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  #31  
Old 11-28-2011, 03:47 PM
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This Ninja Master Prep I got on Black Friday is the best $18 I ever spent on a gadget.
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  #32  
Old 11-28-2011, 10:04 PM
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My $140 Zojirushi rice cooker: incredible.
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  #33  
Old 11-28-2011, 10:19 PM
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Yep, we got a top of the line 5 1/2 cup zojirushi for a wedding gift, and it is amazing. So much better than any other method of cooking rice.
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  #34  
Old 11-29-2011, 07:01 AM
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Not sure it is considered a gadget, but the cast-iron griddle my girlfriend and I got for a housewarming gift is amazing. Goes over two of the burners on the stove and lets you grill just like the real restaurants do!

Other gadgets we get frequent use of include: Rice cooker, Instant-read probe thermometer (make sure that meat is cooked, but not too cooked!), garlic press (when you have garlic for nearly every meal, it justifies itself).
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  #35  
Old 12-02-2011, 02:35 AM
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KitchenAid: I grew up with one of these bad boys in the home. I finally got one for myself a few years ago, and I kind of got a gimpy model that only came with the paddle attachment. Despite this, the mixer with this one attachment remains among the most indispensable devices in my kitchen. They're that good at what they do. Accept no substitutes.

Digital scale: Once you start measuring your baking formulas by weight instead of volume you can never go back.

Ice cream maker: I have two Cuisinarts: One with a 1.5qt bowl and one with two 1qt bowls. Certainly not the best or most efficient way to make ice cream, but certainly the easiest and cheapest. They see a lot of use.

Digital thermometer: Very useful when you want a custard instead of a pile of scrambled egg yolks.
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  #36  
Old 12-07-2011, 08:59 AM
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I'm thinking about getting a digital scale for my sister for Christmas, but most of the recipes she uses are by volume. How do you convert them?
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  #37  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:01 AM
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She should probably just measure for volume, then weigh the amounts. From then one, use the weights.

Also, she should consider getting The Bread Baker's Apprentice.
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  #38  
Old 12-07-2011, 11:45 AM
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Anyone have any experience with the Cuisinart Griddler? I've been idly considering getting a panini press for a while now, but the idea of a multi-use system that could do other things is kind of appealing. You can get a waffle-maker attachment! At the same time, I realize that sometimes a product that does 10 different things might not do any of them very well, so I'm a little hesitant to take the plunge.
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  #39  
Old 12-07-2011, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fugu13 View Post
She should probably just measure for volume, then weigh the amounts. From then one, use the weights.

Also, she should consider getting The Bread Baker's Apprentice.
She mostly bakes desserts, not bread. As for measuring, what happens if that first time you measured by volume, the weights were off due to humidity or something? Wouldn't that negate the point of using a digital scale?
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  #40  
Old 12-07-2011, 05:33 PM
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If the recipe isn't quite right, she can tweak the weights in the future.

The thing is, there's no solid conversion between them; if there were, it wouldn't matter which you use. By switching to weights, she'll be able to make them more consistently from now on, and be more confident that adjustments she makes have the desired impact.
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  #41  
Old 12-08-2011, 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karzac View Post
She mostly bakes desserts, not bread. As for measuring, what happens if that first time you measured by volume, the weights were off due to humidity or something? Wouldn't that negate the point of using a digital scale?
I'm pretty sure that there's reliable sources online for volume-to-weight measurements for trickier things, but what I'll tend to do is weigh out a given quantity several times and calculate an average. Better yet, just come up with an average for say, one cup of all purpose flour, then simply use that as a base for future conversions.

Also: I know it's very un-American of me, but convert everything to grams. Also also: Make sure whatever scale you get can do this.
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  #42  
Old 01-21-2013, 08:02 PM
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it's not so much of a "device", but we tried broiling some fish for dinner..

Is it really as simple as it seems? our instructions called for preheating the plate and pan before applying the fish to them, but that seems to be extra effort.

I am intrigued by this broiling concept. What else can I do with it?
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  #43  
Old 01-21-2013, 09:17 PM
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So it's not quite a "gadget" but I got a new ceramic kitchen knife a while back and HOLY SHIT it cuts like a hot knife through butter (especially when I heat it up and use it to cut butter). But seriously with my old shitty knives onions would be all "psh whateva you ain't hard" no matter how I sawed and hacked, but you bring this thing at an onion and the onion is like WHOA DANG LEMME GET OUT OF THE WAY. It's like it is preceded by a wave of antimatter that just causes anything in the way of its cutting edge to simply cease to exist. I feel like Luke must have the first time he turned on his new lightsaber.

Also I got one with a blue blade instead of the white and that is even cooler.
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  #44  
Old 01-21-2013, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
So it's not quite a "gadget" but I got a new ceramic kitchen knife a while back and HOLY SHIT it cuts like a hot knife through butter (especially when I heat it up and use it to cut butter). But seriously with my old shitty knives onions would be all "psh whateva you ain't hard" no matter how I sawed and hacked, but you bring this thing at an onion and the onion is like WHOA DANG LEMME GET OUT OF THE WAY. It's like it is preceded by a wave of antimatter that just causes anything in the way of its cutting edge to simply cease to exist. I feel like Luke must have the first time he turned on his new lightsaber.

Also I got one with a blue blade instead of the white and that is even cooler.
So have you started making the lightsaber sound-effect when you're using the knife?
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  #45  
Old 01-21-2013, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady View Post
I am intrigued by this broiling concept. What else can I do with it?
Generally an oven broiler is good for finishing touches on food, like a piece of meat you want nice and brown on the outside but don't want to risk overcooking on the inside, or getting that nice caramelized top of a meringue pie.
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  #46  
Old 01-22-2013, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torzelbaum View Post
so have you started making the lightsaber sound-effect when you're using the knife?
well i have now
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  #47  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torgo View Post
Generally an oven broiler is good for finishing touches on food, like a piece of meat you want nice and brown on the outside but don't want to risk overcooking on the inside, or getting that nice caramelized top of a meringue pie.
Or, similarly, to make the cheese nice and bubbly on top of a pasta bake or something.
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  #48  
Old 01-22-2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady View Post
it's not so much of a "device", but we tried broiling some fish for dinner..

Is it really as simple as it seems? our instructions called for preheating the plate and pan before applying the fish to them, but that seems to be extra effort.
The advantage to preheating is that it ensures even heating and makes the time the dish takes in the broiler more accurate.

Otherwise, yes, it's as simple as it seems.
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  #49  
Old 01-22-2013, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
So it's not quite a "gadget" but I got a new ceramic kitchen knife a while back and HOLY SHIT it cuts like a hot knife through butter (especially when I heat it up and use it to cut butter). But seriously with my old shitty knives onions would be all "psh whateva you ain't hard" no matter how I sawed and hacked, but you bring this thing at an onion and the onion is like WHOA DANG LEMME GET OUT OF THE WAY. It's like it is preceded by a wave of antimatter that just causes anything in the way of its cutting edge to simply cease to exist. I feel like Luke must have the first time he turned on his new lightsaber.

Also I got one with a blue blade instead of the white and that is even cooler.
Quality of knives is one of those things you never think about until you're exposed to a brand new sharp one after using busted dull ones. I used to think cutting raw chicken was damn near impossible until I busted out a good knife then was like "oh...well then" as it fell apart.
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  #50  
Old 01-22-2013, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
So it's not quite a "gadget" but I got a new ceramic kitchen knife a while back and HOLY SHIT it cuts like a hot knife through butter (especially when I heat it up and use it to cut butter). But seriously with my old shitty knives onions would be all "psh whateva you ain't hard" no matter how I sawed and hacked, but you bring this thing at an onion and the onion is like WHOA DANG LEMME GET OUT OF THE WAY. It's like it is preceded by a wave of antimatter that just causes anything in the way of its cutting edge to simply cease to exist. I feel like Luke must have the first time he turned on his new lightsaber.
Just be careful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R^2 at the Bronto
Ceramic knives are approximately as sharp as steel... but not for long.

In order for a knife to be a knife, the cutting edge has to be as small as possible, because physics. A steel edge will bend or warp slightly as it knocks against the cutting board, so that you're cutting with not-exactly-the-edge. Proper use of a honing steel (or strap of leather? I guess) will put it back in line so you can keep cutting. Ceramic knives are made of sterner stuff, so they don't need honing.

But both ceramic and steel knives will eventually have enough material stripped away from the edge that they become dull. In this case, no amount of honing can resharpen a steel knife, you'll have to take a stone or a belt-sharpener to it to remove enough material from the sides that you have a proper edge again. And since they can't be sharpened, it is at this point that a ceramic knife is only fit to throw away -- you might as well use the spine of the knife instead of the edge.

The idea that ceramic knives never need sharpening is pure informercial-marketing trash.

The two people I knew who owned ceramic knives kept them in the knife drawer with all their other cutlery, so it didn't help that they also got chipped and dinged from being swung around with two dozen other pieces of steel of various shapes and sizes.

It's my general experience that forged steel (a rod is heated and pounded and folded into shape) makes a better knife than stamped steel (a plate has the knife-shape cut out of it, which is then ground to an edge), so a $70 knife does better than a $20 knife. But beyond that it doesn't make much difference, a $300 knife doesn't seem to be all that much better than a $70 knife.

Either way, you're better off with a $20 knife and a $10 honing steel than you are with a ceramic knife you got for free.
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  #51  
Old 01-22-2013, 05:25 PM
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I'd just add that the very best choices are generally $70 knives that are on sale from normal prices of $120 to $150.

Also, if you don't mind non-stainless, you can get a great chinese cleaver (not really a cleaver, more the chef's knife of chinese cooking) for less than $20 (for instance, http://www.amazon.com/Wok-Shop-Veget...hinese+cleaver ). Keep it clean and dry, use a steel, and you'll be great.

Lastly, magnetic strip on the wall highly, highly recommended for holding your knives.
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  #52  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:18 AM
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I'm a bit biased here, but my potentially overpriced Shuns are some of the best knives I've ever used. In all my jobs, I've used plenty. These hit a sweet spot of comfort, balance, sharpness, and price.
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  #53  
Old 01-23-2013, 05:42 AM
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What would be a recommended food processor for a relatively meager price?
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  #54  
Old 01-23-2013, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hito View Post
I'm a bit biased here, but my potentially overpriced Shuns are some of the best knives I've ever used. In all my jobs, I've used plenty. These hit a sweet spot of comfort, balance, sharpness, and price.
Shun makes some of the knives I most like purchasing at steep discounts

Luckily within any three to four month period, if you pay attention to the right sites and stores, you can find Shun knives at steep discounts.
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  #55  
Old 01-23-2013, 01:54 PM
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What a strange coincidence! Amazon gold box special on Shun knives. Still a little too expensive for me at the moment, but maybe one day.
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  #56  
Old 01-23-2013, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagohod View Post
What would be a recommended food processor for a relatively meager price?
I ordered one of this Hamilton Beach model a little over a month ago and used it for the first time today. Only time will tell to see if it has any staying power, but my trial run today yielded good results! I made almond butter and the machine performed admirably.

Ultimately I wouldn't mind dropping a couple hundred on a for-reals decent processor, but that remains quite out of the question.
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  #57  
Old 12-07-2014, 05:31 PM
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it's not so much of a "device", but we tried broiling some fish for dinner..

Is it really as simple as it seems? our instructions called for preheating the plate and pan before applying the fish to them, but that seems to be extra effort.

I am intrigued by this broiling concept. What else can I do with it?
btw I love broiling and have started broiling shit all the time. (well, a few times a month). Mostly vegetables (cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, green beans) but sometimes fish.

However, for my birthday, I got a nutribullet. My last blender experience was pretty terrible--it was hard to clean and started leaking not too long after I got it. Anyone use one of these?
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  #58  
Old 12-08-2014, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady View Post
btw I love broiling and have started broiling shit all the time. (well, a few times a month). Mostly vegetables (cauliflower, asparagus, carrots, green beans) but sometimes fish.

However, for my birthday, I got a nutribullet. My last blender experience was pretty terrible--it was hard to clean and started leaking not too long after I got it. Anyone use one of these?
I made a rather chewy slurry last night of spinach, blueberry, banana, pineapple, walnut, and green apple. It was... edible, I'll say.

Tonight, I used it to make a very convenient breading for pork chops! So easy and less annoying to clean up than wasting a whole blender.
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  #59  
Old 12-09-2014, 10:37 PM
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latest recipes (they're getting better)

last night: apple, banana, pear, spinach, walnut, flax seed

tonight: mandarin orange + pear + pineapple + lettuce (ran out of spinach) + chia seed
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  #60  
Old 12-15-2014, 01:33 PM
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1) The nesting bowls from Aldi/Lidl I got that are a bit like this but a bit different:

(there's a colander, 2x mixing bowls, a sieve, and measuring cups and it's just the shit).

2)Sharp, good knives.

3)Silicone anything.


I love gadgets to bits, but I just hardly use them. :T
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