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What are some good suggestions for the kinds of cooking tools and supplies you might normally see in a restaurant kitchen, but are also super useful in a home environment?

  • There's quite a lot of overlap - I guess you're asking about things that aren't be found in home kitchens, not even scaled down versions? – Cascabel Nov 2 '14 at 6:29
  • To me, this looks like a poll question, which should be closed. Any arguments in favor of keeping it? Or ideas how to focus it enough to not make it just be a list of random things? – rumtscho Nov 2 '14 at 10:20
  • not clear on how this is not a perfectly good question, but open to refining my perspective --is it because so many members 'could possibly' answer the question with such a wide variety of answers, creating a thread that just goes on an on with no seeming end in sight? --or is it because so many members 'will' answer the question with such a wide variety of answers, creating a thread that just goes on an on with no seeming end in sight? --or is there some documented principle at issue which stands purely on its own merit? --thanks for taking time to redirect my thinking @rumtscho – Tom Raywood Nov 2 '14 at 22:01
  • @TomRaywood It is because members cannot answer it with anything but a wide variety of answers. It asks for an enumeration of a long, long list of things. And no answer can be said to be better than the other one, and thus be "the solution". This type of question doesn't work well here, because Stack Exchange was created for a "needle in the haystack" type of questions, and the voting system practically fails when you have a list of equally good answers (unrankable), or even worse, answers which can be ranked - but the rank is different for everybody, such as "what is your favorite X". – rumtscho Nov 3 '14 at 8:50
  • @TomRaywood at the beginning, this type of question used to be allowed, and produced indeed long pages of stuff nobody wanted to wade through, and everybody upvoted the first 1-2 answers into unusually high scores, while nobody noticed the last page of answers. Which contained lots of duplicates anyway, because after a while the people answering didn't bother to read the other answers. In short, it was a mess. See some discussion at MSE: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/75168/…, – rumtscho Nov 3 '14 at 8:54
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While there isn't one specific brand that is common to the cooking tools and supplies you might normally see in a restaurant kitchen, the items will undoubtedly be certified by NSF International (NSF stands for 'National Sanitation Foundation' - NOT 'National Science Foundation' here). It is probably a good idea to get in the habit of looking for that certification when you shop: sometimes the letters are stamped into metal supplies or the logo will be clearly printed on the packaging of other tools and equipment.

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http://www.nsf.org/consumer-resources/what-is-nsf-certification/home-products-appliances/home-product-appliance-certification/

http://www.cookingforengineers.com/article/84/NSF-Certification

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSF_International

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Actually a lot of restaurant supplies can be applied in the home kitchen, and they are much cheaper (as long as you can stand with the standard industrial design). You can go visit local restaurant supply store and check out smallwares there (Most of the smallwares can be used at home), and some equipment. Ask the sale there about the equipment and whether you can use it at home or not, they would let you know. I used to shop in the restaurant supply store near the Chicago O'Hare airport, called Gator Chef Restaurant Supply. I like the big showroom there and I can find some used equipment in their warehouse too!

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I hope this doesn't sound in any way off base, but in my opinion the greatest advantage a restaurant kitchen has over the typical home kitchen is counter space, meaning room to spread out the multiple aspects of what goes into preparing an excellent dish. So anything one can do to expand or open up existing counter space at home has the potential to reap great culinary dividends, as one is far less constrained to perform things in sequence in order to reuse the same space. Generally, taking advantage of up space seems to be the key to maximizing work surface [area]. An obvious example of this is a microwave oven that hangs from the bottom of a cabinet.

Beyond this, if I were to select just one component from a high end restaurant to add to my kitchen at home it would be professional grade scales, one for high capacity and one for high accuracy, though neither will come cheap. A second preference would be for a flush-mounted, side-by-side frig/freezer with clear doors and an externally controlled light switch. Dream big, right? On the smaller scale, or more reasonable level, a traditional hand-cranked sausage grinder is kitchen perfection. Great question!

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    Accurate Digital scales aren't expensive. I have this one that's accurate to .01G, and this one that happily weighs everything else. I don't butcher whole large animals, so I can't imagine needing a higher capacity than maybe 25 kilos in a home kitchen. EDIT: I fixed the links. – Jolenealaska Nov 2 '14 at 7:59
  • hard to calibrate a word like cheap, but thanks for the specific alternatives @Jolenealaska – Tom Raywood Nov 2 '14 at 21:49

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