To sustain a Paleo diet I strongly suggest you learn how to cook (using the right tools).
I love to cook. I went through a major cooking phase a year ago where I bought every kitchen gadget I could find and was in the kitchen hours each day cooking, cleaning, and enjoying the fruits of my labor ( kinda like the South Park episode).
I learned that there is a lot of useless cooking crap out there. However, there are some staples that everyone should have and they aren’t really that expensive. Most of them will also last you a lifetime. Just think of them as investments; investments in your health.
This short list includes the staples of a fully outfitted amateur kitchen. The beautiful thing about cooking tools is you buy it once and it will last forever with proper care.
When you spend money on quality ingredients fro nature, you have an obligation to use the proper tools to get the best taste and experience out of those ingredients. And it really does make a difference, a huge one, trust me. I’ve tried cooking at friends houses many times. What I normally see is old sets of shitty non-stick pans that are chipping away, cheap and dull wanna-be kitchen knives, and not a real spatula or pair of tongs in sight. I literally cannot properly pan-fry a chicken breast, literally.
A samurai does not go into battle with a cheap blade. Most of the time, his sword is his life. Your tools are the catalyst for your technique to be applied. Crappy tools is going to result in crappy technique. In the case of cooking, this is usually true (unless you are Bobby Flay perhaps).
You don’t have to buy the full collection in one sitting. Add to your collection piece by piece. Amazon is the best place I have found for cooking tools. Below are links to the products I use on a daily basis.
A set of skillets will cost less than $100. Here is what I recommend:
An All-Clad pots and pans set (most expensive purchase you’ll make eva):
Knives: a full set of Victorinox knives will top $100 usually and are used by professional chefs. You don’t have to spend a ton of overpriced consumer knives. Unless you are a Sushi chef that will spend $5000 on his knives, you will do just fine with these cheaper, yet effective, style of knives.
A Staub Dutch oven is a workhorse in the kitchen. You can braise, bake, sautee, and cook just about anything in them. They will last a lifetime and then some. Staub Dutch Oven
Do not, and I repeat, Do not buy cheap nonstick pans. They won’t last. They don’t conduct heat evenly. They are full of toxic crap that leeches into your food. They are a complete and utter waste of money. This is all you should buy: Scanpan. Yes, they are expensive. But they are worth every damn penny. Scanpan
Above comprises the bulk of where your money will go. Pots and pans are the most expensive tools needed, but remember, you can stretch your dollar far by buying a bit at a time and by shopping wisely. The rest of your equipment will include ladles, graters, spatulas, whisks, and strainers. The key here is to buy quality, usually stainless steel. Cheap kitchen tools are built cheap so do your best to avoid them. It’s worthing spending as much as double the price if one is going to last you a lifetime don’t you think?
And one of the inherent awesome benefits of cooking tools is: they can be passed down to your kids and their kids. Some of them even ripen with age.
Next time you want to complain about the cost of something, just consider these facts. Remember, it’s all mindset. Even when it comes to your cooking tools, your mindset can help you save money, time, and health.
A kitchen scale has many uses. Buy one.
These things are dangerous. Be careful! But they are also really useful for slicing ingredients quickly. Buy one.
These are great for fast clean-up and to avoid your baked items from sticking to your pan and making a huge mess. They fit with the standard size baking sheets perfectly. Buy one.
Microplanes are AMUHazing. You can grate lemon/lime rinds, garlic, cheese, nutmeg, and so much more. It’s super fast to use and super fast to clean up. What should you do? Yup, buy one.
A honing rod is used to straighten out your blade. A sharpener is to sharpen the edge. You should hone after every use and sharpen a few times a year. If you are always honing your blade will stay sharp and true. That is the key. Hone first, sharpen second. Hone often, sharpen not often.
A sharpener is a required kitchen tool. Most never-ever sharpen or hone their knives. As a result, there knives are dull and your risk of injury increases. Plus, you cant even cut anything. What’s the point there? Use this after you hone your knives. You should only have to sharpen a couple times a year if you are properly honing after each use.
These scrapers are aMUHzing. I use them to scoop diced/chopped ingreidetns into pots as well as clean my cutting board (just scape it down a few times). This is an example of a simple, cheap tool doing miracles in the kitchen. But you would never know if I had not taken the time out of my busy day to tell you about it! Now go buy one and savior the amazing kitchen results you get!
OXO Good Grips Multi-Purpose Pastry Scraper/Chopper
This little diddy is a workhorse in the kitchen. Use it for flipping steak, scrapping out bowls and jars, moving ingredients around for optium browning, and so much more. Buy one for yourself as a late or early xmas present.
The center of every kitchen is a big, quality cutting board. The bigger and badder the better. This is your workstation. Do not be one of those people that use a flimsy, moves around under you, crappy board. That is just asking for an injury and it’s just asking for judgement from someone like me should I walk into your kitchen–the stank eye you will get. Don’t do it. Buy a quality board and take care of it (wax, clean regularly).
Whisks are extremely useful for a million purposes. This set has 3 of various sizes. Therefore this set is for you. Therefore buy it.
Parchment paper is a workhorse in the kitchen. You can use it to bake items and keep them from sticking to your sheet pans and so much more. Buy some.
Want cool cups to drink out of and wow your friends? Want the same cups to store soups, stews, and leftovers with ease? Want the same cups to have air-tight sealable lids? Yes? Yes? Yes? Then buy some freaking mason jars. It’s all I use.