Cooking is harder than ordering takeout, or microwaving a frozen entree, or having your parents cook for you. It takes a financial investment, lots of practice, time, and patience. Why do it? Well, first off, and this is gonna sound simple-minded but stick with me: cooking is attractive. Like playing guitar, it demonstrates your prowess with your hands, your sophisticated knowledge of an art form and is a demonstrable value to look for in a partner. But it goes deeper than that. Cooking is a shared experience, a way to express yourself to someone you care about. That someone could even be yourself. Cooking is a physically and mentally healthy outlet and hobby. Just like learning guitar, you’re not going to be a rockstar right out of the gate; you need to learn the how and why of what makes a great meal, why one flavor works when another fails, why food behaves the way it does. The basics. Welcome to Basics With Babish, a new series designed to help grow your confidence in the kitchen with a collection of strategically chosen recipes. Every other week, I’ll be examining a different category of food and showing you a few ways that you can master that food at home. Then each following week, I’ll conduct a live cook-along on Twitch, where you can make last week’s episode right alongside me. You can ask me questions, shoot the breeze, and make some delicious meals with one of your favorite beards on the Internet. Then, you can take a picture of your creation, and post it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter for a chance to win prizes every episode. It’s a new kind of interactive cooking experience, one that I hope will help ratchet up your skills whether it’s your first time in the kitchen or your fiftieth. I’m very honored to be in your kitchen today and can’t wait to start making some delicious meals with you. Now, let’s get down to basics. Basics with Babish and the all-new are brought to you by Squarespace. Head there now to check out recipes from the show, kitchen equipment lists, my personal blog posts, and more. Get 10% off your first Squarespace order with offer code BABISH. Whether you need a domain, website, or online store, make your next move with Squarespace. Okay guys, before we get cooking I want to walk you through a few essential tools that are going to make cooking in any kitchen a whole lot easier. The first and most important tool you should outfit your kitchen with is a good chef’s knife. This is an eight inch Wüsthof Ikon Classic. The brand and price matter less than how the knife feels in your hand; you want something that’s comfortable, well balanced, something that feels natural and when you see how balanced a knife feels you need to hold it correctly: you want to wrap your finger around one side of the knife and grip it on the other side with your thumb. Now often your first instinct is, understandably, to grip it by the handle, I mean, why else would there be a handle there? But look at how much effort it takes in my wrist and how little accuracy I have, but if I grip it by the heel like this, you can see I have a lot more control and I’m using a lot less effort. The Wüsthof Ikon Classic is very expensive, around $140. This is a much more reasonable starting point, the Wüsthof Pro Line. This is a new line that is razor sharp, well balanced, and it has this great shaped handle that actually guides your hand to where it should go. It’s not going to be as durable or as long lasting as a forged, high-end blade like the Ikon, but it’s a great place to start. I also want to point out that I’m not like a paid spokesperson, these are the tools that I use in my kitchen and that I wholeheartedly recommend to you. Next up, we have the pan that strikes fear into the hearts of many burgeoning young chefs: The stainless steel sauté pan. Why? Because it is universally known as the pan that food sticks to, but that’s actually what you want, we’ll touch on that later, but when you’re shopping for one of these pans you want something that’s heavy 18-10 stainless steel, something that feels balanced and comfortable in your hand. All-Clad is sort of the “gold standard” for home chefs, but it is very expensive, ranging between $699 to $1200 for a ten-piece set. A less expensive but high-quality alternative is Tramontina, which will run you more like $60 per pan. I know stainless steel cookware is a little bit scary, but trust me, it’s an essential addition to your kitchen arsenal and you’re going to make some really delicious food with it. But of course we can’t only cook on stainless, we also need non-stick. This is the T-fal Professional 12-inch Nonstick Skillet, it is oven safe to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and is so slippery you can practically cook eggs in it without any butter or oil. It’s also got a great built-in feature if you’re just starting
out in the kitchen this little thermo spot indicator. You can see some letters
and symbols in there but it turns solid red when it’s been properly preheated so
it’s a great way to learn about the subtleties of your stove and in no time
you will have a sixth sense for knowing when your pan is preheated. And now maybe the most underappreciated tool in the modern kitchen today: the instant-read
thermometer. This is a Thermapen which is expensive it’s about a hundred dollars
but it reads very very quickly and, like the red indicator in the pan, is going to
help teach you to know and understand when your steak is done when your
chicken is done. There are plenty of inexpensive alternatives like this one
just make sure that it has a read time of under four seconds.
Forget all the poking your palm with your finger tricks, this is the best way
to get consistently cooked steaks. When you’re shopping for oven mitts look for
something that has individual fingers. Not only so you can better manipulate
hot pots and pans, but so you can do this every time you put them on. You’re of
course going to need a saucepan for sauces. Nonstick has its place but
generally stainless steel is the way to go. You can see that this is a very high-walled saucepan. This can be very handy when you’re cooking something that you
don’t want to reduce too much. There’s less surface area and therefore less
evaporation. For thick sauces and reductions we’ll go with something wider:
sturdy dishwasher safe mixing bowls with a pouring spout obviously have a wide
variety of uses. These bowls are by OXO Good Grips and they might be the oldest
thing that I have in the kitchen they’ve given me ten years of reliable service. Now for it’s got to be the most misunderstood kitchen utensil known to
man: the cutting board I know you got a great deal on three of these from Ikea
but these are absolute garbage an undersized cutting surface is one of the
most frustrating inadequacies that you can have the displeasure to experience
they’re unstable foods like carrots just roll off and get lodged under the
refrigerator, attracts a family of mice, a mouse bites you in the night, and the
next thing you know you’re responsible for the second Bubonic plague. Get rid of
this thing and get as large a cutting surface as your kitchen can handle. This is a 15 by 21 inch carving and utility board OXO Good
Grips. At around $25 it’s just about the least expensive major life upgrade that
you can find in a cruel and indifferent world. For basic seasoning you cannot
substitute a pinch bowl of kosher salt and a pepper mill. Why kosher salt? Well
because it is pinchable you can feel and see how much seasoning is going into
your food and because it’s coarser it is more forgiving than table salt and why
does every recipe always call for fresh cracked pepper well it just tastes
better smells better it looks better and with an adjustable grinder like this one
you can control the size of the grounds from coarse to very very fine. So if
you’re just getting started those are some essential tools to help
change your kitchen game. Next week we’re gonna put these tools to good use trying our hand at sauces. Then the week after that the first live stream on Twitch
where you can cook along with me happy cooking and I’ll see you guys next week. Hey guys so I just want to talk a little bit about designing my new website with Squarespace. They have this really intuitive easy-to-use platform that made it super easy, even for somebody like me who’s never done web design ever. They have templates, they do domains, they have really good customer service, it’s really an all-in-one one-stop shop for building a really slick website and I was really happy with the way mine came out. If you want to try it for yourself you can start your free trial today at and enter offer code
BABISH to get 10% off your first purchase. Thanks for listening guys, I hope you liked the new site, the new show, and I can’t wait to cook with you next