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SH1614

Essentials in the Kitchen
(Gisslen, 2009)

I. Tools and Equipment in the Kitchen
A. Cooktops and Ovens
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Open Element Burners
These tops are the fastest to heat and can be turned off after use.

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Conventional Oven
It is operated by the heated air in an enclosed space.

B. Processing Equipment
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Mixer
A machine or device for mixing things, especially an electrical appliance for mixing food.
 Paddle – flat blade used for general mixing
 Wire whip – used for such tasks as beating cream and eggs and making mayonnaise
 Dough arm/hook – used for mixing and kneading yeast dough

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Food Chopper
Also known as the “buffalo chopper,” is a common piece or equipment used for general chopping of
meats.

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Slicer
A valuable machine for slicing food more evenly and uniformly. It is important for portion control
and for reducing cutting loss.

C. Pots and Pans and their Uses
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Stockpot
A large, deep, straight-sided pot for preparing stocks and simmering large quantities of liquids.
Stockpots with spigots allow liquid to be drained off without disturbing the solid contents or lifting
the pot. Sizes: 8 to 200 quarts

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Saucepot
Round pot of medium depth. Similar to a stockpot but shallower, making stirring or mixing easier.
Used for soups, sauces, and other liquids. Sizes: 6 to 60 quarts

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Saucepan
Similar to a small, shallow, light saucepot, but with one long handle instead of two (2) loop handles.
May have straight or slanted sides. Used for general range-top cooking. Sizes: 11/2 to 15 quarts

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Double Boiler
Lower section, similar to a stockpot, holds boiling water. Upper section holds food that must be
cooked at low temperatures and cannot be cooked over direct heat. Size of top section: 4 to 36 quarts

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Bake Pan
Rectangular pan about 2 inches deep. Used for general baking. Comes in a variety of sizes.

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SH1614

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Stainless-steel Bowl
Round bottom bowl, used for mixing and whipping and for production of hollandaise, mayonnaise,
whipped cream, and egg white foams. Round construction enables whip to reach all areas. Comes in
many sizes.

D. Measuring Devices
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Scales
Most recipe ingredients are measured by weight, so accurate scales are very important.
Portion scales are used for measuring ingredients as well as for portioning products for service.

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Measuring Cups
They are available in 1-, 1/2 -, 1/3 -, and 1/4-cup sizes. They can be used for both liquid and dry
measures.

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Measuring Spoons
They are used for measuring very small volumes: 1 tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, and ¼
teaspoon. They are used most often for spices and seasonings.

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Ladles
They are used for measuring and portioning liquids. The size, in ounces, is stamped on the handle.

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Thermometer
It is used to measure temperature. There are many kinds for many purposes.
 Meat thermometer indicates internal temperature of meats.
 Instant read thermometer gives reading within a few seconds of being inserted in a food product.
 Fat thermometers and candy thermometers test temperatures of frying fats and sugar syrups.
 Special thermometers are used to test the accuracy of oven, refrigerator, and freezer thermostats.

II. Hand Tools and Small Equipment
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Chef’s Knife
A cutting tool used in food preparation.

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Melon Baller
Blade is a small, cup-shaped half-sphere. Used for cutting fruits and vegetables into small balls.

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Cook’s Fork
Heavy, two-pronged fork with a long handle. Used for lifting and turning meats and other items.

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Straight Spatula or Palette Knife
A long, flexible blade with a rounded end. Used mostly for spreading icing on cakes and for mixing
and bowl scraping.

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Offset Spatula
Broad blade, bent to keep hand off hot surfaces. Used for turning and lifting eggs, pancakes, and
meats on griddles, grills, sheet pans, and so on. Also used as a scraper to clean bench or griddle.

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Rubber Spatula or Scraper
Broad, flexible rubber or plastic tip on long handle. Used to scrape bowls and pans. Also used for
folding in egg foams or whipped cream.

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SH1614

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Pie Server
A wedge-shaped offset spatula. Used for lifting pie wedges from pan.

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Spoons: Solid, Slotted, and Perforated
Large stainless-steel spoons that hold about 3 ounces (90 mL). Used for stirring, mixing, and serving.
Slotted and perforated spoons are used when liquid must be drained from solids.

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Skimmer
Perforated disk, slightly cupped, on a long handle. Used for skimming froth from liquids and for
removing solid pieces from soups, stocks, and other liquids.

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Tongs
Spring-type or scissors-type tools used to pick up and handle food.

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Strainer
Round-bottomed, cup-shaped strainer made of screen-type mesh or perforated metal. Used for
straining pasta and vegetables.

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Colander
Large perforated bowl made of stainless steel or aluminum. Used to drain washed or cooked
vegetables, salad greens, pasta, and other food.

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Grater
A four-sided metal box with grids of varying sizes. Used for shredding and grating vegetables, cheese,
citrus rinds, and other food.

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Peeler
A kitchen tool consisting of a slotted metal blade attached to a handle that is used to remove the outer
skin or peel of certain vegetables.

References:
Gisslen, W. (2009). Professional cooking, 5th edition. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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