Gadgets and Kitchen items

As I indicated, in another post, I do enjoy eating out a lot but do also eat at home also.  Given that I am a Kitchen Gadget nut in that I really love having some kitchen gadgets and don't want to be without them.   Given that I thought I would make a post where I could share with the group some of my favorite gadgets and items that I have found indispensable in the Kitchen.

#1) I love my NuWave Oven Pro   http://www.nuwaveoven.com/.  I've seen the TV infomercials about the product but in this case I really love the performance it gives me.  I believe it does what it says it will do and is not that cumbersome.  It's small enough and economical enough that I think every RV should have one.  It really does a great job cooking foods from frozen state to ready for the table as well and given it does all that it promises to do and the great luck I've had with it I would recommend it first.

#2)  Swissmar Borner V-Slicer.  There are many of these type devices out there but this one I've used for 30 years now and I've had the same one without having it dull.  It's plastic but it's well made and has great blades on it.  I just find that I use it most of any of my gadgets and because it works so well and predictable I would recommend it to anyone.  https://youtu.be/3cnsFjp8UXU  I've found it at Kitchen Collection and other places for around $30 but looking at sites today it seems they are selling for $40 now.  I still think if you look you can find it for less but then it's been so long since I purchased mine and it's lasted so long that, at least for me, it's been worth what I paid.

#3) Power Air Fryer XL - http://www.powerairfryer.com/  I purchased mine at Sam's Club on a club special price and since then have come to love the performance of this appliance.  It really does approximate frying  foods but without the grease.   There is an oil bottle that they say you can use to spray oil onto the foods to make them taste better but I've found that I do better without spraying the oil on the foods.  I've cooked most everything I deep fry in the deep fryer in this and they have come out great and with no oil.  They say you can cook a cake in one but I haven't tried that nor do I plan to but I really do like this device.

#4) T-Fal OptiGrille http://www.t-falusa.com/Cookin...lll-%2B/p/7211002113   This is like the George Forman Grille but I think is better and more useful.  I have been very pleasantly surprised by this grill in the way it actually cooks/grills a frozen steak without thawing it first.  Whether from frozen or fresh from the refrigerator it does a perfect job of cooking/grilling a steak to your specified doneness level.   It also does great for paninis.  The Cuisinart GR-4NR Griddler is also a very good device is you don't want to go the T-Fal but I believe the T-Fal and it's built in computer for determining cooking times makes a better deal.  both are versatile panini type cookers/grills and work well. 

#5) T-Fal  Ultimate EZ Clean Fryer http://www.t-falusa.com/Cookin...n-Fryer/p/7211001726  The reviews, even from the manufacturer's website, are not so good but I would give it a great review for my part because it, for me, is so easy to clean.   I hate cleaning deep fryers and while if you want something quick and not to big you can't beat the Presto Fry Daddy or Grand Daddy type deep fryers .  For the larger deep fryers I really like this one that T-Fal has offered mostly because it's so easy to clean.  It's the only one that I have ever thought enough to recommend because when your oil cools down you can just throw a switch, on the front of the fryer, and the oil drains and is filtered into an oil reservoir that slides in and out from under the fryer.  Then you just clean the fryer as the fryer tub comes out, and when you put it back just unscrew the plug from the reservoir and pour the filtered oil back into the fryer ready for the next time you use it.  It takes far more oil than a Fry daddy but it really does a good job.    

#6) Power Pressure Cooker XL  http://www.powerpressurecooker.com/  Many people don't like pressure cooking but we love it and the results you get from Pressure cooking.  The meats just come out so tender and tasty that everyone should experience it along with the speed that it cooks at.  We've got and had the standard Pressure cookers you use on stove eyes but the new Electric Pressure Cookers work very well also and clean up easily.  There are several variants of the cooker I've listed here but all are pretty much the same, or so I've heard.  We got ours at Sam's Club and have found it works great on steaming things as well as pressure cooking them.  We keep a separate steamer but if you don't have one this one works like a steamer also.

#7)  Cast Iron Cookware - http://www.lodgemfg.com/  Lodge makes this cookware and is best known for it but there are others who make it.  There is no substitute for a seasoned Cast Iron skillet for making corn bread and/or Fried Chicken or Chopped Steak.  I don't know what it is but there is just something about cooking in a Cast Iron Skillet or cookware that makes things seem to taste a little bit better.  Maybe it's the heat distribution or maybe it's just the seasoning but for pan frying there is no better skillet for the kitchen.  The hard/difficult part is cleaning it and keeping it seasoned and not allowing it to rust.  This is not a pan for the electric dishwasher but hand wash and dry good.  We also put a small layer of oil over the pan to store it.  There is actually an outlet store in South Pittsburg, TN where the Lodge factory is located and often they have pretty good discounts, if you are by there that is. 

#8) K-Cup Coffee makers - Okay this isn't for everyone as those of you who make whole pots of coffee and are large coffee drinkers will not be as interested in K-Cups except for the variety that they provide.  From what I hear nothing beats a good Bunn Coffee maker or for some Mr. Coffee does best but for people like me who don't drink a lot of coffee or for those who like to try many different types/styles of coffee then K-Cup coffee makers are great.  Their are pretty much single cup coffee makers but there is such a variety of coffees out there that you can try so many different types in one setting or provide several different coffee choices to your friends you have over rather than having one pot fits all.  Yes they are more expensive in that it's always less expensive to brew a pot or serve it by the pot full but cost for K-Cup makers and the K-Cups themselves are coming down due to their popularity and there is a great diverse selection of choices for the K-Cup makers.

#9)  This isn't for everyone and in fact not for but a select few but for those who like perfection and non-standard way of cooking this is for you.  The Anova Precision (Sous Vide) cooker - https://anovaculinary.com/anova-precision-cooker/  -  This device/appliance is  for Sous Vide cooking and is definitely non traditional but Is a very precise way to cook and also about the only way if not the only way to cook some foods safely.  If you want chopped steak cooked medium without the worry about the bacteria then Sous Vide is the way that you need to cook.  Chicken or other meats that are normally only cooked well done likewise can be cooked at a lower level of doneness than with traditional cooking methods but this style requires some experience and a little faith in doing it but it works great.   My recommendation is check out the website and read carefully about Sous Vide cooking before you jump right in.  https://anovaculinary.com/anova-precision-cooker/ is the website and there are also links from that website to other sites.

#10) Copper Chef Cooking Pan - http://www.copperchef.com/   I got my 10 inch Copper Chef cooking pan with lid at Amazon.com but there are other location they are available such as Bed Bath and Beyond.  I like this pan because it actually is about as non-stick as they come.  When you prepare the pan (according to directions) correctly then it stays non-stick and is one of the most non-stick surfaces I've used.  This pan is great for eggs and other foods that often stick to the pan/skillet.  I don't know about all their products but the 10 inch pan is a great product and it's also design and built where it can be used with induction cookers.

#11) Chefaith Silicon cooking gloves or Ove Glove type cooking gloves - https://www.amazon.com/gp/prod...00?ie=UTF8&psc=1  & http://www.asseenontv.com/the-.../detail.php?p=295536  (Ove Gloves are available many places) - a good, dependable, pair of cooking gloves are indispensable for the kitchen and keeping you safe and unburnt.  I use these most every time we cook foods in the oven and they work great.  I like them far better than regular oven mitts or pot holders.  A note about the Ove Gloves though.  The Ove Gloves do not protect you from hot steam.  If you are pouring out hot water from a pan into the sink then the Ove Glove doesn't protect you from the rising hot steam so in that case the Chefaith silicon type gloves or BBQ gloves would protect you better. 

That's just a few of the recommendations that I would make for someone that ask me what my favorite kitchen devices/gadgets are.  Also important to every kitchen, and cannot be understated is the need for excellent sharp kitchen knives.  There are many but it's wise to research and look at reviews before buying a set of knives.  I also believe in Ceramic knives as they are very ultra sharp but do chip/break easy so there are some down sides to them but they are ultra sharp and I think are a great addition to any kitchen.  Likewise the choice of a great vegetable (potato) peeler is worth researching.  I have several that I like including Kitchen Aid but you don't know the value of a good one until you have had a bad one.

If you have any additional recommendations I hope you will add a reply to this tread and share with everyone some of the kitchen essentials that you have enjoyed and rely upon. 

Be as the Bereans ( Acts 17:11 )
Original Post

At Some point in Time – These were Gadgets:

When I cook I like to use different cookware for different foods being prepared. Simpler the better for me.

Nothing fancy here, but its what I grew up using & it works. The wife does want the copper skillet for cooking eggs.

Cast iron Skillets 11” & 6” approximately – Blackened Fish, Searing &/or Cooking  Meats, frying/caramelizing Cabbage & Onions, French Toast, Pancakes, Cornbread, etc. Even heat distribution, has lasted for 3 generations, I’m still using them.

12” Heavy Wok – Lots of Stir Fry - All Veggie’s, mushrooms, you name it. Turn the heat up and keep tossing.

2qt Sauce Pan w/Steamer and Lid w/steam valve – Pastas, Rice, Steamed Vegetables, Shrimp, etc.

Porcelain coated metal grill with small holes – Roasting Vegetables, shrimp, other small items that would normally fall through the grill grate.

Heavy duty Aluminum Foil – Baked potatoes, Corn, Sweet potatoes, in fire coals or oven.(not a gadget but an often overlooked cooking Helper Outer)

The only Real Gadget I have considered, would be an Electric Smoker  that use wood/Hickory pellets, with ability to control your moisture within the chamber,  but then again, your restricted to using their  wood pellets, to work in their system.

 Guess I will stick to my old Brinkman Smoker for my BBQ Pork, using the broken off limbs from my hickory trees. I never seem to run out of cooking/smoking  material.

unclegus posted:

I have cast iron cookware, the only thing I cook on. and, Silicone gloves. Don't have space for much more. I do have an air popcorn popper, a steamer, a food processer, toaster and blender.

LOL

And I have a can opener.  An electric one.

 

I seem to have overlooked 1 Gadget I can’t live without. I bought this Hamburger Press at Walmart 6-7 years ago and it works very good compared to others. The photo looks very much like what we have. When we buy ground beef on sale and using scales, we press out 6 oz raw burgers/place on parchment paper/freezer bags. When unexpected company comes over. Place the Frozen Burgers directly on the grill.. Great Burger Press for the money. $8.96 today, seems like I paid ~$5.96

 

 What I notice, most burger presses say non-stick, but from several I have tried through the years, they all stick to some degree, when the meat protein/fat builds up on the device. So I use a very thin table knife to separate the plastic middle piece from the meat pattie prior to placement on parchment paper..

Works like a charm for me.. Walmart call this one "Starfrit" Burger Press

Mine didn't have any name on it, just patent pending...

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budsfarm posted:
unclegus posted:

I have cast iron cookware, the only thing I cook on. and, Silicone gloves. Don't have space for much more. I do have an air popcorn popper, a steamer, a food processer, toaster and blender.

LOL

And I have a can opener.  An electric one.

 

LOL

Hey, I have one of those too. Does yours do pretty good when the powers out, right at supper time...

River Runner posted:
budsfarm posted:
unclegus posted:

I have cast iron cookware, the only thing I cook on. and, Silicone gloves. Don't have space for much more. I do have an air popcorn popper, a steamer, a food processer, toaster and blender.

LOL

And I have a can opener.  An electric one.

 

LOL

Hey, I have one of those too. Does yours do pretty good when the powers out, right at supper time...

Never fails.  +

 

I've wanted to try a Nu Wave. I've wondered about an air fryer. Pressure cookers and canners my whole life. Cast iron is great. K cup, it costs $30 for a coffee maker that makes 8 to 10 cups, it costs $130 for a coffee maker that makes 1 cup. Copper pans are really slick, I wonder how long lasting. I would like to try a heavy wok.

jtdavis posted:

I've wanted to try a Nu Wave. I've wondered about an air fryer. Pressure cookers and canners my whole life. Cast iron is great. K cup, it costs $30 for a coffee maker that makes 8 to 10 cups, it costs $130 for a coffee maker that makes 1 cup. Copper pans are really slick, I wonder how long lasting. I would like to try a heavy wok.

JT, I swear by my NuWave (Oven) and have for a long time now.  I really can see it making a difference for some dorm student or in an RV but we use it often in place of our larger traditional oven and it does do a great job especially cooking foods from a frozen condition.  They have a their own food/cooking chart that is very accurate or at least we've found it to be.  I would highly recommend though just researching the price for often you can find the larger model on sale (the one with the extended ring that allows for even a large Turkey to be cooked within it). 

There are actually some cast iron woks out there but a good heavy carbon steel works well also and is also compatible with yet another cooking device, induction units which are great due to not heating up anything but the pots/pans themselves.   Still for WOK cooking I like GAS units and I miss having a Gas stove/range but we hope to change that in the next kitchen remodel.

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