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.