More on Kitchen Equipment

More on Kitchen Equipment

While filming the second season of Totally Vegetarian, I was reminded of some viewer questions about kitchen tools and equipment. With so many gadgets on the market, which ones are really indispensable? Based on my experience, we generally have more gadgets hanging around than we really need, and own more than we could ever use.

But there are a few electric kitchen prep appliances that I use and use often. They are: a food processor, a blender, a mixer, and an immersion blender.

A food processor with a six to eight cup capacity is a very useful item, great for chopping, shredding, and processing foods like dips and fillings that require a drier texture than you could obtain from a blender.

A blender, on the other hand, is terrific for liquefying soups and smoothies, but not great for drier mixtures. The downside to a traditional blender is that you have to wait to blend very hot foods and limit the amount you place in the container because it is likely to blow out of the top during blending – a messy and potentially dangerous situation.

Because of my innate impatience, I circumvent this problem by using a variable speed blender which starts at a very slow and low rotation and then can be sped up quickly. No blow out. However, it is a somewhat expensive option to have both blender and food processor. That’s where the immersion blender comes into play. An immersion blender is a wand with a blade at the bottom. This type of blender goes right into the pot or container, so there’s no transferring and less mess, and it’s a less expensive option.

Last on my list is a mixer. I have both a stand and hand mixer. If I had to do without one it would be the stand mixer, but that’s because I’m not somebody who enjoys baking. Hand mixers have improved over the years and a good hand mixer will suffice unless you’re preparing bread or pizza dough in the mixer.

Great food doesn’t necessarily require the use of gadgets, but it sure does make the cook’s life a bit easier.

6 comments
MetricCook
MetricCook

Buying a beautiful Chef's knife and knowing how to sharpen and use it, could help replace any of those appliances, besides puree an item. Try this one on for size... http://www.amazon.com/Shun-Premier-Chefs-Knife-8-Inch/dp/B003B66YKA/ref=sr_1_17?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1285957425&sr=1-17 or their Ken Onion series. Either way you will not want to put it down or away. Why is the no Metric recipes on this site? Please use Metric in you cookbooks, too. It is easy, follow my instrucable... http://www.instructables.com/id/Metrication-of-Recipes-Simplified/

Cheap Blender
Cheap Blender

Nice information.I look for compact kitchen blenders.I need one for cook meal for my baby.I see many web about this but your web is the best for me.Thank you.

Dabert
Dabert

Great view on the technique, I've never come across it this way before

Mary
Mary

Hi Toni, Hey, I often see you using what looks like a small spoon size whisk. Where can I find one? I just love your podcasts. They really help me to know what I'm going to need to do to follow your recipes. Keep them coming! Thanks, Mary

Chef
Chef

Thank you Rae for taking the time to write and for your kind comments. Your letter speaks from your heart and I believe it will be an inspiration for everyone who reads it. It certainly is for me. I hope to hear from you again and I wish you all the best...Toni

Rae
Rae

I just want to give you an "atta girl" for helping to promote the vegetarian lifestyle. When I made the choice to stop eating meat, I had to go it alone. No one in my circle even considered not eating meat. I could cook meat dishes practically with my eyes closed, because I had learned how from my early years in my mother's kitchen. No such luck with vegetarian main courses, which I think holds a lot of people back. They are afraid of not getting enough protein and not being filled up by something more substantial than vegetables. Now, after about ten years, I can grab ingredients that I have on hand, start chopping, and fix something good without a recipe. But the learning curve was a steep one. Now I make such a good multi-bean stew, that I end up wanting it for breakfast, too. What was once next to impossible has become second nature. I've even learned how to make tofu turn out chewy like meat. And veggie chili with a couple of secret ingredients that you can throw together in less than an hour, if you have to. Glad you are out there helping the cause. It feels so good to know that I am no longer participating in the unnecessary early deaths of animals. Yet my children won't have it. They want meat. So I am probably the only vegetarian who visits the butcher. We have a good laugh about it, and maybe I am helping to dispel the stereotypes about vegetarians by showing that I can accept other people's choices for themselves. By the way, it always amazes me that meat eaters think vegetarian food tastes bad. I have never sacrificed taste. My food tastes good, or I don't eat it. And I know you are the same. Keep up the good work, Toni! You are doing so much good. Ciao!