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Kitchen Tools

post #1 of 290
Thread Starter 
Thought it might be nice to have a thread dedicated to discussing kitchen tools, along with user reviews and recommendations of different products/brands for home use.

My first inquiry is for a quality digital thermometer, one compatible for use with sous-vide cookery.
post #2 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgm9128 View Post

Thought it might be nice to have a thread dedicated to discussing kitchen tools, along with user reviews and recommendations of different products/brands for home use.
My first inquiry is for a quality digital thermometer, one compatible for use with sous-vide cookery.

http://thermoworks.com/products/probe/tc_penetration.html
Model: 113-173

+

http://www.amazon.com/Cole-Parmer-Workhorse-Thermocouple-Thermometer-Type-K/dp/B003NV5OJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1325219935&sr=8-1

+

http://www.jbprince.com/utensils/adhesive-tape-for-sous-vide.asp#jbp_full_desc
post #3 of 290
Thread Starter 
Great. Thanks.
post #4 of 290
Still on the topic of sous-vide. Anyone have a polyscience unit? I'm wondering what kind of noise that thing puts out since it has a pump. If it's going to potentially be on for days at a time, it could get annoying for those of us living in apt/condos and a non-circulating bath may be preferable, even if it's slightly lower performance (don't think it matters much for small loads.

Also curious... Have any of the guys with Modernist Cuisine purchased a dewar of liquid nitrogen yet? ;p
post #5 of 290
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post

Still on the topic of sous-vide. Anyone have a polyscience unit? I'm wondering what kind of noise that thing puts out since it has a pump. If it's going to potentially be on for days at a time, it could get annoying for those of us living in apt/condos and a non-circulating bath may be preferable, even if it's slightly lower performance (don't think it matters much for small loads.[/img]

I've got one, and I don't think it is noisy at all. It does make some noise while circulating, but I would say that it is more of a purr than a bark, if that makes any sense.
Quote:
Also curious... Have any of the guys with Modernist Cuisine purchased a dewar of liquid nitrogen yet? ;p

I didn't buy one, but an Airgas nearby had an old dewar that they lent to me for free. Then, after a few weeks of having it, they let me keep it for good. If you're just experimenting, I would try finding one to use on loan temporarily rather than buying new. Unless you really plan on using it a lot. Liquid nitrogen is a great tool to have at your disposal.
post #6 of 290
With the polyscience unit, the 'head' unit is detachable and not particularly big, right? I ask because I'd probably get it in America, ditch the tub, and just ship the circulator and pick up a tub locally as it's bulky and would cost $100 to ship.
post #7 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post

With the polyscience unit, the 'head' unit is detachable and not particularly big, right? I ask because I'd probably get it in America, ditch the tub, and just ship the circulator and pick up a tub locally as it's bulky and would cost $100 to ship.
Most circulators are sold independent of the tub, and just get hooked up to cambros, water coolers, etc. Circulating water baths with dedicated insulated tubs get WAY more expensive then just the circulator.

ETA: i have a julabo so i'm not 100% sure, but I'm fairly certain that when you buy the polyscience one, you only get the head unit, barring them having some kind of packaged deal.
post #8 of 290
oh okay, that would work out much better for me then. Are they available through lab supply companies as well? I have the feeling that where I live they'd be marked up if sold to food hobbyist end buyers, and if sold through lab supply they'd be normally priced.
post #9 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post

oh okay, that would work out much better for me then. Are they available through lab supply companies as well? I have the feeling that where I live they'd be marked up if sold to food hobbyist end buyers, and if sold through lab supply they'd be normally priced.

they're definitely available from lab supplies, but I'm not sure if/how much the prices would differ since their target markets aren't particularly price sensitive.

http://www.coleparmer.com/Category/Circulating_Water_Baths/56683/SortBy=6_Page=1_Class=223_AppliedFilters=2000040392
post #10 of 290
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AEK View Post

ETA: i have a julabo so i'm not 100% sure, but I'm fairly certain that when you buy the polyscience one, you only get the head unit, barring them having some kind of packaged deal.

I purchased mine through William-Sonoma and it came with a tub and 20-quart stock pot. I don't ever use the tub, though, as I don't need such a large volume of cooking space, as of right now. I think the one it came with retails for like $20, and I'm pretty sure it's not insulated. I usually stick the circulator in a large copper pot and cook in there.
post #11 of 290
Thread Starter 
Is it worth purchasing a pressure cooker to use for making stocks? What else can I do with one that I can't already? Which is a reliable model?
post #12 of 290
^^

only you can answer the question. is it worth saving yourself the time? For me, it seems prety worth it, but it's not going to be an immediate purchase. I don't live in a house so i don't have a huge freezer I can place massive quantities of stock within, which means i have to make smaller quantities more often. And although most of the cooking time for stock is unattended, it still has to be planned. It would be nice to be able to make a good stock on a whim in 2.5 hrs if I felt like it. MC uses it for caramelizing stuff too. I think that's kinda awesome especially if you want to do big quantities of something, lets say for french onion soup. When you're cooking elaborate multi-course meals, anything that you can make a completely unattended process is a good thing. It also frees up a big burner, which for you with your range probably isn't an issue, but it is for me on a regular condo/apt stove.

Myrvhold and his team say they produce better stocks too, but without doing direct comparisons, I wouldn't be willing to comment. People have been making great stocks without them for a very long time though, so you can probably live without one. The biggest advantage is the convenience/speed.
post #13 of 290
pressure cookers allow for all those maillard reactions to happen without actually boiling the liquid, and without flavor escapement - so the stocks should definitely be better tasting.
post #14 of 290
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQgeek View Post

^^
only you can answer the question. is it worth saving yourself the time? For me, it seems prety worth it, but it's not going to be an immediate purchase. I don't live in a house so i don't have a huge freezer I can place massive quantities of stock within, which means i have to make smaller quantities more often. And although most of the cooking time for stock is unattended, it still has to be planned. It would be nice to be able to make a good stock on a whim in 2.5 hrs if I felt like it. MC uses it for caramelizing stuff too. I think that's kinda awesome especially if you want to do big quantities of something, lets say for french onion soup. When you're cooking elaborate multi-course meals, anything that you can make a completely unattended process is a good thing. It also frees up a big burner, which for you with your range probably isn't an issue, but it is for me on a regular condo/apt stove.
Myrvhold and his team say they produce better stocks too, but without doing direct comparisons, I wouldn't be willing to comment. People have been making great stocks without them for a very long time though, so you can probably live without one. The biggest advantage is the convenience/speed.

Yeah. I want to try that caramelized carrot soup from the book. Alas, I am without a centrifuge.

With stocks, mainly, I'd like to see how I can attain better flavor extraction using a pressure cooker. The time it takes for a stock to simmer is usually not an issue for me. Though, cutting the time in half would be nice. However, making a large batch of a very reduced stock, "demi-glace", or "jus", is a painstakingly long process. Reduction takes over night, and then some, and I usually have nightmares about waking up and seeing it reduced to a gooey, burnt mess. Well, not really. But it is an unsettling thought after all of that time spent.

Any specific models you can recommend?
post #15 of 290
Quote:
Originally Posted by impolyt_one View Post

pressure cookers allow for all those maillard reactions to happen without actually boiling the liquid, and without flavor escapement - so the stocks should definitely be better tasting.

Ya, I get the theory, but until i taste it side by side with old-fashioned stock it's hard for me to imagine how much difference there is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgm9128 View Post

Yeah. I want to try that caramelized carrot soup from the book. Alas, I am without a centrifuge.
With stocks, mainly, I'd like to see how I can attain better flavor extraction using a pressure cooker. The time it takes for a stock to simmer is usually not an issue for me. Though, cutting the time in half would be nice. However, making a large batch of a very reduced stock, "demi-glace", or "jus", is a painstakingly long process. Reduction takes over night, and then some, and I usually have nightmares about waking up and seeing it reduced to a gooey, burnt mess. Well, not really. But it is an unsettling thought after all of that time spent.
Any specific models you can recommend?

The book recommends kuhk rikon. They're not complicated devices so i wouldn't fret too much over it. Just get one that's big enough for what you want to do with it.

As for centrifuges, I hear ya. The way they use them to make beef jus is awesome.
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