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Kitchen Essentials:

Your Vegetarian Kitchen Needs Specific Equipment

Kitchen Essentials: A Must Read For Serious Vegetarian Cooks.

In your vegetarian kitchen for example the knives and cutlery in it ought to be designed to handle fruits and vegetables rather than meat, fish or fowl, so you can immediately get rid of your slicing knife, your boning knife and all those serrated steak knives. They are actually dangerous to have around because they were designed to do a specific task which has nothing to do with vegetables, fruits or bakery products.

In choosing the cutlery for your vegetarian kitchen you will want to purchase the finest quality knives you can afford. Good kitchen cutlery is an investment in a lifetime of good food. Like a knight's sword, the well crafted knife is a family heirloom, to be cared for properly and treasured knowing it will be passed on to, and coveted by, your children and grandchildren as well.

-- Remember, sharp knives cut food, dull knives cut fingers --
Shop CHEFS for the best deals on knives

As this is a lifetime investment you should purchase the best quality knives you can afford. There are several excellent companies that craft good kitchen cutlery for your vegetarian kitchen. Most of them are European. Wusthoff and J.A. Henkel are German, while Sabatier is French. I have a vintage Sabatier of carbon steel which holds its edge better than any of my fine German knives. Unless you know what you are looking for it appears dull and uninteresting. However, it is wonderfully thin and sharp; it fits my hand perfectly and it is exceptionally well balanced.

Shun is a Japanese offering with blades which have been forged in the classic manner of folding the heated steel back on itself repeatedly as it is being pounded and tempered. When looking at these blades you can see the legacy of the Samurai in each. They are beautiful, incredibly sharp, hold their edges well and are tremendously serviceable.

Additionally you will find Ceramic Knives crafted by Kyocera. These are Japanese and made of Zirconium Oxide. They resist corrosion and hold their edge for months and years without sharpening. They make a Santoku knife, similar to a Chef's knife but it is shaped differently and requires a different action for chopping. Kyocera also produces a paring knife.

The Chicago Cutlery Company produces some knives for your consideration too.

As you select your cutlery do be mindful of these factors:

  • How does it feel?
  • Does it fit your hand well?
  • Is it balanced?

Knives your vegetarian kitchen needs:

A Chef's Knife: 6" to 12" depending on your height and grip. This knife has a curved cutting surface for ease of cutting and chopping. Keep the point on the surface of the cutting board as you chop and mince.

A Paring Knife: This is a small knife that fits comfortably in the hand. It is used to peel vegetables and fruits and to slice them.

A Bread Knife: This is a serrated or scalloped knife.

A Tomato Knife: This is a small yet long thin serrated knife that will slice tender tomatoes without bruising or crushing them.

A Garnish Knife: This is a very small, very sharp knife with a thin blade for ease of making tiny cuts and slices in the fruits and vegetables.

A Steel: This is a sharpening tool which is used before each use of each knife.

Kitchen Shears: This is a must have for snipping herbs, opening packages and cutting parchment to size. It also doubles as a lid flipper and jar opener, having those tools built into the handle.

Vegetable Peeler: This is an obvious must have. My choice is available at Williams Sonoma and is shaped like a wishbone with the cutting edge suspended between the legs. It has a scoop built into its side to remove potato eyes. It is made in Germany of plastic and has an amazingly sharp steel blade. It costs under $4.00 and is used with wrist action. Once you use it you will never go back to the other variety.

To complete your essential cutlery collection, consider acquiring a knife block to hold your cutlery on the counter in an ever ready position. These blocks protect the edges of your expensive cutlery as well. A magnetic strip on the wall will do the same thing, though usually they are not placed as conveniently to your work area. What you do not want to do is store your fine knives away in a drawer as that creates a safety issue for unthinking moments and also small grasping, groping hands.

Also, try CHEFS. This is another great place to find good deals on your next cutlery set.

Other Essentials For Your Kitchen:

1 Quart Pan

2 Quart Pan

4 Quart Pan

12 Quart Pan

Bamboo Skewers

Bean Pot

Biscuit Cutters

Bread Pans

Bundt Cake Pan

Cake Pans


Chop Sticks

Clay Cooker


For draining pasta, and washing lettuces and other vegetables and fruits.

Cookie Cutters

Cookie Sheets

Covered Casserole Dishes

Crepe Pan

Crock Pot

Cutting Boards

At least two one wooden, one plastic
Totally Bamboo 20-7930 3-Piece Cutting Board Set

Double Boiler

Dough Scraper

Doughnut Cutters

Flour Sifter

Food Processor

Fry Pan


Grapefruit Knife


For shredding cheese and vegetables


Hand Held Mixer

Ice Cream Scoops

Get two or more sizes


Lemon Squeezer

Liquid Cup, Pint and Quart Measures

Liquid measure and dry measure are not the same, you will need both

Measuring Cups and Spoons

These need not be expensive, often you can find them in your supermarket!

Melon Baller


Muffin Tins

Nested Mixing Bowls

Nutcracker and picks


For jars, cans and bottles

Pancake Turner

A wide ended spatula for flipping burgers, patties and pancakes

Pastry Bag

With Assorted Tips to pipe everythig from mashed potato to frosting

Pastry Brushes

At least two

Pie Plates

Pizza Cutter

Potato Ricer

Pudding Mold

Rectangular Baking Dish

Rolling Pins

Rubber or Silicone Spatula

For scraping bowls clean

Salad Spinner




Slotted Spoon

For draining vegetables

Small Coffee Grinder

Used for spices


A long slender 1" and 2" wide steel spatula for spreading frosting and carving tofu

Spring Form Pan

Square Baking Dish


Tea Kettle

Terrine Mold


Vegetable Brush

Wire Racks

Wire Whisks

You will need several sizes, small, medium and large


Wonder Bar

! magic metal bar that removes the odor of onion and garlic from your hands!

Wooden Spoons

You will need several sizes and shapes

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