If you’re a beginner chef or if you just moved into a new place, or you just finished your cooking course at Trupp the Chefs Table, you may not know where to start when stocking your pantry. Indeed, it turns out that every home chef relies on a select few components again and time again. It might be time-consuming and laborious to compile an exhaustive list of foodstuffs to have on hand in the pantry, freezer, and fridge. But you can figure out what to stock up on if you begin with the basics.
While the specifics of each kitchen may vary, stocking up on a few staples is an excellent way to get started cooking more of your own meals at home. Find out what pantry staples you need by reading on.
Here are some basic ingredients that should always be in your kitchen
Several Varieties of Onions
Onions are a great addition to almost any savory cuisine, from salads to stews.
You may get a wide range of flavors by stocking your pantry with a variety of onions, including shallots, red onions, and white onions. Onions become milder when cooked, although shallots and red onions are best eaten fresh in salads and sauces, and red onions make wonderful sandwiches.
Whether you buy it pre-made or make it yourself, broth will improve the taste of your meats, soups, grains (like pasta and rice), and sauces. To further enhance their flavor, cook them in two inches of chicken stock. Whether you’re stir-frying, searing, or baking, oil is an essential ingredient (olive, avocado, canola, coconut, or any other oil you may use in cooking).
There are many options for cooking oils to choose from. For further information on the ins and outs of cooking, you can always perform a quick search or sign up for a culinary school like Trupp the Chef’s Table.
Salt is an essential ingredient in almost every cuisine, so this is a no-brainer. You may not realize it, but you should always keep a variety of salts on hand. Different from one another in both texture and use, table salt, kosher salt, and sea salt may be used for everything from everyday cooking to special presentations.
If you want to bake, it’s a good idea to have several sticks of butter on hand in the fridge. Some cookie recipes ask for two whole sticks of butter, so it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. Butter also enhances the taste of breakfast staples like eggs, meat, and cereal. In most situations, butter is a safe bet.
Whether melted into a steaming bowl of pasta or spread thickly over a sandwich, cheese adds a subtle flavor and texture to every dish. Have a variety of your favorite cheeses you learned from Trupp the Chefs Table on hand to enjoy the melting points and taste combinations they provide. They might be aged cheeses like cheddar and parmesan, both of which go well with a wide variety of foods and keep for a long time.
Sugar is essential in the preparation of glazes and sauces, as well as being a useful adjunct in the preparation of baked goods. In order to avoid sugar from becoming lumpy, it’s important to store it in an airtight container.
Oats are not only more affordable than wheat or rice, but they also provide more protein per ounce. The best way to store oats is in an airtight container in the fridge or a cool, dry cupboard. If you find yourself with a large quantity of oats that you won’t be utilizing soon, freezing them is a good idea.
Substitutes for Sugar: Honey and Maple Syrup
Both of these are great sugar substitutes that may be used in place of regular white sugar. Use them as a marinade ingredient, in tea, or to flavor fruit and yogurt.
A staple, strong condiment sauce made by fermenting and salting anchovies. Although it plays a pivotal part in Asian cuisine, this adaptable spice can be snuck into any savory dish, from soup to spaghetti sauce, for an additional umami punch.
Mustard may be used as a standalone seasoning or as a key ingredient in many different kinds of sauces and dressings. Any sort of mustard will do; I always have yellow, dijon, and whole grain varieties in stock.
Another classic condiment or stand-alone dip, and a flexible ingredient that combines sweet, sour, and savory tastes.
Perfect for spreading on sandwiches or mixing into creamy salad dressings. Bonus points for making your own.
According to Trupp the Chefs Table, hot sauce is a great way to spice up a dish while also adding some much-needed acidity.