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how about a list of your favorite (affordable) kitchen gadgets, pans, etd?

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  • how about a list of your favorite (affordable) kitchen gadgets, pans, etd?

    im thinking of gettin some new toys for the kitchen ..

    i have wanted a pressure cooker for a while .. some stoneware to replace my aging glassware for the oven .. and i somehow have made it my whole life without a cuisinart type of appliance (although the only thing i can think to use it for is cauliflower rice so this isnt too important) ...

    ive also been dreaming of a decent mandoline to save time cutting veggies .. and a good dutch oven .

    what do you guys love that doesnt cost up the ying yang? what comes in handy?
    started at 310 July 23rd 2011 ... workin and workin!

    my journal -

  • #2
    Silicon muffin pans. If you like to make egg muffins, they slide out so easily and they don't stick to the pan. If I had an extra thumb on each hand, I would give it 4 thumbs up.


    • #3
      lmfao @ 4 thumbs up .. i have some of those, they are great .. frittatas!
      started at 310 July 23rd 2011 ... workin and workin!

      my journal -


      • #4
        I love my crock pot and my dehydrator.


        • #5
          Meh. I bought a mandoline, and I've used it all of one time. I use my Dutch oven all the time to make all sorts of things. I recommend getting the Lodge brand. It's identical to a ridiculously expensive Le Creuset, for one-third the price. I got my cobalt blue Lodge on sale (of course), and it's been one of my best purchases. Excellent value.

          I also really am enjoying this little guy. Used him just yesterday, as a matter of fact. Great for when you want to whip up something like a dressing or a dip or a smoothie without digging out the big guns. Quick and easy wash.

          Really high ratings:
 Hamilton Beach Single-Serve Blender with 2 Jars and 2 Lids: Kitchen & Dining
          "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -- Hippocrates


          • #6
            I love this slicer but you need a set of these to go with it Memphis 185277 Hem Cuff All-Kevlar Glove DuPont KEVLAR Glove, XL: Home Improvement much cheaper in the home improvement section, but required to use a mandoline of any kind as you will get sick of the hand guard in about 10 seconds and cut your hand as quickly without it.

            Cast iron pans are gonna give you the best bang for your buck. Take decent care of them and they'll serve your grandkids well.


            • #7
              My favorite stuff in the kitchen:

              Kershaw Shun knives - Love how they work, look and stay sharp. The VG-10 steel is awesome, and the knife design (much thinner than a "german" style knife) works great for how I cook. Learn knife skills and you won't be let down with just a couple knives. You really only need maybe 3 - a largish chef's knife, a paring knife and some sort of offset serrated knife.

              Unicorn Magnum pepper grinder - I've given several of these out as gifts. If you like pepper, this is the ne plus ultra of pepper grinders.

              Spyderco Sharpmaker - gotta keep those knives sharp! I like my fingers, and sharp knives are safer.

              Polder probe thermometer - you get the meat ready, stick this in, set the temp target, throw it into the heat (oven, grill, whatever) and wait for the alarm. Perfect.

              Le Creuset dutch ovens - I've got a couple that I've picked up over the years. They last, are great quality and you can find them on sale or in the outlets a lot cheaper than retail. I use them all the time.

              All Clad pots and pans - I use my 12" fry pan every day. I've had it for probably 15 years and it still looks awesome. You can't go wrong with quality - again, you can find them cheaper than retail. I've even seen them in Costco from time to time. The MC2 line is awesome - aluminum on the outside, stainless on the inside for the best of both worlds.

              I have an All-Clad roaster with the cool frame that holds the bird/roast up, which I use a lot. It's big enough to pack with roasting veggies while you cook your bird, so you get the whole thing done in one shot.

              Bamboo or steel/nylon cooking tools are awesome, as are a couple sets of tongs.

              Cooking twine is necessary. Learn how to tie a roast.

              I have a food processor that I nearly never use.

              I have a drawer full of convenience "gadgets" I never use.

              Keep it simple and focus on learning the techniques. :-)


              • #8
                Love my crockpot and my steamer basket (eggs and veggies). I also love the flat basket with the handle, the one that lets me grill asparagus on the BBQ without dropping them all between the grates.

                Just bought a ricer yesterday, so we'll see how that works out.


                • #9
                  I love my toaster oven. I live in the South, so in July and August, it's nice to be able to bake things without heating up the entire kitchen. And I second bobdavis on the knife sharpener or a whetstone or something to sharpen knives for meat and veggies!
                  Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.


                  • #10
                    Rather than a mandoline, I love my Salad Shooter. Same basic concept, no chance of finger removal unless you're REALLY stupid and stick them in there (and even then you would be ok unless you have super long fingers).

                    I also love my immersion blender, I use it at least weekly, usually 2-3 times a week! I have this one, sometimes the different colors are different prices and you can get a great deal on one.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Man is Truth
                      I pass up on the desire to eat eggs like 20 times a week because I have never in my life succeeded in cooking them without making the pan a terrible disaster to clean.
                      Use these.
                      My recent favorite breakfast is 3 poached eggs on a bed of mashed potatoes. Not very pretty but darned tasty.

                      As to kitchen gear, I dislike all the clutter and specialization. With the exception of a blender, have moved the stuff I thought I needed into the basement. Invest in some great knives and good pans.
                      Retirement has afforded me the ultimate affluence, that of free time (Sahlins/Wells)


                      • #12
                        a french press for making the most delicious coffee in the universe

                        and i guess a coffee grinder goes with this. i learned today to 'pulse' the grinder so that the beans can be a coarse grind.


                        • #13
                          Food processor. Makes a good ricer and blender/pureer.

                          And invest in a REALLY GOOD set of knives. It could even just be 1 all-purpose knife. Just make sure it's uber sharp and that you can maintain it. Makes chopping SO much easier, and you don't even have to get a slicer because your knife would just be so pro.

                          As for cookware, I like the concept of a slow-cooker because you can forget about it for a while, and then get a basic cast-iron for stovetop cooking. I think baking is slightly overrated because it takes way too much effort, time (both prep and cooking), and cleaning. But if you're REALLY into making food and are willing to dedicate long hours to it, I would get a set of silicone bakeware so that it's easy to handle as well.
                          My chocolatey Primal journey

                          Unusual food recipes (plus chocolate) blog


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Man is Truth
                            I pass up on the desire to eat eggs like 20 times a week because I have never in my life succeeded in cooking them without making the pan a terrible disaster to clean.
                            It's all in the technique! I struggled with this too, and now I cook eggs nearly every morning with little more than a wipe of the pan to clean up - and there's no "non stick" involved. I'm using an All-Clad stainless lined pan like this (linky).
                            1. Medium low heat, let the pan warm up.
                            2. Drop a solid tablespoon of Kerrygold butter in and let it slowly melt, but don't let it get to a foam.
                            3. crack the eggs in gently - they won't sizzle or anything, they'll pretty much just sit there.
                            4. add a tablespoon of water (which will bubble) around the edge of the pan and cover for about a minute. this cooks the whites, leaving the yolks perfect.
                            5. remove cover and flip. they will look like flat, poached eggs.
                            6. count to 30 and plate.
                            7. add pepper (from the above mentioned Unicorn) or whatever you like on eggs and enjoy.

                            It takes a little practice, but they will nearly slide around in the butter on the stainless. I wipe the pan out before I eat my eggs with a soapy sponge and rinse. Time to eat!
                            Last edited by bobdavis; 11-12-2011, 11:09 PM. Reason: forgot to close paren


                            • #15
                              Simple and cheap is usually best, though I think good pans are worth the investment.

                              We have a nice set of Wusthof knives, which I love, especially the chef's knife and bread, ahem, serrated knife. My husband, however, prefers his Chinese cleaver, which he bought in Chinatown 10 years ago for about 15 dollars. He uses it expertly to do all sorts of vegetable cuts. I find the cleaver a little heavy and unwieldy for my clumsy self, but if you like it, it's a bargain.

                              Agree with Dado on the French Press - ours is a 10 year old Bodum that sees daily use. We break the glass carafe every one in a while, but it's still pretty cheap compared to a lot of coffeemakers. I think the coffee we make is better than the most expensive push button machines.

                              A mortar and pestle is a nice thing to have for fresh spices. I also like our salad dressing shaker. All you need is a small glass bottle and a cork, but now we're all fancy and we've upgraded to a model that catches drips after you pour it.
                              My True Primal Story