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If you had $300 to spend on a gadget

What would you get?

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  1. Food Processor

    Stand Mixer

    Meat Slicer


    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      I don't think I would consider fourunder's choices as gadgets. They look like pretty standard tools. But they are all excellent choices. I'd add to the list a good flour mill or a pressure-cooker canner. And, if three hundred would cover it, a ceramic oven insert.

    2. I can't decide if I would go for a food processor or stand mixer first. Would also put good quality knifes up high too.

      But i have those, so if I was buying something new what would it be?

      Maybe an instant hot water dispenser tap (I am always impatient waiting for water to boil) or a marble slab for rolling pastry. This is clearly an indication that I have most every kitchen gadget there is.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pengcast

        Do you have an electric kettle? Water boils in a flash. IME the water from an IHWD tends to be a bit stale &, if you're making tea, not really boiling.

        1. re: pengcast

          I considered listing a quality set of knives as well, but I did not consider them to be a *gadget*.


        2. I'd buy a Breville Toaster oven. My Cuisinart TO cooks perfectly & is wildly convenient (toast? not so much) BUT the finish started chipping & discoloring within a month. I haven't gotten rid of it (yet) because it's so handy for small jobs but what an eyesore!!!


          1. Food processor. I have an early 80's Cuisinart that just won't die and I've used it consistently through the years. My tech-averse mom loved her food processor and used it daily.

            The new Cuisinart Elite is expensive but looks like it will last compared to some of the cheaper ones,


            6 Replies
            1. re: ferret

              I agree, if I had to have one of the above, it would be a food processor though, since I also now have a stand mixer and a blender, I'd say I use the FP the least of the three. However, it is more of a multipurpose gadget than the others. A meat slicer would be way down on my list, both because of lack of counter space and expense (didn't realize that one could get one for $300).

                1. re: fourunder

                  Wow - had no idea! Still no counter space though and, fortunately, in Manhattan, most delis etc. are v. good at slicing. I suppose if someone gave me a leg of prociutto, I might indulge!

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Here's a better one.....but it's larger.....searching eBay. you can even get the Chef's Choice for $65. With the prices of cold cuts today, it's worth considering.


                    My niece and nephews purchased this Chef's choice model for around $500 last Christmas for their father(my brother). I didn't have the heart to tell them they overpaid.


                2. re: MMRuth

                  The Elite looks like a good buy because you get small and large bowls. I have both the afore-mentioned workhorse Cuisinart and an underpowered Cuisinart Mini-Chop. Would be nice to have just one sturdy base for both.

                3. re: ferret

                  I think I am already being given a food processor, the Kitchenaid 12 cup, I asked for-I hope!

                  Is the Cuisinart better?

                4. A mochi maker with the price of shipping included.

                  1. Some really good thermometers for various uses. What I'd really like is some kind of wireless base that could be paired with several different kinds of sensors, depending on what I needed: a probe, an IR, etc.

                    1. I'd recommend you consider a high-end Zojirushi induction (IH) rice cooker. You could probably even get one of the fancy pressure types for $300.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: tanuki soup

                        Yeah! Sprang for even a slightly lower end--around $200--Zoji two years ago and now we wonder how we ever lived without it!

                      2. a four slot Breville toaster--you'll have change.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: whs

                          on second thought, there must be some incredible restaurant in LA where you can spend $300 on a great meal--who needs another appliance?

                        2. Bamix Immersion Blender.

                          While some, like JMorris, have difficulty understanding why anyone would spend serious money on equipment for the home, I think it's the quality of the equipment that shines through and makes the task of cooking even more pleasurable. The tactile feel of the knife that feels "just right" or beauty of Sitram stainless or the efficiency of a nice food processor. They're just tools that help you achieve the goals you desire.

                          I also would recommend a FoodSaver vacuum sealer. Even if you're not doing sous vide stuff, the vac sealer allows you so much possibilities with ingredients. Now you just take your ingredients, prep them, vac seal them and freeze. With a little planning, work and effort, you've got a wintertime filled with beautiful blueberries, strawberries, sweet corn, tomatoes, chiles and much, much more.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: onocoffee

                            I'll second the Bammix immersion blender. I have very few gadgets due to the size of my kitchen but I use the Bammix to make smoothies, cream soups, and I use the little food processor attachment to grind tiny quantities of meat.

                            1. re: onocoffee

                              I buy new harvest nuts in five pound boxes--the bulk price always is a great deal--from growers and my food coop, and seal in one pound bags with my Food Saver. It's a wonderful "luxury" to always have good pecans, pinions, cashews, etc., on hand for cooking.

                              1. re: Beckyleach

                                Where do you get your pecans if I may ask? Looking for good ones.

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  politely butting in...the pecans I get from the louisville pecan co are excellent....a friend from Alabama turned me on to them ...


                                  1. re: fauchon

                                    Thanks for info, the website looks great, good to know about this company.

                                  2. re: buttertart

                                    Ellie Brothers of Georgia is my favorite supplier. Their website is something like "we're nuts"... I also have a friend in Arkansas who sent me a goody box of 10 pounds of the BEST I've ever tasted, last year. And when we visit my brother-in-law in Texas (like we are this month, for Thanksgiving) he's amused at watching us crawl around on his lawn, cleaning up the "mess" from his five trees.

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Oh! I've also bought from Sunnyland Farms, also of Georgia. They have a lovely catalog and really sweet "family feeling" but Ellis Bros. are slightly cheaper.

                                      1. re: Beckyleach

                                        Thanks! Do you know how the types compare (Desirables, Elliotts, Stuarts)? A favorite?

                                2. If I had to get a gadget, I'd get that edgepro sharpening kit

                                  1. I'd definitely get the KA stand mixer with meat grining and pasta making attachments. I don't bake so never even considered a stand mixer. Then started watching old episodes of Molto Mario and HAD to have it. I found a refurbished one with a full warranty on Amazon for about $160 (it's been a few years ago), then got the attachments. I now make pasta occasionally and ground meat ALL the time (turkey, pork and beef so far but next will be lamb). I still don't bake but use it so much.

                                    1. Either....
                                      - A Dualit 3 slot toaster ... for the style and cachet
                                      - A Shun mandoline ... the best, but at a price I wouldn't pay.

                                      6 Replies
                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            Had to go back. The blade kept on jumping out. A faulty catch. So sad, it was the most impressive piece of equipment in my kitchen. I think it was a problem with this unit rather than the complete mandoline. And they didn't have another.

                                            1. re: Paulustrious

                                              That's too bad. Shun blade + jumping out = really bad news! I'm a Benriner (impolitely known as a bumreamer in my household) and Kyocera girl myself. The only standalone mandoline I've had was the first version of the OXO which was worthless.

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                I am reduced to my Kyocera ceramic slicer and SS juliener. Both are excellent, light, easy to store and clean and have funky colours.

                                              2. re: Paulustrious

                                                How deep could the mandolin cut out of interest? Was it capable of slicing deeper than a benriner - ie more than a few mm?

                                        1. Well, I have a stand mixer...and the KA is a dream! My food saver has really saved me, but the new uprighty one looks really nice. Maybe I should upgrade. My benriner mandoline cost so little, and is amazing! They use one like it on "Iron Chef". I'm not all that into toast. My oven has a mini-oven/warming drawer that toasts when my Husband wants some.

                                          I was thinking of a Magi mix/Electrulux assistant.
                                          Maybe one of those combo infrered/probe digital thermometers like Alton Brown uses.
                                          Maybe I should buy all the KA attachements I don't have.
                                          I have a Cuisinart immersion blender, should I move up to that bigger one mentioned?
                                          Are those pod coffee machines worth it?

                                          So hard for me to decide!

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: 1munchy1

                                            I have a pod coffee maker for my office and love it. It is great in that setting because I can fill up the water resevoir and take it back to the office and make hot fresh coffee easily and the pods mean that I can put them in my office garbage without making a mess. But I would not bother with it at home.

                                            1. re: 1munchy1

                                              How exactly do you do your toasting in the warming drawer? i would love to figure this out! What oven do you have?

                                            2. For my fantasy $300.00:
                                              Thermapen-$90.00 (I have one and use it daily...)
                                              Fibrament Baking Stone- $125-$150.00
                                              Tupperware!!!- with your leftover $$ adam

                                              1. A Cuisinart brick lined toaster oven.

                                                1. Assuming I have what I have now, I'd probably get an ice cream maker, though it would be great to have a stand mixer with a meat grinding attachment.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: JungMann

                                                    After grinding meat the first time, I've never looked back. "Life-changing" and I did it before meeting Chowhound :)

                                                  2. A CUISINART ICE-50BC SUPREME ICE CREAM MAKER, FULLY AUTOMATIC WITH COMMERCIAL-STYLE COMPRESSOR FREEZER, STAINLESS STEEL BRUSHED HOUSING, NO PREFREEZING REQUIRED!!! Ahem. Sorry. Let me collect myself. Since you asked, I've heard a bit about these and if I happened to have $300 burning a hole in my pocket, I probably wouldn't mind having one too much.

                                                      1. I would buy a really good mandoline with the waffle cut capability, various width settings, a really sharp blade, plenty of safety features and all that fancy stuff. I saw one in and article in the new issue of Fine Cooking magazine.
                                                        I have a Pampered Chef model that I felt compelled to buy at one of those dreadful parties where all the food is made of Pillsbury croissant dough and lots of mayonnaise. I use it, but I gripe throughout the process.

                                                        1. Standalone icemaker. Actually, I'd probably have to toss in another $300

                                                          1. Wow... It would be between the W-S Cuisinart 16-cup Diecast Food Processor or the Cuisinart ICE-50BC Ice Cream Makers.

                                                            I'd prefer both :)

                                                            1. I just bought the EdgePro Apex.

                                                              throw in a Thermapen for the remainder, maybe.

                                                              1. I dunno, munchy. I'm not much into gadgets, except I'm happy to have a stand mixer. Other than that, I pretty much get the things cooked that I want to cook using my cavewoman methods and implements.

                                                                If you made me pick something, I *might* say an ice-cream maker, although some things pretty close to ice cream (not exactly, I know, but close enough) I can make using metal ice cube trays or a cake pan and my freezer. Maybe an espresso maker? Nah....I could buy a cheap little pot and make that on the burner, if I *really* wanted it at home.

                                                                I can't really think of anything, gadget-wise. Unless a new pastry bag qualifies.

                                                                1. Folks we've had to remove a number of off-topic replies from this thread. We'd ask that people keep the conversation friendly and focused on Cookware or we'll be forced to lock or remove the thread.

                                                                  Thank you

                                                                  1. A coffee roaster or fancy ice cream maker (none of this frozen bowl nonsense any more!).

                                                                    Or the Staub pot I'm drooling over. Or...

                                                                    1. Easy another freezer.

                                                                      1. I was in close to this situation not long ago - friends had given us $200 worth of gift certificates to Williams-Sonoma. We have a very well-equipped kitchen so we didn't need anything as basic as a food processor or toaster oven. After much thought, we decided on a Waring Pro meat grinder. Which, I'm sorry to say, we haven't yet put to as much use as I'd thought we would.

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                          The bbq season is departing, and taking ground meat burgers with it. However, now is the perfect time to take up sausage making.

                                                                          And remember, you grinder is not just a meat grinder.

                                                                          1. re: BobB

                                                                            If you don't use it much or don't like it, take it back. Sonoma has the best return policy. If you just say you are not impressed with the product, you will get you gift certificate back and be able to pick out something you may use more often.

                                                                          2. Definitely a new food processor with a wide mouth but unsure of which one -like cuisinart but do not think they come in color like Kitchen Aid -