Create Your Favorite Greek Dishes With These Kitchen Tools
Greek cuisine is a form of art—and a delicious one at that. One of the important keys to crafting perfect dishes are the tools you use. Here are 15 essential kitchen tools that will help you not only create wonderful Greek food, but also an all-around authentic Greek experience.
Ah kitchen knives – probably the most essential kitchen tools of all. It would be very difficult, if even possible, to neatly debone a shoulder of lamb with your bare hands. Knives are a must for breaking down ingredients into smaller pieces, carving finished meats, slicing bread, and more. Here are just a few types to have in your kitchen knife set when planning a night of Greek cuisine:
Chef’s Knife: If you were allowed only one knife in the kitchen, it would have to be the chef’s knife. It’s great for various tasks, such as chopping, dicing, and mincing, and is a must for creating the famous Greek salad.
Paring Knife: A favorite of many home cooks and professional chefs, the paring knife is ideal for peeling (or “paring”) fruits and vegetables, and for other small or intricate work. Use this knife to core and tomatoes when making baked Greek shrimp and tomatoes, for example.
Boning Knife: When it comes to Greek cooking, the boning knife is a must. Lamb is often the centerpiece of Greek meals, and the boning knife is perfect for either breaking down a whole lamb, or for cleaning and trimming the meat. Great for making precise cuts that can be cumbersome to perform with your chef knife. For instance, this knife can be useful when making Kleftiko (Greek roasted leg of lamb) since you should trim some of the excess fat and make small slits in the meat before roasting.
Utility Knife: Perfect for mid-sized ingredients, the utility knife is handy for cutting cheese, tomatoes, cured meats, and more. Serve a block of feta and an assortment of meats and olives on a platter with this knife on the side.
Bread Knife: Due to its length and serrated edge, the bread knife can seamlessly saw and cut through bread without crushing its delicate insides. Use it for horiatiko psomi (crusty country bread), for example, or vasilopita (Greek new year’s bread) to get the perfect slice.
Mortar and Pestle
Credit: @Nathan James
One of the most ancient kitchen tools in the world, the mortar and pestle produces an extremely flavorful result—whether you’re pounding fresh garlic, fresh herbs, or grinding spices. Why use this when you can use pre-ground spices or electronic gadgets? The flavor and freshness retained in the finished product when using a mortar and pestle are second to none. This is especially important for dishes where the herbs will be left uncooked, as found with some Greek appetizers, salads, and garnishes.
Olive Oil Can
Credit: @Della’s Cuisine
Olive oil is used in almost all foods served at a Greek table. An olive oil can is a convenient tool for dispensing this flavorful oil. It can be used with one hand only, and the spout makes it easy to control how much you drizzle or pour. You can also find spouts to fit any bottle if you prefer to keep your olive oil in its original bottle.
Credit: @The Banville Family?
Just like in Italian cooking, wooden spoons are a must in the Greek kitchen. Since wooden spoons do not conduct heat, they are great for stirring sauces without effecting the flavors of the ingredients. They also don’t react with acidic ingredients like metal tools do, which is really important for Greek cooking since lemon is an essential ingredient.
Credit: @The Surface Library
Just like olive oil, cheese is an integral part of Greek cuisine, so a cheese grater is a must. Find a good cheese grater that can handle soft cheeses as well as firm cheeses. This tool is also useful for zesting citrus and grating vegetables, like in this recipe for homemade tzatziki sauce and pita chips.
To get the best aroma out of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice, use a spice grater. Many spices are available in whole form and grating them yourself will ensure a more fragrant and flavorful baklava.
Credit: @Tarzian West
Greek recipes always call for freshly ground pepper, and a pepper grinder makes it convenient to use this spice. Use one with an adjustable grind so you can go as fine or as coarse as needed.
Credit: @Ла Кузин
For a real Greek dining experience, you must use skewers when making souvlaki. This simple dish consisting of small pieces of marinated meat is not the same without skewers. Try it with this delicious recipe for Greek Lemon Chicken Kabobs with Talatouri dipping sauce!
Making traditional sauces such as latholemono (oil-lemon), avgolemono (egg-lemon), and bechamel is easy with a whisk. This is definitely a tool you want to have on hand in preparation for a Greek feast.
Large Sauce Pans
Some Greek recipes have many steps and several components and thus require the use of multiple sauce pans. Additionally, Greek food is usually cooked in large quantities, so make sure you have enough large sauce pans on hand.
Metal Baking Pans
Credit: @Anna Beard Coon
Baking pans and tins are required for Greek sweets and for many savory Greek recipes as well—from moussaka to spanakopita.
Spit Roaster or Rotisserie
Credit: @Daci & Daci Bakers
To pull out all the stops, get a spit roaster (if you don’t happen to already own one). This cooking tool is used in Greek cuisine to roast whole lamb or goat.
Credit: @Naturally Creative Home
Honey is a staple in Greek desserts, so a honey dipper is a must. It can also be used to drizzle honey over Greek cheese, or anything else that calls for honey. It also adds that quintessential honey-related look to the table, making mealtime more fun!
Credit: @Heather Home PH
Greek cuisine is known for both sweet and savory pastry dishes like baklava and spanakopita (spinach pie). When creating Greek dishes, the pastry brush is great for brushing oil or butter onto phyllo dough, greasing pans, and coating vegetables with olive oil.
Straight Wood Rolling Pin
Credit: @Vermont Rolling Pins
Just like the pastry brush, a rolling pin is a must when it comes to creating Greek dishes. Use this for rolling out dough for Greek desserts and various pastry dishes – its straight form makes it possible to apply even pressure across the dough.
With these cooking tools and these essential Greek ingredients in your kitchen, you’ll be able to create amazingly authentic Greek dishes. If you’re new to Greek cooking, we suggest keeping this list handy to help you get started on the right foot. And if you’re a seasoned cook, keep this as an inventory list to see if there might be something you’re missing that can take your cooking skills to the next level.