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Batterie de cuisine is a term for the set of tools a professional chef uses in the kitchen. These implements generally include a set of knives, a collection of frying pans, and a set of bakeware. Other types of kitchen utensils may be added, depending on a chef's cooking specialties. Kitchenware used in a professional kitchen is often made with a higher degree of craftsmanship than some equipment designed for the home cook. Many chefs keep and maintain their cooking utensils for many years.
A main characteristic of a batterie de cuisine is portability, because it does not include stationary equipment such as ovens, grills, or fryers. The name given to these kitchen tools comes from a French term loosely translated as "artillery of the kitchen," which relates to how working in a busy kitchen can sometimes feel similar to being in the midst of warfare. One of the first lessons that aspiring chefs learn in culinary school is how to arrange their batterie de cuisine on their workspace so that each tool is easy to grab quickly. They also learn the proper ways to clean, organize, and store each tool in their batterie de cuisine.
Kitchen knives are considered an essential part of any chef's set of utensils. Experienced culinary professionals usually recommend knives that fit comfortably in the dominant hand and that chop various foods cleanly. Many chefs also invest in a quality knife sharpener and at least a couple of durable cutting boards.
Chefs normally add pots and pans of various sizes to their batterie de cuisine. Some prefer copper pans while others opt for cast iron ones. Either type is usually functional and durable if kept clean and free from the blackening caused by excessive stove burner heat. A high quality set of this cookware typically includes at least two or three frying pans along with a large pot for boiling foods such as pasta. Many chefs also like to include one small and one medium-sized saucepan.
Other tools found in a batterie de cuisine include baking sheets, mixing bowls, kitchen spoons, and wire whisks for blending ingredients. Chefs often like to have a good set of measuring cups and measuring spoons, particularly if they specialize in pastry- and dessert-making. Many professional cooks also add their own portable food processors to their tools, although this appliance is considered optional since many restaurant kitchens have their own processors and blenders.
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