Cooking can be daunting for college students who aren’t the most experienced in the kitchen. Life can be made much simpler with the right tools. The Daily Texan compiled a list of seven tools every budding at-home cook should own.
1. A food processor opens up a world of possibilities, such as hot soups or icy cold concoctions. It may be a bit bulky, but processors can be used to make raw desserts, banana ice cream and pie crusts. For more savory options, processors are great for quickly ricing and shredding vegetables. Get your own for less than $30 on Amazon.
2. Wooden spoons are going to be your new best friends. Metal tools scratch many pots and pans, but wood won’t cause them any harm. They can be used to stir up hot mixtures, such as soups or stews, or for room-temperature treats, such as cookie dough and brownie batter. Prices range from $5–$20, depending on the size and quality.
3. A stainless steel cookie dough scoop will ensure your cookies look the same shape and size. They come in a variety of sizes — a two-tablespoon size is perfect for your average cookie — and double as ice cream or muffin batter scoops. A good one will cost about $15.
4. Oven mitts are critical for safety in the kitchen. Make sure the oven mitts you’re using are durable and won’t let heat get to your hands. Silicone oven mitts are the best option. They won’t tear or stain and double as trivets underneath hot pans. Guarantee a cooking career free of burns for around $30.
5. Non-stick baking mats are key to making sure your baking projects don’t stick to the pan, and you’ll never have to use parchment or wax paper again. They’re also great when rolling out bread dough and trying not to make the biggest mess imaginable. They come in different sizes, and prices range from about $10–$30.
6. Sheet pans are the wonder of the kitchen that can do no wrong. They’re great for baking cookies, sheet cakes or entire meals. Throw a bunch of veggies tossed in olive oil in there and you’re good to go. Not to mention that the cleanup is a breeze. Find a set of two on Amazon for about $30.
7. A good wood cutting board lasts a lifetime if it’s taken care of. Obviously, they’re great for cutting and preparing foods, but they also work as serving boards for your fancy cheese and wine parties. Invest at least $20 for a quality board that will serve you well.