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Old 12-23-2012, 05:46 PM   #21
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I can't let a good opportunity like this go to waste, so I'll make a recommendation for something I use at least a few times each week. Get the best knife sharpener you can and use it religiously.

For me, it's the Chef's Choice Model 130. Unquestionably the best designed electric sharpener I've ever used.

I used to be old school, with oilstones, whetstones, and all sorts of miscellaneous gadgets, including a good steel. By the way, I still use my steel for final honing (go ask a butcher where to buy a steel and get one there).

But now I find it incredibly easy to get a great edge on my knives with this electric model in a fraction of the time I used to take doing it manually.

I do almost all the cooking in our house, but DW blesses me probably once a week because she so much appreciates having really sharp knives available.

Incidentally, the most used knife in my kitchen is unquestionably my Chinese cleaver. Next time you're in the Chinatown of a big city, look for a store that sells kitchen supplies and buy a good Chinese cleaver. They're cheap and incredibly versatile.


Amazon.com: Chef's Choice 130 Professional Knife-Sharpening Station, Platinum: Kitchen & Dining
Well, I read this, and thought... maybe I should replace my Aldi's $14.99 sharpener, with something better. I figgered, maybe $29.95... Sheesh... the SALE price was $159.00... THEN... I scrolled down to the bottom of the page, and found another one for $600...
Think it might be cheaper for me to hire the chef at the local Japanese Restaurant to carve my turkey.
Didja know that those spinning wheels are made of diamonds?
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #22
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Pepper grinder. Wooden. Not totally happy with it. If anyone has recommendations this is something I'd like to upgrade
I'm happy with my Oxo Salt & Pepper Grinders:
OXO Good Grips Salt and Pepper Grinder Set: Amazon.com: Kitchen & Dining
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #23
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the SALE price was $159.00
I'm sorry; you're absolutely right. When I bought mine, it was $130, and I felt it was worth it.

The machine saves me probably 20 minutes a week. Since I cook about 90% of what we eat, it's very important to me that all my knives are very sharp at all times.

Everyone has a time/effort/price point, and that was within mine.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:38 PM   #24
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Well, I read this, and thought... maybe I should replace my Aldi's $14.99 sharpener, with something better. I figgered, maybe $29.95... Sheesh... the SALE price was $159.00... THEN... I scrolled down to the bottom of the page, and found another one for $600...
Think it might be cheaper for me to hire the chef at the local Japanese Restaurant to carve my turkey.
Didja know that those spinning wheels are made of diamonds?
Not to worry, it's Amazon Prime, so no shipping!
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:39 PM   #25
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Some gadgets that I use all the time, are:

Zojirushi 3-cup rice maker
electric wok
Sanyo indoor electric grill
microwave.

I have one pot (50-year-old Revereware), two skillets, a set of Corelleware, and stainless from Wally World.

If I really needed anything more, I'd buy it. I am thinking of buying another pot one of these days, if I can find one that I like.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:59 PM   #26
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My pepper grinder is a wonder, and I absolutely love it. Not huge, but after seven years, it's still extraordinarily reliable and efficient.
Amazon.com: Unicorn Magnum Pepper Mill 6" Black: Kitchen & Dining
We have the same one in a larger size, and love it as well. We also have the same knife sharpener you do - fan of America's Test Kitchen and Good Eats, perhaps?

We LOVE to cook, and have and regularly use:
Kitchen Aid stand mixer
Food Processor
Blender
Several Crock Pots
Electric Knife
Ice Cream Maker
Coffee Maker and Electric Kettle (for tea and cocoa)
Deep Fryer
Pressure Cooker/Canner
Electric Skillets
Electric steamer/rice cooker
Waffle irons
Gas Grill, hard-plumbed to the house natural gas
Little things: candy/oil thermometer, scale, instant-read thermometer

I've started eating toast for breakfast regularly, so the bread maker is being used frequently again. And we just got a hand mixer and fondue pot, after borrowing from friends for too long.

Seeing that all typed out is a little intimidating. And my brother notified me today that once he gets his new plasma cutter he'll be making a smoker for ribs, brisket, and boston butt. Woo hoo!
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:14 PM   #27
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I use the Henckels Steel for sharpening:

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(Although we do have a slide through Henckels sharpener.......somewhere in the back of a drawer.)

Forgot to mention....we also have a bamboo and an electric steamer that we use often.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:23 PM   #28
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When my spouse and I got married in 1986, we were gifted a set of steak knives.

I spend no time taking care of them. I've never ever sharpened them. I clean them in the dishwasher. I leave them in a silverware drawer where they can bang into each other. I have no idea what brand or model they are. They're just steak knives.

The varnish has worn off the wooden handles, and they're a little dinged up. But they still cut a tomato into hamburger slices, and they still cut stew beef up into cubes. I also use them for carving turkeys. I can hack apart any piece of fruit or veggie we eat.

Why would I spend any time or money on a knife sharpener?
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #29
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We have a small kitchen with the bare necessities, except for DW's scanpan pro iq pan set and henckel knives.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:31 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by braumeister View Post
I can't let a good opportunity like this go to waste, so I'll make a recommendation for something I use at least a few times each week. Get the best knife sharpener you can and use it religiously.

For me, it's the Chef's Choice Model 130. Unquestionably the best designed electric sharpener I've ever used. ...

Amazon.com: Chef's Choice 130 Professional Knife-Sharpening Station, Platinum: Kitchen & Dining

Well, I read this, and thought... maybe I should replace my Aldi's $14.99 sharpener, with something better. I figgered, maybe $29.95... Sheesh... the SALE price was $159.00... THEN... I scrolled down to the bottom of the page, and found another one for $600...
Think it might be cheaper for me to hire the chef at the local Japanese Restaurant to carve my turkey.
Didja know that those spinning wheels are made of diamonds?
OK, I saw the one I'm linking on America's Test Kitchen. It is fantastic @ ~ $15. It is so easy to use that I regularly hit the knives so they are always sharp. Look at the reviews, incredible positives.

I found that if you get to the point that it doesn't 'drag' as you pull it, the knife is in need of 'thinning' - you can do that yourself easily, or have it professionally sharpened, should be good for years after that.

Amazon.com: AccuSharp Knife Sharpener With Replacement Blades: Home & Kitchen

-ERD50
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:10 PM   #31
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We have a small kitchen with the bare necessities, except for DW's scanpan pro iq pan set and henckel knives.
We've simplified our kitchen a bit. We have no toaster (the oven has a broil setting), a french press for coffee that I got for free at a business event, (I rarely need more than 1-2 cups of coffee), and one pot, one frying pan. Manual can opener. I do use my electric tea kettle daily.

My late mother in law was a real gadget lover. She had a machine that would peel potatoes. You put the potato between two spikes and it would spin while a blade cut the skin off in one long strip. She probably sent Ron Popeil's kids to college. . She had fun with it, but most of those things broke down or were rarely used.

My unscientific observation is that fancy gadgets break down, while the basics last a lifetime. Plus, those gadgets take up so much space!

We do have a few high quality appliances. Zojirushi rice cooker and breadmaker, and a Blendtech blender. My bread maker cost 20 bucks on craigslist, is 15+ years old, and works like a champ.

For tea drinkers, I highly recommend a cordless electric water kettle. Hard to imagine how we lived without it.

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Old 12-23-2012, 09:15 PM   #32
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For tea drinkers, I highly recommend a cordless electric water kettle. Hard to imagine how we lived without it.
SIS
+1. We also use it as a generic source of hot water. Turn it on, then can forget it as it turns itself off after reaching boiling point. No more worrying about burning a pot on the stove.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:00 PM   #33
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I also use an electric tea kettle almost daily and we use a convection toaster oven even more often. Anything that will fit in the toaster gets cooked in there since is almost no preheat time and is cooks like a dream. I probably haven't used my big oven more than 3 or 4 times in the last couple of months and I cook regularly.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:08 PM   #34
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+1 on toaster oven. Actually have 2 of them. Useful to make meatloaf, and to roast potatoes, brussel sprouts, smaller pork and beef roasts, lamb racks... Anything that can fit and does not require the big oven.

Oh, and we have a double oven too. And my wife once said that it would have been nice if we had two of the double ovens. Are we crazy or what? But we once had both of the upper/lower ovens going, plus the two toaster ovens, and still ran out of room. Many mouths to feed. Up to 20+, but I lost count.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:22 AM   #35
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We believe in austerity on the countertops in the kitchen. I hate clutter and my DW came from a family where you could spend days looking for the counter it was so crowded. We now have a Kuerig coffee maker (amazing how much money was thrown down the drain in undrunk coffee each day); a KitchenAid stainless electric can opener; a set of Sabatier Knives in a block by the range; and a sturdy cutting board. Of course our cupboards and kitchen drawers are brimming with gadgets, assorted appliances and Calphalon pots and pans. I mostly use the crock pot, the dollar store vegetable peeler and my Black & Decker electric knife. Interesting that we've had plumbers and other repair people comment on the clean counters.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:49 AM   #36
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Some of the women at work are into something called Pampered Chef. It's like a Tupperware party, except they are selling expensive kitchen gadgets. Anyway, I went to one and was bored out of my ever-lovin' mind, but I remember the apple peeler, which was just like your MIL's potato peeler. As I recall, the demo apple was a perfectly symmetrical Red Delicious - which I would never eat, let alone cook with - so I asked if the machine could deal with an apple that wasn't perfectly shaped. (Everyone acted like I'd asked the demo lady's bra size!) Anyway, it clearly couldn't. Potatoes are far more oddly shaped than apples - I wonder if your MIL's machine was a better buy than the costly Pampered Chef thingie.

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She had a machine that would peel potatoes. You put the potato between two spikes and it would spin while a blade cut the skin off in one long strip.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:12 AM   #37
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What's in YOUR kitchen?

DW, who loves to cook (I love to eat). That's all I know about the subject ...
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:58 AM   #38
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Saw an engine block in half, and still cut a tomato paper thin!

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Old 12-24-2012, 09:00 AM   #39
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Without listing everything, we usually buy high quality stuff (at the best prices we can find) for kitchen use. We have Henckels & Wusthof knives, All-Clad & Mauviel pots & pans, insulated cookie sheets/pans/springforms (DW has a lot of Wilton products for baking), tabletop appliances are all Kitchen Aid or Cuisinart and we even buy high quality utensils with some heft. Over the years we've thrown out whatever cheap stuff we had from our younger days.

Like the OP, we don't buy limited use gadgets. We'd rather have high quality, multi purpose kitchen tools where possible, doing things the old fashioned way is fine for us. For example someone gave us a bagel slicer, regifted. We used to have a wand/immersion mixer, when it died it was not replaced. However, I realize specialty items have their place in some kitchens (if we had frequent use for an immersion mixer, we'd have one).

But we like to cook, and we buy stuff with the expectation it will last a lifetime. I can certainly understand why people who do light cooking may be perfectly happy with less expensive kitchen equipment.
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Old 12-24-2012, 09:27 AM   #40
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We have a small kitchen with the bare necessities, except for DW's scanpan pro iq pan set and henckel knives.
I never heard of Scanpan until a month or so ago when a good friend said her mother used to give her one pan every Christmas. Then someone else mentioned them, and now you. I think the secret is out....
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