'tools' on Serious Eats

Video: Alton Brown's 5 Essential Pieces of Kitchen Equipment

Now that it's a new year, we're on our way to becoming our best, healthiest, most organized selves. For those looking to simplify their kitchens, we gladly present: Alton Brown's five essential pieces of kitchen equipment. In our latest episode of the Chewing the Fat video series, TV personality and food science whiz Alton Brown (Good Eats, Iron Chef America) elaborates on quite the interesting hit-list, including a few "essentials" many might not include. More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Kitchen Tool Crossover

Last week's Weekend Cook and Tell was inspired by the story of the Microplane grater, a wood rasp that found its way into the kitchen and never looked back. For Kitchen Tool Crossover challenge we asked all of you to tell us about tools that have made their way into your kitchen by way of the basement, garage, or tool shed. Let's take a look at some of our favorite multipurpose responses. More

Equipment: Ice Cream Scoop

For someone who doesn't eat much ice cream, I sure use my ice cream scoop an awful lot. As a baking tool, a few different sized scoops are essential—there's no faster or more consistent way to get cookie dough from the bowl to the baking tray. Muffins and cupcakes benefit too, making filling up the wells quick, even, and mess-free. More

6 Things Every Griller Needs

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

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: Candy Thermometers, Digital and Not

[Photograph: Williams-Sonoma] Apparently I was late on the bandwagon by only recently finding out that there was such a thing as a digital candy thermometer. Frankly, it was a while before I realized there was need in my life for a candy thermometer at all. It all started with a recipe in the December 2007 issue of Gourmet for Toasted-Coconut Marshmallow Squares. One enormous batch of 100+ marshmallows later, I was hooked. As it turns out, though, candy thermometers come quite in handy—DIY candy-making is now my favorite gift-buying alternative, and frying gets a lot easier when you can figure out exactly how hot your oil is versus how hot it should be. Whether they need to be spiffy digital... More

Burger Maker/Storage Set

Freezing patties isn’t ideal, but whose life is conducive to grinding fresh beef each time you want to make burgers at home? This set looks like it might be a good compromise between optimum flavor and convenience. Simply place your... More

A Medieval Multitasker: The Whisk

The whisk is more than a tool for aeration. Useful for making sauces, emulsions and more, it is one of the home kitchen’s greatest multitaskers. Here is some information for selecting and making the most of this apparatus, which dates to medieval times. More

Gear: Measuring Up

After decades of Pyrex primacy, the last ten years have seen some advances in liquid measuring tools. The arrival of the angled "view from above" measuring cup spared home cooks the neck-craning, easy-to-mess-up chore of eyeballing the level. The innovation was cause for much rejoicing, and if you haven't bought one for your kitchen yet, you won't regret springing $7 on the OXO Angled Measuring Cup with its rubberized handle. Along similar lines, the narrow base and wide mouth of Emsa's Perfect Beaker makes smaller liquid measurements easier to accomplish. On the dry-measure frontier, things aren't quite as rosy. There is plenty of variety in dry measuring cups and spoons but really no clear-cut quantum leaps. Not to say that... More

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