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What are your favorite gizmos/tools?

Maybe you want to share that fancy sous vide you got for Christmas or the chef's knife you couldn't live without. Share things that make a difference for you in your kitchen.

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I love this little guy. I think It retails for about $12 at Bed, Bath and beyond. Good Grips OXO. I make a million vinaigrettes and it is just a great little container to pour your acid, fat and others into. Give it a good shake and viola! Great for storing and pouring. I have 3.
 

DoctorShavegood

Ambassador
Maybe you want to share that fancy sous vide you got for Christmas or the chef's knife you couldn't live without. Share things that make a difference for you in your kitchen.

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I love this little guy. I think It retails for about $12 at Bed, Bath and beyond. Good Grips OXO. I make a million vinaigrettes and it is just a great little container to pour your acid, fat and others into. Give it a good shake and viola! Great for storing and pouring. I have 3.
I've got one too and even before i pulled up your thread i was thinking about my salad dressing shaker from Oxo.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I like a coiled whisk and have them in metal wire and plastic. Great for pan sauces for getting to the edge of the pan. Can work with small amounts of liquid.

Not original with me. As I recall the first reference I saw to them was in Capon's Supper of the Lamb, one of my all time favorite cookbooks, except it is so much more than a cookbook.
 
I'm a traditionalist, and not just concerning shaving. Two of my cast iron skillets. It took me years to learn to properly season/use them, but they are now a pleasure to use. The 10 incher was purchased new just after moving out of my parent's house about 27 years ago. The 8 incher was given to me used by my mother a couple of years later-too little for her and Dad. I enjoy cooking, but enjoy cooking more with them. I hope my kid learns to enjoy/appreciate cooking with cast iron in time...
 

TexLaw

Contributor
Just looking around my kitchen, I have more than a few. There are a lot of things around here that make our lives a lot easier! In no particular order:

KitchenAid Pro Stand Mixer - This thing is a workhorse in our kitchen, especially when it comes to cookie and bread dough, not to mention the pasta attachments. It's powerful enough to knead a 6-7 cup bread dough.

Pasta attachments for the stand mixer - We have both the roller/cutter attachment and the extruder, and I use both quite often. It's very nice to have both hands to work with (rather than having to crank with one). Also, it's VERY well anchored (from the weight of the mixer), and having all the action happen at chest level is a benefit I didn't expect.

Cuisinart electric kettle - It has six set temperatures (160, 175, 185, 190, 200, and boil), as well as a "keep warm" (i.e., hold the set temp), so it couldn't be much more convenient. It also holds 1.75 L (roughly 2 quarts) and detaches from the stand, so it's versatile and easy to deal with.

Cuisinart food processor - Another workhorse. It's compact, effective, and easy to use. It's also remarkably easy to clean thoroughly.

Dough whisk - Classic and low tech. I use it for my 100% rye bread and a few other things where the stand mixer just doesn't cut it. It's astoundingly more efficient than a spoon or spatula.

ThermaWorks Everything! - The Thermapen might be the greatest thing ever to come into the kitchen after Mrs. TL. We also have two ChefAlarms that float around the kitchen, reading temps of ovens, frying oil, large cuts or birds in the oven, etc., and they make great timers. The Signals is great for the pit or pellet cooker! I can hook up four probes to the same unit, and the wi-fi connectivity lets me get away from the pellet cooker to leave the house for a few hours or so.

Instant Pot - Everyone knows about these things.

Camp Chef Lux Pellet Cooker - A big expense, but also a great surprise. It's all but replaced my offset. I love my Klose offset, but it doesn't get hot nearly as often as it used to.

Weston Pro 2300 vacuum sealer - Yet another workhorse. We seal leftovers, raw meat, bulk stuff (spices, green coffee, tea, nuts), barbecue for the freezer, carcasses for stock later on, and I don't know how many other things. The buzz of its pump motor is part of the music of our kitchen. Over the last 10 years or so that we've had it, it's more than paid for itself.

DeLonghi Magnifica superautomatic espresso maker - I don't know if it's truly a "kitchen gadget," but the only thing in our kitchen that gets more use is the sink.
 
I actually use this for cleaning my grill(s) before and after cooking, lighting charcoal, Searing steak, etc. Also does a good job of melting ice on my walk (neighbors look at me kind of funny).
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The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I actually use this for cleaning my grill(s) before and after cooking, lighting charcoal, Searing steak, etc. Also does a good job of melting ice on my walk (neighbors look at me kind of funny).
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I have one of those I use for searing meats after they have been "sous vided," if that is a word. I have been tempted to try it on a steak without a prior sous vide! It is wonderful for that purpose and so much fun to use. I have not thought about using it for cleaning a grill, but that seems like a great idea. In a world where it is difficult to get kitchen equipment that is satisfyingly powerful enough to do a job quickly and easily, this item stands out as delivering the goods.

I agree with a lot of what is on Tex Law's list, too, and the ones I do not agree about are only because I have not tried them. I do like having a vacuum sealer, but I think an upgrade would be useful.
 
I actually use this for cleaning my grill(s) before and after cooking, lighting charcoal, Searing steak, etc. Also does a good job of melting ice on my walk (neighbors look at me kind of funny).
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I might look at you funny as well... but with a healthy dose of respect! Whilst I admire your... chutzpah... and I have no doubt that gets the job done, might I throw out the bernzomatic ts8000 for a culinary torch? A tad more precise and you can always use indoors as well.
 
Hi,

My plain carbon steel Wok. I use it not only for stir frying but deep frying and steaming also. And once cured, it's stupid slick and easy to clean. I have no idea why I never got one years ago.
 
I might look at you funny as well... but with a healthy dose of respect! Whilst I admire your... chutzpah... and I have no doubt that gets the job done, might I throw out the bernzomatic ts8000 for a culinary torch? A tad more precise and you can always use indoors as well.
Have one of those as well.
Also a Butane torch.
Also a barbecue dragon blower + chimney starter.

:)
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
I might look at you funny as well... but with a healthy dose of respect! Whilst I admire your... chutzpah... and I have no doubt that gets the job done, might I throw out the bernzomatic ts8000 for a culinary torch? A tad more precise and you can always use indoors as well.
I am thinking the Bernzomatic ts8000 might be fine for creme brulee, but not so good for four or more sous vide 12 oz rib eyes. :) And as for using a "flame thrower" indoors, this guy apparently does or something like indoors, but I would not recommend it! See starting around 1:40.
I also take more time to do it than this guy. I really like this series of sous vide videos, by the way. A little repetitious, perhaps, but they seem to have a good time and to really enjoy a steak!
 
Lol... Ok, for banging out larger quantities and show effect this... weapon?... wins hands down. So I guess it comes down to which tool serves your kitchen best. Your YouTuber even states at the end of his video that "it's not practical to use". But if the tool fits by all means use it. Turning it back around I saw No creme brulee being caramelized with said flamethrower.
 

The Knize

Moderator Emeritus
Turning it back around I saw No creme brulee being caramelized with said flamethrower.
Absolutely not! This tool is every bit as dramatic to use as it looks.

I have a small propane torch, too. I got the flame thrower at Great Harbor Tools. I think with coupon I paid less than $20 for it. I did have a grill-sized propane tank already. Looking at what Great Harbor sells now I seem to have the deluxe $34.95 version, whereas the guy in the video seems to be using the standard $27.95 or so version. I did pick up some welding gloves at the same time.

I also suggest holding that torch with two hands. You would not want to forget what you were doing and reach in with the free hand, although that seems pretty unlikely.

I do not know why the guy says "it is not practical to use." I do remember him saying that, but it seems to have become his go to for searing sous vided meats. I have tried all sorts of things to sear a sous vided steak and this seems to work by far the best for me. A super-heated cast iron pan does well but raises the question of how to super-heat it, not something you are going to easily do inside either. A charcoal chimney works to some extent, but is awkward to use with a steak of any size. I do not see that a regular grill gets at all hot enough. Ditto re a broiler. I suppose if I had a real Salamander (sp?) broiler!
 
While I'll use the flamethrower torch to sear after sous vide once in a while, I still prefer to sear over hot coals for the most part. I usually do the reverse sear on my kettle so I already have lit coals anyway.

I use the Sous vide for cooking chuck to medium rare over 36Hrs+, chicken breast, etc. Good cuts of steak get smoked at 225*F to 120*F then seared.
 

TexLaw

Contributor
Looking back over this thread, I don't know how I left off my immersion blender. I use that thing for blending gravies and other sauces, emulsifying mayonnaise and vinaigrettes, coarsely grinding spices on a larger scale (with the chopper attachment thingy), or also using that chopper attachment thingy as a small food processor. It's another kitchen workhorse.

I also love my lemon squeezer.
 
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