you should soon recoup the money you spend because preparing your own meals is not only better nutritionally but financially - ready meals and take out meals are much more expensive than freshly prepared food.
The basics needed to equip your kitchen do not have to cost the earth items such as spatulas, measuring cups and spoons, colanders, wooden spoons, whisks and chopping boards can all be purchased cheaply from stores where everything is priced at a dollar. There are more expensive alternatives but for getting started these cheap items are ideal and if necessary can be replaced easily.
Pots and pans are a bit different, buying cheap here is usually a false economy it is important to purchase the best quality you can afford. There are cheap Teflon coated pans around which probably cost less than half the price of a quality heavy duty pan, but the chances are they will scratch very easily and end up needing replaced at regular intervals. Believe me when I say A good quality pot can last a lifetime and will save you money in the long run.
To enable you produce a wide variety of basic dishes you really don't need a lot of pots and pans. One two quart pan, one three quart pan each with a lid and a twelve inch skillet together with a good stock pot should get you started.
If it is at all possible for both the skillet and the stock pot it is best to buy cast iron. These conduct the heat evenly and they are virtually impossible to destroy. The one thing that is essential before using a cast iron pan is to ensure it is "seasoned" to prevent food sticking to it. To do this is fairly simple, just clean the pan thoroughly and coat with oil half a dozen times. If you do this you should not have to scrub the pan merely run hot water into it and give it a light scrub without soap and it is ready for use again. It is worth noting however if you cook something acidic say a dish containing fruit such as tomatoes the coating will be removed and the process will need to be repeated before the pan is re-used.
For saucepans again purchasing the best you can afford is the best advise. Good heavy stainless steel with a copper bottom is an excellent choice because once again the heat is distributed evenly across the base of the pan and this means that you food will not burn as readily.
So as you can see it really does not take much to get started. You will probably find you enjoy cooking and more so EATING freshly prepared food. As time goes on you will also add to your collection of cook wear and no doubt purchase so gizmos and gadgets. There really is nothing to loose so get in that kitchen and create!
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