Every kitchen requires organization and planning. Any well-equipped Caribbean kitchen will have a wide selection of pots, pans, and tools, for cooking different foods. Whether you’re living alone, just got married, or living with family, the necessary tools and gadgets, pots, pans, and utensils are the core of a functional kitchen.
Every Caribbean kitchen is different. With new technology and modernization, and cultural differences, most kitchens will have some similarities. Whether it is with the types of pans, pots or small appliances, the primary action is to cook delicious meals. We will attend to point out a few of the necessary kitchen essentials in this article.
Throughout this article, we will also attempt to incorporate a few healthy cooking tips. These tips will explain what has worked for us, in our kitchen and opinion from family and friends. Whatever way to get the scoop on brands than from people who are close to you. We are not saying to ignore the reviews on the World Wide Web; we are merely making a suggestion not to forget the trusted sources.
In the Caribbean, many meals are prepared fresh daily. Lifestyle challenges are forcing many people to cook a small amount of food every day. Leftovers are not common in those households. Now that goes only for current Islanders living on the islands. If living overseas, leftovers are more common in many homes because of proper refrigeration and not having the time to cook daily. So having the right pots and pans, utensils, and tools are necessary to run a home kitchen.
Types of kitchen tools
In most Caribbean kitchens, you will find a mortar and pestle. Mortars and pestles are used to grind spices into a powder, crush fresh herbs and other food ingredients when necessary.
There are several types of mortar and pestle. In the Caribbean, the choice of tools depends on culture and cuisine. The two images below are mortars and pestles from the Caribbean. One is for decor, and the other is to use in the kitchen.
A decorative mortar and pestle make a great addition to your kitchen decor. They also come in different sizes, and the design is different on all of them. Carved or painted, you will have choices.
Spoons, spatulas, knives, measuring spoons and measuring cups are essentials in every kitchen. Wooden spoons to stir grains dishes and legumes are stew are very common. Ladles are not only used for soup they are also used for bean purees.
The use of a wooden spoon is common in Caribbean cuisine. For example, when cooking Lalo, a wooden spoon is preferable for the texture of the stew. It is often said that having the right spoons, will help certain vegetables retain their shape and texture.
Types of Pots and Pans
The most common cooking cookware are usually made with stainless steel or cast iron. A set of sturdy cookware is usually ideal to have. Everyday cookware should include, at least two saucepans, two stockpots, and two frying pans.
Frying vessels such as fryers are great to have in a kitchen. But there’s is nothing better than having a cast iron pan to fry your food or fritters.
A heavy bottom saucepan is usually used for cooking rice. Unless you have a dutch oven, then it is ideal for cooking rice. Cookware with thin bottom often burn your food and are ideals for boiling water.
A stockpot would be for beans purees and another large stockpot for stews. Beans are a staple in Caribbean cuisine. A stockpot is of the most useful item for many purposes.
A dutch oven or a large saucepan is also preferred for meat stews. Dutch ovens pans are either made with cast iron or stainless steel and are ideal for stews and legumes.
Mixing bowls come in various sizes. A set of three different sizes is perfect for everyday use. Usually mixing bowls for cooking are not used for baking. The reason is that aluminum mixing bowls are used for meat, poultry, and seafood. Plastic mixing bowls are used for washing vegetables. Glass mixing bowls are used for baking. You can buy different sizes for convenience.
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Another essential item in a Caribbean kitchen that is slowly disappearing because of blenders and food processors is the food mill. A food mill is mostly used when making beans puree. If you don’t want to use a blender, a food mill is another alternative. Very easy to use and practical.
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Heavy bottom and large pots and pans
Besides your regular pots and pans, heavy bottom cookware is a must in all Caribbean kitchen. Large pots and pans are also necessary for large gatherings. One large pan for rice and another for stew, poultry, meat or seafood.
THE MUST HAVES
With all the tools, gadgets, pots and pans, we should not forget pressure cookers. Many types of meat such as Goat take a long time to cook as well as frozen and thawed conch. Pressure cookers help in fastening the cooking process and are very versatile. Use the right size for your family.
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Serving Ladles Set
Serving ladles are a great investment. They are perfect for entertaining, and especially during the holidays when serving soups, beans purees, etc. A small size ladle is perfect for serving our favorite homemade sauces.
Cooking Ladles Set
Cooking vessels such as ladles are functional in a kitchen. They are ideal when cooking pasta or frying food. They are perfect for stirring and straining small amount of food while cooking. Having the right set of cooking ladles will facilitate different cooking types of dishes.
Other cooking tools that are useful and commonly found in all kitchens:
- Knives, to cut, slice, chop all your meat, poultry seafood and vegetables for your cooking.
- A basic set of baking ware for cooking cakes and baking cookies
- A colander, strainer, and even a sieve, for is perfect for multiple uses, such as strain pasta, or wash vegetables
- a can opener, one of the essential tools and must have in your kitchen.
Having other types of cooking tools, pots, pans, bakeware will depend on your style of cooking. Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of African, East Indian, French, Cajun, Ameridian, Chinese, and Creole. Every Caribbean kitchen will have similarities and differences.