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Best Cooking Gadgets

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What kitchen/cooking gadget could you never live without? What is the best thing you have made with it ?

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  1. What is the definition of a gadget here? In other words, what is considered as a gadget and what is considered as a tool?

    My guess is that you won't consider a kitchen knife a gadget, but what about a microplane grater?

    13 Replies
    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

      I guess my definition of kitchen gadget is a pizza maker, magic bullet, waffle maker, griddle etc. The fun stuff that isn't usually included in a full kitchen setup.

      1. re: kjts918

        I see. Like modern invention and usually electricity run, right? In that case, my gadget is probably a toast oven (if you count that). If not, then the mini-food processor and coffee grinder. I actually don't drink coffee, but the coffee grinder is very useful for grinding spices for me.

        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Interesting. As an avid coffee drinker I wouldn't think to use a coffee grinder for spices...not a bad idea.

          1. re: kjts918

            :) Obviously, you will need a separate one because you don't want your coffee tastes like spices. Usually, the $20-30 blade grinders are recommended for grinding spices.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/759209

            1. re: kjts918

              haha i use a coffee grinder for spices far more than i do for actual coffee. thank you alton brown for that one!

              1. re: mattstolz

                Same here.

              2. re: kjts918

                Don't really drink coffee and grind my spice in my mortar and pestle which doesn't seem to fit your definition of gadget.

            2. re: kjts918

              I guess I don't really think of a waffle-iron as a "gadget" in the usual sense. It's just the thing for the job. I mean, if you want to make waffles, what else would you use? Usually the things that fall into the "gadget" category are things that are (allegedly) labor-saving devices to substitute for some other method; most of them are useless if you have decent knife skills. I mean, sure, I use a food processor and a blender (and even an immersion blender). A stand mixer. I guess basically I think of a "gadget" as something that hasn't really proven it's worth in the kitchen.

              1. re: Moopheus

                I have an antifatigue mat.... I wonder if it can be counted as a gadget.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  not a gadget in a professional kitchen, pretty much a staple, and absolutely not anti-fatigue, it takes more energy to carry it to the back and put through the dish washer then it saves me the entire week :P Of couse that was the dishwasher's job, but that was my now fiancee, so no way I'd get away with letting her carry 5 large mats to the back kitchen.

                  1. re: TeRReT

                    "not a gadget in a professional kitchen, pretty much a staple"

                    True.

                    "Of couse that was the dishwasher's job, but that was my now fiancee"

                    Are you married? I thought she WAS your fiancee last year.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      no no she is still my fiancee, but back then she was my girlfriend, still another 4 or 5 months before we get married

                      1. re: TeRReT

                        "no no she is still my fiancee, but back then she was my girlfriend"

                        Oh I jumped the gun on that one. I guess the transition was from girlfriend to fiancee, and I got confused as from fiancee to wife. Gotcha.

                        Next thing you tell me about getting married, and I will remember as having babies...

          2. Can't live without my microplane, though having said that I am living without it now since I left it at home, but they have plates with little bumps for daikon and stuff that work fine for ginger and garlic as well here so I use them instead.

            Can't live without my coffee grinder or my v60 drip, and neither can anyone else. If not for them, nobody's life around me would be considered living.

            1. I can certainly live without it, but my cherry stoner is amazing and so much fun to use! I pull it out once a year for our very short sour cherry season, and I get a huge kick out of it. Before I bought it, it would take hours and hours to stone enough cherries for pies and jam - now it's minutes.

              I try to heed Laurie Colwin's advice and not have tools that only do one thing, but this one is just a treat, and not a bad return on a $40 investment.

              3 Replies
              1. re: elenacampana

                they work good for olives too if you ever buy olives with pits in them

                1. re: TeRReT

                  Finding olives (black or green) with pits in them, they need a gadget for that. I'm ready to call up Leonard Nimoy and request an "In Search of ..." episode for an item that was once carried by every grocery store.

                  1. re: SanityRemoved

                    The only ones with pits I find are Armstrong brand olives. I agree that olives with pits are firm and tasty and fun to gnaw on. Yum!

                    http://www.armstrongolives.net/vendor...