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Equipment: How to Choose a Wooden Spoon

J. Kenji López-Alt 25 comments

Short of being born a woman in Italy and waiting for your daughter to have a child, nothing makes you feel like an Italian grandmother more than slowly and deliberately stirring a lazily simmering pot of ragú with a wooden spoon. More

Equipment: How to Buy, Use, and Care for a Meat Grinder

J. Kenji López-Alt 59 comments

While it's possible to grind meat in a food processor, or even to chop it by hand, a dedicated meat grinder is your best option if you plan on grinding meat on a regular basis. Here's a basic guide on how to select, use, and maintain your grinder. More

Guide to Essential Kitchen Hand Tools, Part 3

J. Kenji López-Alt 46 comments

Here are the last five items you need to round out your hand tool collection. If you've read through the first and second guides and have got all the items on the list, you've officially got a well-stocked kitchen. That's assuming you've got pots, pans, tools, and all those other fun things we'll be covering in the future. More

Guide to Essential Kitchen Hand Tools, Part 2

J. Kenji López-Alt 26 comments

In the second installment of our guide to essential kitchen hand tools, we cover a few more of the basics. More

Guide to Essential Kitchen Hand Tools, Part 1

J. Kenji López-Alt 56 comments

Every cook has to start somewhere, and the cheapest place to start is with your small tools. These are the hand tools that should be constantly by the side of your stove top, ready to stir, whisk, flip, or pick up any food item at moment's notice. As the list is long, we're dividing it into three parts. These first 7 are the most essential. More

6 Things Every Griller Needs

J. Kenji López-Alt 34 comments

There are hundreds of so-called grilling "essentials" on prominent display at food stores and catalogues, but over the years, you figure out that the only real tools you need are the ones that help you bring your food close to fire (preferably without burning yourself). After all, isn't that what grilling is really all about—food and fire in all its primal glory? Here are the six items you really need. Everything else is just bells and whistles. And please, don't even think about buying those "grill kits." Not even as a gift. More

The Food Lab's Top 10 Pieces of Kitchen Gear

The Food Lab J. Kenji López-Alt 81 comments

Sure, maybe early man got away with a fire and a stick, but any budding kitchen sleuth, or even a good home cook knows that the right equipment can make life in the kitchen a whole lot easier. So here we go, in no particular order: The Food Lab's Top 10 Favorite Pieces of Kitchen Gear. More

Make Customized Cakes with the Alphabet/Number Cake Pan

Robyn Lee 4 comments

Turn any letter or number you want into a blocky cake with the Alphabet/Number Cake Pan. The pan features 2-inch square blocks that can be rearranged in a 4 x 7 grid. [via How Blog] Related Cakesicle Pan Literally a Cup-cake Serious Eats Gift Guide: For the Baker... More

What Are Your Favorite Kitchen Tools?

Erin Zimmer 40 comments

A kitchen tool for a chef is like a bowling ball for a bowler. It's special, and sometimes so irreplaceable, even a similar-looking, similar-functioning object of the same name will not do the trick. What are your favorite kitchen tools? More

Water Works: How To Make Seltzer at Home

Lucy Baker 22 comments

The Soda-Club Home Seltzer Maker kit costs less than $100, and contains a carbonating bottle with enough carbon dioxide to make up to 110 liters of seltzer. Think about it: that's 110 less liter-sized bottles in the recycling bin, or worse, the trash can. More

Cakesicle Pan

Sarah Wolf 3 comments

Eating cake with a fork is so last year. In fact, forget about plates too. These Norpro Cakesicle pans from Target offer a new alternative just in time for summer: stick a stick in it. One eight-cakesicle pan also comes with 25 sticks and a free recipe booklet. Related Literally a Cup-cake Easy Easter Bunny Cake Serious Eats Gift Guide: For the Baker... More

The 14 M.P.H. Beer Cooler

Adam Kuban 9 comments

When I look at this motorized, scooter-based beer cooler, you know what I see? I see a marauding gang of 12 to 15 frat boys, on spring break, riding from hotel to motel to pool to beach. That's not a slam on frat boys. You see, the next logical and ridiculously glorious extension of this "14 M.P.H. beer cooler" is that you'd get together with your buddies and form a 14 M.P.H. beer cooler biker gang. Fraternity brothers already have the legendary party skills; they're notorious for pranks; they're in college, so they've got the time; and they could use house funds to equip themselves. A 500-watt motor drives the cooler, which can hold up to 24 twelve-ounce cans and... More

Serious Eats Gift Guide: For Eaters Who Have Everything

Amanda Clarke 1 comment

Nobody wants to get somebody a duplicate, and gift cards just aren't much fun to give. But, while your cousin the cook may have a few spatulas in his kitchen, does he have a lime green one with a mouth that hangs on a tongue hook? And your sister-in-law with the amazing set of vintage ceramic tableware in some pattern with a name you can never remember, though it doesn't matter because all the circulating pieces cost more than your net worth? Surely she already has salt-and-pepper shakers, but how could she turn away a pair of white birdy-foot salt-and-pepper shakers? With the stragglers left on your list in mind, I've assembled a merry band of misfits that are sure to find a place on the table or in the kitchen of the Serious Eater who has everything. More

2008 Ikea Kitchen Porn

Harold Check 5 comments

The latest Ikea catalog recently hit mailboxes and the web. Most of us probably have a little Ikea in our kitchens, whether it's just a paper-towel holder or an entire suite of cabinets and cupboards. For 2008, trends seem to be primary colors, openess, and wall-mounted bars for hanging all manner of kitchen gear. After the jump, a few snapshots to whet your appetite.... More

Dwelling on Iconic Kitchen Gear

Harold Check 1 comment

Dwell, the beloved magazine about living with modern design, recently offered a short series on kitchen items that have rightfully achieved icon status. In the July/August issue, Heather Wagner rounded up nine classic tools and gave background on the origins and creators of each. From the Peugeot pepper mill to the Iwata rice cooker to the Starck lemon juicer, the list is a fascinating starting point for discussion about what kitchen objects we hold as timeless and which are simply commodities. I, for one, consider the KitchenAid stand mixer pretty close to synonymous with the actual idea of a mixer. I really can't see myself replacing it with anything else. Here is Wagner's honor roll: Peugeot pepper mill by... More

Gadgets and Gear: The Solar Oven

Harold Check 2 comments

Yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle offered a feature on the solar oven—a piece of culinary gear that I'd never heard of, much less seen. It basically looks like one of those tanning reflectors that have gone so incredibly out of style for sunbathers. Instead of holding said reflector up to your face, you leave it in your backyard and drop in some tater tots or just about anything that needs baking at 350 degrees or more. Here's a description of the product, which, obviously, works best in sunny climates: Most solar ovens rely on the greenhouse effect. The Sun Oven, for example, consists of a well-insulated box with a glass lid and four reflective panels that direct sunlight into the box.... More

Kitchen Gadgets, Gear, and Geekery: The Three-Ring Recipe Notebook

Harold Check 6 comments

File this one under the third "G" -- Unclutterer, a slick new blog that offers advice on staying organized, just posted a straightforward howto about creating a personal cooking notebook, using Post-Its, sheet protectors, and a three-ring binder. It's the site's latest post on reducing kitchen clutter, and while most Serious Eaters might be hard pressed to go on the drastic cookbook diet they suggested in a previous column, I can whole-heartedly endorse the wonders of sheet protectors to extend the life of printed recipes beyond one sauce-drenched session. They're also great for adding pages to the aforementioned three-ring binder without having to rummage through your desk drawers for that ultimate unitasker, the hole-punch. My only amendment to Unclutterer's... More

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