Problem: You need to impress that special someone in your life with a jaw-droppingly amazing holiday present. Or perhaps you need the perfect apology gift to get yourself out of the doghouse. (Why do you think my kitchen’s outfitted with so many gadgets?)
Solution: Go big or go home! Last week, I told you about my favorite wallet-friendly stocking stuffers, but today’s list is all about taking off the budgetary shackles. I’ve compiled a list of tried and true big ticket gifts for the 2012 holiday season, so grab your credit cards and meet me after the jump!
This revelation will be about as shocking as when Geraldo Rivera opened up Al Capone’s vault: I’m a KITCHEN GADGET QUEEN.
Henry would go so far as to say I’m a hoarder of unnecessary clutter, but I like my self-anointed title much better. Regular readers are well aware that I frequently use a pressure cooker, toaster oven, and SousVide Supreme, often all at once to prepare a single meal. But when we were stuck in a residence hotel for three months after a mini tsunami flooded our house, I learned that I can get by in the kitchen with much, much less. I won’t lie — there are plenty of “nice-to-have” items that greatly streamline and enhance my cooking, but when push comes to shove, I really only need a few items to create nourishing and tasty meals.
Curious about my list? Follow the jump to read about the 13 basic tools I can’t live without…
Earlier today, reader BTNYC posted a desperate plea for help:
Nom nom, need help. I bought an Iwatani torch at your suggestion. It took several months to locate butane cannisters that fit (gas one). I no longer have the packaging and have no clue how to make the torch work. I can hook up the gas properly, but uncertain as to the controls on the torch. Would you be so kind to walk me through it. Love your site.
Great question. I love my Iwatani kitchen torch, but I’d hate for you to buy one and burn your face off, or engulf your home in flames. Kitchen torches are fun and effective for evenly browning and charring your meats, but they’re dangerous. It’s good to be cautious.
BTNYC: Here’s my video response to your question. Hope it’ll help you get your Iwatani torch up and running.
By the way, did anyone notice my awesome apron? You can get one just like it over here. (Shameless, I know.)
I know I’m always touting expensive gadgets but here’s a cheap, indispensible item I always use in the kitchen: the Accusharp Knife and Tool sharpener!
For less than $10, you can sharpen your own knives in just a few strokes. And your knives become SUPER SHARP.
Trust me, the most important item in your kitchen arsenal is a sharp kitchen knife and the Accusharp will keep it in tiptop shape.
(Sorry — I need to remember to take my psych meds. My Ron Popeil-worshipping personality took over and wrote this post.)
I recently splurged and got myself a SousVide Supreme. Wanna read more about sous viding? Here’s my hubby’s in depth post on cooking food at sub-boiling temps in a plastic bag. Yes, I buy a shitload of kitchen gadgets that are now languishing in our appliance graveyard in the garage but I think I will get a lot of use of out this machine. Really. I promise.
In my first two weeks of ownership, I’ve made pork chops, grassfed sirloin roast, chicken breasts (once with skin and bones, once sans both), tri-tip steak, 48-hour Momofuku shortribs, and assorted veggies. I’ve had success with some things (e.g. shortribs) and had some misses (e.g. over-cooked broccoli and pork chops). I’m still tinkering with my recipes and will post about my successes as I get more experience with my water oven.
I’m not an aspiring Master Chef — just a working mom who wants perfectly cooked meat ready and waiting for me at dinner time. So far, I’m pretty happy with the results.