Cooking for others has positive psychological benefits. The joyful activity can create an intimacy with someone who may not even be in the same room with you. Nedra Shield, a licensed independent social worker and cooking advocate, says that creating home-cooked meals for loved ones can be an act of self-care and mindfulness which positively benefits the chef’s overall mental health.

With such great opportunities for connection and improved health, it is important that home cooks equip themselves with the best cooking products available. Contemporary kitchen wizards are fortunate enough to have countless pieces of new kitchen technology at their disposal. Here are some ‘must-haves’ and some definite ‘want-to-haves’ for the home cook.

Essential Cooking Products

Every good cook needs the basic tools to function in the kitchen. These essential items fall into three categories: utensils, pots and pans, and miscellaneous, according to the chefs at Taste of Home.

The must-have utensils include a chef’s knife, spatulas, whisk, tongs and kitchen shears. Every kitchen should also be outfitted with a 13×9 pan, cast iron skillet, nonstick skillet, sheet pan, Dutch oven and saucepans. There are also several uncategorized items that will benefit any home cook: a timer, cutting board, box grater, colander, mixing bowls and a variety of wooden spoons.

The Instant Pot is All the Rage

Photo via Pixabay

One of the hottest cooking items on the market is the latest cooking pot — the Instant Pot — and it seems like everyone is using one and loving it. Kelli Foster, cooking guru at Kitchn.com, admits to initial skepticism but reports that less than a year later, she had fallen in love with hers.

The Instant Pot is one kitchen appliance that does the job of many, which in part has made it so attractive. Not only does the cooking pot work like a pressure cooker, but it also does the job of a slow cooker and steamer. You can make rice and use it as a sauté/browning pan and warmer. In addition to its versatility, a huge bonus is the Instant Pot cooking times, which are impressively fast.

One Modern and One Classic Must-Have

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Once the essentials are handled, the passionate chef usually seeks out fun and creative gadgets, items that you didn’t know you needed but then wonder how you ever lived without it. Kitchn.com has created a list of what they call classic tools geared to the true cooking aficionado. Among them is the Thermapen. This thermometer is ambidextrous and comes equipped with a backlight. It’s waterproof, measures in Celsius and Fahrenheit, and it just requires 3 AAAs to power its 3,000-hour battery life.

The Carbon Steel Wok from the Wok Shop also made the list and is praised for its low price and usefulness in cooking light. The rest of the list can be viewed here.

The Right Surface is a Home Cook’s Best Friend

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The right surface is just as important as all the other tools in a happy and successful kitchen. The best cooking surfaces are heat-resistant, stain-resistant and easy to clean. Caesarstone quartz countertops meet these requirements and do so with tremendous aesthetic appeal. Caesarstone values the home cook and supports the way you live, offering a variety of surface designs in only the highest quality materials.

Visit Caesarstone online today to see our collections of elegant quartz surfaces.