KITCHEN EQUIPMENT FOR OUR LARGE FAMILY
is part of the Write 31 2017 Challenge.
Read 31 Days of Life in a Large Homeschooling Family for more posts.
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There are 9 of us, 2 adults, 4 + 1 teens and 2 “children”. All of us eat adult-sized meals, even the 8 year old. Actually, no. Let me correct myself. The teens can eat double an adult’s portion! Seriously.
What kitchen equipment do we use?
In my previous posts, I have shared how I grocery shop and how I manage cooking for our large family. So, I am sure you are curious about the size and type of our kitchen equipment we use to facilitate this, right? Wondering what ginormous pots and woks we must have to cook our meals?
Well, besides wishing that I had interned at the Army Cook House or a food catering company to prepare me for the huge quantity of food cooked in our home, I have also wished that our kitchen is outfitted with industry-sized ovens, stove tops and sinks.
But neither happened.
Space is a premium
So, I just make do with the largest possible sized equipment and deal with it. Remember my post on De-cluttering? Space IS a premium here. So even if we have the means (expensive!) and permission (HDB would freak out!) to install an industrial-sized kitchen, I have no space.
Necessary kitchen equipment for our large family
1. Stove Hob
I was It astounded when I came across 3 families who do not own a standard gas stove top in their homes! One had no stove top AT ALL. The other 2 had induction stove tops. It boggles my traditionalist mind!
I used an induction stove top once (brought it along during a church camp) and did not like it. Later on, I read that it emits EMF. We are already surrounded by A LOT of EMFs in our highly connected island, I figured that one less source, especially in the house, may be better for us. Remember, we will be heavy users of it.
Ideally, I would like to have a gas stove top with 4 hobs. But it is an unpopular choice apparently. So, I had to make do with one with 3 hobs.
Before we renovated our place back in 2012, we only had a table top oven. You can guess how long cooking dinner took! So, when we had the opportunity to renovate our place, I requested for a LARGE oven. And so, we invested in the Ariston Open Space Oven. It has served us well, although I had to recently send for a repairman. It is used at least twice a week and not for baking.
I also have a small toaster oven which we love for heating up food since we do not own a microwave oven.
3. 4-tier Stainless Steel Steamer
I bought our 4-tier stainless steel steam unit more than 10 years ago. It was not a cheap buy. But it was a worthwhile buy. It is still serving us faithfully. We use this to cook our rice/quinoa/buckwheat, as well as to heat up food.
4. Blendtec and Philips Food Processor
Back in 2010, my children pooled together their money and blessed me with a Blendtec. That was when I discovered that it IS true that the right equipment makes a difference. My job is made easier with the right piece of equipment. I really like that there are no detachable parts to assemble! Makes it easy to use and wash.
The other helpful equipment is the large-sized 700W Philips food processor that has a 3.4litre bowl. I can blitz 2 heads of cauliflower into cauliflower rice in less than 15 minutes!
5. Le Crueset Wok
I like stir frying for its simplicity and ease. And so, using a wok is a necessity in our large family. But finding the right-sized one is tough.
After using Teflon-coated woks from Tefal, ceramic-coated ones from Scanpan and Happycall, I decided on a Le Crueset cast iron wok. No, it isn’t large enough so I still have to cook in at least 2 batches but at least I am not feeding my family Teflon.
I avoid Teflon-coated products as much as possible for health reasons. It emits a poisonous gas even if it does not peel off. And I do not recommend Scanpan because the ceramic coating does peel off and they do not hold to their lifetime guarantee. All of which meant that I had to keep throwing out these woks and pans half-yearly or yearly! It was ridiculously expensive.
I bought my Le Crueset wok from Amazon. My sister-in-law who buys a lot of stuff off Amazon, helped me with the purchase so I saved on shipping. It has been 2 years and it is still going strong.
However, I recently read that cooking in an iron wok is not ideal either. Sigh.
6. Happycall Pan
I do own a HappyCall Pan for cooking anything that needs flipping over like pancakes and meat patties. The coating does peel off after a while. I refuse to angst over it. I just throw it out and buy another one. My current one has lasted almost 2 years. So far so good.
I love to use my crockpots. But sadly, my family does not like food cooked in crockpots except for my beef stew. Their feedback is that the meat tastes like canned meat i.e. dry. So now, I only use my crockpots for beef stew. And for that, I need to use 2 big crockpots.
I guess the Instant Pot is an alternative. It is quite that rave now. But I am holding back because I read that cooking food at such high pressure may not be healthy in the long run. But who knows?!
So, these are what I consider must haves in our large family kitchen. Do you have any other recommendations for me? Let me know.