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Tools for the rookie cook

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Pasyal Team

Posted on September 08, 2020

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Microwaving? She’s so 2019. Here are quality essentials for the kitchen newbie 2020 has forced us to be.

The pants in our closet probably think we’ve died, but the pans in our kitchen have been rattling louder than ever before.

2020 has made a serial hobbyist out of everyone in one form or another. While some have become plant parents, DIY decorators and devout TikTok enthusiasts, many have turned to cooking as a one-two-punch of a new, fun hobby, and a way to fulfil the need for quarantine sustenance.

Now that malls are reopening (safely, of course), we now have a chance to be proper kitchen protegés by reissuing our stoves and shelves with new and high-quality cooking tools we didn’t really get to buy when we all went into lockdown.

Just note, the recommendations below are for late kitchen bloomers (like a lot of us!) who only recently developed their knack (and willpower, really) to cook.

Pan Service

As a kitchen newbie, there are only two pans you will be toggling back and forth: a sauce pan and a frying pan. To learn new dishes with less the hassle, invest in quality nonstick pans that make cooking a breeze.

Treat your nonstick pans like babies.

However, note that nonstick pans have to be given extra care so as not to lose their coating (a.k.a., the quality that makes them nonstick): opt for silicone utensils because metal tools will sratch the surface, don’t overheat your pan, and when cleaning, never overscrub. These babies clearly require a lot of TLC.

Visit KitchenAid in Ayala Malls Vertis North and Ayala Malls Manila Bay, among other locations.

Top Ladles

That 16-piece spatula set sure sounds juicy for a kitchen newbie, but if you’re only starting to learn the ropes, a flat spatula and a soup ladle is really everything you need.

For prepping, a simple, trusty whisk is all it takes to create your trusty quarantine staples: the perfect scrambled eggs, the banana bread you want to post on Instagram, and the Dalgona coffee you’re secretly still making.

The staples of every beginner kitchen.

Visit Rustan’s in Glorietta 3, Alabang Town Center, or Ayala Center Cebu.

Make the Cut

Even experienced cooks will tell you that investing in a reliable chef’s knife for your home kitchen will already take you far. Its versatile length and width do the job of many specialized knives, sans the confusion and even possible injury, if you’re not used to doing it right.

Chop-chop, get a good chef’s knife stat!

Next, pair your edged investment with a quality chopping board in a size that’s big enough.

Small chopping boards might seem light and easy to use, but most Filipino meals require more than one vegetable to chop (the gisa alone already counts for two), making a small board just prone to your veggies spilling all over the place.

Visit Gourdo’s in Ayala Malls Feliz and Greenbelt 5, among others.

High Precision

As cooking rookies, we are heavily reliant on kind internet souls who post recipes of the dishes we’ve always wanted to cook. While eyeballing ingredients is a skill everyone eventually develops (baking is a different story, mind you), being new to the cooking game means you need measuring cups to make sure your dishes taste the way they’re supposed to.

We recommend investing in durable measuring cups—make them cute while you’re at it! Hang them somewhere in your kitchen and it even becomes an instant decor piece.

We’re all for kitchen tools that double as decor.

While following the recipe to a T lets you err on the side of caution, one tip is often untold to new cooks: taste your food! Culling a dish’s recipe from the internet probably means you haven’t tasted it in real life, and you might have your own preferences on the level of saltiness, sweetness or flavor.

Don’t be scared—tasting your dishes as you go along allows you to add or subtract ingredients until they taste perfect for you.

Visit Rustan’s in Glorietta 3, Alabang Town Center, or Ayala Center Cebu.

Tongs and other things

There will never be an end to our praises of the humble tong. Truly an ergonomic cooking piece, tongs do everything spatulas can with that extra grip you need as a beginner: Flip a fried egg? Done. Transfer hot, oily chicken from the pan to the plate? Fast and easy. Quickly stir an extra liquid into the simmering pan? No need to bust out another ladle.

Tongs are really great in handling food even when you’re not grilling.

A trio of kitchen heroes.

Aside from tongs, other useful handles will make your cooking experience a breeze. Aside from the quintessential can opener, vegetable peelers are also a godsend, saving you from wasting time and risking your safety to cut the thin skin off potatoes, carrots and similar vegetables. With peelers, prep time is cut in half.

Visit Rustan’s in Glorietta 3, Alabang Town Center, or Ayala Center Cebu.

Plug it in

We’re including an electric kettle on this must-have list solely for the utter convenience it brings to each kitchen. Not having to heat your kettle through the stove saves so much time and hob space, as most newbie kitchens often just have one or two.

We’re all about the convenience that this baby brings.

Visit Abenson in Ayala Malls Cloverleaf and Ayala Malls Circuit.

They’re essentials, promise

While these tools might not be top of mind for beginner cooks, the convenience they bring in preparing dishes and organizing your kitchen is unmatched.

Colanders are necessary for properly draining the liquid from pans—a must when you’re making one-pot pasta. They also ensure that your vegetables are thoroughly washed and flushed out of all dirt and bacteria.

These unsung essentials should get the hype they deserve.

Meanwhile, sealing clips make for a clean, cockroach-free kitchen. If investing in container jars still seems quite intimidating to you, then seal off bags of flour, spices, sugar and pasta with sealing clips to keep food fresh and stealthy against pests.

Visit Miniso in Ayala Malls Manila Bay.

Would you like us to create a list of baking essentials next?

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