Questions tagged [equipment]

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

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17
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I measure the performance of my stovetop pots and pans?

Am I looking for the ratio of burnt dishes to fine dishes? Well-cooked to not? My general happiness? When should I replace a pot or pan? I am unsure where to begin.
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the proper usage of a pie bird?

I have one of those ceramic pie birds that vent steam from a pie while it bakes. What benefit does using this provide to the end result? Also, in what types of pies should it be used?
11
votes
3answers
8k views

Is it worth to install a gas stove with a big gas bottle in the kitchen?

There are several options when it comes to choosing a stove. From my own experience, electric stoves are not really that great. I guess most households have them because their are convenient to ...
14
votes
6answers
10k views

Is there a way to grate a block of cheese entirely without hurting one's fingers or knuckles?

You know the scenario: You grate the cheddar until you're left with a quarter-inch. What do you do? Try to grate it and risk cutting your knuckles, or pop it in your mouth and enjoy? Usually I do the ...
16
votes
7answers
3k views

How many ceramic knives do I want?

I've heard that ceramic knives are the new thing. It's far easier, though, to find metal knives that look and feel nice. So, budget notwithstanding (within reason) and assuming that I have to buy a ...
17
votes
7answers
87k views

What are the advantages of a Santoku over a French Chef's Knife?

When it comes to general cooking knives the santoku and french chef's are generally the ones most often mentioned. Is the style of use very different? The only real difference I'm aware of is that you ...
14
votes
2answers
13k views

Is it ok to use a metal turner in a wok?

Is it ok to use a metal utensil when turning or serving food in a (seasoned, steel) wok? I suspect that the wok surface may get scratched, but it doesn't seem to cause any problems so far; is it ...
32
votes
8answers
106k views

What can I use for a Crème brûlée if I don't have a blow torch?

I've always wanted to make a Crème brûlée but I don't have a blow torch to burn the top with. Is there anything else I can use to get that nice crunchy caramel on top?
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Which is better to sauté with, stainless steel or Teflon?

Lots of times in recipes, they'll specify using a stainless steel pan, but I find the non-stick aspect of Teflon to be an advantage. Is stainless steel really better, and if so ,What about it makes it ...
33
votes
12answers
119k views

Slow cooking without a slow cooker

I frequently hear people telling me about how wonderful their slow cookers (AKA "crock pot") are. In many cases they're right - meat that tends to come out tough in normal cooking comes out very ...
16
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
181k views

Can cheesecake be cooked without a spring-form pan?

I don't have a spring form pan but I watched a show where they seemed to cook their cheesecakes in regular pans. Is this possible or did I just not notice that they were in fact spring form pans? I ...
25
votes
9answers
115k views

When baking, is it better to use a gas or electric oven?

I'm looking for an oven and wanted to know if there is any difference between a gas or electric oven when it comes to baking things like cakes, biscuits and scones?
54
votes
10answers
5k views

How should I care for my knives?

I've finally put down the money to buy a quality knife and it's sharpness is amazing! How do I take care of it so that the edge lasts and the knife stays sharp?
26
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
47
votes
7answers
24k views

How do you clean a seasoned cast iron skillet?

I have a seasoned cast iron skillet, and I don't want to mess up the seasoning when I'm cleaning it. What do I use and what don't I use to get it back to clean? I've heard not to use soap and to ...
5
votes
2answers
530 views

Should I purchase and use a grease or oil splash screen?

I use a sauce pan often for grilling chicken or frying bacon, and a lot of grease tends to splash out. There are fine mesh screens available with a handle designed to cover the pan without creating a ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

How to stop sweet/sugary dressings from ruining a baking dish?

Through trial and error I've discovered that squeezing a fresh lime over roast parsnips (prior to roasting) make the end product absoutely sublime. The problem however is that the sticky sweet lime ...
95
votes
13answers
13k views

What knives are “required” for a serious home kitchen?

I consider myself a serious home cook. What knives are essential?
25
votes
7answers
3k views

Cutting boards: What are some general tips on purchasing and using a cutting board?

I have heard various debates on the merits of wood versus synthetic cutting boards, and their affect on food safety, knife edges, and ease of cleaning and storage. What are the pros and cons of the ...
18
votes
6answers
16k views

Can you hone a knife properly by using another knife?

I recall seeing this in movies. Can it be called the poor man's steel?
27
votes
4answers
2k views

Wok preparation and caring

What is a good technique for initially seasoning a wok, keeping it seasoned, and preventing rust?

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