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  • Favorite Kitchen Tools?

    Just under two years ago, I packed up my car and cat, and moved ~2000 miles. The only thing I took from my kitchen was my Romertopf clay cooker and a travel coffee maker.

    Now Iím in the process of making a commitment to staying put for a bit, and I want to flesh out my kitchen tools. Iíve been staying fairly bare-bones up Ďtil now.

    I have a list, but Iím wondering what are some of your favorite kitchen tools. Something you couldnít do without on a daily basis? Something that maybe you donít use a lot, but still couldnít do without for something specific? Something that does so many things (a la Alton Brown) that you donít know how you ever got along before you got it? Or anything else you love to use in your kitchen.

    It doesnít have to be complex. It can be as simple as the 99cent spatulas from Walmart which are surprising comfortable for small hands.

    Also a question. If I have an immersion blender, do I need a hand mixer?

    Thanks in advance for any tips, help, etc.
    "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

    B*tch-lite

    Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

  • #2
    I'm in a stage in my life where I'm leaning heavily toward minimalism, so my kitchen tools are few and far between.

    The most extravagant thing I own are two (count 'em two!) different sized skillets - one for bacon, the other for omelets. (The bacon pan is too big for omelets, and the omelet pan is too small for bacon!)

    I have one wooden spoon and one silicone spatula.

    I have two different sized pyrex casserole dishes that I use for baking (chicken breast, bacon poppers, pork chops, etc) but in all honestly, I could do with only one. (They were packaged in a set.)

    That's really about it, unless you count the tupperware I used to store left overs!

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    • #3
      My favorite kitchen tool is this Swisspro Vegetable Peeler. I use it practically every day. It works on everything, including butternut squash.

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      • #4
        As for gadgets, there are 3 that see a LOT of play around our house: A Cuisinart mixer/ blender (same base, multiple attachements for up top), a Kitchenaid handheld gadget (same handbase, 3 different attachments for immersion blending, chopping, and whisking))and a mandoline.
        As to straight up tools:
        A good set of knives. They don't hafta be Wusthof, but stay away from the Walmart special. Cutco and Chicago Cutlery serve us well. You don't need every kind under the sun. A Chef's blade or santoku, paring knife, and steak knife and you should be good.
        A good set of pots and pans. I use Lodge for my cast iron and enamelware and Cuisinart for my stainless steel. You don't need nonstick. I'd say a bare minimum would be a 10" cast iron skillet, an enameled dutch oven, a stainless skillet, and a stainless saucepan.
        A good set of mixing bowls. Go Pyrex or metal. These things are my best friend., especially the ones with lids that I can just pop into the fridge.
        A half sheet pan. We use this to prep meat, bake roasts, roast veggies, do steaks inside, and 5 million other things.
        If you do stuff like meatloaf, get a pyrex loafpan.
        When it comes to toys that do a LOT for very little cost: a microplane (minces garlic, grates parmesan, zests fruit, etc), a pair of kitchen shears, silicon kitchen tongs (I think ours are OXO, great for small hands and they lock shut,) a 6 qt crock pot (ours is Hamilton Beach and has taken some MASSIVE use without even thinking of breaking.)
        What you don't need: the latest egg cooking gadget, the latest baking gadget.
        In response to your question: kind of. You can make an immersion blender work, but it'll take longer to bring things together. If you need both, get the gadget I mentioned above. You'll essentially be getting a hand mixer, mini chopper, and immersion blender for about the cost of one of those.
        Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
        My Latest Journal

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        • #5
          Originally posted by naiadknight View Post
          ...and a mandoline.
          May I ask which mandoline you have? I've been looking into getting one, but I'm wary, since there seem to be so many crappy ones on amazon.

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          • #6
            We have the OXO one. You can sharpen the blade and pull it completely apart to wash it. Don't go with the Chefmate. That thing was a hunk of junk.
            Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, steak in one hand, chocolate in the other, yelling "Holy F***, What a Ride!"
            My Latest Journal

            Comment


            • #7
              Silicone spatula, dutch oven, loaf pan, sheet tray, blender/food processor, pepper mill, cast iron skillet, slow cooker, good chef knife. With those things i can make almost anything.

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              • #8
                Getting some great ideas - keep 'em coming!

                I've recently purchased:

                A Fagor pressure cooker set: 8 & 4 quart pots, the pressure lid, the regular lid, and a steaming basket.
                A Lodge Combo Cooker: 3 quart dutch oven with a lid that doubles as a 10" frying pan. (One person family so plenty big enough.)
                Lodge muffin tin.
                Pyrex mixing bowls.
                Set of three strainers - haven't used these yet, but they look like they'll fit any straining needs I have.
                Plastic bag and bottle dryer - a lifesaver because I'm actually cheap... er... frugal enough that I wash and reuse ziploc bags.

                I have a cheapie blender, a cheapie food processor, a cheapie coffee grinder (which is ancient), a drip coffee maker which I no longer use because I make espresso every morning in my little stove top pot. And I have a food scale which is amazingly accurate considering I bought it for $4 at a thrift.

                I like the idea of the combo thingy with the immersion blender and whisk. Heading to Azon to see if I can find it there.
                "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

                B*tch-lite

                Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

                Comment


                • #9
                  We didn't have much space living in our RV, so I had to choose my kitchen gadgets wisely. We have since moved back into a house and I have so many gadgets that we got out of storage and are collecting dust now, like the rice cooker and bread machine. Here are my favorites:

                  Cast iron - I have two, a small dutch oven and a frying pan. I recommend getting old pans from yard sales rather than Lodge, they have a smooth bottom and hold a seasoning much better.
                  Cuisinart duet blender/food processor
                  Julienne peeler or mandoline (I have both)
                  Microplane
                  Rada Cutlery knives--inexpensive and yet better than the pricey set I used to have
                  Coffee grinder and stovetop moka espresso pot.
                  Slow cooker (want to replace this with a stainless multi-cooker like the Instant Pot, it pressure cooks as well)
                  Silicone bakeware and collapsible bowls/colanders
                  Measuring mixing bowls (pyrex), those are so handy.
                  Anchor Hocking True Seal glassware--I love being able to bake/freeze/nuke/dishwasher them, and the lids are leak-proof.

                  I thought I could live with just an immersion blender, but ended up getting a mixer when we lived in our RV. Making whipped cream by hand is exhausting. I also really like the idea of the Kitchenaid handheld gadget, I'll have to look into that.

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                  • #10
                    I have 3 things I can't live without.

                    Machine
                    Kitchenaide Standing Mixer - it's white and over 23 years old. Still a work horse. Weighs a ton, but i love it!!

                    Tools
                    My knives and whet stone. Invest in the best you can afford.

                    Cookware
                    14 inch Le Cruset blue covered pan. Again it is over 20 years old and on it's 2nd lid holder.
                    Julia
                    Starting Weight 235 - Dec 1, 2010
                    Started Primal Mid January 2011
                    Current Weight 183
                    Goal 160



                    Get Outside Already!

                    http://moderndayfitandfood.wordpress.com/
                    http://moderndaydesigns.wordpress.com/

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                    • #11
                      here is our kitchen:

                      4 good knives
                      1 mandoline
                      1 crock pot
                      1 juicer
                      1 iron skillet
                      1 stainless pot
                      1 stainless pie plate (we use this one to roast veggies)
                      1 glass pie plate (we mostly use this one for crustless quiche)
                      1 wooden spoon
                      1 wooden spatula
                      1 food mill

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                      • #12
                        8 in chefs knife.....not much you won't be able to handle

                        Food processor.....one of the best most used things in my kitchen

                        12 in. cast-iron skillet....again you wont need much more

                        Cutting board so you can cut stuff

                        That will give you a kitchen that will be able to handle allot of stuff and you won't need much else other than some things like untencils

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                        • #13
                          Very good, high quality knife....or an old, well used, well seasoned cast-iron skillet. I'm partial to Griswolds.

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                          • #14
                            A good chef's knife - I also have a paring knife for fruits but the majority of chopping is done with the chef's knife. I actually have a bunch if knives but really only use those two. I make a lot of homemade liquors, bone broth and soups, so a fine mesh basket strainer also gets a ton of use. I bought a food mill this year to process my tomatoes for canning sauce and it is invaluable. A 10 inch skillet, regular sized soup pot and a bigger stock pot are essential - all are heavy, steel bottomed pots I bought at Marshall's. cuisinart brand, I think, I was lucky to get a bunch of Le Creuset crockery from my mom -they are 20 years old and still in great shape. A micro plane is essential for zesting citrus for my limoncello. I have a little 4 cup chopper for making chimichurris and pestos. I have a set of mixing bowls and Le Creuset silicon spatulas that get a ton of use. I like the OXO brand a lot - no carpal tunnel issues and the mixing bowls are perfect.

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                            • #15
                              plenty of things already mentioned, so i'll just say a hefty set of shears. i sometimes hack my fowl bodies apart and the shears have been super helpful
                              beautiful
                              yeah you are

                              Baby if you time travel back far enough you can avoid that work because the dust won't be there. You're too pretty to be working that hard.
                              lol

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