The Cookware Andrew Rea Says You Need In Your Kitchen - Exclusive

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Andrew Rea's new cookbook "Basics with Babish" is all about teaching beginner and burgeoning cooks about making mistakes in the kitchen and then learning from them. It takes seemingly intimidating or difficult recipes — think something like croissants — and makes them more accessible by detailing the process, what could potentially go wrong with the recipe, and Rea's own experiences making plenty of mistakes in developing that recipe. However, before you can get started making any of the recipes in this book, you're going to need some cookware.

In a recent, exclusive interview with Rea, we asked him what he'd recommend if a beginner cook wanted to outfit their kitchen and start working their way through the book. While Rea did recently launch his own cookware line, he didn't hawk his own products. Instead, he gave us the top three tools he recommends for getting started, as well as reasons why these tools are irreplaceable in the kitchen. His picks? A 12-inch, high-walled stainless steel sauté pan; a good chef's knife; and a large, sturdy cutting board.

The kitchen items you can't live without

So why did Rea pick these three items in particular? The 12-inch, high-walled stainless steel sauté pan, he said, is one of the most utilized pieces of equipment a home cook will use. He said, "It has incredible utility for frying, deep-frying, sautéing, making pasta..." and clarified that the pan's size is perfect for cooking spaghetti, as it's just the right size to allow the spaghetti to lie flat in the water, rather than sticking up at an angle, which results in uneven, stuck-together spaghetti (and the occasional fire hazard). The chef's knife, he noted, should be comfortable and sharp. And since they're likely more affordable than you think, there's no reason not to have one.

As for the cutting board, Rea said, "Too often, we get those three-packs of cutting boards from Ikea that are 12 inches, eight inches, and six inches. The six-inch one isn't big enough to chop a carrot. Something that can really quickly and easily overwhelm newcomers in the kitchen is having a crowded cutting board and one that's slipping around all over the place. Get a big, heavy cutting board. Secure it in place with a damp, clean kitchen towel underneath it that keeps it from slipping around. And [it's important to have] a big wide work surface so you don't feel crowded or overwhelmed when you're dealing with a whole bunch of new ingredients."

"Basics with Babish" by Andrew Rea is out now wherever books are sold.