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Kitchen objects


hungry joe
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It's my 40th coming up, and everyone keeps asking my wife what I want, and she keeps asking me, so I'm asking you: what nice kitchen gadgets and implements do you have in your kitchen that I could suggest as presents?

 

E.g. I have a £40 garlic press that I was given by my dad. It's a ridiculous cost for a garlic press, but it is a brilliant garlic press and I actually use it, unlike many other things I get bought.

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9 minutes ago, hungry joe said:

E.g. I have a £40 garlic press that I was given by my dad. It's a ridiculous cost for a garlic press, but it is a brilliant garlic press and I actually use it, unlike many other things I get bought.

I'd maybe dwell on this. Find something that you already use that could be much better, and ask for that, perhaps. You probably don't need things that you don't know about yet. But a better version of a thing you use all the time will make you happier each time you use it. (My current kettle is a piss-poor cheap-as-arseholes supermarket thing that cost maybe a fiver. It does the job I bought it to do perfectly well. I'd happilly bin it for one that looked prettier, or did it faster, or could do it to different temperatures for different teas (if that was a thing I needed).

 

If it was me I'd probably ask for a better kettle on a simple level. But a better choice might be a really nice chopping board or maybe a cast-iron pan. Eeither of these could last forever, and I'd think of who gave it to me each time I used it, and that would make me happy.

 

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The best kitchen gadgets are the ones you’ll actually use that solve a problem you find time consuming, annoying or can’t do at present.

 

what sort of things do you like cooking/drinking - that’ll make suggesting easier ?

 

good cookware is always handy, a solid enameled iron Staub or Le Creuset casserole or some decent non stick (lets open that debate of expensive vs cheap supermarket pans again !)

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Also do you want practical or fanciful ?

 

The single best thing in my kitchen in terms of usefulness is this Sage mini oven/grill/toaster/air fryer - used multiple times a day and is a game changer as its so quick to heat up and energy efficient over a big oven, find ourselves using it when you just wouldn't bother with a big one as takes so long to heat up (for example part baked rolls for with lunch soup). It's on sale at the moment too

 

https://www.sageappliances.com/uk/en/products/ovens/bov860.html

image.jpg

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Knife

Solid baking sheet

Food processor

High powered blender

Thermomix

Large wooden or Japanese hi-soft chopping board

Cast iron pan

Stainless steel pan

Carbon steel pan

Wide slot toaster with 'bit more' button

Kettle that can heat to different temperatures

Gangy tin opener

High end rice cooker

Pressure cooker

 

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A decent wood and metal pepper grinder is top of my wish list. Three times I've asked for one and been given a plastic or even electric one that's worked for a year maybe two and then broke

 

This beaut is $50 and just like the one that my Dad inherited from my grandparents and has been going for 50+ years and produces the perfect grind, might have to treat myself to it 

 

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That’s a good one. After having several salt and pepper grinders break over the years we splashed out on Peugeot ones and they’re a real step up in quality (and longevity).

 

I’ve recently converted to cast iron and stainless steel pans too, initially for quality (high heat searing) but more recently I also figured the forever chemicals and the fact that even relatively expensive ones like Circulon being basically disposable isn’t great.

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1 hour ago, OnionNon said:

That’s a good one. After having several salt and pepper grinders break over the years we splashed out on Peugeot ones and they’re a real step up in quality (and longevity).

 

I’ve recently converted to cast iron and stainless steel pans too, initially for quality (high heat searing) but more recently I also figured the forever chemicals and the fact that even relatively expensive ones like Circulon being basically disposable isn’t great.

 

I have my grandparents old Peugeot coffee grinder which is excellent so imagine their salt and pepper grinders would be to

 

29 minutes ago, stephen129 said:

Oh yeah if you want a pepper grinder everyone has gone a bit mad for this thing. I wouldn't pay it myself, but it does look significantly better than anything else on the market.

 

 

 

I looked this up and the first link said only $29.99 and 1 star. Seems there are lots of dupes on the market, as it's $199.99 on MÄNNKITCHEN 

 

Cast iron pans are another good shout but I was under the impression they don't need to be expensive, cast iron is cast iron.

 

Though I do love my Le Creuset enameled one which is stupidly expensive my opinion and a gift which I wouldn't have bought myself but just really lovely to use and much easier to clean then my regular cast iron one

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2 minutes ago, emerald fox said:

 Cast iron pans are another good shout but I was under the impression they don't need to be expensive, cast iron is cast iron

 

I think you’re right. Peugeot mills are expensive but worth every penny; most of my cast iron pans were very cheap and just as good as my Le Creuset one. 

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You either get enameled cast iron like Le Creuset or you get plain cast iron like lodge. One other differentiating factor would be how smooth the finish is.

 

Personally I wouldn't bother buying really expensive plain cast iron. I've handled it in shops and it does feel nice (brands like Finex) but I'm happy with my Lodge pan.

 

As nice as LC and Staub are (especially the latter imo) I don't think they're really worth the extra cost either (as much as I want a teal Staub cocotte I can't see how it's going to improve my chilli recipe). I always use a thick stainless steel pot for big batch cooking and it works well.

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38 minutes ago, stephen129 said:

You either get enameled cast iron like Le Creuset or you get plain cast iron like lodge. One other differentiating factor would be how smooth the finish is.

 

I thought that was the case though I did have a cheap cast-iron crepe pan crack on me so maybe there is a lower limit

 

Thinking about it my Le Creuset is one of the best gifts I've ever received, I use it almost every day, so might be a good shout if they are wanting to go that expensive 

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27 minutes ago, emerald fox said:

 

I thought that was the case though I did have a cheap cast-iron crepe pan crack on me so maybe there is a lower limit

 

Thinking about it my Le Creuset is one of the best gifts I've ever received, I use it almost every day, so might be a good shout if they are wanting to go that expensive 

 

I presume that's thinner than most cast iron. Maybe you subjected it to thermal shock. But it's not impossible for there to have been a defect when it was made.

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I have a smaller Le Creuset enamelled casserole & a big Staub - they are both great bits of gear and will last a lifetime I'm sure.

 

The Le Creuset is a bit easier to clean as has light enamel colour so you can see the muck, the Staub is black so harder. The Staub has the special lid which isn't smooth on the underside and has these raised bumps all over which encourage condensation to supposedly form and fall back into your dinner faster, keeping it more moist (that is the marketing blah anyway). 

 

Both are great but the Staub is my go to for big stews or anything where you want a great seal on the lid and limited evaporation.

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9 hours ago, Gotters said:

I have a smaller Le Creuset enamelled casserole & a big Staub - they are both great bits of gear and will last a lifetime I'm sure.

 

The Le Creuset is a bit easier to clean as has light enamel colour so you can see the muck, the Staub is black so harder. The Staub has the special lid which isn't smooth on the underside and has these raised bumps all over which encourage condensation to supposedly form and fall back into your dinner faster, keeping it more moist (that is the marketing blah anyway). 

 

Both are great but the Staub is my go to for big stews or anything where you want a great seal on the lid and limited evaporation.


How much to you think the size dictates how much you use each

 

My LC is exactly four portions of most dishes which is why I think its the one I always go to. Before I had a knock off that only did three which was very annoying as not enough leftovers for the lunch the next day 

 

@hungry joe if you do request any pot or pan I would be very specific about size

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11 minutes ago, emerald fox said:


How much to you think the size dictates how much you use each

 

 

good point, the size is key as you don't want a 4 portion dinner rattling round in a giant 10 portion pot, it'll dry out and be a thin smear over the bottom of the dish.

 

I've got a smaller beef stew on the go now in a small Sainsbury enamelled Le Crueset knock off I picked up in the sale one year - you can never have too much cast iron cookware !

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6 hours ago, Davros sock drawer said:

Potato Ricer! Makes mashed potato a pleasure rather than a chore.

 

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/review/best-potato-ricer

 

It's like your garlic press @hungry joe, but for potato!

I replaced my first potato ricer when it broke, which I think is a good test of a device's worth/usefulness. It makes great lump-free mash easily, I find it kind of fun to use, I just hate washing the silly flappy thing up afterward. The pros definitely outweight the cons though.

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On 01/12/2021 at 08:42, Gigga said:

The best thing I bought for my kitchen was a Vitamix. It opened up so many possibilities I didn't have before.

 

Care to list some? 

 

I've been hovering over buying a vitamix for a week or so now and really want one but think it's pricey for "just" a blender. I 

 

But... I like that it has a long guarantee. I don't want a false economy with cheaper options. I want a work horse. 

 

And I do really want smooth things. Like fine dining dishes where there's a swoosh of celeriac puree.

 

But I don't have a stand mixer and only have a basic falling-apart food processor.

 

So I'm wondering if a blender is the best option for me compared to something else. 

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23 minutes ago, cowfields said:

 

Care to list some? 

 

I've been hovering over buying a vitamix for a week or so now and really want one but think it's pricey for "just" a blender. I 

 

But... I like that it has a long guarantee. I don't want a false economy with cheaper options. I want a work horse. 

 

And I do really want smooth things. Like fine dining dishes where there's a swoosh of celeriac puree.

 

But I don't have a stand mixer and only have a basic falling-apart food processor.

 

So I'm wondering if a blender is the best option for me compared to something else. 

 

Well like, I don't know about you but I'd always thought blenders were shit and now I've got a vitamix I realise that it's just standard blenders that are shit.

 

The vitamix will happily chew through ice so you can make proper smooth frappe cocktails. If you want to make a nice puree the vitamix obviously will let you do that too, I often use mine to make really nice smooth sauces, mayonaise etc. You can do that with a stick blender but it's just so convenient to pop it in the vitamix which is next to the hob and then back into the pot to simmer.

 

Where it comes into it's own for me is when I'm making stupid cocktail things, I can blend up all the fruit/nuts or whatever, seperate the solids with a nut milk bag and then get super smooth liquid to make into a syrup, or if I want to make seitan and it's got beans or tofu or whatever as part of the "wet" ingredients everything just gets thrown in the blender and comes out homogenous. 

Then there's your pudding type things, like if you want to make a set jelly you can whizz up your ingredients and your agar or whatever and it all comes out perfectly mixed.

 

If you think you need a stand mixer or a food processor ahead of the vitamix then get that and a stick blender, the stick blender will do your puree stuff with a bit of elbow grease, but I've got a stand mixer and I don't use it as much - maybe I'd use the food processor in place of the blender for some stuff, I don't know.. I kind of like doing most of the chopping and stuff that a food processor would be used for myself.

 

Oh, I also used my vitamix to smash apples into mush when I was making cider, I wouldn't recommend it as a method but it worked, apart from when I stuck the dabber thing in without the top on and it hit the blades and and explosion of apple pulp covered me and my entire kitchen.

 

As far as a workhorse goes, it's pretty bulletproof. I don't think I've found anything it wouldn't cut through and despite the various abuses it's still going strong. 

The only kitchen gadget that get's nearly as much use is the sous vide wand (ignoring the coffee grinder I use every morning because it's not got any other uses)

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