Questions on selecting, maintaining, and using cooking tools and equipment.

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9
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5answers
7k views

What features should I look for in a hand grinder (for peanut butter)?

I want to make my own peanut butter. I've read of various grinders--both hand-operated and electric. I'm most interested in finding a durable hand-operated peanut butter grinder. I know there are ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Do I need a special oven to cook a pizza as evenly as the chain stores?

When I buy a pizza from Pizza Hut or Domino's, it has a crispy base with a soft cooked middle and a properly done top. When I make a pizza in my own oven (electric, fan assisted, maximum 230° C), I ...
3
votes
3answers
9k views

What features should a food processor have in order to make nut butters?

I'm looking for a food processor that I can make nut butters (peanut & almond) in. No reviews on Amazon show any promising information about being able to blend nuts to a buttery texture and the ...
14
votes
15answers
41k views

The best way to clean a French Press coffee maker

I have been using a French Press coffee maker for quite some time now, and I have tried a few methods for removing the spent coffee grinds from the vessel. It is always a bit of a chore to this in an ...
15
votes
7answers
4k views

What to look for in a mandoline?

I've bought two mandolines recently and I've returned the first and will return the second. The first was a stainless steel contraption that: Broke my food instead of slicing it. Was ever so hard to ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I use a larger crockpot than the recipe calls for?

I have a recipe that calls for use of a 4 qt crockpot. However, I only have a 6 qt. Is it okay to use the 6 qt instead? The recipe is for a pudding cake.
18
votes
1answer
2k views

Do honing steels wear out?

We have a knife set that's approximately 15 years old, and as we were honing a knife tonight, a question arose. Do honing steels get worn down over the years? Should they be replaced? If so, how ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

How to choose a premium dual fuel range (Viking, Wolf, Aga, and the like…)

All, We're considering buying a high quality range. We have arrested our choice on 36" dual fuel ranges (gas top, electric oven, preferably convection). Some of those have fairly typical and unique ...
1
vote
2answers
599 views

Are there any 27" residential ovens that can accomodate a 3/4 sheet pan?

I am moving into a house that needs a new oven. We aren't going to renovate the entire kitchen; we just want to swap out the oven. The current cabinet space for the oven can hold at most a 27 inch ...
8
votes
1answer
4k views

Why does chilled equipment help when whipping cream?

Why a does chilled mixer bowl help when making whipped cream? Does it have any effect on how long the cream stays whipped?
14
votes
8answers
2k views

What foods *require* a food processor?

I've got an immersion blender, a normal blender, and will eventually be getting a stand mixer. Are there any foods I absolutely have to have a food processor to make, where I can't use one of those? ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

Why is a tablespoon defined as 20mL in Australia?

In Australia, a tablespoon is defined as 20mL whereas it is 15mL in nearly all other countries. I'm interested to know where this comes from, and also what other Australian people do about this ...
1
vote
0answers
121 views

how should I cook the steak at home [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you cook a steak like those found in fine steakhouses? hi, I have tried several times to cook steak at home but they were not as delicious and good as they were ...
2
votes
1answer
205 views

using a square tin in a small oven

I have a family size convection microwave oven instead of a full size oven. I make fruit cakes and have to change the tin for next year's competition. I've always used a round tin and now I have to ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Bamboo Cutting board

I recently purchased a bamboo cutting board and it's shedding fine splinters of wood. Is there a way to clean this off or did I buy a bad quality board? I've tried washing it but water doesn't ...
37
votes
6answers
4k views

Why do we use so much water to cook spaghetti?

Every time I cook spaghetti in a regular pot, I get the feeling that I could save litres of water if the pot had been created with spaghetti cooking in mind. This is especially true when I only need ...
7
votes
5answers
873 views

What is this grilling utensil with two wire mesh panels?

I want to buy this cooking utensil but have no idea what it is called and where i can buy one from. I think it is mainly used on barbeques. Ive tried googling and had no luck. I'll try describing it ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I cut lots of cherry tomatoes in half quickly and evenly?

Is there a tool to cut cherry tomatoes in half? Since they are so regular it should be possible to build such a machine. Alternately, what can I do to improve my speed and accuracy when halving them ...
10
votes
3answers
5k views

Do you use paper or cloth towel for patting a meat dry before frying?

It is advised to pat a steak dry before frying. I've used paper towels in the past for this, but sometimes parts of them stick to meat. Now and then I've used a clean cloth kitchen towel for patting ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Do specialty cheese-cutting tools have specific advantages over an ordinary knife?

I cut block cheese (mostly cheddar or muenster) into slices or cubes using an ordinary non-serrated stainless steel knife. I used to use a T-shaped slicer that had a wire and an adjustable roller (for ...
12
votes
4answers
5k views

What factors should I consider when buying kitchen tongs?

I consider kitchen tongs one of the most essential kitchen tools but due to a lot of moving around recently I no longer have a pair. Rather than just picking up a cheap pair at the corner store I ...
2
votes
3answers
16k views

Which baking dish is best to bake a banana bread?

When I bake a banana bread or cake at home, I always use a square Pyrex(about 20cm in width and 7 cm high) dish. The batter only fill the dish at half its height or less and I set my oven to 350F. I ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Odour removing metallic soap: what is it and how does it work?

When browsing for kitchen tools, I found a metallic soap. It's purpose is to remove any (food) odour from your hands. Here's a cheap ($2.55) example. I am unfamiliar with this. Does anyone have any ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Can a rice cooker make amounts much smaller than its rating?

I'm looking at getting one of Zojirushi's induction rice cookers and the 5.5 cup model is currently a little cheaper than the 3 cup model. I'm a single guy and will only be making a cup or two of rice ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What to look for when buying muffin tins?

Because honestly, I wouldn't be nearly so in love with my dutch oven without the advice I got on this site. And I really believe in getting one good lifetime tool, rather than a bunch of cheap ones. ...
3
votes
3answers
516 views

What material is best for a pour over coffee brewer?

Pour over coffee will be my next venture in the coffee world, and I'm trying to decide between ceramic and plastic. The ceramic devices are much more expensive, and I'm hoping to understand if there ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Ideal fridge temperature accounting for temperature spikes

I've read the question on the ideal fridge temperature, but am asking a more involved question about a baseline temperature and temperature spikes. How will a few hours each day at 10 C effect the ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Microscope for cooking

I am looking to purchase a microscope to better understand the changes to the food items at a microscopic level. Does anybody have any recommendations as to the type/brand of microscope I should ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Get chocolate eggs out of silicone mold

I bought some silicone easter egg molds, and I put 2 layers of chocolate in them. After they had set I tried to turn them out of the molds and they just cracked. Is there any trick to turning the ...
1
vote
1answer
544 views

Alternatives to acetate?

What are some alternatives to using acetate strips? I'm not interested in a specific application here, so feel free to give ideas for all types of techniques. Under what culinary circumstances, if ...
21
votes
3answers
3k views

How does thermal shock affect pans made of different materials?

In another question, I had a little comment-discussion with TFD on the effect of shock cooling on pans. In a nutshell, I said that it is bad for the pan, and he said that especially if the pan is made ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

is there a downside to using a wood mortar and pestle?

I bought a wooden (uhh, stained bamboo?) mortar and pestle today at an asian supermarket. I liked it because it looked nice and it was pretty large, especially for the price. I was also thinking that ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I make wagashi with kashigata?

I started collecting kashigata - special carved wooden moulds for making wagashi (sweets). But strangely enough I'm having a hard time finding information on how to use them.
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Stone or iron mortar?

I need to buy a mortar. Should I get a stone (granite, marble, etc) or an iron one? What pros and cons are there?
1
vote
2answers
4k views

White stains & muddy deposits in stainless steel pots

I use stainless steel pots on an induction cooker for boiling water for preparing food for an infant. I use bottled and supposedly clear and soft water. When I pour the water into the pot it is ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

What qualities should one look for when choosing Egg cooking gear?

Stainless Steel seems to be all the rage in cooking stores these days, yet frying eggs on one leads to an extremely messy cleanup situation, assuming you can get it out without breaking it. Scrambling ...
0
votes
3answers
247 views

What will happen if you cook in a container that has traces from another day of cooking?

Basically the idea is you're bored of doing the dishes and you want to save time. Is it unhealthy? Will the chemistry alter a lot? Assume the container has been in the fridge [and what had in it ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

How to make a small DIY bain marie?

I live alone and almost always cook just for myself. With most recipes, I can just cook a smaller amount than given in the recipe, and I have optimized most of my cooking gear for small quantities. ...
7
votes
3answers
321 views

Spice rack/cupboard for kitchen with lots of spices?

My wife and I really enjoy cooking, so we have tons of spices. I understand it's best to keep them in the dark, so we thought we might like a spice cupboard. Probably 50 or so spices; they don't need ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Scratched Stainless Steel

I have a set of stainless steel pans that I absolutely love, and my 12" frying pan has received LOTS of use since I bought it. This is my first ever stainless steel pan and I'm pretty aware of all the ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Couldn't make pesto in a blender

I was making pesto one day and couldn't find the lid to my food processor. So first I tried mixing it all in a blender. Didn't work, the leaves wouldn't go down to meet the blade. I had this pastey ...
5
votes
11answers
12k views

Sous vide without plastic bags?

I really like the idea of cooking steak using sous vide. However, I am very wary of heating food up together with plastic, and then eating the food, as I believe that at high temperatures, chemicals ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Pans with ceramic coating useful?

being a passionate home cook I of couse like working with good kitchen tools... Besides my precious knives I need good pots and pans... Lately I've seen a lot of advertisements for pans with a ...
0
votes
1answer
975 views

Which containers should I use for souffles?

I want to make some individual zabaglione & fruit souffles, but don't have ramekins. Also, I don't have much experience with souffles (but I have made them some times). I have at my disposal: ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How to tell the difference between stamped and forged knives

I know the difference between the process of making these knives, but if you saw two knives -- one stamped and one forged -- how do you tell the difference simply by looking at them? I guess you ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Why do I need to cook milk in a cast iron pan before first usage?

I bought a cast iron grill pan from a famous Swedish four letter store. And they suggest to boil milk with some vegetal oil before starting to use the grill. Why is this necessary, and what ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

What happened, when I boiled this pot dry?

I started boiling water in a small, stainless steel, copper-bottom pot. Old story: I forgot about it, the water boiled away, and the pot spent a couple hours on maximum heat from my electric stove. I ...
7
votes
3answers
185 views

What features should I consider when getting an ice cream or gelato machine?

Obviously, there's the amount that it can make in one batch, and there seem to be three basic types (ones you freeze the bowl ahead of time; ones you pack it with salt and ice, and ones that ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How hot are electric home stoves?

In most (Swedish) homes, there are electric stoves that go from 1 to 6, and in some cases all the way up to 12! Is there an agreed-upon standard deciding roughly what temperature a number corresponds ...
3
votes
4answers
389 views

Is it normal that my coffee grinder leaves a huge mess all over the counter?

So I have an old blade grinder, which seems to work well enough for me, except in one respect: The coffee grinds fall out of the bottom of the grinder. Now this is a cheapo grinder that I got as a ...