'kitchenware' on Serious Eats

Critic-Turned-Cook Gives A Cheer For Most Valuable Tools

[Images: Cooking.com] In honor of the Big Game, I thought it might be fitting to recognize some of the Most Valuable Tools (MVTs) in the kitchen. Can I get a wave going for the Drew Brees of all appliances, the %2Fshprodde%2Easp%3FSKU%3D314236">food processor? What did cooks do before the food processor? Spend endless hours chopping, whisking and kneading by hand, that's what. My poor personal Cuisinart is on its last legs, the base held together with duct tape—kinda like Vikings quarterback Brett Favre right before that interception. Still, my ancient food processor gets a daily workout, especially since I've mastered the art of making mayo; specifically, anchovy mayo that I transform into sublime Caesar dressing. Because January was all about eating... More

Gadgets: 3-Tier Oven Companion by Nifty

[Photo: Chefscatalog.com] Considering that big families require big turkeys, and big turkeys require lots of oven time, baking space really comes at a premium at my house. Jewish as we are, Christmas day has become synonymous with Thanksgiving 2.0, and similarly, things get made days in advance so that the bird can roast on its own, unadulterated by the pies and potatoes that would otherwise try to nestle alongside it. Despite our planning, it's sometimes impossible to sidestep the inner-oven traffic jam, which is why I was excited to find this 3-Tier Oven Companion by Nifty ($19.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond).... More

Gadgets: Odor Absorbing Splatter Screen by Farberware

[Photograph: Nikki Goldstein] I love Hanukkah foods, but I'd much rather eat them at someone else's house than make them myself. Who likes having their home smell like fried food for days after the feast's ended? Show of hands? I thought not. This odor-absorbing splatter screen by Farberware ($12.99 at Platzgraff) caught my eye a few months ago, and with Hanukkah as an excuse, I decided to finally give it a whirl. With a carbon filter woven in between the mesh of the splatter screen, it's meant to neutralize odors as they emit from the pan. Straightforward chemistry at work.... More

Gadgets: 4-in-1 Flavor Injector by Progressive International

[Photo: Amazon.com] Marinade injectors always perplexed me a little bit: Marinades are made to be absorbed into meat without fancy tools, and that's much of their appeal. But Progressive International's 4-in-1 Flavor Injector ($12.59 at Amazon.com) features multiple tips that fulfill different purposes, and we've learned by now that I can't say no to multi-tasking kitchen tools. Though I'm still unsure about the fourth function, I know I have three of them down pat: without a special tip, you can inject herbs or small solids, while two tips are included for liquids and chunks. Between the packaging and extensive research, it would seem that the fourth function is purely a storage system that lets you stick each tip into... More

Black Iron Dude, a Blog about Cast Iron Cookware

[Photograph: Black Iron Dude] If you love cast iron cookware or want to start using it, check out Black Iron Dude for recipes that use cast iron cookware, tips on washing and seasoning your cookware (and how not to season), information on antique skillets, and just about anything else related to cast iron cookware. [via Metafilter]... More

Gadgets: Kalorik 4-in-1 Combi Mixer

[Photograph: Amazon.com] Gadgets that perform multiple functions can be really hit or miss: Either they do a great job of saving space and consolidating expenses, or they under-perform and disappoint. Oddly enough, the Kalorik 4-in-1 Combi Mixer falls somewhere in between. Its four functions—electric whisk, frother, chopper, and immersion blender—all work well enough, but having independent appliances would probably be a better bet for most cooks. The Kalorik Combi Mixer's spine, so to speak, is the stick that plugs into the wall and connects to the various tools. Though all the attachments have a clear spot on the nicely designed carry-all tray, the stick itself doesn't, which seems like a strange oversight. It takes away from the sleek look... More

Alphabet Plates, Customizable Plates for Kids

[Images: Alphabet Plates] Alphabet Plates, created by graphic designer (and mom) Laura Paresky Gould, allows you to personalize plates with your little one's name and favorite food from 14 popular choices. Although geared towards kids, there's no reason you can't get a plate plate as a fun gift for a burger or broccoli-loving, postadolescent friend. Besides food, other designs include sports, monograms, and customizable faces starting at $22 a plate. Personalized placemats in different colors and languages are also available for $18. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. [via swissmiss] Related Frame Plates Map Plates Colorful, Pattern-Stitched Servingware... More

Gadgets: Trudeau Silicone Vegetable Steamer

[Photograph: Cooking.com] I've watched The Biggest Loser enough times to understand the value of steaming. Yes, it's good for you, and it preserves the flavor and nutritional value of your vegetables. I know. But for far too long I've resisted steaming my veggies because there's simply no space in my kitchen for those clunky dual-level steaming contraptions (which I'd never be able to fill up when cooking for one, anyway). All that changed when I found this cute-looking silicone steamer by Trudeau, which does away with pretty much all my steaming woes. The size and material make it an easy option whether you're cooking for one or four, since it can fold up and fit into smaller or larger... More

Gadgets: Progressive International Folding Mandoline Slicer

[Photo: amazon.com] Even though it's not the most commonly used gadget, I've always thought that there was a fairly essential place for a mandoline in every kitchen. The question is, when you're shopping for a gadget that you're not going to use often, how worthwhile is it to invest in a quality product versus a budget buy? There seemed to be one particularly obvious way to find out, so I followed my intuition and brought home a gently priced, user-friendly version of the ever-dangerous tool: the Progressive International Folding Mandoline Slicer. One of the reasons that this particular mandoline comes in at such a reasonable cost (under $20 at amazon.com) is that its body is made of plastic rather... More

Frame Plates

[Photograph: d-VISION] These frame plates from Israeli industrial design program d-VISION "function as a canvas for food as a work of art." Pretty food will look prettier, and ugly food will look...abstract. Perhaps not the most practical eating vessel, but it's a cute idea. [via NOTCOT.org] Related Map Plates Adam Roberts's Quirky, Idiosyncratic Plates Paper Plates You Can Display On Your Wall Cutest Plates Ever... More

Make Custom Table Placemats with Inkjet Transfers

[Design*Sponge] How do you get that doughnut-strewn placemat you always wanted? Just make one yourself with iron-on transfer sheets! Design*Sponge has a tutorial that shows you how to do it. Print the images at actual size for the most realistic look. Related How to Make a Portable Picnic-in-a-Briefcase How to Make Nesting Doll Salt Shakers How to Make Fake Cupcakes... More

Gadgets: The Original Muffin-Top Tin

I'm going to make a confession: when it comes to muffins, I'm one of those really strange people who almost prefers the bottoms. Almost. That may explain my reaction when I received a pan that specializes in making just the crusty, puffy tops: "Mini quiches! Dainty gratins! Individual fruit tarts!" The possibilities offered by the large bake-able wells seemed infinitely more diverse than just muffin tops, and I eagerly started compiling recipes that would fit the mold. In an attempt to eat dinner before dessert, I started with individual quiches loaded with baby spinach, Swiss cheese, and turkey bacon. By the time I'd layered my ingredients and was ready to pour in the egg mixture, a pang of skepticism... More

Magnetic Chopsticks That Recreate the Feeling of Pulling Apart Wooden Chopsticks

Photograph from Microworks "Stickpecker," a pair of reusable chopsticks from Japanese design studio Microworks recreates the feeling of breaking apart wooden chopsticks with a magnet and features subtle woodpecker and branch designs at the base of the chopsticks. $38 from Tokyomade [via Bree Lundberg] Related Chopsticks Aid, a Fork Attached to Chopsticks Chopsticks + Cutlery = Choplery... More

Ceramic and Glass 'Milk Cartons'

The milk jug at left, from home-design shop Abitare ($19, from abitareshop.com), mimics the look of a cardboard milk carton—a playful accompaniment to any coffee or tea service. Or, for something a little more mod, check out the see-through glass version from Fred & Friends ($12.68, from Amazon). [via SwissMiss]... More

How to Make a Zero-Waste Lunch Kit

Squishy Bowls from Guyot Designs. Reduce your waste when eating on the road by making a zero-waste lunch kit. Wisebread gives suggestions on what reusable and travel-friendly products to get, such as stainless steel drinking straws, utensils attached to metal rings, and collapsible bowls and plates. And for special occasions, get some squishy travel shot glasses for cocktails on the go. [via Lifehacker] Related: Serious Green: Plastic-Free Ways to Transport Your Lunch... More

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