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Poll: Favorite cooking appliance ... and why.

 
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Since I am in a "kitchen" mood ... let's do a poll. It is, after all, Friday....


What is your favorite cooking appliance? And why? ... Is it a gas range? Is it a electric range? Or the new (to the US, but not elsewhere) induction cooktop?

Or do you like other methods? Oven? Microwave? Toaster Oven? Crock pot? Outdoor BBQ? etc.

Let's hear your thoughts...

Henry
 
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I like the crock pot and outdoor BBQ. A crock pot is just so handy, and can be used for so many things. And I love BBQ.........so tasty....
 
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The biggest impediment to getting an induction range is that we'd need new pots...and we've invested a LOT into our current set. We have many Le Creuset pans that I don't think would work.

I have always used a gas range, and can't see using anything else.

Recently, we have discovered the joy and wonder of a pressure cooker. Neither my wife or I had ever used one before about 2 months ago. Every time we've used it since, we have gotten the tenderest, juiciest meats out. Simple and easy - it's awesome.

But my favorite 'appliance' would just be my wife's set of REALLY GOOD knives (she use to be a professional chef). A good knife make all the difference in the world in prepping my food.

 
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I loved food items that are fried. So "Frying Pan" is my favorite.
 
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I'm unclear on whether we're asking for devices which specifically produce heat (that seems to be what Henry was after) or kitchen appliances in general. For heat production, it's hard to top a good gas range. Quick, high heat, works with all my pots -- but neither interesting nor glamorous. We use a crock pot to make vegetable stock, but given that we don't eat much meat, I don't find it useful for anything else.

For favorite appliances in general, I have a new immersion blender that I keep finding novel uses for, and of course there's the high-powered stand mixer with the pasta attachment...
 
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I like Gas Range... You can cook at exact right temperature, that adds lots of taste to the food...
 
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To me, the most important instrument (I know that's stretching "appliance") is a probe thermometer. Exactly knowing the temperature of cooking food is key to great success.


I'm also lusting after one of these:



 
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+1 for gas range. It's the best, Unfortunatly i only have eectric.
 
Bear Bibeault
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My house isn't piped for gas in the kitchen and I thought I'd really miss the gas range. But I put in a smooth Dacor cooktop and haven't looked back.

It's touch control, so the cooktop is a completely smooth sheet of Ceran. Anything I've missed about the gas range is more than made up for in ease of cleanup. It doesn't hurt that it's a pretty high-end appliance and gets NASA-hot when needed.



 
Henry Wong
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As a native new yorker, I am used to gas -- so it is a gas range for me.

I did use electric a long time ago, for a short period, and hated everything about it. However, to be fair, we are talking about those ugly exposed coils, and cheap pots and pans. It was nothing like the (self contained in glass) high tech range, and really flat stainless steel (with heavy aluminum to distribute the heat) pots and pans of today.

Hopefully, I won't ever be in a situation to not have gas, but if I had to, I would go induction -- and the only reason to do so, would be because it is a cool toy that I haven't played with yet.


As for the support staff, my favorite is the microwave. The main reason is that I am too lazy to prep meals, by allow time to defrost. When I am cooking (on the gas range), the microwave is constantly in use to defrost, and heat up components for the dish.

The oven would be next, but technically, it is not in a supporting role. When using the oven, I am probably not using the range.

Henry
 
Bear Bibeault
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Henry Wong wrote:to be fair, we are talking about those ugly exposed coils


Electric coils are the worst! You might as well cook in the fireplace!
 
Henry Wong
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fred rosenberger wrote:The biggest impediment to getting an induction range is that we'd need new pots...and we've invested a LOT into our current set. We have many Le Creuset pans that I don't think would work.



Le Creuset is cast iron, so no... I don't think that it will work.

I used to have a crock pot. Didn't use it much, but once a month or so, I liked to prep something like a beef stew, in the crock pot, and eight hours later, have it ready for dinner. Bought a Le Creuset -- and with the gas range on simmer, for four hours or so, produce the same quality results with it. Only have the one Le Creuset though, and have no idea how to use it for anything but stews, soups, etc.


fred rosenberger wrote:
Recently, we have discovered the joy and wonder of a pressure cooker. Neither my wife or I had ever used one before about 2 months ago. Every time we've used it since, we have gotten the tenderest, juiciest meats out. Simple and easy - it's awesome.



With the Le Creuset, and the ridiculously heavy lid, isn't that similar to a pressure cooker? ....

Henry
 
Bear Bibeault
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Henry Wong wrote:With the Le Creuset, and the ridiculously heavy lid, isn't that similar to a pressure cooker? ....


To be honest, you do get a little of that effect when using a heavy-lidded Dutch oven. But obviously, nowhere near the same level as a real pressure cooker.

With a pressure cooker the boiling point of water is raised to about 240ºF -- hence the tenderizing effect on the meat as some collagens won't break down at "normal" boiling point, but will when exposed to higher heat.

And yes, I am a food geek!
 
Bear Bibeault
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Another of my favorite kitchen gadgets:

48-blade tenderizer. Makes the toughest cuts of meat like butter!

I'll be using mine tomorrow, in fact, to make Pork-o-schnitzel.
 
Henry Wong
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The deep fryer was another interesting toy that I considered. I am talking about an electric one that sits on the counter top, and not a professional deep fryer. There are some really cool looking stainless steel ones (with lots of gadgets) these days.

However, after seeing one at a friend's, and how he loves it (read use it often), I changed my mind. It left a film of oil on all the cabinets -- and that is just not acceptable.

Henry

 
Bear Bibeault
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When I deep fry, I do it outside for that very reason! (I have a side-burner on my gas grill.)

Do you have someplace you could set up outside where's there's a plug?
 
Henry Wong
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Bear Bibeault wrote:
Do you have someplace you could set up outside where's there's a plug?



I am in an apartment, so outside is a balcony -- and yes there is a plug. However, NYC laws forbids open fire on a balcony. So a BBQ is not possible -- unless we are talking about a George Forman grill.

And it collects so much dust there, that a few years ago, I decide to close it with windows.

Henry
 
Bear Bibeault
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I was thinking about your (desired) deep fryer.
 
Henry Wong
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Bear Bibeault wrote:I was thinking about your (desired) deep fryer.




Sorry, got side tracked... to finish the thought.... With the balcony, now enclosed, no I don't have any open outside space available.

Henry
 
Ernest Friedman-Hill
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I have a small countertop fryer. It has a hinged lid, vented through a carbon/mesh filter, that you keep closed while you're frying stuff. I don't believe I have any kind of oil buildup on our (white) cabinets, and I've been using it for years.
 
Bear Bibeault
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Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:I have a small countertop fryer. It has a hinged lid, vented through a carbon/mesh filter, that you keep closed while you're frying stuff. I don't believe I have any kind of oil buildup on our (white) cabinets, and I've been using it for years.


Excellent info. I've been thinking of getting one (the side burner is great, but takes a long time to heat the oil up).
 
Henry Wong
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Ernest Friedman-Hill wrote:I have a small countertop fryer. It has a hinged lid, vented through a carbon/mesh filter, that you keep closed while you're frying stuff. I don't believe I have any kind of oil buildup on our (white) cabinets, and I've been using it for years.



The one that my friend has is similar -- very high tech. There is only a small window on top to see the food frying. Everything is sealed.

Maybe it is because he uses it too much.

Henry
 
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BBQ if I have time, if not slow cooker (lamb shanks)
 
Henry Wong
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hmmm.... all the talk about Le Creuset and lamb shanks got me in the Osso Buco mood...

Henry
 
Henry Wong
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BTW.... favorite countertop appliance... My Keurig coffee maker.

[Leaves to make a cup of coffee....]

[Coffee smells good. Tastes even better..... Okay, I'm awake now.]

Henry
 
Brad Dwan
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Henry Wong wrote:hmmm.... all the talk about Le Creuset and lamb shanks got me in the Osso Buco mood...

Henry



you can't beat a 12 hour lamb shank with a Cajun seasoning with a tomato-based sauce and a side of vegetables; and all while your at work.
 
Henry Wong
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fred rosenberger wrote:
But my favorite 'appliance' would just be my wife's set of REALLY GOOD knives (she use to be a professional chef). A good knife make all the difference in the world in prepping my food.



Last year, we bought the Wusthof Grand Prix II -- 15 piece block set from Williams Sonoma, and haven't used it since. It is currently sitting in my closet.

However, with a kitchen renovation nearing completion, this block set will definitely be sitting on the new counter top in my new kitchen.

Henry
 
Henry Wong
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Brad Dwan wrote:
you can't beat a 12 hour lamb shank with a Cajun seasoning with a tomato-based sauce and a side of vegetables; and all while your at work.




Well, 12 hours is a bit much -- the meat will probably fall apart. The other issue is I work from home, and the smell would make it impossible to do anything productive...

So, for me, it it probably best to do it on the weekend, and keep it to (no more than, and likely much less than) 4 hours of simmering.

Henry
 
Brad Dwan
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Henry Wong wrote:

Brad Dwan wrote:
you can't beat a 12 hour lamb shank with a Cajun seasoning with a tomato-based sauce and a side of vegetables; and all while your at work.




Well, 12 hours is a bit much -- the meat will probably fall apart. The other issue is I work from home, and the smell would make it impossible to do anything productive...

So, for me, it it probably best to do it on the weekend, and keep it to (no more than, and likely much less than) 4 hours of simmering.

Henry



Thats why i cook it for 12 hours on low. If I'm going to be home quicker 6 hours on high. I just find that you get all the flavours to infuse into the meat if you do and the tenderness of the flesh after that length of time. OMG. Seriously, try it. You won't regret it.
 
Henry Wong
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Brad Dwan wrote:
Thats why i cook it for 12 hours on low. If I'm going to be home quicker 6 hours on high. I just find that you get all the flavours to infuse into the meat if you do and the tenderness of the flesh after that length of time. OMG. Seriously, try it. You won't regret it.



I gave up on the crock pot, in favor of a dutch oven, a while back ago. My crock pot is probably in the back of a closet somewhere.

And while my gas range can hold a really really small flame (for simmering), I don't think anything can hold a flame that is similar to the energy of a crock pot on low.

Yes, slow and long cooking is fantastic. I am just saying that I can produce similar results in around four hours via other means.

Henry
 
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The Pork-o-Schnitzel was delicious!

Tonight, Fish Tacos with Baja Sauce.
 
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Henry Wong wrote:Yes, slow and long cooking is fantastic...



Has anyone tried clay pot cooking yet? I was at ikea recently because you ranchers made me buy a cast iron pan. Just next to it stood this clay pot. It instantly reminded me of my Mom's fantastic roasts from the Römertopf (roman pot). Especially poultry was exceptionally good. The pot has to be soaked in water before slowly heating in the oven. Cooking takes a long time but the results are worth it. I haven't inaugurated it yet though, because i refurbish my flat at the moment.
 
Brad Dwan
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Henry Wong wrote:

Brad Dwan wrote:
Thats why i cook it for 12 hours on low. If I'm going to be home quicker 6 hours on high. I just find that you get all the flavours to infuse into the meat if you do and the tenderness of the flesh after that length of time. OMG. Seriously, try it. You won't regret it.



I gave up on the crock pot, in favor of a dutch oven, a while back ago. My crock pot is probably in the back of a closet somewhere.

And while my gas range can hold a really really small flame (for simmering), I don't think anything can hold a flame that is similar to the energy of a crock pot on low.

Yes, slow and long cooking is fantastic. I am just saying that I can produce similar results in around four hours via other means.

Henry


i'm still living on old tech then
 
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