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What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

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gadgets

Post  lyndeeloo on 4/7/2015, 7:58 am

This is a tough question....how to choose? 
I definitely agree, good knives are a must! 
My KitchenAid stand mixer, I'd be lost without that. 
A variety of sizes of stainless steel stock pots.
Canning jars!!!!! Lots of them. I use them for everything!
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  camprn on 4/7/2015, 11:20 am

Some folks have posted in the past about some really cool gadgets.

What have you got? Time for show and tell. cyclops

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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Elizabeth on 4/7/2015, 12:04 pm

DITTO the dehydrator and seal-a-meal. 

My DH hunts and fishes.  We make venison jerky in the dehydrator. 

In my humble opinion a seal-a-meal is as necessary as a quality knife and a mandolin.

I would love to have a Kitchen Aid Stand mixer but I really do not do enough baking to justify such an expensive tool.  My SIL bakes a lot.  When they built their home they purchased Kraft Maid cabinets.  She has a cabinet for her mixer with a spring loaded shelf.  She pulls the shelf out of the cabinet, it rises to counter height and locks into place.  She never has to lift her heavy mixer.

We use the blender for smoothies and Margaritas.

I make frequent use of the food processor but want to get a smaller one.  It is frequently just too much trouble to haul out the full sized processor when all I really need is one cup machine.

We have a commercial meat grinder.  We use it to make cat food.  Yes my 2 girls are spoiled rotten.  We feed them raw chicken liver, thighs - meat bone and skin, eggs and an assortment of vitamins and fish oil. 

We also use the grinder to make venison sausage - it has the sausage making attachments.  My DH has to deal with the grinder.  It is too heavy for me to handle.  

My DH has a couple of kitchen toys that he is fond of.  An electric smoker with a remote so he can sit in his recliner and monitor the temperature.  He has smoked all kinds of stuff but my favorites are home made venison sausage, pork tasso and smoked chickens.  I like to have smoked chickens in the freezer for making gumbo.  SOOO much flavor.

2 Christmases ago I gave him an oil less (infrared) turkey fryer.  It runs on LPG.  He has "fried" turkey, chicken, hen and pork roast.  Amazingly delicious!


Miscellaneous kitchen tools that I can not live without -

Vegetable peeler - in addition to peeling vegetables I use it shave cheese
Box grater
Long, hand held grater -  good for grating cheese, nutmeg and ginger
Wooden spoons
Heat resistant spatula
Tongs
Assorted whisk - different sizes for different uses
Measuring devices
Instant read meat thermometer
Large, wood cutting board - I will not use my "pride and joy" knife on anything else.
Commercial quality pepper mill

Cook ware:

A very good set of copper clad stainless
A few pieces of Calphalon
Cast Iron - southern cooks can not live without Cast Iron cook ware.

This thread has forced me to take a look at not only the items I really make use of but all of the other stuff that is rarely used and is taking up much needed space. 

Time to purge.  The older I get the less patience I have with junk.  Unfortunately my DH is some what of a hoarder. Rolling Eyes

I had an eye opening conversation recently with my 2 Sisters.  How many pot holders/oven mitts do you need?  How many hands do you have? How many sets of measuring spoons do you REALLY need? 

As the conversation progressed I realized that I have WAY too much junk cluttering up my very limited storage. Embarassed

Thank you for this thread.
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 4/7/2015, 2:01 pm

Lyndeeloo!!!!!  THERE you are!  Been wondering about you!

I agree about the Kitchenaid mixer.  I've got one of the BIG ones.  And, yes, sometimes it IS too big.  Then I get out my hand-held...

My Nutribullet or Magicbullet for whipped cream...!

Yes, also our electric smoker.  (Ever tried bacon on a smoker.... HEAVEN in my mouth!)  And my Titan veggie peeler - best peeler I've ever had. 

I'm sure I'll come up w/ some other things too...

Oh!  and my apple peeler/corer!  Can't forget that one.
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  sanderson on 4/7/2015, 2:42 pm

I like my gadgets, especially the ones with "tails", but my favorite are faucets. I love the convenience of a faucet handle. Wella! Water for bathing, cooking, washing and watering.

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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Elizabeth on 4/7/2015, 6:07 pm

   Sanderson. 

My SIL has an LPG cook top - 5 burners including a bridge burner - on her island with a POT FAUCET! 

SOOOO Jealous!
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  boffer on 8/19/2015, 10:58 am

A kitchen sink faucet foot pedal has become one of our kitchen priorities.



We've had them in our kitchens for nearly 20 years, so using them has become a sub-conscious habit.  However, the habit comes to the fore-front when we stand in front of a sink without a pedal.  Kinda like getting out of a car with a manual transmission and into an automatic: my left foot keeps reaching for a clutch pedal that's not there!
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  yolos on 8/19/2015, 3:24 pm

@boffer wrote:A kitchen sink faucet foot pedal has become one of our kitchen priorities.



We've had them in our kitchens for nearly 20 years, so using them has become a sub-conscious habit.  However, the habit comes to the fore-front when we stand in front of a sink without a pedal.  Kinda like getting out of a car with a manual transmission and into an automatic: my left foot keeps reaching for a clutch pedal that's not there!

I have never heard of a kitchen sink faucet foot pedal.  Where have I been all these years.  I guess it turns the faucet on and off ?????????
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/19/2015, 4:24 pm

I've never heard of one either.

Seems like a neat idea.
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  camprn on 8/19/2015, 4:29 pm

I love sink foot peddles. Used to have them in the hospital where I worked. Now there are knee water faucet levers too.

https://www.tsbrass.com/products.php?loc_cat=Manual+Faucets&loc_desc=Pedal+Valves&page=0

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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/19/2015, 6:12 pm

Scissors hands down. Iris scissors for thinning seedlings and regular scissors for tons of stuff!
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/23/2015, 4:17 am

Back in the USA, I'd have to say my bread machine.

Once I moved here permanently, finding a new bread machine was a challenge.  However, the one kitchen item I found I missed the most was an oven - those are extremely rare in Chinese kitchens.

I finally acquired something that's sort of a toaster oven on steroids.  I think of it as an industrial sized EZ-Bake oven. Very Happy
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Marc Iverson on 8/23/2015, 5:28 am

Wow an oven is hard to find??? That's as far from American cooking as I could imagine.

I love bread machines. Too much ... I vowed never to get one again. The product they make is so good and takes so little effort. I'd smell that loaf cooking half in agony until it was done, and no matter my plans, would be sorely tempted to eat a big chunk of that hot fragrant bread as soon as it was cool enough to handle, either with butter or just alone by its lovely self. Give me a bread machine and I will gain ten pounds a month indefinitely until my soon and sorry demise.

The Japanese make the best-reviewed and by far the priciest ones. Maybe a problem in China, I don't know.
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/23/2015, 9:51 am

@Escaped Lunatic wrote:Back in the USA, I'd have to say my bread machine.

Once I moved here permanently, finding a new bread machine was a challenge.  However, the one kitchen item I found I missed the most was an oven - those are extremely rare in Chinese kitchens.

I finally acquired something that's sort of a toaster oven on steroids.  I think of it as an industrial sized EZ-Bake oven. Very Happy

No ovens? How do they bake things?
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/23/2015, 10:26 am

EL - can you make an adobe oven?  There are plans available online for free.
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/24/2015, 7:22 am

Happily, I did get a bread machine early on (a separate tale I should tell with pictures on my website - need to hunt those down).  Ah, found one pic of it.



But, what good is fresh bread if you can't occasionally bake some lasagna (something I hadn't done since I was about 12), thus the need for the oven.

Finding an oven at any of the appliance chains or super stores proved useless.  Had to order mine online.


How do Chinese bake things?  For the most part, they don't.  A lot of things we would bake (like bread), they usually steam.  Had quite an argument once over microwaving leftover pizza (Papa Johns - Available in Dongguan since December 2006).  My wife insisted on steaming it.  Much to my surprise, it turned out pretty good.  Now I need to figure out how to create a fresh pizza crust that's steamable.

I've now done French bread pizza (amazingly, Walmart in China carries French bread) in the oven, the microwave, and steamed.  Each method produces a different texture.




Adobe oven  I thought about some sort of wood fired oven.  The drawback?  Every scrap of wood or twig that falls gets scooped up by one of the older ladies of the village.  Many of them have wood-fired stoves - some are portable and used in front of the house, others are built in.  I'd have to save up disposable chopsticks for months to be able to cook anything. No

I suppose if I'd gotten really creative, I could have figured out a gas fired one.  Overall, I think I'm happy with my supersized EZ-Bake.




Once nice thing about the house.  My wife has her Chinese kitchen on the second floor.  I've got a whole separate mostly westernized kitchen for my stuff on the 3rd floor.  The one drawback - she's slowly deciding which of my items she likes and I keep having to buy replacements for things that migrate to her kitchen.
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/24/2015, 8:33 am

lol!

"What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine."  That's the rule at our house too!
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  sanderson on 8/24/2015, 12:23 pm

I posted last night but can't find it. What about a solar oven? There is a lot of information on the internet.

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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Escaped Lunatic on 8/25/2015, 6:09 am

I do have an old solar box cooker that somehow ended up getting packed when I moved here.  It's been years since I used it.  Not sure I'd trust the sunshine not to go on holiday while baking lasagna, but it might work out well for pizza.
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  camprn on 8/12/2016, 5:59 pm

Bump

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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Suzy on 8/12/2016, 6:26 pm

WonderVeg Vegetable Spirializer

This is my new favorite gadget. I love my pasta, but it doesn't love me. So bring on the zucchini! And carrots! And I'm going to try potatoes & cabbage & broccoli stems.....
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 8/12/2016, 6:56 pm

@Suzy wrote:WonderVeg Vegetable Spirializer

This is my new favorite gadget. I love my pasta, but it doesn't love me. So bring on the zucchini! And carrots! And I'm going to try potatoes & cabbage & broccoli stems.....
Easy to clean, Suzy?  That is the number one reason I don't own/use many gadgets.  They are fun, but knuckle breaking/scraping/never get clean type of things....Dish!
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  Suzy on 8/12/2016, 8:05 pm

@Scorpio Rising wrote:
@Suzy wrote:WonderVeg Vegetable Spirializer

This is my new favorite gadget. I love my pasta, but it doesn't love me. So bring on the zucchini! And carrots! And I'm going to try potatoes & cabbage & broccoli stems.....
Easy to clean, Suzy?  That is the number one reason I don't own/use many gadgets.  They are fun, but knuckle breaking/scraping/never get clean type of things....Dish!

SO easy to clean. It comes with a tiny "bottle brush" , the blades are in a frame and slide right out. There are no tricky nooks or crannies. Plus it comes with replacement parts!!
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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  sfg4uKim on 8/12/2016, 8:42 pm

I have it too and LOVE it.

LOL I originated this post quite awhile ago. While I STILL love my Clever Cleaver, I'd probably also choose my spiralizer now.

Yes, it IS easy to clean.

I just used it the other day with the flat blade to cut zucchini for refrigerator pickles.

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Re: What's your favorite kitchen/garden gadget?

Post  AtlantaMarie on 8/12/2016, 9:17 pm

Just got a new Cabela's Commercial 12" Vacuum Sealer. (Other ones bit the dust.)

LOVE it!!
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