Nov 6, 20172887 views

[Ongoing] Kitchen Tools: Questions & Answers

On Massdrop, you can find enthusiasts of all levels within any given community. There are beginners who are just starting out and experts who really know their stuff. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of enthusiasts, you should always be able to find answers to your questions within the community.
ASK KITCHEN-TOOL QUESTIONS Want to know what the best zester for oranges is? How to properly clean a grater? We have resident experts here in the office, but often times the best way to get a quick response is to ask the community itself. There are members of the Cooking Community who are experts in pretty much any area of cooking you can imagine.
Ask your question(s) by posting in the discussion below.
GIVE ANSWERS Many people in the community know a lot about the right tools for the right tasks and have great information to share. If that’s you, we encourage you to help out those that have questions!

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Does anyone have any experience with ball jar fermenting lids? I have a huge, heavy Gartopf that's awesome for large batches of sauerkraut, but I want something a little friendlier for smaller batches. Just from online research I'm leaning towards the Ferment'n but figured I'd ask to see if anyone has used one. Thanks!
Helpful hint I saw on some cooking show a billion years ago — if you want an inexpensive meat mallet (chicken paillard, anyone?) try a rubber mallet from an automotive supply or woodworking store. They are really inexpensive, nigh on indestructible, and do the job at least as well as the pricey metal mallets they sell at kitchen stores.
Agree, and if you're concerned about the food safety of the mallet material, just use a layer of plastic wrap on the mallet. Also, the soft rubber ones are GREAT for helping you cut through things like hard squashes, or bones with a cleaver. Instead of swinging a sharp object down on the food, press the knife in slightly and give gentle whacks with the mallet to the spine of the blade. Much safer.
Agree. I also use mine with a cheap stamped chef‘s knife for opening young coconuts. A few whacks to open a square on top to get at the water, then the same squash method to split it for the meat.
Why'd you choose to use a Santoku Knife over a Chef's Knife (vice-versa)?
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I haven't tried a Gyuto yet and also prefer Santoku due to similar reasons you mentioned.

I think I need to try that out.
I prefer a chef's knife, as the weight helps the knife do the cutting. Especially useful for tasks involving things resistant to cutting. I like my santoku, but I rarely use it anymore. My Misen chef's knife is my go to, and if I need a heavier knife, I have a Wusthof chef's knife that's several ounces heavier.
Does anyone use the Ballarini Professionale 4500 Series? I'm debating picking one up for egg dishes and I want to know how evenly it heats and releases egg dishes. The Como series works well but, I would like something that heats up the sides a bit better with lower heat settings.
I've really been getting into making Japanese and Chinese food recently and I was curious, for making dim sum should I absolutely get a steamer basket or go more of a jimmy-rigged route and save the money for something else?
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Steamer baskets are so cheap that if you do more than a couple of dishes ever it's a waste of time to jury rig something similar. They're a couple of pounds at asian supermarkets over here anyway.
I would definitely get the right equipment especially considering it's not the most expensive investment. For me there is nothing worse than attempting a dish with the improper ingredients or equipment and getting soured on the whole experience.
Just curious, Are there any health concern sous-vide? Been interested in it for a long time...
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AngryAccountant, thanks for mentioning the plastics/bags/container point. I totally forgot about this when typing out my reply.
Between the two of us, we've totally got this. I'd never even considered the pasteurization possibilities.
Only got a pineapple corer and use that for campin. Grilled pineapple...mmmmm!
I'm interested in purchasing a spiralizer. Anyone have a favorite? I've read a lot of reviews, but most of them seem junky and you might lose a good portion of the produce. Can anyone recommend one? Thanks!
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It's a cool idea, I'm just worried that if you break a couple of decent peelers by running them into the spade bit you would have been money ahead to just buy a spiralizer in the first place. Would be worth a shot to see if you actually like the vegetable ribbons in recipes before you invest in a good spiralizer though.
I have a Paderno World Cuisine 3 blade spiralizer. I use it maybe 3 times a year... haha. But when I do manage to take it out of the box, it works very well and is simple to clean.
Has anyone used an ultrasonic knife in a home kitchen? They look cool and easy, but what are your thoughts? Is it more of a gimmicky purchase or actually something useful? Thanks!
Looks like a gimmick. A sharp, well maintained knife will do the same job with just a bit of practice and that extra cash spent on the ultrasonic thingy can instead go towards buying a higher quality blade.