Cookware, Bakeware, etc. - what to get?

Discussion in 'Vegetarian' started by ScreamingMisanthrope, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. Hey,
    I'll be movin out in a few months into a house with a few other vegans and none of us have anything for the kitchen other than a blender and a thing that cuts pineapples into rings
    I was wonderin, what things would be at the top of your list to buy? I thought it would be an easy question, but everything seems so expensive and everything I want seems to be a need and I can't imagine havin that kind of money - so what kitchen items could you not live without? and everything can be made in different types of materials - any suggestion on that?
    thanks
    ~Dan
     
  2. homeschoolmama

    homeschoolmama Senior Member

    Let me think... I could not live without a wok. You can cook literally anything in it. Also if you live in a cooler climate or have a busy life, a crockpot would be another must. And one good heavy cookie sheet (don't waste money on an air-bake pan; they're murder to clean & dry!) will take you through cookies, breadsticks, pizza & just about anything else that bakes flat.

    I do a TON of cooking & baking and have everything in my kitchen to do anything including canning. But if I were just starting out these are the things I would absolutely not skip.

    A couple splurges *I* would be sure to get would be a cupcake pan for muffins, a toaster oven, and a good set of measuring cups & spoons.

    Other than that? Plan on having to pick up one or two things per week as you realize you need them for recipes rather than going out & buying a couple hundred bucks worth of "stuff." That way you're less likely to pick up things that won't be used too often ;)

    One other thought. Think about the item before choosing. Is it something that is just not going to last forever like a nonstick pan? If so, I'd get a cheapie one. Something like your measuring cups though, if you can find stainless steel ones you may pay a bit more for them now, but they will literally last you a lifetime.
    love,
    mom
     
  3. toothfairy

    toothfairy Member

    Check out garage sales, op shops etc.. I have got a few great kitchen items from places like that. (just make sure you give them a good scrub before use. ) Ask family and friends if they have anything they don't need/use anymore.

    With the crockpot suggestion, I picked up this great "multi cooker" It's a slow cooker (crockpot), rice cooker, deep fryer, roaster, all in one. Cost me about $80, but well worth it.
     
  4. Sage-Phoenix

    Sage-Phoenix Imagine

    *oven gloves
    *frying pan [non stick, thick bottom]
    *A medium sized [non stick] saucepan, for near enough everything
    *A huge saucepan; to boil pasta, make soups and such like
    *Cookie sheet, can bake most things on it
    *measuring spoons/cups/jug
    *selection of knives; vegetable/peeler, bread, large all purpose etc
    *wooden spoons, spatulas, serving forks/spoons, ladel etc
    *chopping board, we have a good quality glass one [easy to clean]
    *large microwave safe bowl [well if you have a microwave]

    Get as good quality as possible, cheapie stuff will wear out quickly and ruin food. A lot of my stuff was hand-me-downs.
    Oh and keep a list of who contributes what, you don't want to end up having bitter custody battles over pots when it's time to move on.
     
  5. mlinauer

    mlinauer Member

    I totally am a bad person to ask about cookware. I spent 2k on cookware that is made from surgical steel. oops.
     
  6. mrsshf

    mrsshf Member

    I love my cast iron skillet. It cooks food SO much better than a crappy teflon pan. It takes a little work and love, but a well-seasoned cast iron skillet is the best thing to cook in.
     
  7. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    If I were starting out today, I'd have:
    cast iron skillet or griddle (iron leaches into the food, a plus in hectic, unplanned veggie meals)
    pressure cooker: I use this in lieu of the all day crock pot more often than not.
    two good smallish knives for peeling veggies and a wicked chef's knife.
    a colander. you have to drain that pasta
    a couple good spatulas. I used dollar store versions and recently up graded.
    wooden spoons
    sauce pans: second hand is fine but boil a lot of water in them for 10-20 minutes to get our any animal product that might have been cooked in them.
    pots for beans (most will get cooked in the pressure cooker) rice, pasta and large amounts of steaming for vegetables.
    wok if you can spring it
    steamer racks of some sort. Bamboo is aestetically pleasing but sogs out at inconvenient times. I have two of the metal "radar dishes" now.
     
  8. MoonjavaSeed

    MoonjavaSeed Yeah, Toast!

    I concur.

    I'd die without my cast iron skillets. :eek: :D
     
  9. db3695

    db3695 Member

    I have a little (holds 2 burgers) Forman Grill (the indoor kind) I love it for vegie burgers, not-dogs, even a few vegies. It cooks really quick and is easy to clean.
     
  10. Duncan

    Duncan Senior Member

    The gals who have said cast iron skillets are right on the money. I have two fry pans and one stewing pot that are cast iron. They must be at least 50 years old and I have never had a moment of grief with them.
    I also believe in glass bakeware or Corningware. I'm sure it's listed as something that produces cancer, but I honestly don't care.
    Make sure you have sharp knives and a way to keep them sharp. Vegetarians more so than omnivores should have a sharp collection of knives.
    An apple corer and potato peeler are pretty invaluable.
    If you eat eggs, find out if there is any particular way you like to eat them. A used egg poacher can make a wonderful egg in the morning.
    That's it for me for now... oh one more thing. A toaster or toaster oven :)
     
  11. Apples+Oranjes

    Apples+Oranjes Bekkasaur

    The basics:
    pots, pans, flatware. Make sure you get fucking cooking spoons!! We had none in our place until I bought one, and it was difficult to cook without it. Cutting knives, measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric or manual mixer, a wire wisk, tongs, a pasta scoop, can opener [electric or manual], toaster, microwave, cookie sheets, casserole dishes, spatulas/rubber spatulas, vegetable/potato peeler, pizza cutter [can be used for things other than pizza!], blender, colander, hot pads, tupperware for leftovers and what not, toothpicks [for baking and checking if it's cooked through] Pizza pans,.... and I'm probably forgetting things.

    Extras, that I enjoy:
    A manual juicer
    Mini condiment bowls
    Pizza Pizzazz cooker [my fiancee loves his]
    Sandwich maker
    Coffee maker
    Onion peeler/chopper
    Rice cooker
    A sifter, good for baking
    Cheese grater, if you eat cheese, or even if you get a block of Soy Cheeze
    Corn on the cob pokers
    Wok
    Salad dressing bottle.... to make your own!
    Pitchers [that's probably a basic]
    Air popper [I'm addicted to mine]
    Masher
    Garlic press
    Cookie cutters [I like making vegan pancakes and using cookie cutters for fun shapes!]
    Cork screws, bottle openers
    If you eat eggs, an omelette maker, my boyfriend has one


    I'm sure there's much more. I LOVE buying kitchenware... its my favorite.

    Otherwise, you could always just rely on an Easy Bake. LMAO.
     
  12. Apples+Oranjes

    Apples+Oranjes Bekkasaur

    Oh and other cool stuff:
    Apple wedger
    Crinkle cutter
    Julienne peeler
    Dough roller
     
  13. Duncan

    Duncan Senior Member

    And I guess you should also decide whether or not you are going to be raising backyard hens for eggs. I started mine late in life !
     
  14. You might have to decide whether you want quality or cheapness (unless you luck out at a garage sale/op shop it's often hard to find both).

    Generally the cheaper range of pots and pans are fine, but they have thinner bottoms which means you have to a more alert cook - stuff sticks and catches and cooks (on the outside) more easily. For food that is slow cooked (and therefore imo generally nicer) you might want to go for the more expensive, thick bottomed pans.

    Also, remember that, if you get a non stick pan, to use only rubber or wooden spatulas and utensils in them. Metal will screw up the non stick coating and food + teflon is gross.

    Finally some other things that make cooking enjoyable - good knives and a large, thick chopping board.

    Enjoy stocking your kitchen - it can take time, but it can also be fun :)
     
  15. Apples+Oranjes

    Apples+Oranjes Bekkasaur

    For now, I think it would be okay to stick with cheap stuff since you're starting off... in particular, maybe some hand me downs...

    But as time goes by, I would start by this or that here and there, and splurging a bit, so that you have some nice long-lasting reliable stuff.

    Right now, we have a lot of junk in our apartment due to excess hand me downs and what not, but I'm slowly trying to eliminate the crap and replace it with better more reliable stuff. Like, one week I'll buy a nice big expensive spoon...and the next week I might by a few really good pot holders, etc. It will add up quickly and before you know it you will have plenty of nice, reliable kitchen ware.

    I actually plan on holding a Pampered Chef party soon, because I'm pretty much in love with their stuff,and I get 30% off of whatever purchase I make for having one, and a free vegetable chopper. SCORE!
     
  16. My absolute best pampered chef thing I bought were my bamboo spoons that I got almost 13 years ago, and still look almost as good as the day I bought them! They are WONDERFUL! I need to get a new set though, and a set for my MIL. I need to order some stuff--thanks for reminding me to call my coordinator!!
     
  17. Apples+Oranjes

    Apples+Oranjes Bekkasaur

    <333 Pampered Chef.
    I actually asked for this stuff for my birthday.

    I have to point out to the OP that if you like popcorn, and are vegan, one of the most useful things is the air popper. I eat LOTS of popcorn, but cannot buy microwave, because vegan microwave popcorn is difficult to find, and usually expensive at natural foods stores.

    Homemade is always better anyhow, and usually lower in fat if you do it right.

    I'm in love with colanders, I drain EVERYTHING.

    I recommend getting mixing bowls with COVERS.
    It's good for storing stuff or for baking when you must refrigerate it beforehand.
     
  18. Over gas heat, skillets with hollow handles often heat up enough to require potholders. If you own such a skillet stuff the handle with aluminum foil. Before cooking, wedge a wine cork under the handle of the lid. The cork stays cool when the lid gets hot, giving you something safe to grab onto when lifting the lid.
     
  19. wa bluska wica

    wa bluska wica Pedestrian

    i need a knife, a small pot for rice, a big pot for beans and veg

    i have a wok but only use it occasionally

    wooden spoons rule

    [all of it from the thrift store]

    EDIT - i forgot one to boil water for tea, the most important one of all...
     
  20. For homemade pizza with a crisp crust, a pizza stone is a must. Just preheat your stone at 500 F for at least 45 minutes, and it does the rest. No need to clean it with soap and water. Over time, it will turn black and become seasoned. Bread, focaccia, or savory foods, like a pan of potatoes, baked directly on a stone taste out of this world.
     

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