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  #61  
Old 12-16-2014, 09:34 PM
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Looks like a child's toy.

I'm quite fond of the Magic Bullet, a tiny blender that turns ice and coffee into my favorite of all beverages, the frappe. We had an off-brand model once, but the cup would just freeze on the base and nobody would get their delicious frappey goodness. Curses!
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  #62  
Old 12-17-2014, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by ArugulaZ View Post
Looks like a child's toy.

I'm quite fond of the Magic Bullet, a tiny blender that turns ice and coffee into my favorite of all beverages, the frappe. We had an off-brand model once, but the cup would just freeze on the base and nobody would get their delicious frappey goodness. Curses!
I'm not sure how I feel about using a kitchen gadget that has the same name as a medical device used to treat hysteria in women...
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  #63  
Old 12-17-2014, 08:33 AM
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The shape of them kind of suggests you could use it for about the same purpose, so long as you were either a giant or very practiced.
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  #64  
Old 10-17-2015, 10:36 PM
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I'm sorry to bump this, but what would any TT chefs recommend as a set of essential kitchen tools beyond the basics? I mean, I've got a couple good knives and a nice cutting board, and some good pots, a frying pan, and a colander.

That amounts to me doing lots of really easy recipes that take very little time, but eventually feel very much the same (stew, or curry? omelets, or fried eggs?). I don't have access to a big oven, though I have one grill big enough for any reasonably-sized cut of meat, and a toaster oven.
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  #65  
Old 10-18-2015, 07:11 AM
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I'd highly recommend an electric scale, as it's (as I've found out) got a great twofold purpose of measuring dry and wet ingredients, thus eliminating (nearly) the need for jugs.

I guess it depends on what you want to eat. Perhaps if oven space is an issue, a halogen oven, slow cooker or George Foreman oven which is ludicrously hard to get hold of might be a good idea?

Edit: Maybe look up something you really would like to be able to make and eat, and take it from there?
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  #66  
Old 10-18-2015, 08:54 AM
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OK let me be more clear about this:
I have 2 kitchen knives, a cutting board, a peeler, a frying pan, a medium sized pot, a toaster oven, a whisk, a ladle, a mixing bowl, and a small gas stove/range (common in Japan, does not include a big oven, does include a small grill for fish or meat)

What are other essential kitchen gadgets you would want to have in your kitchen? I do think I'll get a slow cooker for all the uses it has, but what else? I mean, utensils, appliances, you name it. What I have now can make a lot of really simple recipes, especially soup/stew/curry, or anything you can either throw in a toaster oven and bake, or cook in a frying pan. But what else do you think are essential kitchen items I'm missing?
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  #67  
Old 10-18-2015, 09:22 AM
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Well if I put myself in your position, these are the things I would go out and buy:

Tongs.
My big thing is measurers: cups, jugs, scales. That lets you have access to a lot of intricate recipes like cakes.
Kettle
I'm not sure if you can manage it in your oven, but baking apparatus like cake tins and oven trays.
Some sort of all purpose spatula for mixing and flipping
Microwave

To be honest you kind of have the main things already. I'm trying to think of things I've used to cook with in the last few weeks, and they're all pretty much there bar what I've listed.
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  #68  
Old 10-18-2015, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunk Moreland View Post
What are other essential kitchen gadgets you would want to have in your kitchen? I do think I'll get a slow cooker for all the uses it has, but what else? I mean, utensils, appliances, you name it. What I have now can make a lot of really simple recipes, especially soup/stew/curry, or anything you can either throw in a toaster oven and bake, or cook in a frying pan. But what else do you think are essential kitchen items I'm missing?
If you like making soups in the slow cooker an immersion blender is amazing. In addition to being amazing it takes up far less space than a normal blender and is easier to clean.

I also recommend a mandoline slicer because we eat a lot of vegetables and that makes it easier to prep them.
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  #69  
Old 10-18-2015, 11:00 AM
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Oh yeah sorry, I should've mentioned my microwave. I barely think of it as a cooking thing even though that's precisely what it does. Also forgot my very small but mostly effective baking pan. It's at least good enough for like, brownies or if I were to do a small cake. Most cakes over here tend to be small in like, surface area, but layered anyway.

But yeah... I should get some tongs, measuring cups (even just 1), a kettle, and a better spatula. What I have now is just a generic turner, not really good for mixing stuff. I also think a good immersion blender is a nice idea. Most of my stuff is gonna be plugged in, then unplugged and put back under the kitchen counter (where I do at least have lots of room!) so small appliances are totally fine.

Cool, I think this is going to help me get my kitchen a little more organized, and also help me cook more and eat out less.
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  #70  
Old 10-18-2015, 12:37 PM
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A food thermometer is great for not overcooking meat and other purposes. The thermapen in particular is well reviewed, but that's like 80 bucks. I have the cheapo 25 dollar thermopop and it's a good enough solution for me. Specifically, it's helped with cooking chicken breast, in that I can take it off the pan as soon as it hits 165. Overcooked chicken breast really sucks.
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  #71  
Old 10-18-2015, 01:59 PM
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wooden utensils - counterintuitively, they're much less likely to suffer from the heat of stovetop cooking (read: forgot about and left in the pan) than plastic ones

teaspoon/tablespoon - wasn't sure if you had those or not yet?

garlic press - if you like garlic even the tiniest bit
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  #72  
Old 10-19-2015, 05:21 AM
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I don't think I'll get a garlic press, but I do think I will get the other stuff I mentioned. My utensils are actually cheap metal stuff mostly. Wooden handles so you don't get burned and all that, but nothing plastic about them, really.

Is there any appliance people like for slicing fruit or vegetables? Those are two things I do a lot of, and making the process faster is always appreciated. Especially now that it's getting colder and I might just make lots more soup and stew and the like.
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  #73  
Old 10-19-2015, 06:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teaspoon View Post
garlic press - if you like garlic even the tiniest bit
I'm struggling to think of reasons to use a garlic press that can't be accomplished by crushing the garlic with the flat edge of a knife.
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  #74  
Old 10-19-2015, 08:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunk Moreland View Post
My utensils are actually cheap metal stuff mostly. Wooden handles so you don't get burned and all that, but nothing plastic about them, really.
Just make sure you're not scratching your stuff with the metal one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunk Moreland View Post
Is there any appliance people like for slicing fruit or vegetables? Those are two things I do a lot of, and making the process faster is always appreciated. Especially now that it's getting colder and I might just make lots more soup and stew and the like.
Again, mandoline. It's fantastic for soups.
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  #75  
Old 10-19-2015, 08:24 AM
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I have a garlic press but I have trouble with that flat cake of garlic that inevitably ends up getting gunked up in there. Just smashing, peeling and chopping is a lot more reliable for me.
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  #76  
Old 10-19-2015, 08:53 AM
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Mandolines are really fun to use and you can make fancy-ass salads with them.

Man I thought I just had a shit garlic press. Fuck that flat cake of garlic. Knifesquash every time.
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  #77  
Old 10-19-2015, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Büge View Post
I'm struggling to think of reasons to use a garlic press that can't be accomplished by crushing the garlic with the flat edge of a knife.
I use both. I crush it with the edge of the knife to crack the outer layer and peel it off, and then put it through the press.

Quote:
Originally Posted by taosterman View Post
I have a garlic press but I have trouble with that flat cake of garlic that inevitably ends up getting gunked up in there. Just smashing, peeling and chopping is a lot more reliable for me.
Yeah, the gunk is annoying, but I still find the press infinitely preferable to chopping by hand.
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  #78  
Old 10-19-2015, 10:06 AM
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I happen to like the garlicky smell imparted to one's fingers by digging the cake out of the garlic press, but I suppose that might be a highly individual sort of reaction.

Apropos of nothing, I'm enjoying this series quite a lot.
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  #79  
Old 10-19-2015, 10:27 AM
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Apropos of nothing, I'm enjoying this series quite a lot.
Those articles are much nicer than watching Mike Jeavons fumble his way through kitchen gadgetry for 10 minutes at a time.
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  #80  
Old 10-19-2015, 10:53 AM
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Yeah, I'm skeptical of the effort saved by using a garlic press vs. smashing and chopping. I guess it just depends how good a cutter you are. My wife isn't one and thus prefers the press, while i am and prefer to smash and chop.
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  #81  
Old 10-19-2015, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
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Apropos of nothing, I'm enjoying this series quite a lot.
Bookmarked. The article titles are amazing and that looks like a ton of fun.
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  #82  
Old 10-19-2015, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teaspoon View Post
I happen to like the garlicky smell imparted to one's fingers by digging the cake out of the garlic press, but I suppose that might be a highly individual sort of reaction.

Apropos of nothing, I'm enjoying this series quite a lot.
I hate dicing; garlic press for me. I just pick up the gunk and repress it for maximum garlicking. Or if it's something that's going to be strained or spatulaed a bit anyway, just throw it in afterwards.

also: omg mr cuppa
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  #83  
Old 10-20-2015, 04:24 AM
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OK, a mandoline sounds like a high priority. So, mandoline, tongs, one good measuring cup set, an immersion blender, a kettle, and a good spatula that can also be used to stir and mix.
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  #84  
Old 10-20-2015, 07:56 PM
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Things I have and use:

Rice Cooker. This one's big. You can do a lot more with it than just rice. My favorite thing is doing one-pot meals in it - throw rice, lentils/beans, quinoa, vegetables, meat, spices, whatever all in there together, hit go, and 30 minutes later boom, full meal, usually with like 3-4 servings.

When I got back to America I bought a combo rice cooker/slow cooker, which is also great for soups and stews. Similarly easy: throw stuff in pot, press go --> delicious meals.


Blender. I got an immersion blender that also has a chopper attachement, and I use it to make shakes. It's not ideal for shakes like a rocket is, but being able to throw milk, a banana, an avocado, and some other fruit or spices or honey or whatever into a thing and press go to make a full drinkable meal is pretty neat. Obviously not for every meal but something quick for breakfast or post-workout or whatever, it's great.


Toaster oven. I use mine so much. It's great for just heating something up without having to microwave it (bread-based things especially, like if I want a quick grilled cheese or to toast a sandwich or something.)


The other half of my kitchen appliances are coffee-related (kettle, grinder, aeropress/french press/pourover cone). Hm.
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  #85  
Old 10-20-2015, 09:05 PM
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You don't brown the meat first?
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  #86  
Old 10-21-2015, 04:57 AM
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Oh yeah, I forgot that I'm going to get a rice cooker anyway. Been thinking of an electric kettle, except those are usually less versatile than a regular kettle.

I've gone way too long on just regular microwave rice, so a rice cooker would be good (and save money in the long term). Come to think of it, their ubiquity might be why slow cookers are harder to find here in Japan. It's not that they don't exist, but I've seen them either as like rare special sale items in everyday department stores, or at places that specialize in gadgets or import stuff.

Anyway, yeah, one more thing to add to the list, but I bet this totals up to not that much for all the things I want. I can hold off on the immersion blender for a bit if that's expensive anyway.
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  #87  
Old 10-21-2015, 06:43 AM
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Oh, do you like nuts?

I have yet to discover an adequate substitutes for a nutcracker - you don't need it often, but it's awkward to want it and not have it.
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  #88  
Old 10-21-2015, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
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You don't brown the meat first?
Come to think of it I've only ever done it with chicken.

But no, I don't usually bother. I did brown the beef when I did a beef and lentil soup once.
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  #89  
Old 10-21-2015, 02:34 PM
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Come to think of it I've only ever done it with chicken.

But no, I don't usually bother. I did brown the beef when I did a beef and lentil soup once.
But.. but... the delicious Maillard reaction!
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  #90  
Old 10-24-2015, 07:00 PM
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So I went gadget shopping last night. I didn't find anything close to a mandoline at Aeon, but that place is more of a general department store. They did have a few immersion blenders, but some other stuff caught my eye:

Food processors (pretty cheap, too)
Magic Bullet blenders (kind of expensive)

Which would you get, an immersion blender, or a food processor? I'm not big on shakes/smoothies, but then again I've never really used any kind of blender, so having one might do the trick.

How hard do you think it would be to do some slow cooking stuff in a rice cooker? They had a really good price on one last night, and it looked big enough to cook some nice bowls of rice. Not sure about a big pot of stew/soup, but I've already seen packaged stuff that you can toss in a rice cooker and turn into meals.
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