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

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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
3k 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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3answers
12k 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
2k views

Are N2O and CO2 chargers interchangeable for culinary purposes?

Cream whippers seem to use N2O chargers. Soda siphons seem to use CO2 chargers. But both chargers appear to be physically identical. The MyPressi espresso device, which uses chargers to force water ...
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4answers
1k 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
2k 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?
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2answers
3k 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 ...
7
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2answers
476 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
351 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
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2answers
172 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
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1answer
896 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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3answers
306 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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
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1answer
701 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
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2answers
1k 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
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3answers
1k 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 ...
7
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3answers
2k 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
383 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
348 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
995 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
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2answers
735 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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5answers
5k 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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5answers
9k 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 ...
6
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2answers
1k 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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3answers
5k 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
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3answers
403 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
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1answer
4k 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
2answers
316 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 ...
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3answers
2k 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 ...
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7answers
4k 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 ...
6
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4answers
811 views

Why reoil a cast-iron pan after usage?

I've been recommended to reoil my cast-iron pan by letting it absorb some oil on the remaining heat of the stove before drying it, each time after using it. Is it important to do so, and what ...
6
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7answers
258 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?
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3answers
651 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 ...
6
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2answers
539 views

What cost-effective things can I do to help my knives stay sharp longer?

I'm a poor college student that doesn't know much about his knives, pots, and pans. Specifically is there anything that I can do to make my knives stay sharp longer and maintain them without spending ...
6
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2answers
7k 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
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3answers
2k views

How do I care for a carbon steel knife?

I recently purchased a Dexter-Russell carbon steel Chinese cleaver, because they're supposed to be amazingly useful. I'm used to caring for good stainless steel knives, but don't know what special ...
6
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1answer
938 views

Left my cast iron on the hot burner, now what?

So the other day, while baking off excess water after washing, I spaced out and forgot it was there and headed upstairs for say, an hour. When I got back down the pan had a white-ish ring in the ...
6
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5answers
3k views

How do you make homemade sausage without meat grinder/sausage stuffer?

I have no desire to spend hundreds of dollars on this specialized equipment to make sausage, which I may only use a few times a year. There must be some other alternatives! edit: no Kitchen Aid ...
6
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1answer
231 views

Why shouldn't I bake on scratched silicone mats?

My Silpat baking mat came with very clear instructions to throw out the mat as soon as it becomes scratched. It now has a few very light surface scratches that don't seem to have penetrated the first ...
6
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2answers
341 views

How do I prepare arabic coffee in a stone Dallah?

I purchased a lovely stone Dallah from Jordan. . The first and obvious question is: is it safe to prepare coffee in? However, once that question is answered, the pot certainly looks functional. ...
6
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2answers
516 views

How can I sharpen my peeler?

Is it possible to sharpen a peeler? And if it is, how should I do it? Are there any things to look out for? (Such as ending up with concave blades.) This is the sort of peeler I'm talking about:
6
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1answer
279 views

KitchenAid Mixers, which one to pick?

I am planning to buy a KitchenAid mixer for my wife as a birthday present. However, there are multiple models and I am not sure which one to pick. My wife will be using the mixer for making cookies, ...
6
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3answers
1k views

How do I keep the paddle of a bread machine from damaging the bread upon removal?

I love my bread machine. However when the bread is done baking, removing it from the machine breaks the bread where the paddle is. I know the paddle is embedded in the bread and it will break the ...
6
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3answers
9k views

How to clean a “plastic” chopping board?

The problem is that the sharp knives have caused many cuts all over on my plastic chopping board. Now, I can see the minute vegetable remains in the cuts on board. What's the way to "easily" get the ...
6
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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 ...
6
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4answers
5k 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 ...
6
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2answers
828 views

What kind of pan works best with a waterbath?

Whenever I bake cheesecake or flan, my springform pan always leaks into the water bath or vice/versa. Is there a better type of pan to use when baking with a water bath?
6
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3answers
907 views

What can I do about scratched pots?

I have a pot that is really nice, and I was silly enough to use a metallic spatula. It is not Teflon but looked ceramic, and it has scratches now. Can any repair be done? Edit: I am including an ...
6
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2answers
141 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 ...