Essential Kitchen Equipment 2

This is a continuation of kitchen equipment I think is essential to a well equipped kitchen.

Stand Mixer – while Kitchen Aid is probably the most popular, I think you should also look at Viking and Cuisinart.  If you decide to go with Kitchen Aid, make sure it is the Professional Series.  I can’t tell you how many lower end models I burnt up (the gears are plastic) before I purchased the Professional Series.

Blender – here is an example of getting what you pay for.  Buy the best you can afford.  For years I had a major name brand but it didn’t perform as I wanted.  Then last year I purchased a Vita-Mix from Costco and have loved it.  It makes the smoothest margaritas as well as being great for making almond flour, puree of fruits, and great smoothies.  Wouldn’t trade my Vita-Mix for anything.

Crock Pot Slow Cooker – Once again, get the best you can afford.  All-Clad has a two models worth looking at.  One has an insert that is removable and can be put on the cooktop for searing before putting in the slow cooker.  The other has a ceramic insert (can’t be used on the cooktop).  Mine is the ceramic version but what I like about the All-Clad is fact that you can program it to cook either on high or low and a specified period of time then hold at the temperature.  So if you put something on before going to work, it isn’t going to over cook and will still be hot when you come home at the end of the day.

Electronic Kitchen Scale – Essential for weighing ingredients.  The most accurate recipes will include measurements.  A cup of flour can weigh anywhere from 4 oz. to 10 oz. depending on how hard you pack the flour in.  This can be the reason your cookies are dry and crumbly.  In the coming days, I will have a post that gives the correct weights for specific measurements.  I have changed over to weights for more accurate taste and texture and have not been disappointed with the results.

Spring form Cake Pan – this is essential for cheesecakes but also great for ice cream cakes and fallen chocolate soufflé cakes.  I like the one Pampered Chef has because it has handles on both sides and a glass bottom that is textured on one side.

Electronic temperature probe –  great for checking the internal temperature of meats but also great for checking the internal temperature of breads (180 degrees and higher is done) and water for proofing yeast.

Manual Food Chopper – I like to use the manual type food chopper when I only have a handful of something to chop.  Again, Pampered Chef has an excellent manual food chopper and you can order replacement pieces if you break one.

Electric Mini Prep – this is an electric type food chopper but smaller than a food processor.  The one I have is a Cuisinart which I used for years as a food processor.  I love that little machine and still use it to make salsa, hummus, or marinated parmesan dip.

A Selection of Rubber Spatula Scrapers – I like the ones Pampered Chef has to offer because the rubber head is fused to the handle.  If you have ever looked into the head of a different model that has come apart from the handle you would see it is full of mold and other gross stuff.  Just don’t risk your family’s health – get the ones that are fused together (there may be other companies that sell the fused kind, just check before you purchase).

NOT ESSENTIAL BUT DEFINITELY NICE TO HAVE:

Bread Dough Mixer – This piece of equipment isn’t essential but it sure makes life much easier if you make a lot of bread.  The model I have is from Electrolux but I don’t think they offer it anymore.   Pleasant Hills Grains has a newer model by Haussler that is even better because it is chain driven and is a 9 qt. model available in 1 or 2 speeds as well as a counter and floor model.  This is a commercial machine that is priced so you can afford it in the home.

Chocolate Tempering Machine – Again, not essential but if you have ever tried to temper chocolate manually by hand you will understand why this is nice to have.  I have the ACMC Tabletop machine and love it because it is electronically controlled.  Set the temp you want to heat the chocolate to and it lets you know when it is there and maintains it at that temp until you are ready to lower it.  If you haven’t worked with tempering chocolate before, take a class or get with someone who knows what they are doing because it is definitely a process.

 

 

 

 

 

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