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What Lebanese kitchen equipment do I need to cook this cuisine at home?

To cook Lebanese cuisine, you don’t necessarily need any specialized equipment. However, there are a few key kitchen tools and equipment that can make preparing Lebanese dishes more convenient.

Here are some essential equipment for cooking Lebanese cuisine:

Large Mixing Bowl

A spacious mixing bowl is useful for combining ingredients, marinating meats, and preparing various Lebanese salads and dips.

  1. Food Processor or Blender: These appliances come in handy for grinding, pureeing, or blending ingredients to make traditional Lebanese dishes such as hummus, baba ganoush, or falafel.
  2. Mortar and Pestle: Although not essential, a mortar and pestle can be useful for grinding spices, herbs, or garlic to create traditional Lebanese spice blends like za’atar or to crush garlic for garlic sauces and marinades.
  3. Grill or Grill Pan: Grilling is a common cooking method in Lebanese cuisine. Having a grill or grill pan allows you to achieve that characteristic smoky flavor for dishes like kebabs, grilled vegetables, or grilled halloumi cheese.
  4. Large Skewers: To make Lebanese kebabs, invest in some long metal skewers. These are ideal for threading meat, vegetables, or even halloumi cheese and grilling them to perfection.
  5. Lebanese Coffee Pot (Rakweh): If you enjoy Lebanese coffee, a traditional rakweh, or coffee pot, is worth considering. It has a distinctive shape and spout specifically designed for making small, strong cups of Arabic coffee.
  6. Flatbread Oven or Large Baking Stone: Flatbreads like pita and mana’eesh (Lebanese flatbread topped with various ingredients) are staples in Lebanese cuisine. A flatbread oven or large baking stone can help you achieve the characteristic texture and puffiness of homemade Lebanese bread.
  7. Deep-Fryer or Deep, Heavy-Bottomed Pot: Deep-frying is commonly used in Lebanese cuisine for dishes like falafel, kibbeh, or sambousek. If you enjoy making these deep-fried delights, having a deep-fryer or a deep, heavy-bottomed pot with a thermometer for temperature control is helpful.
  8. Sharp Chef’s Knife: A good-quality, sharp chef’s knife is essential for efficient and precise cutting, chopping, and slicing of ingredients when preparing Lebanese dishes.
  9. Cutting Board: A sturdy cutting board provides a reliable surface for safely chopping and preparing ingredients.
  10. Meat Thermometer: A meat thermometer is a valuable tool when cooking Lebanese dishes that involve meat, such as grilled kebabs or roasted meats. It helps ensure that the meat is cooked to the desired doneness. This is particularly useful for dishes like shish tawook (marinated grilled chicken skewers) or kafta (grilled minced meat patties) to ensure they are cooked thoroughly yet remain juicy and tender.
  11. Serving Dishes and Plates: Lebanese cuisine often involves a variety of mezze (small plates) that are shared among diners. Consider having a selection of small to medium-sized serving dishes and plates to showcase and serve dishes like hummus, tabbouleh, baba ganoush, or fattoush salad. Traditional ceramic or porcelain serving dishes can add an authentic touch to the presentation.
  12. Special Cups for Arabic Coffee: Lebanese cuisine is known for its rich tradition of serving Arabic coffee, commonly called “ahweh.” To serve this traditional beverage in the Lebanese style, consider using small, handle-less cups known as “finjan” or “demitasse cups.” These cups are usually made of porcelain or stainless steel and are designed to keep the coffee warm.
  13. Dipping Bowls: Lebanese cuisine often features a variety of flavorful dips, sauces, and condiments like tahini sauce, garlic sauce, or muhammara (red pepper and walnut dip). Having small dipping bowls or ramekins allows you to present these accompaniments neatly alongside your main dishes.
  14. Lebanese Coffee Set: If you enjoy the ritual of serving and drinking Lebanese coffee, a traditional Lebanese coffee set can enhance the experience. It typically includes a decorative tray, a rakweh (coffee pot), small coffee cups, and a bowl for holding the coffee beans and cardamom pods used in the preparation of the coffee.
  15. Saj Bread Utensil: If you’re making traditional Lebanese flatbreads like markouk or saj bread, having a specialized saj bread utensil can be helpful. It usually consists of a long, thin metal rod with a rounded tip, designed for flipping and removing the thin bread from the saj or hot griddle.
  16. Wooden Salad Servers: Lebanese cuisine features refreshing salads like tabbouleh and fattoush. Using a set of wooden salad servers, including a fork and spoon, allows for easy mixing, serving, and tossing of these vibrant salads.
  17. Olive Wood Utensils: Olive wood utensils, such as spoons, spatulas, or salad tongs, not only have a beautiful rustic appearance but also add an authentic touch to serving Lebanese dishes. They can be particularly fitting when serving mezze or Mediterranean-style dishes.

Image by Дарья Яковлева from Pixabay

  1. Serving Forks and Tongs: When serving grilled meats or kebabs, having long-handled serving forks or tongs is useful for transferring the meat from the cooking surface to the serving platter or individual plates. They help maintain the integrity of the meat and allow for easy handling.
  2. Traditional Arabic Serving Tray: A decorative Arabic serving tray, often with intricate designs and handles, can be used to present a variety of Lebanese mezze or sweets. It adds a touch of elegance and makes it convenient to carry and serve multiple items at once.
  3. Dessert Utensils: Lebanese desserts like baklava, maamoul, or namoura are often served in small, bite-sized portions. Consider using small dessert forks or spoons to enjoy these sweet treats without overwhelming the palate.

Remember that while these tools can enhance your experience in cooking Lebanese cuisine, many Lebanese dishes can still be prepared using basic kitchen equipment. Adapt and work with the tools you have to create delicious Lebanese flavors in your own kitchen.

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