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Thread: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    What are yours?


    My top ten, I think (though I've no doubt missed something) are :-


    - microwave oven
    - bread maker
    - sharp knives
    - knife sharpener
    - steamer
    - slow cooker
    - vacuum sealing machine
    - meat/food slicer
    - pasta machine
    - decent, reasonably accurate digital scales

    .... and that's not in any particular order. Oh, and food processor probably ought to be in there, though I'm a recent convert.
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Pork & Beans Powerup Phage's Avatar
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Ooooh, I'm looking for some recommendations on decent scales. What's the low-down ?
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    A george foreman grill! (or similar).

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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Phage View Post
    Ooooh, I'm looking for some recommendations on decent scales. What's the low-down ?
    Define "decent"?

    What I meant is, basically, accurate enough for most cooking purposes.

    The ones I got are .... hang on, I'll get a link ....
    .
    .
    .
    ..... right, I'm back. Typical, I got mine from John Lewis and they seem to no longer do that particular model. That might account for the price.

    Similar, though, and the same brand (Salter), is this

    Here's the complex bit. I ran a whole series of tests on these, including hysteresis and linearity, eccentricity, repeatability and so forth, and I did it with very accurately calibrated, and certified test weights. By certified, I mean that shops selling produce by weight have to have scales calibrated, tested and certified to be within margin of error, across their operating range, as defined by EU Metrology legislation. And those weights are currently certified as accurate for that purpose by my local trading standards. I know that, 'cos I've used them to certify (or decertify) supermarket scales.

    Within that context, I know my testing methodology is accurate, and the scales I got (Salter 1035 SSBKDR) are "reasonable" for kitchen use. I wouldn't want to see my pharmacist using them to measure out a few grams of a drug for medicinal use, but for flour for bread, they're fine.

    They measure up to 5KG, supposedly in 1g increments. More on that later. They're small, about the size of a tea plate, with a little lump on the front for the display. They measure in grams, millilitres, pounds and ozs and fluid ounces. As far as I can tell, what the capacity measurement mean is that capacity of water. Obviously, 10 fl oz of molten lead weighs more than 10 fl oz of water. If you switch between grams and fl.oz, the reading does not change.

    When I bake bread, I know I need x amount of water (depending on dough type). I use these to get that right. But other liquids might vary.

    One very useful feature is to add incremental weights, and zero.

    For instance, a bread recipe requiring 250g of wholemeal flower, 225g of white, 6g of salt and 8 g of sugar. I just put a bowl on, and zero. Add the wholemeal flower, to 250g, and zero. And the white flour, and zero. Add salt, zero, add sugar and zero.

    And I do it that way round for a reason. I mentioned the "1g increments" earlier. The reason was this ....

    - if you have a weight of 3g, and add 1g, are the scales accurate? Answer, not very.
    - if you have a weight of 50g and you add 1g, are they accurate? Answer, yes.
    - if you have a weight of 400g and you add 1g, are they accurate? Answer, yes.

    So .... in that flour recipe, if you add salt then sugar, accuracy is probably okay, most of the time. But I wouldn't want to add 3g to 2g and rely on it. But once you get above about 8g, and certainly above 20g, they're accurate to within about 0.1g, and that was established with 0.1g trim weights of a known accurate weight. Doing it the way round I do it with that recipes ensures accuracy, and consistency. The scales will give accurate repeatable results all day long.

    Another issue was ..... if you have weight of x, add 1g then remove 1g, do you go back to x? That's the hysteresis bit. Answer, usually, yes .... but not reliably, under about 10g.

    So, again, it comes down to technique. If I want to be sure of accurate measurements of small (sub 5g) weights, use a container. Pre-load the scales with a plate or something, then zero them. Then, add your sub-5g weight.

    As you can tell, I went to town on these scales. And yes, I know, I need a life.

    The results were that they were pretty good, with the caveat mainly of dubious accuracy very close to the supposed 1g minimum. And that, by the way, is why you'll find commercially accurate scales (of a class for shop use) might have a maximum load of 5Kg, 10Kg or even 15Kg but they'll also have a 50g or 100g minimum to their operating range too.


    The overall conclusion of my mini-review .... they're very small, extremely neat, easy to use and, within the bounds of reasonable expectations for home-use kitchen scales, accurate. Just don't rely on them for running a meth lab.
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Saracen, that's quite some write up on how good your scales are.
    Although I did just sit here and read the whole thing...

    For me, the favourite gadget has to be the toaster, everyone loves a bit of toast in the morning

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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonigan View Post
    ....

    Although I did just sit here and read the whole thing...

    ....
    AHA! You're the one.


    Quote Originally Posted by Hoonigan View Post
    Saracen, that's quite some write up on how good your scales are.
    ....
    Or, as the case may be, how good they aren't.
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    One day we'll find something he doesn't have impeccable knowledge of....

    Living with 3 other adults, all of which seem to drink exclusively from cans (why?!), the recycle bin can get rather full of them...Solution. Granted that most people won't need one though
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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    Admin Saracen's Avatar
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Agent View Post
    One day we'll find something he doesn't have impeccable knowledge of....
    ....


    It wouldn't take much, believe me. Just work out what I don't comment on, and you've got a guide to my extended absence of knowledge.

    For a start, football. I think it involves a bunch of overpaid idiots running up and down a field kicking a bit of leather about. But that's about the depth of my knowledge. Or interest. Oh, and that Beckham bloke is one, isn't he?
    Noli nothis permittere te terere.


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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Favouite kitchen gadget: a wife...

    /fetches coat
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    i would assume the wife would say i'm her fav kitchen gadget.

    mines got to be,

    range cooker,
    kenwood mixer
    dishwasher

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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    AnySharp knife sharpener

    http://www.anysharp.com/

    The marketings amusing but we love ours Mr Stabby is always ready for action!

    I also like my wine aerator and my mini chopper (ohh behave).
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Favouite kitchen gadget: a wife...

    /fetches coat
    why would I want the cooking done badly ?

    /runs away without getting coat
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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    1 - Minosharp sharpener
    2 - New tin opener, actually works !
    3 - My 30cm sauté pan by Anolon £70 but worth every penny (now over 10 years old and still perfect)

    OK the last is not a gadget, but I still love it

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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Hmmmmm, I'm not really a gadgety cook, I have to say. Much prefer nice, old fashioned, very heavy implements.

    That said, I'd be miffed to be without:

    1) Glass-jugged blender. Almost exclusively used for grinding Soya Beans to make tofu out of. Yes, I am that weird.
    2) Sandwich toaster. Currently rocking a genuine breville, although I've yet to find a modern sandwich toaster that can come close to the quality of my original breville that lasted the family over 20 years and actually cut and sealed the samdwiches.
    3) Panini press. For when you've got unsliced bread or rolls but still want a toasty Although I have to admit preferring the above.

    And those items that I'm not convinced qualify as gadgets:

    Slow cooker. Yes, I know Saracen included it in his list, but I'm not convinced it's really a gadget as such. But I love mine (well, technically it's actually on loan to my wife from one of her friends from many years ago...!).
    Pestle and Mortar. It's a couple of lumps of marble, so I'm not sure it counts as a gadget, but on the other hand it's non-essential and small. Best garlic bread I've made in a long time was done by mashing garlic, olive oil and salt in my P&M. An absolute must.

    And finally: my cheap 'droid tablet. Not technically a "kitchen" gadget, but I eventually lost track of the number of times I used it to look up recipes & check conversions and measurements whilst cooking. I now use my laptop to do the same job, but it's nowhere near as convenient...

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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post

    1) Glass-jugged blender. Almost exclusively used for grinding Soya Beans to make tofu out of. Yes, I am that weird.
    Have you tried feeding it to your cat(I mean the tofu and not the grinder)??

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    And finally: my cheap 'droid tablet. Not technically a "kitchen" gadget, but I eventually lost track of the number of times I used it to look up recipes & check conversions and measurements whilst cooking. I now use my laptop to do the same job, but it's nowhere near as convenient...
    ...and not as easy to clean dried soya beans off!!


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    Re: Favourite kitchen gadgets ....

    Quote Originally Posted by HSK View Post
    A george foreman grill! (or similar).
    This is the only kitchen gadget I own, and thus use

    (I love it to bits)

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