Tool Uses
Page 8
What Is a Convection Oven, and How Does It Work?
What is a convection oven, and what does it do? Is it really that helpful in the kitchen? It’s very simple, really: It’s all about the fan.A convection oven deals with the problems of hot spots and uneven cooking like MaryWynn asked about yesterday by using a fan to circulate air and keep the temperature more steady. So, basically, a convection oven, in popular terminology, is an oven with a fan inside.
Mar 17, 2010
How Do I Calibrate My Oven?
Q: How do you calibrate an oven? We got a new one when we moved into our apartment, and when I got an oven thermometer, it turned out it was about 50 degrees off.Thoughts on the best way to address this? It’s TINY, but it also significantly hotter at the back than the front. I’m not sure how to deal with this either.Sent by MaryWynnEditor: MaryWynn, this is going to vary quite a bit from oven to oven.
Mar 16, 2010
Pie Birds (A.K.A. Pie Funnels)
Pie birds (also known as pie funnels, pie chimneys, and pie whistles) are hollow ceramic devices used to keep pies from bubbling over in the oven by providing ventilation from the hot filling through the crust. They originated in Europe and historians often argue over whether they came about in the 1500’s or during Victorian times.The nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” which has the lyrics “Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie” is based on pie birds.
Mar 15, 2010
What Is This Mystery Tupperware Gadget?
Q: I bought a bag of mixed kitchen item to get the Tupperware measuring cups in it. Included with the measuring cups were these pieces that I am guessing go together. I have no idea if I am assembling it correctly or what it is used for.Sent by MarieEditor: Oooh it’s our favorite kind of Good Question: A mystery gadget!Unfortunately, we are completely stumped by this one. Readers, any clues?Next question?Related: Mystery Gadget!
Jan 29, 2010
A Roundup Of Sushi-Making Essentials
I’ve been writing a lot of posts lately on various sushi-related items, such as how to make temaki hand rolls and DIY spicy tuna. In this post I’ll go over the essential sushi-making tools and ingredients. If you have a sushi lover on your holiday gift list, consider putting together a few of these items in a gift basket! Sushi Oke/Hangiri – optional, but recommended.
Dec 9, 2009
A Fast Way to Bake Cookies: Use a Waffle IronFine Cooking
We don’t have a waffle iron. It’s one of those small appliances that’s only good for one thing, and we don’t eat that one thing often enough to warrant owning one.But if we could use it to make cookies? Maybe we’d reconsider.We saw this tip at Fine Cooking and were immediately intrigued. Crispy, chewy, thick oatmeal chocolate chip cookies baked in 90 seconds, just like a waffle. What do you think?
Nov 5, 2009
DIY Oven Maintenance: Adjusting the Temperature Gauge
Given how much oven temperature can fluctuate, it’s no wonder that one of our most repeated bits of kitchen advice is “Buy an oven thermometer!” But constantly compensating for an oven that runs hot or cold gets very tiresome, especially as we get into prime baking season. Here’s what you can do:A disclaimer before we get into it: this solution is really just bringing the numbers on the oven dial into alignment with the temperature inside the oven.
Oct 29, 2009
How Do I Keep Food From Sticking To My All-Clad Skillet? Good Questions
Q: I recently decided to upgrade from an ailing frying pan to a 9″ All-Clad French skillet, and felt really excited about making a purchase that made me feel both grown-up and self-indulgent at the same time. As someone who has never been fond of “no-stick” pans I opted for the regular finish.
Sep 10, 2009
Napa Pantry: 7 Picks From Michael Chiarello
We’ve spent more time than we care to admit gushing over the lighting and copper pans in Michael Chiarello’s Napa Pantry store. Although beautiful, they’re not exactly in our budget, so instead we’ve rounded up 7 colorful picks from Michael himself, that are a little more in reach for home cooks! He loves them and so do we!These picks are a great way to bring in a little color in some unexpected places (who would have thought a griddle could have been colorful?!).
Sep 3, 2009
Should I Buy a Tilt-Head or Bowl-Lift KitchenAid Mixer? Good Questions
Q: I’m shopping for a KitchenAid stand mixer and I’d like know The Kitchn community’s opinion of the tilt-head models versus the bowl-lift models.KitchenAid doesn’t seem to offer any information on the differences between them other than what’s obvious: one of them is taller with arms to hold the bowl, and one of them is shorter with a hinged head that tilts back.
Jul 28, 2009
Food Science: The Seasoning on Cast Iron Cookware
We’ve been cooking with a cast iron skillet for years now and we absolutely love it. We take care to clean it properly and are religious about keeping it seasoned. But in all these years, we’ve always wondered: what is the seasoning on cast-iron? How does it work?Left on its own, iron will gradually corrode and rust due to the oxygen and moisture in the air. Luckily, the same properties that cause iron to corrode allow it to be protected!
Jul 28, 2009
Korean Cooking Pots: Dolsot and Ddukbaegi
One of the best things my partner’s mother ever handed down to us was her large ddukbaegi, or Korean earthenware pot. (She was downgrading to a smaller one for herself.) When I think of the pot, I imagine sounds: bubbling stews, sizzing rice, and the satisfying clunk of the heavy lid. Much of Korean cuisine is down to earth, and the traditional cooking pots – ddukbaegi and dolsot – share this unpretentious, robust aesthetic.
Jul 15, 2009
In Praise of the Melon Baller
Although they held a strange fascination for us as children, melon ballers certainly aren’t the first thing that come to mind when we think about essential kitchen equipment these days. But if you’ve unearthed one during your kitchen de-cluttering and are on the fence about tossing it in the give-away pile, we think you should keep it.
Apr 29, 2009
Kitchen Equipment: Choosing a Pasta Maker
If you’re starting to make pasta at home and don’t already have a pasta maker, you’re going to start pining for one soon, we guarantee! With price tags often over the $100 mark, basic pasta makers can feel like a pretty big investment to most of us. Here are a few thoughts and bits of advice for when you (inevitably) start looking…The vast majority of pasta makers on the market are hand-crank models that clamp onto your table or counter top with a vice.
Jan 22, 2009
Good Food with Evan Kleiman: All About Convection Oven Cooking
When convection ovens were first introduced to the home market, they were heralded as the ultimate time saver: “Perfect roast chicken in a third of the time!” But Evan Kleiman’s guest Russ Parsons cautions us that convection ovens aren’t always great for everything…A convection oven comes equipped with a fan and exhaust system that actually pulls the hot oven air across the food and then vents it back out.
Dec 9, 2008
All About Santoku Knives
Perhaps you’ve seen these ubiquitous all-purpose knives with hollowed-out indentations on the edge of the blade. What is a santoku knife, and why should you have one? When should you use one, and what’s the deal with those scalloped edges? Read on … Those scalloped granton edges add air between the knife blade and the material being cut, making it easier to remove the material from the blade. So, if you were slicing something thinly, you’d want to use this knife.
Dec 5, 2008
Strainer, Colander, Chinois: What’s the Difference?
We use these words (ok, maybe not chinois so much) interchangeably to describe something, usually metal, that holds solid ingredients while liquid passes through it. It’s a strainer, a colander, a mesh thingy, whatever. In reality, there are differences, especially when it comes to that chinois… A strainer is really a catchall name for any type of, well, strainer. It is usually fine mesh and bowl-shaped, good for rinsing a pint of berries or draining pasta.
Sep 4, 2008
Good Question: Knife Blades Up or Down?
Has AT ever addressed the “blades up” or “blades down” question? This photo is from an IKEA photo you had on your site. I’ve seen it in other homes as well. Is this a feng shui issue? Thanks,SaraSara, this is a good question. We have no idea about the feng shui implications, as we do not practice feng shui – at least in the kitchen. Any more knowledgeable readers have the scoop on that?
Aug 26, 2008
Simple Tip: The Better Way to Un-Stick a Bag of Ice
For those of us without separate, large capacity ice machines in our homes, bags like this are a necessity at times — any time you need to fill a bucket or re-fill drinks for a crowd. And without fail, the store-bought bag of ice becomes a rock-hard, solid block if left to its own devices in the freezer.We always pull it out and heave it on the floor in big thumps, disturbing the neighbors, and usually breaking the bag so that newly separated cubes go flying across the kitchen.
Jul 17, 2008
Specialty Tool: Best Oyster Knives
We usually leave the oyster shucking to the professionals. We’ve watched rubber-gloved guys behind the counter at Casamento’s in New Orleans open and loosen hundreds of raw oysters, jamming their blunt oyster knives into each shell with expert precision.But we’ve had the occasional pleasure of opening our own oysters, thanks to a family member who likes to smoke big batches tucked in wet towels on his grill.
Jun 17, 2008
Baking Tools: Wear and Care of Your Pizza Stone
So you’ve invested in a pizza stone–or dusted it off from where it was hiding at the bottom of the cupboard!You’re loving it when you bake your pizzas, artisan loaves, and various baked goodies.Now it’s collected a few spills and stains. Lovingly gained, but spills and stains none the less.How should you be cleaning your pizza stone and what kind of wear is normal? Read on!First off, always heat the stone with the oven.
Jun 5, 2008
Happy Kitchen: Caring for Wooden Utensils
We’ve talked a lot recentlyWooden utensils do have one downside: they quickly lose their attractive glossy finish, are prone to cracking, and are generally a little fussy to take care of. Here are a few simple steps to help you avoid replacing them every few months.Always hand wash wood utensils with soap and warm water. Unfortunately, the harsh detergent and heat in the dishwasher will wreck the wood in just a few cycles.Dry wooden spoons with a towel instead of letting them air dry.
May 5, 2008
Good Question: Best Manual Knife Sharpener?
Here’s a question from reader artichoke queen. How do you keep your knives sharp? Looking for a good, manual knife sharpener that will work on Global knives and others. The Furi has been recommended. Any suggestions?(To All Good Questions) We confess right now that we are not as diligent as wes should be at sharpening our knives, so this is a learning point for us as well. Sara Kate initially suggested just getting a steel and stone.
Mar 7, 2008
How to Season a Wok
Like cast iron, woks need to be seasoned as well. Properly seasoned woks have a caramel-colored patina on the inside. Seasoning a wok not only helps to impart flavor into your food, but also helps the inside of the wok build up over time to a smooth, non-stick surface. Since I loaded up on all manners of Asian vegetables and crab at the Alemany Farmer’s Market on Saturday, I’ve been stir frying a lot this week.
Feb 21, 2008
How To Use a Stove Top Heat Diffuser
Persnickety stoves can seem like they have just two settings: off or devilishly hot. That’s no good for braising. But don’t get all hot and bothered if you can’t find a low, slow heat source to finish your braise. There is a solution — the stove top heat diffuser. We asked Norman Kornbleuth, owner of Broadway Panhandler and Taylor Erkkinen from The Brooklyn Kitchen, to tell us more about stove top diffusers.
Mar 26, 2007