Whilst an element of this is true; it is how we employ those tools that make us great, any workman will struggle to do their job with greatness utilising poor tools.

There are some great pieces of essential equipment out there which will really help you, they aren’t just for professional chefs. I’d love to share my top tips with you so your cooking becomes a better experience. As a specialist game chef of course I focus on cooking wild meat, which does need handling with care to get the best eating experience.


I am an avid fan of Flint & Flame knives, in particular their classic wooden handled style. They are a thing of beauty, and the unique Centre Point Balance (CPB) means I don’t tire when using them as they sit in my hand perfectly. 

Whichever make of knife you favour there are a few important considerations.

Blade size: 

I find a 10” chef knife too cumbersome for me personally, although it would no doubt suit someone taller with a bigger frame and hands. 

Jobs to be done:

Unless you have the funds to buy a full set of top-class knives, or are lucky enough to have them already, it is worth considering the majority of the work you do. A boning knife is obviously an absolute must if you are preparing game from fur and feather. My other essentials include; a small pairing knife, 5” utility knife, chef or santoku knife, and a carving knife as a minimum. The curved blade of a chef knife suits those who rock, whereas the santoku suits a chop-chop style.


Keep your blades sharp, no excuses.

There are now a variety of sharpening tools easily available, from a classic diamond steel through to a whetstone. Experiment, learn how to use it properly, find what suits you and then put it to work. Trust me a quick sharpen every time is a lot easier than trying to salvage a blunt knife! No matter how good the quality.


Game benefits from being cooked either ‘hot & fast’ or ‘slow & low’. It is therefore really beneficial to invest in pans which can achieve this to a maximum level.

Cast iron skillets are unbeatable for the ‘hot & fast’ method. They do not need to cost a fortune and you may even find the best versions lurking at the back of a cupboard or in a car boot sale! They should be heavy enough to frighten a burglar. This means the heat will distribute evenly throughout the pan, and you can take it high enough to seal the meat super fast, maintaining all the lovely moisture and flavour.

Another fantastic quality is that in my experience these cast iron pans can be used on any hob, including induction, which is often the undoing of a chef at public events in a demo kitchen! Washing up liquid, a wire scrubber and some oil to preserve them after cleaning is really all that’s needed to maintain them.

The slow & low method allows a little more variety. I’m not a fan of electric slow cookers, no offence intended they just don’t float my boat other than if I’m making sauces where the meat falls apart entirely. I much prefer a big soup pan on the hob, or a cast iron casserole for in the oven. Talking of soup pans, I will always use a pan and blender as opposed to a fancy soup maker. Remember it is how you utilise your quality tools which create greatness.

A little, high-sided sauce pan, for sauces (obviously) and you are set!

Electric Equipment:

If you are making sauces, soups, and other elements to your dishes you will struggle to do any of them with great skill without a food processor and a blender. For even simple things such as a smooth aioli, breadcrumbs, and soups these bits of kit are most definitely worth the investment. 

If you are wanting to process game at home there are two items I would highly recommend in addition:

A mincer, they usually come with different grade plates and a sausage adapter. Just think of the possibilities!

A vacuum sealer; I have a Fresko V8 which cost less than £100, and it keeps your frozen game in much better condition, as well as allowing better organisation of your freezer. You can also seal without vacuuming for poaching all sorts of items which will prevent loss of flavour too.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of equipment but hopefully will help to prioritise some fundamentals in your kitchen.

Do follow me on Facebook and Instagram media for further tips and inspiration:

Now just a final word on resting: please rest your meat on a nice thick wooden board. This will maintain the meat’s temperature and so allow the meat to rest properly throughout.

Happy cooking girls!

Written by Esther aka The Country Cook

Essential Equipment Includes A Loyal Dog