'small appliances' on Serious Eats

Equipment: Citrus Juicers

After some serious testing on carnitas the other week, I found myself with a fridge full of juicy, crisp pork and nobody to eat it. The simple solution: Call over some friends, make a few pitchers of really strong margaritas, and call it a fiesta. Our normal MO is for me to take charge of the kitchen, while my wife takes care of making sure everybody's drinks are topped up, which in this case meant squeezing 40 limes and 20 lemons for the margaritas. A pretty large feat for such a small woman.* It got me to thinking whether it was time to upgrade my citrus juicer. More

Equipment: What Spice Grinder Should I Buy?

But just this past weekend, I found myself with 18 pounds of brisket, 22 pounds of ribs, and 20 pounds of pork shoulder, all of which required a rub before an all-nighter of barbecueing before the Fourth of July. That's an awful lot of grinding, and for times like those, it calls for breaking out the big guns: an electric spice grinder. For all intents and purposes, a spice grinder and a coffee grinder are essentially the same rebranded product, so we won't distinguish between them in our comparisons. More

Equipment: Which Food Processor Should I Buy?

This week we start dipping into the realm of countertop appliances, and as far as usefulness goes, the food processor elbows for the top slot right along side the stand mixer. The thing about food processors is, they ain't cheap. What could be worse than shelling out three figures for an appliance that either doesn't do its job, or is so cumbersome to use that it ends up as just another place to practice your dusting? More

Oddly Specific Customer-Service FAQ

Here in the Serious Eats office we have a Calphalon convection toaster oven. Unfortunately, I manhandled it and broke the timer knob, so now we're unable to set it for timed baking or in the "always on" position. Anyway, that's my fault and neither here nor there. What I'm blabbing about here is that while using the online form to contact the company about a replacement knob, the list of preliminary responses to my issue included this oddly specific topic: "Is it okay to place garlic cheese bread directly on the rack in my convection oven?" For the record, this is the answer: "It is better to place cheese bread (or any foods that have an ingredient that will... More

Mini Deep-Fryer

Wired blogged about this mini deep-fryer last week, and at first I was quite taken with it. Who wouldn't want a small, easy-to-store deep-fryer that uses only a quart of oil rather than a gallon or more? But then I remembered the deep-fryer episode of Good Eats, in which I seem to recall Alton Brown talking about heat recovery—that you need a good amount of oil so that the food, when dunked, doesn't lower the oil temp so far that your goodies don't fry properly. Then again, if you're only making a single serving of fries or one chicken wing at a time, I suppose this thing might work. Still, if cooking for one is sometimes lonely, deep-frying for one... More

Taking George Foreman's Deep-Frying Machine for a Spin

The food blog Umami Mart takes George Foreman's Lean Mean Fat-Spinning Deep-Frying Machine for a test drive and comes away with a perplexingly mixed review. After cooking three different fried foods—mandoo, french fries, and mozzarella sticks—the author says two of the three were "too dry" and "too baked" tasting and describes the thing as ugly and "overly complicated, huge and heavy." Still, she recommends the thing. Wha? The Foreman fryer's supposed advantage over others is that it uses centrifugal force to spin out or "knock out" the fat after frying. It claims to remove up to 55 percent of the fat absorbed during frying. Which just means that people will buy it and feel justified in eating 55 percent more... More

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