Kitchen Tools

Kitchen ToolA kitchen is like an artist’s workshop, where the machineries of taste and texture craft raw foods into edible art.  With only a paring knife and a sauce pan, you can make brilliant dishes.  But let’s face it, the right kitchen tools can make you faster and better.

Kitchen tools reviewed here are a food mill, flour mill, and two pressure cooker/canners.

OXO Good Grips Food Mill

The kind of kitchen tool you wonder how you did without.  Gives you power over food. Put a whole apple into a blender and you get pulverized seeds, skins and core.  Put a quartered and cooked apple into the OXO and you get applesauce. See the difference?

Detailed review of the OXO food mill: A great kitchen tool you probably don’t know about

 

Blendtec 52-601-BHM Kitchen Mill 60-Ounce Electric Grain Mill

A food mill for grains.  Make your own healthful flour from whole grains.

Product Features

  • This electric grain mill grinds up to 24 cups of natural whole-grain flour in under 8 minutes
  • Variable speeds; on/off switch; transparent 60-ounce (3.75 cups) container
  • Direct-drive motor (10 amp); self-cleaning, stainless-steel, Micronetic milling chamber
  • Durable materials; solid-state electronics; won’t overheat
  • Measures approximately 9 by 9 by 10-1/2 inches; 6-year limited motor warranty

Another tool every good chef must learn to use is the pressure cooker.  Dramatically shortens cooking time for beans and lentils, and turns tough, cheap cuts of meat like chuck roast into tender, mouth-watering pot roast.  Doubles as a canner, for “putting up” the fruits of your garden in glass jars.  Talk about home economics!

Canning is easier and safer than you think.  Modern pressure cooker/canner seals are designed to fail, thus releasing pressure and making exploding pressure cookers a scary relic of the past.  Sorry to take the drama out of it, but your friends will still be impressed by your courage and pioneer pluck.  Nothing quite as satisfying as giving away food you canned yourself.

Presto 22-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner

Product Features

  • 22-quart pressure cooker/canner holds 10 pint jars or 7 quart jars
  • Constructed of strong, warp-resistant aluminum; use on regular and smooth-top ranges; not for induction ranges, get a steel one!
  • Air vent/cover lock pressurizes only when the cover is closed properly
  • Easy-to-read gauge registers a range of processing pressures
  • Includes complete instruction and recipe book and cooking/canning rack

Fagor Duo Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

Have an induction stove top? Good for you.  But that means an aluminum pressure cooker/canner is not going to work.  The Fagor Duo, whose name captures its cooking/canning dual personality, also uses dual cooking surfaces.  The Fagor Duo is induction-friendly and works on gas and electricr burners too. Maybe it should be called the Duo-Trio?

  • Big (but not too big) 10-quart pressure cooker/canner, holds up to 4 quart jars and something like 6 pint jars (it’s been awhile since I’ve canned, and anyway you do it in batches; believe me the Fagor Duo is big enough to keep you busy
  • Steamer basket included and a trivet plate to set jars on
  • Made of 18/10 stainless steel; works with all cooking surfaces, including induction
  • Two pressure settings–low (8psi) and high (15psi) — but I always use high. Not as noisy and scary sounding as some pressure cookers. If you watched a lot of cartoons like I did, it reduces the drama.  Very fun and easy to use.
  • Handles are well balanced and the pressure controls are intuitive