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

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1answer
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What to look for when choosing a dutch oven?

I've never had nor used a dutch oven, but I have a pile of recipes I want to try that require one. Are these all pretty similar? Or are there things I should look for in a good dutch oven? Or will ...
9
votes
5answers
17k views

Is it safe to use a propane torch bought at a Hardware store?

I've come across recipes that involve the use of a Butane or Propane torch. Is it safe to use a propane torch bought at the Hardware store, or is there something different about the torches and/or ...
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 ...
7
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2answers
21k 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 ...
7
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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 ...
7
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7answers
718 views

How can I make sifting easier?

I'm at the point where I will completely avoid certain recipes simply because they require sifting and I find it incredibly tedious. Is there a better method? A better tool? A magic sifter?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Are fluted knives a gimmick?

I haven't been able to find a post specifically on fluted knives, so hopefully this isn't a duplicate. I was wondering if fluted knives actually work. I came across a comment (possibly an Amazon ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to know whether the teflon coated pan's life has reached end?

I use oil for cooking in the Teflon coated pan. I put the pan on a very low fire. (Simmer) Lately I have found that the onions get stuck to the bottom of the pan. How to know whether the teflon ...
3
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2answers
4k views

Calibrating a home gas oven

We have a new gas oven which is consistently 30-40F low compared to the dial setting (we've checked with two oven thermometers). While we can get it calibrated as a service call by the manufacturer, ...
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5answers
3k views

What features are important in a hand mixer?

I've always used the cheapest hand mixers (around 10 Euro). But I damaged a beater of my current one when I tried to make whipped canache - it was obviously too hard. So I plan to get a new one. ...
11
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5answers
19k views

Is copper cookware really better than stainless steel?

This is somewhat related to the question about copper vs. cast iron, but this is about copper vs. pure stainless steel. I had an old stainless steel stockpot that warped (it was very, very cheap ...
13
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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 ...
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9answers
1k views

Unnecessary kitchen gadgets: a reference [closed]

There are a lot of advertised tools and electronic gadgets for every field; the kitchen is no exception. In my experience, there are a lot of useful tools for specific purposes (a garlic press, for ...
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14answers
111k views

Is there something better than mineral oil for cutting boards?

I've been using mineral oil to oil my wooden cutting boards ever since I found out this was a good thing to do. I had a couple of bamboo boards up until I bought a really great John Boos carving ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

How to clean and maintain cast iron lids

I have a number of cast iron lids that fit skillets, dutch ovens, etc. Most have the little cone-shaped spikes on the underside to collect and return moisture to the food. I have no issues cleaning ...
8
votes
5answers
11k views

What is the best material for a cooking spoon?

We use standard wooden spoons, but they soon pick up stains from the various dishes. What are the pros and cons of the various woods, e.g. olive, Cilio Toscana Olivewood, beechwood, maple, bamboo, ...
17
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11answers
3k views

What types of cooking are pressure cookers most useful for?

We were just clearing out our kitchen and stared at this brand new, unused pressure cooker we got for our wedding over 10 years ago! We've never felt the need to use it before. I know it's supposed ...
14
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8answers
13k views

Does it take a special type of blender to make smoothies?

Or am I just doing it wrong? I have what I consider a typical blender that you might find in any American kitchen. It's a glass container with a cross shaped blade. The problem I have is that pieces ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

What kinds of pressure cookers are there, and what are they good for?

I have never owned a pressure cooker, nor been in a kitchen which has one. But they have been a topic around the site and the blog lately, so I got curious. When I took a look, I noticed that they ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Why buy a more expensive kitchen scale

It seems about time for me to give in to peer pressure and get a kitchen scale like everyone else. It seems like they would give my cooking more consistency if nothing else. I've payed attention to ...
12
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10answers
11k views

Using cast iron on a glass range

I currently rent, and the only problem I have with the house we're in is that it has a glass-top range. I absolutely love my cast iron cookware, and use it as often as possible. I've heard a few ...
11
votes
1answer
448 views

Why isn't glass ideal for the fermentation of sauerkraut?

I last made sauerkraut over 20 years ago, so embarking on it again I did some reading and chose an Alton Brown recipe. He specifically calls for the fermentation to be done in a plastic container. ...
10
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4answers
3k views

How can I prevent dough from wrapping around a dough hook?

I have a 5.5qt KitchenAid stand mixer with the burnished spiral ("pigtail") dough hook. This is not the C-hook. When I make a small amount (for example, using 250g of flour or approximately 2 cups) of ...
5
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4answers
2k views

What's the best option for water for tea in the office?

When making tea at home, I have all the equipment I need to make a fine cup of tea. In the office, however, my options are more limited. It seems my sources for hot water are: Straight from the tap ...
5
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2answers
4k views

Why would heating salt in a pan prevent food from sticking?

Quote from www.saltworks.us: Preventing food from sticking - Rub a pancake griddle with a small bag of salt to prevent sticking and smoking. Sprinkle a little salt in the skillet before frying ...
5
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3answers
707 views

Fruit peeling techniques

I came across this page (How to peel a mango) while surfing and I found it very interesting. What kind of methods and knives/kitchen gadgets do you use to peel fruits? Are there different tools to ...
14
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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? ...
10
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4answers
2k views

Utensil to thaw meat

A very long time ago, I was at a friend's house where her father took out this piece of ribbed metal from the cupboard. It was a dark piece of metal about the size of an adult hand. It had grooves on ...
10
votes
3answers
916 views

Suggestions for convenient and safe methods of transporting a few meals without a vehicle?

I'd like to prepare a few meals for a cousin who recently gave birth. She lives about an hour and a half away, and I will be walking and taking public transportation to get there. Does anyone have ...
10
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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 ...
10
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3answers
2k views

What are the advantages of using a stove instead of an oven?

Are there any advantages to using a stove instead of oven? As a woman of science, this is a question that has been lingering in my noggin for a very long time. The main points I'd like to see ...
9
votes
4answers
10k views

What does the “bold” setting on my Cuisinart coffee maker do?

I recently bought a Cuisinart coffee maker. It has a button to switch between "regular" and "bold" when brewing. I have no idea what this actually does. I thought that usually bold coffee came from ...
8
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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 ...
8
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9answers
33k views

What can you do with an infrared thermometer?

Infrared thermometers have plummeted in price in recent years, and are now inexpensive gadgets for the home cook, not to mention the pros. What are the primary uses of an infrared thermometer in the ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Ceramic vs Stainless Steel in coffee mugs

My travel mug broke :( Looking at replacements, I find that most travel mugs with designs tend to be stainless steel, whereas my prior mug was ceramic. Is there a difference in heat retention between ...
7
votes
6answers
14k 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 ...
7
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12answers
2k views

Best Office Coffee Solution [closed]

What is the best coffee solution for a small office (about 10 people)? We are looking for something that is: Tasty Fast Easy We have fairly discriminating taste, although it doesn't have to be ...
7
votes
8answers
7k views

What kind of wok should I get?

I saw the question on the site about preparing a wok, but I'm curious what kind I should get. I have heard of stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, etc. Also, there's a non-stick variety. I'm new ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

How should I clean anodized cookware?

I'd been bought an anodised wok as a birthday present a couple of years back, but recently, when using a honey/mustard marinade, I managed to burn some of the excess marinade, and now can't seem to ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Olive wood cooking utensils: Seasoning, care, and maintenance?

I just got my dear one a nice olive wood ladle a week or so ago. It's sitting out still since I would like to know what steps I should take in regard to seasoning (first (few) time(s) of use), care ...
4
votes
1answer
749 views

Stainless vs Enameled Porcelain Grates?

I need to replace the grill grates on my Weber Genesis grill, and I see that I can get either enameled porcelain (like I already have) or upgrade to stainless steel. A few concerns spring to mind ...
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 ...
20
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4answers
1k views

What is the purpose of seasoning a skillet?

I've seen a couple questions on how to season a skillet, and this may be a dumb question, but why do you season a skillet? Does it impart flavor onto the food? For how long? (which I guess is one ...
16
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4answers
5k views

Why is the dishwasher not recommended for my All-Clad MC2 line of pot and pans?

I just looked on the All-Clad website (faq 7 and faq 13). It says that because the MC2 has a brushed aluminum alloy exterior, it mush be hand washed. Why is the dishwasher bad for it? It's just soap ...
12
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3answers
20k views

How can I safely use a blender with hot liquids?

One instruction in a new barbecue sauce recipe I'm trying out is to take the pot of simmering sauce and run it through a blender or food processor. I have now learned the hard way that blending hot ...
10
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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 ...
8
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6answers
9k views

How do I keep the rice cooker from boiling over?

Possible Duplicate: Stopping water from bubbling over when cooking rice I am having epic rice-cooker failure here. I measure out the amount of rice suggested by the little cup thingy. I ...
8
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7answers
3k views

Advantages of using a non-glass teapot?

I currently have a borosilicate glass teapot. Glass seems to have the advantage that it will not absorb flavours and so can be used for all styles of tea. What are some of the advantages of using ...
7
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5answers
8k views

Why would I prefer carbon steel (rust prone) kitchen knife?

I've seen this question and obviously carbon steel (not stainless) knives look quite bad without extra care (picture from the linked to question) Now my question is - why face the trouble? Why ...
7
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3answers
186 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 ...