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What kitchen utensils is there a benefit of having two (or more) of?


Shalmanese
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I take the original question to mean two or more identical things, like having two 10" skillets as opposed to say two skillets, one 8" and one 10".

For me that would be things like wooden spoons, spatulas, tongs, and pastry brushes, since those are all things where I might be making more than one dish at a time, and I don't want to mix flavors.

It's handy to have identical prep bowls mainly because they stack neatly and compactly, but I don't think they need to be identical in use.

I usually try to have two or more of any kind of baking pan or sheet, because things won't bake the same way in different pans.

It's not unusual in restaurant kitchens to have stacks of skillets in one or two sizes for just about anything that can be made as a single serving on the stove top, from heating a single serving of soup to preparing a sauteed dish with various components requiring three pans. In that situation, I think having lots of identical pans helps maintain consistent portion sizes and uniformity of cooking, and they're easy to wash and stack, but those aren't usually issues in home cooking.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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I take the original question to mean two or more identical things, like having two 10" skillets as opposed to say two skillets, one 8" and one 10".

(snip)

It's not unusual in restaurant kitchens to have stacks of skillets in one or two sizes for just about anything that can be made as a single serving on the stove top, from heating a single serving of soup to preparing a sauteed dish with various components requiring three pans. In that situation, I think having lots of identical pans helps maintain consistent portion sizes and uniformity of cooking, and they're easy to wash and stack, but those aren't usually issues in home cooking.

I agree 100% about the need for several identical sized skillets (or saucepans, etc.) to maintain consistency in cooking the same items in multiple pans.

I have four 10-inch cast iron skillets that often are used simultaneously because they work exactly alike and I can time the product easily.

I have three 4 quart saucepans (Bourgeat) for the same reason.

I know it is possible to cook items in larger vessels but it often takes longer (to boil potatoes, for instance) and the results are uneven, in my opinion and in my kitchen my opinion is what counts.

I have two woks because overloading a wok defeats the purpose.

I have multiple "chef's" forks because I am always using two at a time and have others around for testing doneness of various things (yesterday it was artichokes).

regular forks simply do not have enough reach or enough strength.

I have several extra large cooling racks full sheet pan size and a dozen half sheet pan size. had more but have sent a few off to other folks who needed them. They hang in the pantry from long L-hooks. I use them for cooling baked goods, draining wet fruits and vegetables and candied stuff. Nothing better for cooking bacon in the oven (especially when sprinkled with granulated maple sugar!)

Ditto sheet pans. I have a dozen of the half-size because I use them for everything imaginable from oven to freezer. They are cheap at Smart & Final or the restaurant supply store.

Many times when I find a utensil that I really love, I will buy a back-up to have on hand just in case the first one goes belly up or goes missing and especially because far too often, when I find something that really fits my hand or the way I work, it is discontinued or "improved" by the manufacturer and doesn't work as well (for me) as the original. (For instance, the first "safety" can opener with the crank instead of the smaller twist-type thingy.) I didn't buy a back-up of that one and when it broke I was very upset that I couldn't get one like it.

Anyway, those are some of my reasons for having all the junk that is in my kitchen and pantry.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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I have four 10-inch cast iron skillets that often are used simultaneously because they work exactly alike and I can time the product easily.

That reminds me...

I have half a dozen little 3.5" Lodge cast iron skillets that I use mainly for individual sized tartes tatin.

I also have three 5.5" Griswold cast iron skillets, which I bought originally thinking they might be nice for things like eggs served from the pan, but it turns out they are handy for all sorts of little tasks, like making one quick egg for the toddler when he's being finicky and doesn't want to eat anything else, or little garnishes that I might not otherwise make, because I don't have room to deal with another large pan or because a large pan would be just too large for a small amount of whatever it is, and since they're cast iron, they hold the heat well, so I can make whatever it is, move it off the fire, and it will stay warm.

Oh, and one more--my father had two cast iron double-sided grill/griddles, about the same size to fit over two burners. Once at a family gathering where I was cooking sort of spontaneously, I found I could stack them to heat them both up, and they made an excellent panini press.

Edited by David A. Goldfarb (log)
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1) nylon cutting boards. Yes, I admit it, I buy them at Ikea or China town. One is always in the d/w, one on the counter, and one beind the sink.

2) Rubber spatuals. I swear by "Rubbermaid Spoonulas" have at least 6 of them. They get used, abused, and thrown out--the foodprocessor tends to scar them badly. Several of the "used" ones have found their way into the garage/workshop, where they do extra duty with paints,(getting the "last drop" out of a paint can) drywall plaster, and the like.

3) Extra bowl and whisk for the Kitchen aid mixer. It's like having an extra mixer.

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...3) Extra bowl and whisk for the Kitchen aid mixer. It's like having an extra mixer.

Word, dude !

Same idea, an extra work bowl for the Cuisinart. I don't need it often, but when I do, I'm sure glad I have it.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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...3) Extra bowl and whisk for the Kitchen aid mixer. It's like having an extra mixer.

Word, dude !

Same idea, an extra work bowl for the Cuisinart. I don't need it often, but when I do, I'm sure glad I have it.

I agree with both. Although I don't do as much with them as I did when I was still cooking for large groups, I do find them very handy. I have extra bowls for both the 14 cup and 20 cup Cuisinarts - and I have the flat lid for the 14 cup which I use for pastry mixing.

One of the reasons I keep my 5-quart Kitchenaid is because I have an extra bowl and I have the copper liner for one of them. There is a significant difference in the volume and stability of egg whites beaten in the copper bowl.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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One of the reasons I keep my 5-quart Kitchenaid is because I have an extra bowl and I have the copper liner for one of them. There is a significant difference in the volume and stability of egg whites beaten in the copper bowl.

Wow, I didn't know there was a copper insert. I'd love to whip up egg whites in my stand mixer instead of by hand. Where did you get yours?

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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Wow, I didn't know there was a copper insert. I'd love to whip up egg whites in my stand mixer instead of by hand. Where did you get yours?

They cost a fortune. You can get the same results by throwing a few untarnished pennies into the bowl, along with a pinch of acid like cream of tartar.

It's important to not use acid if you're using a copper bowl ... it will disolve way too much copper into your whites, which will taste bad and potentially be toxic. But you can use this same phenomenon to extract a reasonable amount of copper ion from the tiny surface area of few coins.

I keep a bag of pennies in the kitchen because I think they're the best pastry weights.

Notes from the underbelly

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One of the reasons I keep my 5-quart Kitchenaid is because I have an extra bowl and I have the copper liner for one of them. There is a significant difference in the volume and stability of egg whites beaten in the copper bowl.

Wow, I didn't know there was a copper insert. I'd love to whip up egg whites in my stand mixer instead of by hand. Where did you get yours?

http://cgi.ebay.com/VTG-KitchenAid-Copper-Mixing-Bowl-Liner-/190427226068?pt=Small_Kitchen_Appliances_US

http://cgi.ebay.com/KITCHENAID-MIXER-INCLUDING-COPPER-LINER-/220649435548?pt=Small_Kitchen_Appliances_US

http://cgi.ebay.com/KitchenAid-Mixer-Solid-Copper-Egg-White-Bowl-Insert-/280544898657?pt=Small_Kitchen_Appliances_US

These inserts were sold by Old Dutch Copper and Atlas Copper to line Kitchenaid K45, K4SS, K5A, and K5SS mixer bowls.

They are discontinued and are only available in the secondary market.

There is a solid copper bowl being sold to fit Kitchenaid mixers -- http://www.frenchcopperstudio.com/kitchenaid.html

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I'll have to look at those bowls when I get home. I'm not too sure about using the pennies. Even after disinfecting, sterilising, etc, I'm not sure I would trust them. I know the raw egg whites themselves probably have a better chance of contamination than properly disinfected pennies, but it still doesn't sit well with me. Thanks all!

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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I'll have to look at those bowls when I get home. I'm not too sure about using the pennies. Even after disinfecting, sterilising, etc, I'm not sure I would trust them. I know the raw egg whites themselves probably have a better chance of contamination than properly disinfected pennies, but it still doesn't sit well with me. Thanks all!

And -- what if the pennies damage the mixer's whisk?

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Pennies are not made of solid copper. They are made of zinc and plated with copper.

This information is available on the U.S. Mint.gov site.

Coin dealers routinely advice against "cleaning" pennies of recent manufacture with any metal cleaning product because it can remove the plating.

Not a good idea to abrade them either. You do not want a lot of zinc in your food.

I came across this item a few minutes ago.

Edited by andiesenji (log)

"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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That's an awesome deal. I just wonder if they'll ship it over to us here in SoCal..

Edited by Shamanjoe (log)

"...which usually means underflavored, undersalted modern French cooking hidden under edible flowers and Mexican fruits."

- Jeffrey Steingarten, in reference to "California Cuisine".

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Pennies are not made of solid copper. They are made of zinc and plated with copper.

This information is available on the U.S. Mint.gov site.

The plating is thick; your egg whites won't know the difference between a plated penny and a solid copper penny. It would take a lot to disolve the plating off. Certainly more than a few hundred dips in meringue.

Both copper and zinc are essential nutrients in low doses, and toxic in high doses, although you'd be better off swallowing an old penny rather than a new one.

If you're concerned about pennies leaking zinc (I'm not) you could make sure you use pennies from 1982 or earlier.

Notes from the underbelly

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Here is my list:

2+ Half baking sheets (one junker for under pizza, one non-stick, and one normal)

2+ Cooking tongs (at least one for non-stick)

2+ 240mm gyuto chef knives just because if you have one you absolutely will have to have many more to satisfy your addiction

3+ Mixing/prep bowls

2 Tablespoon measures

"...invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." -- Willy Wonka

k.

I like to say things and eat stuff.

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