Nov 6, 2017

[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 EXPERT 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.
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?
You should absolutely get the bamboo steamers as it gives off its unique smell and flavor that cannot be replicated in synthetic materials.
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.
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.
Does anyone know where to find recipes for the mini instant pot?
Can anyone recommend a value for money full cookware set that doesn't cost a nuke? Unless the one at is already the best, I'd prefer options from experts.
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Trimontia is a fine brand
tefal/teflon stuff will degrade over time so it's not what you should be looking at for long term investments. Cookware lasts the average person a long time anyway but if you wanted to hedge your bets then carbon steels and cast iron will stick around to piss your great grandkids off with the maintenance. If you buy non-stick anything, expect to have to replace it after a few years.

You can buy triple plys but they are expensive and there's the possibility you leave them on the burner and get distracted when there's nothing in the pan which breaks the lamination and leaves you with a crap, expensive paperweight.

Finally, hardly anyone needs all the pans included in the usual "full cookware set" so unless you're flush with cash and can afford the eye-wateringly expensive ones get yourself a decent saucepan and frying pan for less money and that will cover you for pretty much anything you would do.