Having the right tools in the kitchen will improve both your experience of cooking as well as the resulting meals. It makes a huge difference to have certain items at your fingertips and will take so much unnecessary time and stress out of cooking. I’ve compiled my five favorite tools that I have in my own kitchen that make a huge difference with preparing meat (as well as other items). Sometimes the little things make a huge difference, and this list includes small items as well as larger appliances that will make meals a breeze from weeknight dinners to special occasions. Maybe you already have all of these items, or perhaps you don’t have any at all. Either way, these kitchen tools have a lot to offer and I’m constantly discovering new ways that I love to use them.
- Cast Iron Skillet
- Instant Pot
- Kitchen Scissors
- Meat Thermometer
- Kitchen Tongs
1. Cast Iron Skillet
Most of you probably already know how much you love your cast iron skillet. Why are they so great for meat in particular? Well, the main reason is that once they get hot, they stay hot- making these skillets ideal for searing meat. They’ll give your steaks that dark, flavorful crust like you get at a steakhouse. The truth is, they’re great for cooking anything. They’re economical in that they’ll last for generations, and they only get better with time as they’re seasoned each time you use them to cook. They also add a small amount of iron to anything cooked in them, making your food more nutritious. Last but not least, cast iron skillets give a rustic and appealing look to whatever you cook in them.
2. Instant Pot
The Instant Pot has been steadily gaining popularity for the past few years, and for good reason. It’s pretty much magic when it comes to making cooking quicker and easier. It’s especially impressive when it comes to cutting down time on slow cook items like short ribs and osso buco. This is the method I used for making our famous Wild Boar Banh Mi sandwiches… if you haven’t tried them, you need to. I made them months ago for co-founder JP Bulow’s birthday and our team still talks about them regularly (I should make them again ASAP). The wild boar tenderloin takes a mere 8 minutes to cook in the Instant Pot.
Also Read: Instant Pot Wild Boar Banh Mi Sandwiches
3. Kitchen Scissors
Kitchen scissors might be one of the most underrated tools in your kitchen. I’ll be honest, before I started learning how to cook, I thought kitchen scissors were basically just for opening difficult packages. Maybe it just seemed like the kitchen was the logical place to store an often sought after household tool. The truth is, these babies are actually exactly what you want to make many aspects of preparing food easier. They’re useful for cutting up raw bacon, separating short ribs, breaking down poultry, removing fat, and more. They often don’t require the use of a cutting board and keep your fingers out of harm’s way.
4. Meat Thermometer
If you don’t have a meat thermometer, it’s time to get one. It’s the only way to really be sure that your meat is cooked the way you want, and saves so much time and guesswork. If you’re an expert chef, maybe you don’t need one - but for the rest of us, they really help. And for certain meats like chicken that need to be cooked to a certain temperature to be safe for consumption, they’re invaluable. Sure, you can check if the juices run clear as a safety precaution, but that involves cutting into the meat. Not something you want to do until the meat has rested and is ready for serving.
5. Kitchen Tongs
Kitchen tongs are one of those indispensable tools that can be easy to overlook. You’ll thank yourself when you need to remove a large bone from a pot of bone broth or flip chicken thighs that have been baking in the oven. They do things that a spatula just cannot do, and will save your fingers from getting burned time and time again. They’re like an extension of your hands and I like to have a couple of pairs in my kitchen at all times. Tongs offer some extra space between you and the pan when frying with oil, saving you from splatters. Use two pairs at the same time to shred meat. Their uses are varied and seemingly infinite. You’ll wonder how you ever got along without them.
Ever since the evolution of humans as omnivores, eating meat together around the fire was an important part of bonding and connection. Some of us still hunt for our own meat, but very few rely entirely on killing their own game. Many in modern day society get meat from outside sources, like grocery stores or meat delivery services. However, most communities in America have forgotten the importance that the butcher shop used to hold. As someone who has moved around a lot, I can attest to the fact that most of the places I’ve lived have lacked a butcher shop completely.
The Return Of The Old World Butcher Shop
At one time, the butcher shop was the center of a community. With the shop serving as a meeting place frequented by all, the butcher was highly respected for his ability to provide everyone in the neighborhood with the meat they needed to feed their families. His craft not only allowed him to place food on the table for his family, but for the entire community. This made the butcher shop a rock solid fixture of the neighborhood. When the meat industry moved into factory farming, a big change took place. Mass produced meat meant mass processing, entirely different from the attention and care given by a neighborhood butcher.
It’s becoming more and more talked about that the industrialization of meat is one of the biggest problems in our society. An ever increasing number of people have begun to carefully select where their meat is sourced from. Grass fed, grass finished, pasture raised - it’s only natural to prefer meat that’s raised with respect for life. But what about the way the animal is processed? We’ve always worked exclusively with small-scale butchers, often generational, who are species specific or work in small facilities. With old-world style butchers, we know that the utmost care and attention to detail is given to every cut of meat.
A Resurgence of Local Community
The return of the butcher shop to American communities is something we truly believe in. When people can associate names and faces with where meat comes from and how it’s processed, we can begin to recover a primal connection with our food that has faded from the collective consciousness. On the same wavelength, our communities can begin to create new bonds over face to face interactions and neighborhood interdependence. We envision a future where rather than becoming more and more removed from the living beings around us, we invest time and energy into real interactions with our fellow humans.
A Much Needed Return To Our Roots
It seems that these days there’s more focus than ever before on old ways of living and being that were far more attuned with our natural needs for happiness and fulfillment. Our culture has become disconnected from each other and from the earth. The solution to this problem doesn’t have to be complicated. It starts locally, at farmers markets, small businesses and community events. As we venture into the seemingly chaotic but exciting future ahead of us, it seems more important than ever to water the seeds of local food systems.
A local butcher shop can provide an entire community with a sense of connectedness and unity. These days, so many of us feel unfulfilled. There’s a compelling argument that this is due to disconnection from the world around us. Even more importantly, the community has access to a locally sourced and processed supply chain of meat - a valuable asset in the days of beef imported from China at grocery store delis. It’s time for America to get back to its roots, and for humanity to return to simple ways of being that have withstood the test of time.
Our Team Is Here To Support You
At Beck & Bulow, we pride ourselves on our excellent customer service. We’re always here to help if you have any questions regarding your meat, want help making selections, or are just looking for some cooking tips. Every time you call our office, you’ll be directly connected with one of our team members right here in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we’re based.
Every cut of meat is pressure sealed and flash frozen immediately after butchering at the peak of freshness. We work exclusively with master butchers who make every cut with care and precision. All orders are hand packed at our Santa Fe warehouse, shipped in a reusable cooler with dry ice and delivered straight to your doorstep. Check out our selections of humanely raised chicken, elk, bison, beef, lamb, wild boar and seafood.