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

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9
votes
12answers
20k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
56k 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
780 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
733 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
34k 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
968 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. ...
3
votes
2answers
8k 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
447 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 ...
24
votes
11answers
2k views

What is the best way to clean a grater?

A grater is a very useful instrument in the kitchen and it's fun to use. You can use it for a lot of food: cheese, citrus fruit peel, nutmeg, all kinds of vegetables, etc. But cleaning a grater is a ...
5
votes
4answers
658 views

Gelpro Mats - do they work?

This might not be the right forum for this question, so feel free to remove this question if it is. We have super-hard tile floors in the kitchen, and after an hour or two of cooking my feet are ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Overheated stainless steel stock pot

So my roommate forgot about his boiling water and burned one of the pots pretty bad. The bottom is a dark brown/gray with colored spots underneath (electric range). What are some household remedies ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

What to do with a Sizzler?

We were gifted a Sizzler yesterday - a sort of elongated shallow cast-iron pan on a wood base for serving and keeping warm at the table. I know these are supposed to be for helping things caramelise, ...
4
votes
1answer
624 views

Heart shaped mold

I'm looking at making this for Valentines but I found it too late to ship the mold in from the USA (I'm in Melbourne Australia). Being that this is a technologically backward country and thats ...
5
votes
2answers
470 views

Automatic dicer

I love cooking, but I hate dicing! I have a food processor that can slice really well, but it doesn't have any ability to do dicing. Does a device that can automatically dice various produce ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why do “saute pans” have straight sides?

I've read numerous times that when sauteing, the pan used usually has curved sides to allow one to toss the food. However, whenever I look at pans on shopping websites and such, the pan labeled "saute ...
6
votes
2answers
346 views

Can too hot water cause the mate gourd to break?

I just got back from Argentina with three mate gourds and started to prepare them for first use (put the yerba, add cold water and leave for ~1 day, I was told, is the first thing to do). To my ...
8
votes
3answers
660 views

What do I need to know when moving from an electric hob to a gas hob

Soon I will be moving into a flat with a gas hob, and I've only ever had experience with electric hobs before. What do I need to be aware of in terms of the differences between them? I've heard that ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

How to find a competent knife sharpener

I have a santoku that I will be wanting to get professionally sharpened in the next few months. This is the first knife I've owned that was reasonably expensive so I want to make sure I take care of ...
4
votes
1answer
4k views

Can I deep fry in my Le Creuset dutch oven?

It's an enameled cast iron dutch oven. Just wondering if I could take off enamel by deep frying in it.
10
votes
5answers
2k views

What features do I want in a Toaster Oven?

Our Toaster isn't doing well, planning to replace it with a toaster oven to get some more versatility on the counter top. What features are good? I've looked and there are ones ranging from simple $25 ...
33
votes
2answers
4k views

What does a healthy cast iron skillet look like?

I've read plenty about how to restore and season cast iron, but I have no clue whether any of the old cast iron I've inherited could benefit from this. Is healthy cast iron black? or should it be ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

Nonstick pans blistering after dishwasher?

So I have a nice 12 inch nonstick pan, which I always run through the dishwasher, and it's always fine. There's nothing unusual about the pan. But tonight, I needed it for dinner and the dishwasher ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What's an easy to use juicer that juices oranges as well as other fruit?

I would like to buy a juicer for making fruit juice, including orange juice. But the juicers that I've seen fall into one of two categories: Work for all fruits, but you have to peel oranges. Work ...
17
votes
4answers
786 views

Will using a knife sharpener reduce the lifetime of my knife?

In the long run, is it better to regularly use a knife honer instead of a knife sharpener once in a while to keep the edge sharp?
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I make my own small pie dishes and still cook pies effectively?

I need to make individual pies this week. I would usually use pre-bought tin foil containers, approximately 10cm diameter, 3cm high. I can't buy these anywhere near me and have left it too late for ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Pizza Stone in Electric Oven

I would like to invest in a pizza stone and have read that leaving it in the oven is acceptable and possibly preferable in some ways. However, my oven my electric. Do I leave the stone on the lowest ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How can you pipe hot melted candy into free-form shapes?

I recently made free-form candy swirls out of chocolate-like coloured candy. When I got to the point of putting it into my disposable plastic piping bag, I had to wrap it in a tea-towel in order to ...
3
votes
2answers
463 views

Do oven door liners commonly need replacing?

The first time I used the "self clean" setting on this oven, the strip of padding around the oven door ... puffed out? Heat leaks out ever since, even to the point where the oven light will sometimes ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Grate positioning for charcoal grill?

When cooking on a charcoal grill, does it matter how far the grate is positioned above the charcoal? If so, how high should it be?
7
votes
3answers
17k views

How does a whipped cream charger work?

I recently got an iSi whipped cream container that charges with nitrous cannisters. I don't really understand how the thing works, which I think would help my use of the system. How does this actually ...
3
votes
1answer
345 views

Are there significant differences between different brands of zester?

I'm thinking of purchasing a zester and I need some indication of a good one. Anyone can help me?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Why spend $150 on a skillet

I can buy a 12" non-stick skillet at Safeway for $30. Why would I spend $150-$200 on one? What's the difference?
14
votes
4answers
28k views

What are the differences between candy thermometers and meat thermometers?

I know that meat thermometers generally won't handle as high a temperature range as candy, but I'm only planning to make caramels and fudge (so soft ball and firm ball) and that's within the range of ...
23
votes
7answers
19k views

What is the proper way to dispose of a kitchen knife?

How do you throw away a kitchen knife (or for that matter, any knife)? It seems extremely dangerous to just throw it in the dumpster, even if it's wrapped up real well.
7
votes
5answers
17k views

What is the best approach to cut carrot into thin strips?

So I went to Subway™ and saw that their carrots are cut into thin strips. I can never do this with any knives. So what is the best way to cut carrots into thin strips (like french fries)?
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Making airier icecream

I've been working on improving my home made ice-cream and was wondering if anyone knew how to get more air into the mix. The ice-cream is great right out of the maker, but once I put it in the ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Overpressurizing a cream whipper?

This might be considered off-topic, but thought it was worth asking, as I have no idea where else to ask -- I'm trying to make something forcibly eject from a cake. I've done some testing with a can ...
1
vote
1answer
719 views

How do I use the clock on my Ilve oven?

I recently bought an Ilve oven second-hand. I can't figure out how to use the clock/timer functions. The oven is 10-15 years old, and all the manuals I have found are for newer/different ovens. Can ...
4
votes
4answers
551 views

How do you keep ebelskivers from sticking?

My sister bought me a cast iron ebelskiver pan, and I've not had much luck with each of the batches I've tried. They always burn or stick. I'm hopeful someone might have a tried-and-true technique ...
2
votes
1answer
701 views

Is it safe to wash Sterno down a sink drain?

I've recently been cooking and using Sterno to keep things warm - or cook. However, from time to time I need to stir, scoop, or manipulate the Sterno in some way. Is it safe to rinse off my utensils, ...
1
vote
1answer
7k views

How long do I need to freeze the freezer bowl when making the second batch of ice cream?

I have made one batch of ice cream, and now I need to make another. I have rinsed out the freezer bowl, and when I dried it I noticed that the water had frozen to a thin film of ice. So it is ...
5
votes
3answers
443 views

Camping stove to supplement an electric hob

I've got basic electric hobs in my kitchen which do a fine job - but a lot of cookbooks suggest that certain things would be best done on an open flame/gas hob (i.e. anything involving a wok). My ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Stainless Steel Pan — gray bottom. Why?

Just started using a stainless steel pan. First thing I cooked in it was bacon followed by some fried rice. Stuff stuck to it, but a quick soak and it all came off. However, once I cleaned and dried ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Are there significant differences between different brands/models of immersion blenders?

I'm thinking of purchasing a new immersion blender as a gift for somebody that has a very old one which is quite literally being held together with duct tape. I own a Sunbeam model which I believe is ...
7
votes
6answers
12k views

Do I need to season a stainless steel saute pan?

Okay, I received a nice stainless steel saute pan for Christmas and in looking around online there are people that say I need to season it. Most of the techniques I've seen involve oil and salt and ...