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

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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
3answers
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 ...
7
votes
6answers
11k 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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5answers
10k 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 ...
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8answers
5k 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 ...
7
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4answers
841 views

What to look for in a Stand Mixer?

I want to buy a stand mixer, a good one. Mainly for mixing dough, but also for mincing meat. I've seen that the KitchenAid has a mincing attachment. So, I've made a list of what to look for, and would ...
7
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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
7answers
639 views

Are there benefits to using a lemon squeezer?

There are lots of products on the market to ease lemon squeezing. I've never used any of them. Are there any benefits to using one? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the different ...
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4answers
7k 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 ...
7
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5answers
810 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
488 views

Digital meat thermometer that does not cause juice losses

Sometimes when I'm trying a new cooking method that uses different cooking temperatures compared to what I use normally, I find it difficult to estimate when my roast/meat is done. Digital meat ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

How can I clean my oven window?

My oven has a convenient window on it. It is very old and covered in soot. I tried what many recommendations say and used water and baking soda together, but it did not cut through the grime. Does ...
7
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7answers
608 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?
7
votes
1answer
819 views

What is this kitchen tool - a handle, and coil of metal around a metal plate?

I'm at a loss for what these things are for - they came in a bag with some other things I bought at a thrift store.
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votes
4answers
6k 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
votes
4answers
6k views

Should you avoid cooling a frying pan with water?

Sometimes after I fry something, I wash it immediately in water because it's a bit easier to wash (before the remains stick to the pan). Does this damage the pan in any way?
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votes
3answers
16k 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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4answers
2k views

Are electric knives used in foodservice?

After learning several months ago that immersion blenders and many other kitchen gadgets/appliances have foodservice equivalents that are usually much more powerful and durable than the consumer ...
7
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1answer
3k 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?
7
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2answers
535 views

Do chillis impregnate a wooden chopping board?

After chopping away at a chilli earlier today (well, 10 minutes ago) I then went through my normal ritual of scrubbing my hands to remove what traces the chiles leave on my fingers. And it made me ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Should a serious cook own a blowtorch?

And what does he/she principally use it for? I'm thinking of crème brûlée to start with and maybe blackening the skin of a pepper. Apart from that mine sits on the worktop pretty much unused. Oh ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Why does the grate of my charcoal grill keep rusting?

By the end of every summer it seems like the grate of my charcoal grill is rusty. Does anyone know how I can keep it from rusting and whether or not the rust is unhealthy?
7
votes
1answer
483 views

What should I look for when buying a pasta roller?

I'm looking to buy a pasta roller but I have no experience with them at all. What things should I look for to make sure I get a good one? Can they be made of different materials? Are there ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Why did my lids seal?

This has never happened to me before! Last night I made Refrigerator Pickles using cucumbers and an ordinary vinegar, water, sugar brine. My intention was to make a couple jars for co-workers who ...
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votes
2answers
230 views

Why does my Wonder Pot now bake unevenly?

I've been using a Wonder Pot for a year and a half, mainly making cake and the occasional bread. Recently my cakes have started baking unevenly, with one half of the pot completing the baking before ...
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 ...
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4answers
7k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
333 views

Do scalloped sides on a knife blade have any effect?

One of the first knives I was ever given was a Wusthof 7-inch Santoku. Over my years of use, I've never put much thought into the cut-outs along the side of the blade (which appear to be variously ...
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votes
3answers
314 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 ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
829 views

Can I repair a cake tin which has started to leak?

I have a cake tin (the sprung false bottom type) which, although the bottom seems to fit quite well, has started to leak when I pour cake mixture into it. Is there anything I can do to rescue the tin ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

How to dry royal icing fast?

I'm going to lead a workshop for kids about decorating gingerbread cookies with royal icing. It will take place at a cafe, so I need the icing to be as dry as possible as fast as possible, otherwise ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

What are frying pan ridges for?

I expect frying pans with raised ridges are for a few purposes such as adding "grill lines" to meats and keeping food out of grease somewhat as it collects. Why or when should I use a frying pan with ...
7
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3answers
406 views

How can I make sorbet without a recipe?

I would like to be able to make sorbet with whatever ingredients I have on hand without always looking up a recipe. I understand that it's important to get the correct balance of sugar, liquid, and ...
7
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1answer
383 views

Wok and electric hob - which ring to use?

I've a flat electric hob (the gets-very-hot type, not induction) upon which I cook. When using my wok (which is flat-bottomed) I place it on the largest ring, but obviously the pan only covers a ...
7
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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 ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Does the airflow pattern in a hot air popcorn popper matter? / What should I look for in a popper?

I'm interested in purchasing a hot-air popcorn popper. I grew up with a Wear-Ever Popcorn Pumper, which holds the unpopped corn in a metal cup with angled slots for air on the sides (so that the corn ...
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votes
8answers
1k views

How can I make coffee with a minimum of equipment and maintenance?

My household doesn't regularly drink coffee, but we occasionally want to provide coffee for our guests, or need to use coffee as an ingredient in other dishes. We do have a coffee maker (a "free" ...
6
votes
5answers
8k 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, ...
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votes
2answers
2k views

how can I tell if my pots and pans are ferrous?

I am looking into replacing my hob with an quick, induction type electric hob, but they stipulate that the the cookware must be ferrous. I have decent cookware, but how do I know if it is correct?
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5answers
715 views

Aprons for the home chef

What do I look for in a good high quality apron? Where can I go to get one?
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3answers
8k views

Safe to leave oven on at 180F while at work to cook ribs?

I'm currently at work and I'm having a little panic attack. I followed a recipe that require the ribs to be wrapped in foil and cooked at 180F for 9hours. I left about 30 minutes ago and for who ...
6
votes
3answers
7k views

Cast iron, forged iron or carbon steel pan for induction?

I need a new pan for non-stick applications (eggs) and I want to try using a well-seasoned iron or carbon steel one. I use an induction stove. Normally, the arguments I hear in favor of carbon steel ...
6
votes
3answers
472 views

What's the difference in baking bread in a loaf pan vs. in a Dutch oven?

When I bake bread, I always use my loaf pan (something like this). Recently, I've seen some people who bake bread in a Dutch oven (or something similar). Why is this? What are the differences between ...
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

What type of frying pan does not warp?

I have a glass smooth-top stove. Every large frying pan that I have bought so far has almost immediately warped so that the bottom is no longer flat. They all end up concave -- like a wok but less ...
6
votes
2answers
387 views

Knife sharpening equipment

I'm a novice at best when it comes to cooking, but I'm open to learning how to sharpen my own knives. However, I'm a quite overwhelmed with where to start and how to get things going. I have a few ...
6
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3answers
3k views

What's the difference between a French oven and a Dutch oven?

I've been haunting the discount cookware sites looking for Le Creuset pieces that won't put me in the poorhouse. I found two pieces that are similar size and price - one is a French oven and the other ...
6
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7answers
279 views

What are some grilling tools that everyone should have?

What are some grilling tools that a beginner should have when purchasing a new grill? Additionally, are there tools that are useful for the more advanced outdoor cook?
6
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3answers
874 views

What features should I look for in a fireplace grill?

I recently moved into a new apartment that is equipped with a wood burning fireplace. I am very excited about this, not only because burning wood on a cool day makes the world seem simpler and ...