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 Post subject: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:33 pm 

Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:19 am
Posts: 26
So it's been on my mind lately to acquire some additional tools for home and professional use, but I'm not necessarily thinking strictly of cutlery anymore. I'm interested to hear what what you guys think about and what your experiences are with the sorts of misc. kitchen equipment...what brands have offered you the best performances; I understand with some stuff that perhaps it's pretty much splitting hairs with something like a rubber spatula...but the differences between kitchen shears or peelers can be night and day.

So I guess this the point of this topic is for us to all come together and collectively offer insight on the tools seldom talked about here, and ask questions if they aren't already answered. This topic should span...well, everything. Peelers, Shears, Spatulas, Whisks, Mixing Bowls, Pallete Knives, Bench Scrapers, Sheet Trays, Pastry Combs, Fish Tweezers, Oyster Knives, Rolling Pins, Saute Pans................the list goes on and on...

And I understand some of it is largely a matter of just getting it in your hand and then you'll know if it'll work, and others would argue that tools are tools and there's no point fretting over how shiny your toys are, but I think our experiences with knives will tell us that principle doesn't always apply.

So I guess I'll start us off.

Peelers:

Until I started working in kitchens my only exposure to peelers had been the C Shape/Swivel Peelers, I find after using a Kuhn Rikon Y shape peeler that I could never go back. I know a lot of home users probably like the OXO Goodgrips brand but I personally don't care for it, I feel as though the added bulk slow's down my peeling speed and limits my dexterity.

It's a sharp little peeler and cheap, I don't think there's much else out there but it's smoked everything else I've used, I've come to buy my own since the in-house variants at my kitchen don't always get put back where they go...

Palette Knives: I don't actually own my own yet, but it's on my list of things to buy since I dislike borrowing the one that belongs to my boss, but I find his pretty pleasant to use, the brand is Fat Daddio...I like the offset versions better than the straight version...I see Richmond also offers a mini-plating spatula but at this time I'm eye balling a large one, I don't know what I'd do with an itty bitty one that I couldn't do with a normal size one, besides maybe finishing petit fours or something.

Shears: I've used some pretty terrible sets of scissors and kitchen shears alike, I know the Tojiro/Richmond shears are highly regarded and I need to buy my own set of shears and having something that can handle heavier tasks would be good, obviously I'll still want to open bags of confectioners sugar or cocoa powder without sending plumes of them everywhere and I've seen some real frickin disasters happen with bags of boneless chicken breatsts...ugh.

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That's all for now I guess, I'm interested to see where this goes.


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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:10 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1439
Location: Raleigh, NC
Kuhn Rikon peelers for life, for one.

Regarding shears, Messermeister makes some frequently seen pull apart shears that are extremely solid and see a lot of food work in my kitchen. But for opening bags and boxes I keep a pocket knife on hand. Something that opens quickly with one hand is a great addition to my day to day life.

I like to use my bench knife for moving food. To this end it's easier and more efficient to get one like this that can slip flush under a board. I think I bought mine for $4 off some guy in a truck. If I was baking more, which given your list seems likely, I would invest. I used a Dexter bench knife a while back that had a nice rosewood handle and less surface that needs cleaning. I've broken the common Ateco plastic handled bench scraper before.

Also, speaking of baking supplies, I prefer disposable piping bags. It's not ecofriendly of me and I do still use canvas bags sometimes when I might reuse the piped product. But the disposable ones are not exactly expensive and they're so much easier to keep clean and use (read: wash the tip).


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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:28 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2610
I really like my Messermeister Swivel Peeler. It's straight and not the serrated version that CKTG carries. I recently discovered that the Edge Pro Shapton Glass stones work great to sharpen up this tool.

My Richmond 6" slotted spatula is really nice. Bullet proof handle and great F&F. You can do delicate work with it, but it also will lift a fair amount of weight: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/laebslsp.html.

I can't imaging working ITK without my OXO spatulas :-).

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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 7:58 pm 

Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 6:20 am
Posts: 2301
Last year I bought a Vollrath 8" nonstick skillet and a Scanpan 12" nonstick skillet. My first "good" nonstick, wow big improvement over the $9.99 pans I had been using.

Best value per dollar, half sheet pans, matching cooling racks, and various sized steel mixing bowls from local restaurant supply store. It is ridiculous how hard it is to find basic kit like this in the consumer stores. Everything is silicon handled, Rachel Ray color coordinated, Guy Fieryi spiked, textured for your pleasure.

Decent thermometers. I had an Oxo leave in thermometer that just did its best job f-ing my Thanksgiving turkey for me. I spiked that one on the floor, it was very festive. My instant read lollipop thermometer from TermoWorks has been awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:09 pm 

Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2014 7:15 am
Posts: 1439
Location: Raleigh, NC
Oh, yes, Thermapens. Thermoworks makes the best five thermometers on the market, and maybe then some.


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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:00 pm
Posts: 2610
To add, the 8", 10" and 12" Bakers & Chef's non-stick skillets from Sam's Club are my cooking staples. They're well-made, in the USA, and have a great rim shape for pan flipping/mixing ingredients. The half sheet pans from Sam's are a winner - heavy gauge and more sturdy than many of the cheap sheet pans I've seen at local restaurant supply outlets. I also have a couple of their white poly cutting boards. Great boards for about $10 bucks (I think).


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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:29 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:27 pm
Posts: 128
Best thermometer out there, but its really expensive, also from thermoworks, the thermopen. its faaaaast and reliable. I actually like a finger peeler... maybe I'm alone in that lol I've not been out for the best, it's sharp enough, and i like it being in the hand. I've got a Y peeler too, but I reach for the finger every time (except when it mysteriously cant be found...)
For non stick I'm a bit on the fence. The more expensive tend to work better, but cheap or expensive they all never last that long. Never use metal utensils, always fairly gentle/careful but they still get scratched or lose their non-stick (know that blue henckel one you often see on chopped? ya, that one can eat **** and die), so why bother with the expensive? If anyone has found a good brand that I've not tried yet please chime in.
Tojiro shears are good and u can take em apart and sharpen em with no fancy gadgets.
Bench scraper is far superior but I usually end up using my knife... I dont know the brand, but its all metal and was cheap (im thinking if it had a wooden handle might be slightly more comfy, but ya). Love it, just dont use it too much. Bad habit...
Getting on this topic could take all day lol but there is a few


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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 8:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 2:28 am
Posts: 316
I used to have a small, metal in line peeler that grew wings and flew away. I've been trying to find a replacement for quite some time and can't find anything that compared to the old school metal one. I don't like the y shape, and the plastic c ones have usually been unable to match the two sided speed of the old one. Does anyone know if someone out there is making quality old school peelers still?


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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:06 am 
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Joined: Wed May 16, 2012 4:42 pm
Posts: 3849
Location: USA... mostly.
85 <> "Old school" peeler. <--link

And I can't think of any OXO tool I've used, that wasn't absolute garbage.



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 Post subject: Re: Misc. Equipment Discussion
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 2:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:46 am
Posts: 268
Location: Lake of the Ozarks, MO
I love short tongs. I bought a pair of the 9" messermeister off cktg and they are great. very stout and no lateral flexing or movement. the handle is kinda bulky with the grip on it but when carrying a heavy plate out of a 500º furnace it's nice to know im not gonna drop it. I read of the rosle tongs but damn $30 for a pair of tongs? are they worth it? as far as peelers I have no issues with my cheap farberware c shaped. haven't had much good experience with the y shaped peelers but haven't really used a good one.


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