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April 19, 2006

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nh dave

Oh the fun of kitchen tools and other oddities.

Second the rice cooker. Best thing you can buy, if you like rice that is. Perfect rice everytime and such a simple device. Same with the cast iron, love the stuff (only way to cook steak indoors IMHO).

My current obsession is my trusty carbon steel wok. I use it for more or less everything. Good for pan frying fish to anything else I can try to cook (which granted isn't much). Who needs non-stick when you can lay down a think shellac of unknown old cooked stuff (just like the cast iron!).

As for the kitchenaid... There were epic battles between myself and my ex about the bloody thing. She wanted one more than anything in the world, and not the normal one, but the 575 watt professional model (for a cool ~$400). I never understood the attraction personally, maybe around the holidays when you were making batches of cookies for people or something, but like a cuisinart I just don't see the draw for normal use. The cleaning alone makes them a pain. I used to use them to soften butter at a resturant I worked at, sadly that is my only exposure using one.

So I vote (as I did then) no on the kitchenaid. Use the money for some good knives or a good saucier.

-Dave

PS also buy an electric kettle! So much easier than the stove top!

Mike

True True! Lodge is a great deal. Be sure to get the Lodge 'Logic' with advanced preseasoning technology. Well worth a few extra bucks.

I got my 7qt LeCrueset dutch oven for $125 instead of $220+ at a factory outlet on the NY Thruway. Never been a prouder shopper.

James T

People get really precious about kitchen gear... I think the best bargain was a toaster we got at the local car boot sale and it cost a quid and has lasted 2 years now, looks set to run and run even though its got a white plastic case and is a bit small. It was chucked out by these posh Chiswick peeps who probably replaced it with the industrial sized steel one from Heals (posh shop in Tottenham Court Rd) that needs 2 nuclear power stations to run it.

listner_matt

I'm a big follower of the time/money/effort equation, and tend to do kitchen activities with a more hardcore/speedmetal approach. In other words, I want it FAST. Not fast like fast food, but I like to have everything done in the shortest amount of time possible. And if you like grains, that rules out rice. While pasta can be a good standby backup, the ruling quick grain is couscous. Make it on the stove in a small cooking pot, if you spent more than five minutes you've gone too long....

Dale Hazelton

Yea, the Kitchenaid! When you've beaten up a batch of cream cheese icing with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes and your arm aches like the devil, you'll be glad you spent close to a weeks salary at near minimum wage to get one. To heck with Le Crueset-- Trouble, if you LOVE cast iron, the real black no-nonsense, can't kill it stuff, search out "Griswold" on Ebay for vintage cast iron like grandma had. Dutch ovens, pancake griddles, roasters, wafflemakers, trivets, etc, it can be had for $5 or $500 for rare pieces. Now why am I eating all of these cakes and waffles......?

krokus

I used to cook excellent rice on the stove. Then I taught my husband how. Then I totally forgot everything and always burned or undercooked the rice on the stove. A $14.99 electric cooker from Bed Bath and Bullshit saved me from eternal humiliation. Sometimes you just have to knuckle under and consume a consumer product.

listener_paul

Oh, kitchen gadget lust. I don't yet own a kitchen aid, but want one badly. I sit and imagine the doughs I would make with one of those.

But my dutch oven, like my frying pans, is cast iron as well. Awesome marinara in that baby. I don't see the need for the high-priced enamelized one, but I could be wrong about that.

However, I use this square teflon thingy for pancakes.

Kettles rock too.

I don't have a rice cooker. Tell me, does it do risotto?

Goyim in the AM

My Kenwood slays your KitchenAid, and it costs less.

I have never messed up rice since I started following Martin Yan's instructions in the Yan Can Cook Book. Really!

Steve PMX

I got my brother & his wife a Zojirushi cooker ($80) + rice cooker cookbook for xmas. They've been really happy with it + it gives them some extra stovetop space to work with. It's great for making weird exotic-y rice with whatever you want to try out - and you can even steam stuff in it. Ordered them from Amazon.com - here's the links:

Zojirushi NS-PC10 Electric 5-Cup Rice Cooker and Warmer ($79.99):
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00005OBC3/ref=pd_lpo_k2a_1_txt/104-5446719-1687133?%5Fencoding=UTF8&v=glance

Cookbook:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1558322035/104-5446719-1687133?v=glance&n=283155

JT

My first piece of cookware was a good cast-iron skillet. no idea as to brand, but it's essential.

second most essential is the rice cooker. ours is a taiwanese model from the mid 60s with a simple switch and some funky measuring method, but it will work for another 50 years. you can buy the same models in chinatown, if you can convince the sales lady that you honestly know how to use it. it also doubles as a steamer and a crock pot to the initiated. if you want to RV or tailgate Chinese-style, it's a must have.

now the kitchenaid - yes, compared to good knives, it's harder to justify. but i did buy mine after using a girlfriend's grandma's 40 yr old specimen, and it's the same as you get in a store today, i got one. sometimes i use it a lot, others periods in my life i use it to make pizza dough every 4 mos (with the bread hook) and i can say, it's a worthy thing to have. inferior blenders can burn out. immersion blenders are a sad farce if you have small children around. espresso machines can flake out, weaken, or just provoke lust for better, prettier, more expensive models (isn't espresso from italy?). cuisinarts are great, but the upper plastic components can crack over time (replace them via online purchases!). but the kitchenaid is a damn near indestructible piece of electrical work like they don't make anymore. except they do, and it's still the kitchenaid. it's the harley of your kitchen appliances. unless you are doing some pro-level catering or something, the $200 model is excellent, and the same price as it was 13 years ago...

Amien

Wow! Great info. I wish, I could have such a writing skills.

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