As a beginner cook, you will realize as soon as you start cooking that you need kitchen gadgets. You probably will not know exactly what you need, but you will know right off the bat that you need something. You will also discover preparing meals in the kitchen is about T and T — time and temperature. Food must be cooked to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time to be safe to eat, especially fish, poultry and meat.
There is no doubt while cooking you will wonder time and time again whether that burger sizzling in the skillet or that fish frying in the pan is fully cooked and ready to eat. Make no mistake about it. Food must be cooked at the right temperature to be free of germs and bacteria that can make you sick. There are a lot of kitchen gadgets on the market, but there is one in particular that can eliminate the guesswork when determining whether your food is safe to eat and save you a stomachache, maybe even your life.
That tool is a food thermometer. When used accurately, a food thermometer will let you know whether your food is done or needs to cook a little longer. When you invest in a food thermometer, be sure to read and re-read the instructions and follow them to make sure you use the device the way it is designed to be used to achieve your goal of cooking food at the right temperature.
Most stoves are built with a timer. If yours does not have one, set your watch or use the clock on the wall or the one on your cell phone. Whatever you do, use a timer when cooking, especially when baking or roasting food in the oven. You want to make sure you cook the food long enough and at the right temperature. As a beginner cook, you will also need more kitchen gadgets.
You will also need measure utensils. Cooking is a skill that requires measuring ingredients – a lot. Proper utensils are needed to ensure accurate measurements are achieved.
Measuring cups are used to measure dry ingredients such as flour, meal and sugar. The cups have smooth edges, which makes it easy to level off excess ingredients and handles inscribed with measurements.
Dry measuring cups are usually sold in sets of four.
Dry measuring cups measure the following:
1 cup or 250 mL
1/2 cup or 125 mL
1/3 cup or 80 mL
1/4 cup 60 mL
Measuring cups are also used to measure liquid ingredients such as water, olive oil or juice. Measuring cups for liquid have a handle, a pouring spout and measuring lines on each side of the cup. It is important to place the cup on a flat surface and at eye level to get an accurate reading. A measuring cup measures the following:
1 cup, 8 oz, 1/2 pint
3/4 cup, 6 oz, 2/3 cup
1/2 cup, 4 oz
1/4 cup, 2 oz
Measuring spoons are used to measure wet or dry ingredients, such as baking soda, vanilla extract or garlic powder. They are made in a variety of shapes and sizes. Measuring spoons measure the following:
1 tablespoon or 15mL
1/4 teaspoon or 1.25 mL
1/2 teaspoon or 2.5 mL
1 teaspoon or 5mL.
The word tablespoon is usually capitalized in recipes. The word teaspoon is usually lower case. Don’t be confused if you see a T in a recipe.
Before you start cooking, invest in the proper kitchen gadgets to help make sure your food is safe to eat and cooked the way it is meant to be cooked – hmm hmm good!