October 22, 2021

seattleproletariatpizza

Food for all time.

18 things to help you make a restaurant-quality meal at home

8 min read

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There’s a reason that we all love going out to eat so much—not only is it incredibly convenient, but the food is generally better than what you’d make at home. After all, most of us are not trained chefs, so we don’t know the tricks of the trade that take meals from good to amazing.

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That’s not to say you can’t learn, though! There are a nearly unlimited number of resources available online that will help you make restaurant-quality meals at home, and armed with the right equipment, you can make your favorite restaurant dishes right in the comfort of your kitchen. Here are 18 items that will instantly improve your cooking skills and help you become the Master Chef of your household.

1. Our top-rated stainless steel cookware set

If you're going to cook like a pro, you need the best pots and pans.

If you’re going to cook like the pros, you most certainly need an A+ set of cookware, and after extensive testing, we’ve found that this 12-piece cookware set from Cuisinart is one of the best money can buy. It includes all the essentials needed to whip up a wide range of meals, and the triple-ply stainless steel construction and aluminum core delivers unbeatable heat conductivity and a comfortable feel.

Get the Cuisinart MCP-12N Stainless Steel 12-Piece Cookware Set on Amazon for $299

2. A sharp, well-balanced chef’s knife

The right chef's knife will make prepwork a breeze.

Another must-have for any serious (or wannabe-serious) cook is a quality chef’s nice, and after testing more than a dozen popular products, we declared the Zwilling Pro to be the best chef’s knife you can buy. Not only does it come from a well-respected brand, but it delivers precise cuts with its heft weight, and it’s incredibly comfortable to wield, giving you confidence in the kitchen.

Get the Zwilling Pro 8-Inch Chef’s Knife on Amazon for $149.95

3. High-quality protein for your steak dinners

High-quality meat delivers superior taste in your dishes.

Want to know a secret? If you’re going to cook a high-end meal, you have to start with high-end ingredients. Luckily, Crowd Cow makes it easy to get high-quality meats for all your meals. This meat subscription service delivers the highest-quality beef, chicken, pork, Wagyu, and seafood right to your doorstep, and we were really impressed with the taste of their protein when we tested the service.

Try Crowd Cow

4. An oven thermometer for precise baking

An oven thermometer allows you to more accurately set cook times.

Most ovens aren’t all that accurate with their temperatures—you might set it to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but it could end up being 360, which will (unknowingly) mess with your cook time and often cause your food to become overcooked. To ensure you’re always cooking food at the right temps, you may want to invest in an inexpensive oven thermometer, like this one from Rubbermaid. You simply hang it in your oven, and it lets you double-check that the temperature is right where you want it to be.

Get the Rubbermaid Stainless Steel Instant Read Oven/Grill/Smoker Monitoring Thermometer on Amazon for $8.49

5. A pizza pan for crispy, crunchy crusts

Make amazing pizza at home with this handled pizza pan.

Recreating your favorite restaurant pizza at home is no easy feat—trust me, I’ve been trying for years—but one way that you can get instantly improved results is with our top-rated pizza pan. This cast iron pan will help you get a deliciously crispy crust, and its versatile design makes it ideal for other uses around the kitchen, as well, including roasting vegetables and toasting tortillas.

Get the Lodge Pro-Logic Cast Iron Pizza Pan from Walmart for $65

6. A sous vide cooker for perfectly cooked meat

Sous vide cookers maintain a precise temperature, delivering exact results with little effort.

If you struggle to cook steak to that perfect medium-rare you get in restaurants, the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker will be your best friend. This unique gadget takes all the work out of cooking meat by circulating a water bath around the protein, maintaining a precise temperature. Not only will it deliver the exact level of doneness you like, but it also helps to lock in flavor and moisture during the cooking process. Oh, and the device is Bluetooth compatible, allowing you to monitor its progress right from your phone.

Get the Anova Culinary Sous Vide Precision Cooker Nano on Amazon for $129

7. A mandoline slicer for consistent cuts

A mandoline slicer will give you precise, even cuts.

If knife-work isn’t your forte, a mandoline slicer can help you achieve restaurant-quality consistency when prepping vegetables and other ingredients. This mandoline from OXO comes with four blades, allowing you to make straight, wavy, small julienne, and large julienne cuts, and it even offers four thickness settings. Plus, it comes with a food holder that will protect your fingers during operation, so you can feel confident in your cutting.

Get the OXO Good Grips V-Blade Mandoline Slicer on Amazon for $38.49

8. A smart cookware set that walks you through the cooking process

This smart induction cooktop walks you through each recipe, automatically adjusting its own temperature.

The Hestan Cue is the next best thing to having an in-home cooking lesson. This smart cookware system uses an induction cooktop and high-quality stainless steel pan to quite literally walk you through different recipes, helping you achieve precise results every time.

When used with the Cue app, the cooktop will automatically adjust its temperature as you add ingredients and tell you when to move on to the next step. The system offers more than 500 recipes, and there are 12 different cooking functions to choose from, including slow cooking, sauce making, rice cooking, frying, candy making, and more.

Get the Hestan Cue 5.5 qt. Smart Chef’s Pot + Induction Cooktop for $349

9. A countertop hydroponic garden to grow your own herbs

Grow fresh cooking herbs right on your counter.

Fresh herbs will take your cooking to the next level, and you can grow all your favorite flavorings right on your kitchen counter with the AeroGarden Harvest. This smart hydroponic garden automatically controls its own grow lights, and it will tell you when you need to add water and/or plant food. All you really have to do is pop in the compatible pods, and within a few weeks, you’ll have a beautiful selection of fresh herbs to harvest and eat.

Get the AeroGarden Harvest-Black Indoor Hydroponic Garden on Amazon for $99.97

10. A subscription to Masterclass to learn from the pros

Masterclass has cooking classes taught by culinary pros like Yotam Ottolenghi.

Have you ever wished that you could learn cooking techniques from Gordon Ramsay or Wolfgang Puck? It turns out you can—for a lot less than you might think! Masterclass, which costs just $15 a month, has an impressive library of food courses taught by some of the best chefs in the world. There’s even a class called “Restaurant Recipes at Home” taught by Gordon Ramsay himself!

Get Masterclass for $15/month

11. An immersion blender for superior soups

Immersion blenders are key for restaurant-quality soups.

If you pull out your favorite cookbook and open it to a fancy soup recipe, I’m betting that somewhere in the directions it calls for an immersion blender. These handheld blenders are the key to smooth, delicious soups, and our favorite immersion blender is this one from Breville, which comes with an extra-large jug, chopping bowl, and whisk attachment. The tool is incredibly easy to use, even for beginners, and it won’t splatter all over your kitchen, unlike other models.

Get the Breville Control Grip Immersion Blender from Bed Bath & Beyond for $99.99

12. Our favorite thermometer to monitor meat temperatures

This meat thermometer is quick and accurate.

The best way to ensure your meat is perfectly cooked every time is with the best meat thermometer. Personally, we’re big fans of the ThermoPop, which provides fast, accurate readings, and has a fun colorful design. It’s simple to use, and its thin tip doesn’t let too much juice escape from the meat, either.

Get the ThermoPop by ThermoWorks for $34

13. An infuser to upgrade your cooking oils

Infuse all sorts of herbs and spices into oil and butter.

One surefire way to impress your family and friends is by serving them rosemary-infused butter or chili-infused olive oil with freshly baked bread before your meal. They never have to know that the Levo II makes it extremely easy—foolproof even—to create fancy culinary infusions at home. All you have to do is put an herb, spice, or root into the machine’s pod, fill up the reservoir with your oil of choice, and let the Levo work its magic. It’s a fun and fancy gadget that’s perfect for culinary adventurers.

Get the Levo II for $249.99

14. A top-rated cookbook that explains the principles of cooking

This cookbook teaches essential cooking know-how, as well as providing delicious recipes.

Most cookbooks simply provide recipes and send you off to the kitchen to take your best shot, but Samin Nosrat takes a different approach with her popular cookbook, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. The book helps to explain the “hows” and “whys” of good cooking with lots of charming illustrations, detailing various techniques and tools, as well as when to use them. Plus, it contains 100 essential recipes that you can try out as you learn.

Get Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking from Amazon for $19.91

15. A deep fryer for amazing fried foods

A deep fryer is a must-have for restaurant-quality French fries, fried chicken, and more.

I love my air fryer as much as the next person, but if you’re hoping to recreate your favorite restaurant’s fish and chips recipe at home, you’re going to need a deep fryer. This popular model from T-fal can hold up to 3.5 liters of oil, and it has a two-position basket for cooking and draining food. Plus, it features a unique oil filtration system that automatically drains and filters oil for future use, helping to minimize the amount of oil you go through while frying up delicious French fries, chicken wings, and more.

Get the T-fal Deep Fryer on Amazon for $159.99

16. A high-end collection of spices

This spice bundle contains everything a home chef needs.

Spices are the foundation of delicious meals, and the Spice House Kitchen Essentials collection provides everything you need to whip up flavor-packed recipes. The 12-jar set includes sweet basil, Hungarian sweet paprika, Greek oregano, Tellicherry black pepper, cracked rosemary needles, granulated garlic, garlic pepper butcher’s rub, Mediterranean broken leaf thyme, mild chili powder, granulated white onion, Saigon ground cassia cinnamon, and ground ginger. It’s perfect for a new kitchen or anyone who’s restocking their pantry.

Get the Spice House Kitchen Essentials, 12-Jar Set for $75

17. A special covered baker for delicious homemade bread

This covered baker will deliver crispy Italian bread to eat with your meal.

Pretty much every restaurant brings you a basket of bread to munch on before your meal, and you can recreate this same tradition at home with the Italian Bread Baker from Emile Henry. The beautiful ceramic covered baker will help you achieve crisp, golden crusts and chewy, airy interiors, as the lid helps to trap steam while cooking. The baker comes in three colors to suit your style, and it will undoubtedly take your bread-baking to the next level.

Get the Emile Henry Italian Bread Baker on Amazon for $134.95

18. A next-gen oven that does the cooking for you

Just prep your ingredients, and the Brava oven will take care of the rest.

If you want restaurant-quality meals without all the work, you might have to splurge on Brava. This high-end oven uses a combination of visible and infrared light to cook food, and because light can be targeted, it can cook numerous dishes at once using different techniques. All you really have to do is prepare the ingredients, and Brava will take care of the rest. It’s pretty much the closest thing to a personal chef you can get!

Get the Brava Oven Starter Set for $1,095

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