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JULY FOOD CHAMPION'S CHALLENGE : Your go to kitchen utensil or appliance

Firstly congratulations to @syncretic on being awarded the Challenge Medal for June . Most of the posts were quite interesting but @syncretic 's remained the most pertinent to the Challenge .

This month we are looking for that go to item you always seem to turn to whilst cooking . It could be a pot , pan , spoon , favourite knife or appliance . In my case it is a Cast Iron 26cm Gabriel Gate skillet . I seem to always reach for it to use even though I have others available . My second go to is my Le Creuset 5 litre Pasta Stock pot . Gets used every day .

Input makes a forum so yours will be most appreciated .

From Gaby @Gaby Peter @phb Mike @vax2000 Food Champions .

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Mine is a dark green melamine spoon - used nearly every time for stirring etc on my cooktop. I purchased a set of various sizes (30 odd years ago), and still use it, and it’s smaller blue ‘sibling’. I have bought other types of spoons (wooden, metal etc), but they are rarely used. I would dearly love to buy another set (my two favourites are showing their age & will break one day…) but I don’t think they are made anymore (I hope I’m proved wrong!).
PS Two more remain nearly as pristine as when new…

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If you have to buy a new spoon I rather like the Epicurean Brand . Check this link to see the spoon I use . I also use their spatulas . They are made of a wood fibre in the US . After 8 years use in a hot wok no sign of charring or wear . Their products are made out of natural wood fibre that is why I like them .

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My favourite is my knife, 8" Zanger Icel that I have had for 25 years plus. Not a particularly expensive knife but a good one. It feels like an extension of my hand. It replaces a dozen appliances and gadgets. The only time I reach for any kind of mechanised chopper or slicer is when I have to make litres of food for a big party, otherwise the knife is quicker and better and I don’t imagine my knife work is anything special. It will dismember a pumpkin without risking slipping and taking a finger and also produce paper-thin slices of fresh ginger.

A recent development is the availability of cheap diamond dust abrasives. I have a 1000 grit sharpening plate that cost only a few dollars that polishes the edge beautifully. A well balanced sharp knife is a beautiful and satisfying tool and there is no reason my grandchildren will not inherit it in good working order.

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I’ve never spent much on kitchen utensils, I’ve had a variety of slotted spoons, spatulas knives etc, but the best I’ve had were bought from Coles, believe it or not, maybe $12-15 for the chef’s knife which is my favourite for veg prep and I also use it for cracking eggs because I seem to be incapable of doing it on the side of a container. Other than that, a whisk.

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Mine is a timber stirrer/paddle. We have had it for about 20 years and have found nothing better. We have bamboo ones, but these are harder and lightly scratch non-stick surfaces.

It has been well used and possibly on average 2-3 times a week.

It is invaluable for stirfries, soup cooking, casseroles , frying etc…and application that needs food to the stirred or moved while cooking.

We have had metal, silicon and plastic utensils which have come and gone, but our trusty wooden paddle has remained our faithful kitchen companion.

I don’t know what we will do when it finally is exhausted and needs replacement.

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There are a few, but my favourite appliance is an old-school pressure cooker I use on the gas cooktop. From there I don’t know how to narrow it down - the kitchen with many tools is a happy place :slight_smile: Favorites would include my butchers knives, my giant peeler that happily de-skins a butternut pumpkin and my super sharp graters …

Hang it on the wall, with reverence :wink:

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My favourite goto gadget in the kitchen is the Cook, after that it is my Breadmaker, then the Induction plate, the Convection Microwave, and to round it all out the Fridge. No house/kitchen should be without a good can opener, some of the openers are worse than opening a can with your teeth they are so bad.

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I bought a set of Global knives some years ago. It contained a “Japanese” style vegetable knife (with a wide blade). I have later bought a “real” one. More expensive and supposedly better but I keep on coming back to the global one. It is just so nice to use.
Apart from that it is my knife sharpener that I got from a friend. Don’t know the brand but it is old. Best sharpener I have ever had.

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I’d suggest for both of the household cooks it is the iPad, (or one of many alternatives).

It has not totally replaced the cook book. For info on techniques, particular food products and variations it has saved much experimentation and increased the learning rate. Confidence is gained watching others do unfamiliar dishes.

It’s also a great way to work up an appetite and enthusiasm to try something different.

Ummm!
No comments on the best sources. Although it appears wise to consider many YouTube videos may be presenting convenience versions vs traditional. The upgraded or corrupted versions (open minded there) are just different. Local ingredients, preferences for added protein and lots of extra cheese are often part of the revised recipes. Which is best may not matter if the plate is cleaned up with smiles all around.

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I have a treasured rolling pin, made from Huon pine that was a gift from a housemate following a trip to Tasmania about 40 years ago. It serves to flatten things including pastry and chicken pieces. It’s shape is unusual for a rolling pin - no handles but thicker in the middle tapering to the outer edges.

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My go to is the Holy Trinity pictured below.

My wife bought the Kleva sharpener from a TV Direct outlet and it is the best I have ever used.

The small red and black knife has no markings and we have no idea where it came from but it is fantastic.

I had been considering buying a Santoku knife for several years when I happened to see Robin’s Kitchen had a 50% off sale on knives so I bought the Baccarat ID3 knife which is also fantastic.

I must have been in the right place at the right time. Talk about luck.

image

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I’d say it’s a toss up between my Global chef’s knife and my Le Creuset pot.

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Welcome to the forum @Mumooshka . I like my Le Creuset pot too .

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My go-to kitchen item every morning is my coffee maker.

With his invention of the Moka Express,
in 1933, the Italian engineer Alfonso Bialetti transformed the way of making coffee at home.
Bialetti is now the world’s largest manufacturer of domestic coffee makers ( actually made in China).

I believe there’s an art in preparing the right grind, having the exact heat temperature etc to make that perfect cup of coffee. But it’s too early in the morning, and not yet awake, for me to follow rules; I just enjoy my cup of coffee however imperfect it may be.

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I don’t quite know what this appliance is called (the Braun brand sells it as ‘Mutli Quick’) but it’s the most useful appliance I ever bought - I use it every day. A mini food processor, blender stick, tall beaker and whisk, all powered by the one small hand-held motor, with a decent length of lead.

The beaker and blender stick is used to make my chocolate/banana/milk shake each day, no sugar needed. The stick blends soups right in the pot, the whisk beats up eggs and makes mayonnaise. The mini processor makes breadcrumbs, chops up ginger, makes hummus and a million other things. Best thing I ever bought. I see Good Guys has a special at $79 ATM.

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All clad 20cm fry pan & Essteele 20 cm pot. They get used the most. Used to be Le Creuset 18cm pot but now it has taken 2nd place

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there is water/coffee ratio as well.

My coffee is always imperfect as well

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Although one rule I always follow is not to cover with water the safety valve in the boiler: not only it would disrupt the water to air ratio, but the thing could explode.

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