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Appliances you wished you had


Natho
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I've had no problems with lack of power with the Viking. Also, I've found that it grinds better cutting meat into strips rather than chunks (like stew meat) before feeding. Very smooth and doesn't slow down.

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One thing I've noticed a lot of kitchen appliances benefit from is a powerful, robust motor:

- Meat grinder

- Vitamix / blender

- Robot Coupe / food processor

- Champion-style juicer

- Stand mixer

- Coffee grinder

- Pasta extruder

If you are in a commercial kitchen where everything is used all the time, or if you have a lot of cash/space, you may end up buying one of each of these devices, each with a very powerful 1+ HP motor.

In a home environment, many of us would like an appliance with a powerful motor but can't really afford the money or space to get a high-end, powerful device for each function. What's more, we usually don't need to use more than one of these devices at a time.

How about an appliance that is centered around a very powerful motor, with appropriate attachments for each of the functions listed above? One key design parameter would be the motor's axis of rotation; some of the functions require a vertical axis, others require a horizontal axis. To reduce the amount of gearing required, increase reliability and keep cost down, perhaps the base unit could rotate the motor 90 degrees based on the function.

This would be eco/green because only one motor would be manufactured/shipped/ultimately discarded instead of seven. And, assuming the design and materials are beefy enough, I could use the system for decades without having to upgrade or otherwise replace.

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My Thermomix TM31 is a multi-purpose appliance, combining the functions of a mixer, food processor, blender, grinder, cooker, steamer, scale, etc., etc. etc.

It is costly - not saving a lot by combining all these appliances in one.

I have all the dedicated appliances so didn't really need the TMX - I just wanted it. I had been following some people who were using them and blogging about it and making Youtube videos, etc., and it just looked like a fun toy with which to play.

It is not sold in the U.S., although there have been a couple of people who have advertised that they are "consultants" for Thermomix. Vorverk (Germany) says NOT!

You can buy them from a vendor in Canada - how I got mine - nice people.

If at all interested, here's some info.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Interesting thread.........

For one, I would kill for an "intelligent well built, house hold dishwasher", say with a 5 yr warranty?

Look, the Euros have us beat when it coems to large appliances. Ture, trye are expensive, but they are well desinged and well built, and they tend to last. Sadly, this isn't the case with N. American appliances.

You can design all you want, but will the mnfctrs build it? Why build a $2,000 dishwasher that lasts for 15 years when you can build and sell one for $200 one that needs to be replaced every 2 years?

My background is professional, I think nothing of forking out $6,000 for a Hobart 30 qt mixer, $7,000 for a Swiss Rondo dough sheeter, $3,000 for a commercial two door freezer, $9.00 a piece for vitrified commerical 10" dinnerplates, etc. etc. etc. I am comforted that thse items are well designed, well built, and will last me-- provided I do due diligence and take care of them--- form any, many years.

But the $500.00 N.American dishwasher? The impellor will melt and distort wihin a year, the racks will bend and sag with the wieght of 12 dinner plates, the cutlerly bin will disintegrate within months, the door hinges will bend out of shape.

Where's the money in designing well built, lasting appliances?

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Interesting thread.........

For one, I would kill for an "intelligent well built, house hold dishwasher", say with a 5 yr warranty?

Look, the Euros have us beat when it coems to large appliances. Ture, trye are expensive, but they are well desinged and well built, and they tend to last. Sadly, this isn't the case with N. American appliances.

You can design all you want, but will the mnfctrs build it? Why build a $2,000 dishwasher that lasts for 15 years when you can build and sell one for $200 one that needs to be replaced every 2 years?

My background is professional, I think nothing of forking out $6,000 for a Hobart 30 qt mixer, $7,000 for a Swiss Rondo dough sheeter, $3,000 for a commercial two door freezer, $9.00 a piece for vitrified commerical 10" dinnerplates, etc. etc. etc. I am comforted that thse items are well designed, well built, and will last me-- provided I do due diligence and take care of them--- form any, many years.

But the $500.00 N.American dishwasher? The impellor will melt and distort wihin a year, the racks will bend and sag with the wieght of 12 dinner plates, the cutlerly bin will disintegrate within months, the door hinges will bend out of shape.

Where's the money in designing well built, lasting appliances?

I had a Hobart undercounter dishwasher from 1994 to 2008, worked great and is still working in a friend's cafe. The original cost was plus 3 K but I certainly got my money's worth.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Two things I'd really like: A consumer-sized, but restaurant-grade pasta machine, and a deep fryer with a reservoir that is slot-shaped, and fairly small.

The Pastamatic we have (though not for much longer) has problems, because the pressure generated by the pasta dough pressing through the metal die actually presses the die through the retaining nut, simply shearing off the lip that holds the die in place. The retaining nut is made of plastic, and has already been replaced once. Making everything but the housing of over-dimensioned metal would make extend its life, and mean that more of it would be desirable from a recycling standpoint, once it was kaput.

Unless you're frying masses of stuff, a deep fryer uses a lot more oil than is actually necessary; a smaller, slot-shaped reservoir would save oil, energy (take less time for all the oil to heat), and could even be made as an interchangeable system, so you could select your reservoir based on the quantity you were frying.

(Edited to fix hilarious spelling error.)

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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The Pastamatic we have (though not for much longer) has problems, because the pressure generated by the pasta dough pressing through the metal die actually presses the die through the retaining nut, simply shearing off the lip that holds the die in place. The retaining nut is made of plastic, and has already been replaced once. Making everything but the housing of over-dimensioned metal would make extend its life, and mean that more of it would be desirable from a recycling standpoint, once it was kaput.

I haven't seen one of these, but the plastic nut is probably there as a fail-safe component in order to prevent greater (more expensive) damage to some other part of the machine.

Now I just took a look at one of these here and it looks like a pretty good machine. The nut you're referring to is the one at the top of the shaft that holds the blade and kneading foot? If that's the case, then maybe this part of the link is something to look at:

"For other types of flour, the right consistency of the dough is crucial for proper extrusion and to avoid damaging the machine."

Hope that helps. (I've been working with various types of machinery for more than fifty years.)

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. . . .

I haven't seen one of these, but the plastic nut is probably there as a fail-safe component in order to prevent greater (more expensive) damage to some other part of the machine.

Now I just took a look at one of these here and it looks like a pretty good machine. The nut you're referring to is the one at the top of the shaft that holds the blade and kneading foot? If that's the case, then maybe this part of the link is something to look at:

"For other types of flour, the right consistency of the dough is crucial for proper extrusion and to avoid damaging the machine."

Hope that helps. (I've been working with various types of machinery for more than fifty years.)

Thanks! We have the PM 1400 N1. The nut I'm talking about is the one that holds the die in place, and it is just inadequately constructed for withstanding the pressure of even the softest dough that will hold its shape. Plastic is cheaper (although this wasn't exactly inexpensive). If the machine can't handle the sort of dough it is designed to process, that's not good. It's probably perfectly adequate for the occasional pasta maker, but if you want something you can count on, it's an underdimensioned toy. We're keeping an eye out for a used La Parmigiana machines, but we're hoping to find something of that quality that's a bit smaller, since even their smallest units have a fairly good-sized footprint.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Thanks! We have the PM 1400 N1. The nut I'm talking about is the one that holds the die in place, and it is just inadequately constructed for withstanding the pressure of even the softest dough that will hold its shape. Plastic is cheaper (although this wasn't exactly inexpensive). If the machine can't handle the sort of dough it is designed to process, that's not good. It's probably perfectly adequate for the occasional pasta maker, but if you want something you can count on, it's an underdimensioned toy. We're keeping an eye out for a used La Parmigiana machines, but we're hoping to find something of that quality that's a bit smaller, since even their smallest units have a fairly good-sized footprint.

After I sent that I realized it was the nut for the die. Sorry to have made the mistake. If that nut is stripping the threads, and you're using soft dough, something's wrong. Have you contacted the maker? Have others experienced this same failure? It would take quite a bit of pressure to strip the threads on that nut - if the threads of the nut and on the machine are in good shape. When you screw on the nut, does it "feel right"? Is it hard to screw on, or is it too loose and sloppy? If others haven't had a similar problem it could be the the threads on the machine are at fault.

I checked out the La Parmigiana machines and that's moving into whole new territory. The smallest one appears to weigh around eighty pounds and occupy, as you say, a large footprint for a home kitchen.

Now we're back to the main consideration of the thread, which seems to be finding decent home kitchen appliances without having to go to large commercial machines.

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. . . . If that nut is stripping the threads, and you're using soft dough, something's wrong. Have you contacted the maker? Have others experienced this same failure? It would take quite a bit of pressure to strip the threads on that nut - if the threads of the nut and on the machine are in good shape. When you screw on the nut, does it "feel right"? Is it hard to screw on, or is it too loose and sloppy? If others haven't had a similar problem it could be the the threads on the machine are at fault. . . .

Oh, the threads are fine! As I said, it's the retaining lip of the nut (the part that holds the die in place) that is being torn away by the die being pressed right through it.

As you (and many of the others, up-thread) note, there is a distinct absence of consumer products that are solidly constructed, so such items are pretty high on many member's wish lists.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Oh, the threads are fine! As I said, it's the retaining lip of the nut (the part that holds the die in place) that is being torn away by the die being pressed right through it.

As you (and many of the others, up-thread) note, there is a distinct absence of consumer products that are solidly constructed, so such items are pretty high on many member's wish lists.

I clearly haven't paid close enough attention to what you wrote earlier. Reading comprehension slipping away as I dodder into old age. :unsure:

If it's the lip on the nut that gives way to the die then it's a design fault, and you should contact the manufacturer to see if a more robust replacement is available. And, again, have others experienced this same problem? Trying to solve this might be better than buying one of the huge commercial machines. Is this the only problem with this pasta maker?

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. . . .

If it's the lip on the nut that gives way to the die then it's a design fault, and you should contact the manufacturer to see if a more robust replacement is available. And, again, have others experienced this same problem? Trying to solve this might be better than buying one of the huge commercial machines. Is this the only problem with this pasta maker?

Contacted the manufacturer, and got a new nut (two-year warranty on pretty much everything, here) and a several replacement dies, since we determined that this mostly happened with dies that were fractionally smaller in diameter then the rest, but it took ages, so we picked up an extra nut in a shop, too. I haven't seen this problem mentioned in reviews.

My boyfriend fell seriously in love with a half-century-old, relatively small La Parmigiana unit at a restaurant in Bolzano, and has decided he needs one like it; I'm hoping (to return to the topic at hand) that a smaller, but equally well-made commercial [quality] unit exists at a not-too-appalling price point.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Maybe there is a clever modular device for the kitchen - something that does a ton of tasks. No need to have so many heating elements, so many cutting edges - its not like you'd need to use them all at the same time. A single good motor to drive them all. Something more than a stand mixer with a rotary take-off.

Personally, I am not very interested in that sort of multi-function device--they usually seem to involve a lot of compromises in manufacture, have unwanted features (try to do too much), and are less reliable--more bits to break, and the whole unit may be junk if one part goes. Sure, manufacturers want you to buy lots of individual appliances, but that doesn't mean you need them all. A decent set of hand tools still suffices for most tasks.

I'd be happy if I could just get new appliances with the build quality of, for example, vintage Sunbeam or the old Hobart-built Kitchenaid stuff.

One thing I would like is a home-counter-size ice cream machine that allowed more control over the process, not just one temp/speed setting.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I'd like something that can stir stuff in the microwave. It can be an impeller lowered from the ceiling. It could be a high-torque magnetic stirrer. I don't care. I just want to be able to microwave stuff without having to open it every 60 seconds to give the food a stir. As a bonus, the effective power of the microwave would be much higher, as the energy would go into heating the food instead of just boiling the water from the edge of the container.

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I'd like something that can stir stuff in the microwave. It can be an impeller lowered from the ceiling. It could be a high-torque magnetic stirrer. I don't care. I just want to be able to microwave stuff without having to open it every 60 seconds to give the food a stir. As a bonus, the effective power of the microwave would be much higher, as the energy would go into heating the food instead of just boiling the water from the edge of the container.

I've been wishing for something like that for years. An inventor friend has tried to get one on the market but has not had much luck. Has been to two different "Everyday Edisons" events without getting a real look.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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