10 things your kitchen shouldn’t be without
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10 things your kitchen shouldn’t be without

Simon Balissat
Zurich, on 05.07.2018
Translation: Eva Francis
Confession: I’ve got a kitchen aid for everything and anything. Take the Swiss Vermicelles press, for instance. I’ve got one. How about a cherry pitter? Yip, got one of them, too. I even have an oyster knife.

Given how well my kitchen is kitted out, I don’t like cooking at friends’ houses. They never seem to have the basic kitchen aids I need. I thought there were certain things that belonged in every kitchen?! I’m flabbergasted when I see people cutting an onion on a mini chopping board without a decent knife. And then, for want of a better pan, they chuck it in something too big just to braise it.

It literally brings tears to my eyes. I hope you’ll put me out my misery by taking this checklist of the 10 most important kitchen aids to heart. If you’re lucky I might even come round and cook you a three-course meal.

Kitchen knife
Let’s deal with the most important things first. You need a proper kitchen knife. None of these little «prep knives». They’re only good for peeling onion and garlic or opening your latest delivery from Galaxus. For kitchen use you need a big utility knife. I promise you: you’ll be able to chop vegetables much quicker.

Every kitchen needs 4 pans as part of a basic set-up: a small *saucepan for (who’d have guessed it?) sauces, steaming vegetables, rice or hard-boiling eggs. You can even use it to iron clothes.

Apollo (18cm, sauté pan, Stainless steel)
Demeyere Apollo (18cm, sauté pan, Stainless steel)
  • a stockpot for soups, pasta and broths. I beg of you, please don’t cook your pasta in smaller pans.
Stockpot (20cm, stockpot, Stainless steel)
Sambonet Stockpot (20cm, stockpot, Stainless steel)
  • a non-stick frying pan: if you’re feeling confident, go for a steel or cast iron one. But be warned, they’re not for beginners.
skillet (28cm, Frying pan, Cast aluminium)
AMT skillet (28cm, Frying pan, Cast aluminium)
  • a roasting pan for things like roasts, stews and goulash. As roasting pans store heat well, they’re ideal for anything that has to be in the oven or on the stove for a long time.
La Cocotte (30cm, Casserole/Stewpot, Cast iron)
Staub La Cocotte (30cm, Casserole/Stewpot, Cast iron)

Measuring jug and measuring spoons
Yes, I know you don’t need to follow a recipe and you can just do all the measuring by eye. But then what happens? Your soufflé doesn’t rise and your rice is waterlogged. You get the picture. Once you’re armed with a decent measuring jug and a few measuring spoons, you’re more likely to serve up culinary delights than flops.

Chopping board
Swiss people love talking about «little» this and «little» that – you know, all those «li»s on the end of words. It would be great if we could put that out our head for a second and buy a decent sized chopping board. That way chopped onion would land in the pan rather than on the floor or on the worktop.

Chopping boards
Jamie Oliver Schneidbrett

Invite Jamie Oliver into your kitchen.

The four-sided grater is a classic when it comes to kitchen aids. With this in your hand you can whip up rösti, grated cheese, Swiss carrot salad (rüeblisalat), cucumber slices or grated nutmeg. Just mind your fingers!

square grater
WMF square grater

Four friction surfaces in one made of stainless steel

Over ten years ago now my brother ordered a «V slicer» from a TV shopping channel for my Christmas. He meant it as a kind of joke but the last laugh is on me, as it’s getting constant use to this day. You can obviously just use a kitchen knife, but chopping vegetables with a slicer is much quicker and more precise.

Hand-held blender
Sometimes we want to be transported back to the days when we were spoon-fed mushy food. That’s why every kitchen should be equipped with a hand-held blender. It’s also ideal for soups or mayonnaise.

Who wants lumps in a sauce or kernels in a raspberry compote? Didn’t think so. If you feel like being creative you can also use the sieve to sprinkle icing sugar on a cake or to save a burnt tart.

Profi (20cm)
Kela Profi (20cm)

With Kela kitchen equipment, cooking and roasting in your kitchen is a real pleasure. These high-quality kitchen accessories complete your kitchen equipment.

Casserole dish
You don’t always have to whip up a dish worthy of a Michelin star restaurant. Pasta bake is a classic to have up your sleeve for an easy weeknight meal. I mean, can you really beat crusty grilled cheese? To mix things up, you could add courgette to the cheese. But who’d want to do that?

Oven dishes
Pyrex Classic

Pyrex, making cooking fun! Pyrex's high quality products always have clever functions for your kitchen.

Cooling rack
If your quiche has browned but is still squidgy inside, you need this magic cooking device. Your oven will already have a rack and that will do in a pinch. But if you bake regularly, it’s worth investing in a couple of extra cooling racks.

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Simon Balissat
Simon Balissat
Editor, Zurich
When I flew the family nest over 15 years ago, I suddenly had to cook for myself. But it wasn’t long until this necessity became a virtue. Today, rattling those pots and pans is a fundamental part of my life. I’m a true foodie and devour everything from junk food to star-awarded cuisine. Literally. I eat way too fast.

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