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

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2
votes
1answer
203 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
1k 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 ...
36
votes
6answers
3k 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
843 views

what is this utensil, where can i buy it?

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
4k 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
4k 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
15k 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
494 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
138 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
1k 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
513 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
1k 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
2k 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
3k 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
150 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
241 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
318 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
1k 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
3k 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
10k 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
955 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
1k 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
5k 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
180 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
382 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 ...
9
votes
12answers
21k views

Can you put egg shells down the garbage disposal?

The Google has conflicting answers. I come from a background of "everything goes in the garbage disposal", my wife's background is "never put anything in the garbage disposal". I suspect reality is ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What to look for when buying a rice cooker?

I think I can best explain the question by using a computer analogy. When buying a laptop there are specific qualities that a person looks for like Processor speed Screen size Amount of memory ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Induction unit makes buzzing sound

I was fed up with the low quality electric hobs which are installed in my 1 meter wide "kitchen" (I forgot a crepe on the smaller one on the highest setting, and 25 min later it wasn't even browned, ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Do all modern electric stoves have “binary” heating elements?

I've noticed that the burners of some or all of the newish-style electric stoves which have a flat top have a peculiar property. They do not seem to be capable of running at a constant low ...
26
votes
4answers
63k views

Is it normal to see flames inside my self-cleaning oven?

I spilled some sauce, cheese, and pepperoni in the oven last night while trying to transfer some homemade pizza from the pizza peel onto the pizza stone, so I decided to clean it today. I wiped the ...
3
votes
1answer
901 views

What are the names of the three main parts of my metal spatula?

What are the names of the three main parts of my metal spatula? Handle Flat part that comes in contact with the food The connecting metal which has rivets or pins attaching it to 1 and 2
6
votes
5answers
774 views

Aprons for the home chef

What do I look for in a good high quality apron? Where can I go to get one?
13
votes
13answers
39k views

What is the best way to open a tightly fitted lid of a jar?

Help! I need to get a jar of pasta sauce open but can't seem to budge it. I've tried using a dishtowel, and running it under hot water, but the lid is still stuck. What else can I do to open this jar? ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

How to measure the temperature of a pan?

When I need to know if a pan is above or below 100 Celsius but don't have a thermometer handy, I squirt some water on it. Say I want to check for another temperature, e.g. for the Maillard reaction or ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

cast iron pan rusting on bottom surface

I have a great cast iron skillet that I use frequently and also take superb care of. Until I noticed the bottom is coated in rust. I believe the high heat that I use from the range top cooked off all ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Kitchen aid pasta roller getting oil on my pasta

I have to avoid letting the pasta get wide enough to touch one of the sides of the roller because if it does, the grease inside gets on the edge of the pasta. The other side doesn't do it at all. ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

How do I remove my KitchenAid attachment?

My KitchenAid attachment appears to be stuck. I attempt to push up to remove the dough hook and it does not budge one bit. I am thinking I'm either doing something completely wrong or there's some way ...
11
votes
2answers
558 views

Catering event for 1st time. How should I prepare?

I'm just starting a catering service for my cooking. I'm not into too fancy style yet, like using metal silverware or china plates, but more casual version like paper plates and plastic-ware. The ...