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Kitchen essentials: Batch-cooking

Batch cooking can be so satisfying and enjoyable, but first off, you need a batch of tried-and-tested recipes, some good cooking equipment and kitchen tools – without them, the process can be frustrating! But you don’t need to spend a fortune on kit. We’ve compiled a checklist of batching-cooking basics that will see you through the seasons of make-ahead cooking and eating. So, whether you’re a complete beginner or a more experienced cook, kit out your kitchen with our top tips and recipes and get set to create some delicious food for the weeks and months to come.

Make lightwork of meal prep with a good kitchen utensil set

Consider the material, design and guarantee of your kitchen tools

Arm yourself with good-quality kit and peeling, chopping and slicing will feel less of a chore. So what exactly do you need? A few stainless-steel knives are a must, but a versatile vegetable peeler is the real unsung hero. This Go Cook Acacia Stainless Steel Y Peeler has a comfortable acacia wood handle and is heat resistant up to 200°C. If you like nifty kitchen gadgets, this Go Cook Mini Chopper, with a stainless-steel blade, will do the hard work of chopping for you, plus it’s compact enough to fit into a small cupboard space. No kitchen utensils set would be complete without serving spoons and if yours have seen better days, it doesn’t cost a lot to upgrade your kit. This Go Cook Nylon Solid Spoon is heat resistant up to 200°C, dishwasher-safe and comes with a five-year guarantee.

Get back to basics with a solid, reliable chopping board

Protect food, knives, worktops and your fingers with a quality wooden design

No cook would be without their trusty chopping board, but with so many materials, sizes and designs, which one should you go for? Wooden boards tend to be more resilient to knives, and therefore last longer. For speedy prep, a lightweight wooden board with a handle is a practical choice. This Go Cook Acacia Paddle Chopping Board is great value for money and comes with a five-year guarantee. If you want to spend a little more, treat your kitchen to a Go Cook Acacia Herringbone Board, with attractive herringbone design. Remember to hand-wash wooden boards to keep them looking good and working at their best for longer.

Sturdy saucepans will be part of your kitchen essentials for a long time

Quality over quantity is key – choose one or two versatile, hardworking saucepans

Shopping for saucepans can feel overwhelming: Which material? Which size? Then there’s the type of pan – non-stick or dishwasher-safe? Thankfully nowadays you can find great saucepans that are non-stick as well as dishwasher-safe. This Go Cook Aluminium Marble Saucepan 20cm looks the part, with an attractive marble-effect surface, and will work hard to make sauces, soups and, well, just about anything with ease. It’s suitable for all hobs, even induction, but not for the oven – see below for a stock pot that’s hob- and oven-safe. This pan is available in a set of three too, but if budget only allows for one or two pans, the 20cm all-rounder is large enough to create family meals and comes with a reassuring 20-year guarantee.

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A hardworking frying pan means you can cook with confidence

Consider a frying pan with bonus features that’s built to last

Whether you’re searing meat, softening onions or preparing a fried-rice dish, a frying pan is not just for speedy meals. It’s often the first piece of cooking equipment you use when batch cooking, so choose wisely. If you’re after a dishwasher-safe pan that’s deep enough to fry plenty of veggies, this Go Cook Heat Control Forged Saute Pan 28cm is ideal – it comes with a premium double non-stick coating, a lid that adds to its versatility and a guarantee of 20 years. What's more, its Go Cook logo glows red when the pan’s hot enough, a genius feature that takes the guesswork out of when to get cooking.

Every cook needs a trusty stock pot for batch cooking

Move seamlessly from hob to oven to table with this kitchen essentials star

You can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, but you can batch-cook and cut down on mess with one piece of standout cooking kit. Step in the stock pot. How is it different from a casserole? It’s usually made from aluminium or steel rather than cast iron and it’s often taller. The best thing is you can use it on any hob, even induction, transfer your dish to the oven, then bring it to the table, which is particularly handy for stews and one-pots. This Go Cook Forged Aluminium Stock Pot 24cm is spacious enough for family meals and stylish enough for casual entertaining. It has a triple non-stick layer – a unique wave contour system to prevent sticking and cook food evenly – plus it comes with a 20-year guarantee. We like the pouring lips and comfy handles too, making cooking that bit easier.

Make the most of your batch-cooking efforts with smart food storage

Look for stackable, freezer-, microwave- and dishwasher-friendly kit

Whether you’re storing leftovers in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch or freezing dinner portions or sauces for midweek, clever food storage is a must. Make life easier with containers that you can freeze, put in the microwave and pop in the dishwasher afterwards. If you want to store single portions – let’s say a batch-cook breakfast such as granola or individual dinner portions, you’ll need smaller, portable storage that defrosts food quickly and doesn’t take up too much space in your fridge/freezer. This Tesco Klipfresh 6 pack is a good kitchen essentials starter set with plenty of size options. Remember to cool food thoroughly before chilling or freezing and thaw frozen food completely before re-heating.

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