Purchasing kitchen equipment when you are a minimalist requires research and planning. From the many times I moved as a student, I have gained experience in setting up kitchens to make them work for me in the most minimalist way possible. While being minimalistic is great for your budget and for the environment, it is also important to me to buy kitchen equipment that is long-lasting, multi-purpose, safe to cook with, and classic. Just because you are living on a student budget, does not mean you have to compromise your health and the joys of cooking. If I were to set up a minimalist kitchen again, these items would be the essentials on my kitchen equipment list.
Pyrex Measuring Cup
These sturdy Pyrex measuring cups are a great multi-purpose item to keep in your kitchen. In addition to meeting your general measuring needs, it also serves as a great mixing bowl for both wet and dry ingredients. The material is long-lasting, safe to heat up, and a breeze to clean. These measuring cups come in different sizes but the pitcher silhouette and printed red numbered lines keep them looking classic. Those geniuses at Pyrex realised how great their measuring cups are for storage and came out with some styles with lids. This means that if you can make a tonne of batter and stick it in the fridge for another day, you would only have to wash one container!
My wooden spoon is my trusted partner when it comes to pasta night. They are long-lasting (especially if the wood is good quality), biodegradable and classic. Stir, boil, fry, and sauté without worrying about getting it wet, dry, hot, or cold — just don’t let them catch on fire. Wooden spoons come in a large range of prices. You can get a basic one for a dollar or spring for the beautiful olive wood ones. The Canadian company Littledeer prides themselves in the sustainable production of their handmade wooden kitchen tools. Wooden spoons are classic for a reason, spring for a well-made one and it will serve you well for many years to come.
Cast Iron Frying Pan
These super heavy pans might serve you well as doorstops, exercise equipment, or for self-defence but better yet, they can help you can make the perfect rösti. On the stovetop, pan-fry anything (except tomatoes) for energy efficient cooking that will result in perfect crispy golden bits. Their amazing heat retention is what makes them so energy efficient. Your food will continue to cook after you turn the heat off. In the oven, you can use it to make almost anything you would cook in the oven including really great one dish pizza and roasted vegetables. If you want to move a casserole dish from stovetop to oven, you can do it without changing dishes! A great quality that cast iron possesses is that you don’t have to worry about your cooking tools scratching the surface. Unlike non-stick pans which are, more often than not, unsafe to eat from once you scratch or burn the coating, cast iron pans will continue to do its job even after you scrape off the burnt bits with a metal spoon. Bonus: cooking in cast iron will supplement your iron intake. So why buy a non-stick pan that will lose its coating sooner or later when you can buy a cast iron pan which you can use basically for the rest of your life?
A Perfect Knife
Depending on the foods you will be cutting and the size of your hand, you will be needing different kinds of knives. But for the bare minimum, you will need one good knife that you can use to get the job done. In my opinion, like most kitchen equipment, buying one well-made knife in a size that is good for general use is better than a set of fancy looking knives that are not sturdy enough to use safely. For me, I really only cut veggies so my chef’s knife is good enough for almost anything. Because I have weak wrists and small hands, I prefer something that is smaller and lighter; my 6″ chef’s knife is perfect for this! If you are interested in getting one, this particular model has a lovely wooden handle would complement that dreamy cutting board mentioned above.
The only times I struggle to use my knife is when I need to cut through a loaf of bread, so for that, I got a couteau-chien. It is perfect for fruits and crispy vegetables and I can just about manage to slice a giant loaf of bread with this great little knife. Take a good honest look at your habits and what you tend to prepare before investing in a good knife that will meet your needs.