LCHF Kitchen Must-Haves
This week is all about the essentials in your kitchen for LCHF cooking – Chef Craig Rodger shares his secrets and must-haves!
My post this week is a must-have equipment list for your LCHF Kitchen. Money doesn’t grow on trees and there’s always a good use for it but as a chef I know how important good equipment is for making life easier and allowing for more possibilities in the kitchen. Buying decent equipment is always an investment that will keep repaying you by being reliable and helpful – if you don’t have the proper tools or they are not up to the job you will end up paying more for ready-made items like mayo and smoothies etc, not to mention the extra time and effort required to produce food with shonky implements.
- A good cooks knife and a decent serrated knife – $50-$60 minimum for a straight-edge knife. Cheaper knives blunt faster and are uncomfortable to hold so can cause tiredness in your hands and arms. Small serrated or “tomato knives” are very handy for small jobs and a larger serrated knife is useful for cutting large tougher items including vegetables like pumpkin.
- Food processor – you can pick one up for $100-$150 especially if you shop about. These are extremely helpful in the kitchen, they enable you to make a much wider range of food types such as pate, LCHF pastries and crackers. They are also a major labour saver, you can chop vegetables in them quite easily and making mayonnaise becomes so much easier than by hand.
- Blenders – There are 3 main categories: Jug blenders – great for soups, smoothies, purees etc. Smoothie “bullet” type blenders – great for smoothies and smaller jobs. Stick blenders – a great all-rounder that can tackle any job but depending on the type you get might not make your soup or smoothie quite as smooth as the dedicated jug blender would. I suggest investing in a decent stick blender as a starting point and based on your own specific needs you may need to look at getting one of the bigger more powerful blenders if you are making a lot of soup or smoothies.
- Decent cookware – i.e pots and pans, around $60-$80 at least. Cheap pans are quite thin and are prone to deforming – so when I buy a pan, I tend to knock the base (like knocking on a door) and if it feels thick and solid it indicates that it will cook evenly and won’t deform. One good frying pan that is either non-stick or treatable (able to be seasoned) to be less prone to sticking is essential and will repay itself by allowing you to retain your sanity when your meat or fish easily comes away from the pan instead of adhering like glue resulting in torn food, uneven cooking and difficult to wash dishes. One large pot that has a volume of around 5 litres (or more) will allow for batch cooking of soups, sauces, stews etc. that will set you up for the week and saves time in the long run (as well as saving dishes).
- Meat thermometer – pricing varies on these, but if you want to ensure your meat is cooked to the correct degree, a meat thermometer is a useful tool. It can also ensure you are cooking chicken long enough too.
Lastly, I have a little checklist of the bare essentials for any kitchen:
- Peeler – check
- Multiple chopping boards – check
- Tin opener – check
- Collander – check
- Scales and measuring cups – check
- Spatulas, whisks and ladles – check
- Containers to store food – check
- Grater – check
- Baking tray – check
- Muffin and loaf tins – check
I hope this helps to lay out the essentials for cooking at home. This list is designed to help the new cook get to grips faster with the tools they will need for cooking up an LCHF storm.
Of course if you are already a spare-time Josh Emmett then you can probably add a few of your own must-have items to the list; by all means share away!
– Chef Craig Rodger