Lab equipment in the kitchen
The nearby university has a surplus store where they sell off any thing & everything you can think of- computers, lockers, medical gurneys, floor from basketball court, etc. Heck, I even picked up an older style Cuisinart food processor for $5 once. For the most part, I've totally ignored the lab equipment until recently, when on one shopping trip, I picked up some pyrex glass beakers & flasks- mostly for aromatherapy & such. Then I read the article here about Sous Vide and when I saw a portable immersion circulator for a ridiculously low price, I had to grab it. Plus they've been putting out more & more vintage cookbooks each week, $2 each, from some special collection- I manage to pick up several of James Beard's books that way and lots of old cookbooks/booklets that date all the way back to the 1930's. Now I'm on the lookout for a low temp 'oven' that controls humidity too, for dehydrating stuff in and I want to get some more of the pyrex stuff.
Am I crazy or what? I don't even know if I'll ever do Sous Vide...but at least I have a great portable 'water heater'-lol...besides, I already have a Food Save to vacuum seal the food if I do. Does anyone else have lab equipment in their kitchen? Any useful items I should keep my eyes out for?
A large separatory funnel is great for degreasing stocks and the like, though it can be a bit of work to clean.
Are you using this immersion circulator? If not, I'd love to take it off your hands if you don't want to let it go to waste. Or if you want to use it, you should see if you can find TK's book Under Pressure at a local library. It's pretty inspiring and you can get a lot of flavor out of your food with very little effort. If you do want to part with it, however, drop me a line. I've got a food truck and wanna feature a lot of sous vide stuff...what would be better than that...?
Labware are to usually made to a higher standard than typical cookware. Make sure your glassware are either brand new or absolutely clean. I don't mean cleaning it with dishwasher with some detergents. There may have been toxic chemicals used in these glassware if they are old.
A magnetic stirring hot plate is ideal for making sauces that require constant whisking. You drop a stir bar into the liquid and it spins, creating a vortex. The stir bars are Teflon coated, so they do not react with foods.
We've got a bunch of pyrex beakers we use for those times when you want an oversized drinking glass. They're my gatorade glasses when I get back from like an 8 mile run.