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Your best big gadget\tool?

I know I'm not alone on this site for lusting after a bigger mixer or a gas range, even a commercial one. Sometimes it's because something I do is really slow but often it's because I perceive that something will make me perform better, faster, etc... etc...

I'm trying an electric pressure cooker "Instant Pot IP-DUO" and a "Eurodib S2F1" induction cooktop.

These may not be big ticket items to some of you but for me I'm hoping for a year of messing around to experiment with them.

What are your favourite, perhaps outlandish, purchases that you enjoy in your kitchen?

Why?

Its ok to be completely honest. If you love the item because you think Batman had one, that's ok :).

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  1. I thought my Breville Smart Oven might be just an overgrown toaster, but oh, it is so much more than that!

    10 Replies
    1. re: kitchengardengal

      That is next on my list. My son is older now and I think we will get so much use out it, plus my ancient toaster is…errr… toast!

      I have yet to find them on sale. WS, BBB, Macy's, etc all list Breville as an exclusion when they have sales and coupons. I am waiting for "tax free weekend" so at least that will save me $$.

      1. re: kitchengardengal

        Just bought a toaster oven, and I seriously considered the Breville (altho' Mr. P. 'bout fainted at the price). However, I needed an oven that would hold a 9x13 pan, so the choices became limited. Got a Hamilton Beach, so far, so good. Next will use the convection function, then the rotisserie for chicken. Still like the idea of the Breville, though.

        1. re: pine time

          The full sized Breville fits a 13x9 as long as it doesn't have extended handles.

          1. re: rasputina

            Yeah, my mistake--I was looking at the smaller Breville.

            1. re: rasputina

              Just out of curiosity, how well does the Breville stay clean? My toaster oven is horrible - although I'm not the best at keeping it clean......but it is so hard to clean. The glass is all brown, and that will not come off.

              1. re: rudeboy

                Mine stays pretty clean, other than crumbs. I have one of those liners on the bottom tray. We mostly bake and toast in ours though. I don't cook a lot of meats or things that splatter in it.

                  1. re: DebinIndiana

                    DebinIndiana - but I'm a dude. Can't it just magically stay clean? No, I'll admit, you have a good point....

                    1. re: rudeboy

                      <Can't it just magically stay clean?>

                      Mine does. At least, that's my presumption, since I never clean it.

                      I brush off the crumb tray once or twice a year, just for grins.

            2. re: kitchengardengal

              ohhh i am coveting one of these. it's on my wedding registry and if i don't receive one it'll be the first thing i buy.

            3. My gaggia icecrean maker. I bought for my parents back in the 80's and it was practically my whole paycheck. I took it back after he died and it is still going strong!

              1. Most used has got be the Breville Smart Oven. We have the full sized one and it's used numerous times a day.

                Second would be my Ankarsum mixer, I just love it and wish I'd bought one years ago. The most used attachment has to be the meat grinder.

                My pressure canner, I use it mostly for canning stock but it's so nice to have jars of homemade stock ready to use and not wasting freezer space or requiring thawing.

                Brød and Taylor proofing box. My only complaint is it doesn't fit a half sheet pan, but it is great. My cats think it's the perfect thing to lay on top of so it doubles as a cat tree and proofer all in one LOL Only problem is only one cat can use it at a time.

                1. Probably my Sansaire (sous vide machine) and my sausage stuffer. Neither of them were really outlandishly expensive, though. As soon as I get outdoor space, however, I am TOTALLY splurging on a Big Green Egg!!!!

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: biondanonima

                    Oh man, we LOVE our Big Green Eggs. We have 2 larges. I should have put them on my list.

                    1. re: rasputina

                      I hate you. GREEN with envy here! :)

                      1. re: rasputina

                        Is it the easy and style of cooking with the egg that you like? Or do you just love the taste?

                        1. re: Sigurd

                          Food retains moisture better, which I think is due to the radiant heat from the ceramic. I love how versatile it is, you can sear a steak and do a pizza at 800+ degrees or maintain 225 for 24 hours on one load of charcoal. Due to the thermal mass it excels in maintaining even temperature even in the snow. It's great as a smoker and a great grill.

                          1. re: rasputina

                            I want one so badly....I had forgotten about my BGE envy ARGH - alas I just spent a grand on roof repairs so no BGE for now

                    2. I love my Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker - not super fancy, but I use it ALL the time.

                      Second is my KitchenAid blender. SO many uses beyond drinks. I basically never haul out the food processor because the blender will do the job...and I HATE cleaning the fp.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: jbsiegel

                        I bought the same ice cream maker and tried to use it once without success. Could you give me some guidance and perhaps a recipe that you like. I bought the Ben and Jerry ice cream book but it seems so complicated. I would like to make some recipes that are not too high in fat - if that is possible.

                        Thanks in advance for any suggestions

                        1. re: lukfam

                          I am REALLY lazy when it comes to ice cream. I don't do the whole cooking/egg thing. I mix up the base (usually in the blender), let it sit in the fridge overnight so the sugar, etc. can dissolve, and then churn in the morning.

                          I keep the ice cream canister in the freezer so that it's always frozen solid. I also make sure the base and any add-ins are cold. Works great for me.

                          As far as low fat...no such luck - sorry! I make my base with 1 cup of 1/2 and 1/2 and 2 cups of heavy cream. My go-to recipe is a brownie batter:
                          1.25 cups brownie mix
                          .25 cup cocoa powder
                          .5 cup sugar (I use slightly less)
                          2 tsp vanilla
                          pinch of salt
                          1 cup 1/2 and 1/2
                          2 cups heavy cream

                          I blend the brownie mix, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, salt and 1/2 and 1/2 until mixed. Then add the heavy cream and blend until just mixed (don't want to over-whip). Let it sit overnight in the fridge. Give it one last jolt on the blender before pouring into the canister to churn. I churn about 20-25 minutes and then add any add-ins.

                          You can easily adapt the above recipe, but that's the basic that I use.

                          1. re: jbsiegel

                            Thank you for taking the time to reply. I hopefully will give it a try in the near future.

                          2. re: lukfam

                            I, too, have a Cuisinart ice cream maker and have had great luck with gelato. You might want to try gelato instead of straight up ice cream (calls for more milk than cream). Though I don't think anyone would consider what I make low-fat. ;)

                            But my favorite kitchen thinG is my new candy apple red Kitchen Aid mixer with the glass bowl. I had a cobalt blue KA for many years and always coveted (even publicly on this site!) that sexy red mixer. When part of my old mixer fell off (no kidding), I was all to happy to snatch up the new one. I even picked up the dough scraper attachment--bonus!