Having the Right Equipment Makes a Difference
A saucepan whose sides curve up gently from the bottom as opposed to having a completely flat bottom and straight sides. This makes it much easier to cover the entire bottom of the pan when stirring a sauce with a wooden spoon or a whisk.
And the more of the pan you can cover, the less the chance of possible sticking and scorching.
A conical strainer of fine mesh often used in professional kitchens for straining stocks, broths, dressings and other sauces. Many chinois have a double layer of fine mesh, allowing for perfectly clear stocks and perfectly smooth sauces.
Not to be confused with a china cap, which is similar but has much larger openings which are actually small perforations in the conical metal.
Many chinois and china caps come with a stand and a pestle with which to press on the solids left in the device. For perfectly clear stocks, do not press on the solids, and never press with a metal ladle or similar metal device.
The rubbing of metal on metal can result in small metal particles getting in your food. Always use a wooden or silicone implement to press sauces through a chinois.
A long immersion blender only found in restaurant kitchens, small versions of the sometimes 2-foot-tall powerful “Bermixers” (Electrolux’s commercial immersion blender, now kitchen slang for any large immersion blender) have made huge inroads in home kitchens, and for good reason.
Rather than dealing with the mess and possible injuries from transferring hot liquids to a blender in batches, an immersion blender can puree a huge pot of sauce with no transfer necessary. Just immerse it in the sauce and blend, moving the mixer all around the pot, until the sauce is as smooth as you want it.
A whisk with looped metal wires that are attached all in the same plane, thus presenting a flat profile. Balloon whisks can aerate as well as stir, and sometimes you don’t want bubbles in your sauce. In these instances, a flat whisk is the perfect tool.
It allows you to stir with the whisk flat against the bottom of the pan, preventing both bubbles in your sauce as well as sticking.
Purchase wooden spoons that have substantial handles that are made of one solid piece of carved wood. Wooden spoons are great for long stirring sessions since they don’t make noise in the pan, are comfortable to hold and don’t transfer heat from a hot sauce to your hand.
These originated in Europe and are starting to show up in restaurant kitchens in the US. Not only do they function as a blender, but they are also thermostatically controlled allowing the cook to make and keep sauces at the perfect temperature right in the blender.
Some models even have a scale function so the cook can just weigh all the ingredients as they go into the blender.