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sizzleteeth

Japanese Kitchen Gadgets & Equipment

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In the shindogu book I own, they have a bowl that is cut in half, with a mirror stuck to the cut side. This makes it look like a whole bowl again and is meant to be used for people who can only eat a half bowl of rice.

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I've been hoping to add an oven to my kitchen setup in Japan. What I used before I moved here was nothing elaborate: a countertop oven just large enough to roast a reasonably big chicken. Although at the time I hankered after something better, it was in fact perfectly adequate for most of my purposes, and bearing in mind the impossibility of installing a full size version.

What I've seen so far in Japan has been less encouraging: to replace the type I previously had would cost around 40,000 yen, when I only paid around 12,000 for mine. It's hard to swallow that large a jump in price. So I have been wondering if anyone has experience of the "oven-range" combos (microwave + oven) in terms of their efficiency as ovens. They certainly seem to be cheaper. However, I should say that I am no fan of microwaves. Never use them -- so I would only be buying one for its oven function. Are they an adequate substitute for an oven-only model, or is there no getting around the more expensive option?

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I think most people in Japan have combo microwave/convection ovens. I've had two different ones--one was an electric convection/microwave that didn't fit anything larger than an 8" square pan, and the current is a gas convection/microwave oven with two levels. I had no complaints about either of their oven capabilities (but I still wish that even my bigger one were even bigger), and I do quite a lot of baking (savoury and sweet).

The microwave of the gas one, however, sucks big time. I only use the microwave to reheat food sometimes (I prefer to use the stove top for that), but I usually use it for heat packs, and it usually takes a few minutes just for one teeny heat pack (my microwave in Canada gets a heat pack hot in just 15 seconds). But since you wouldn't be using the microwave, that wouldn't affect you.

Go for the combo--it'll be just fine.

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Like prasantrin said, buying a combo will be the most sensible thing to do here in Japan. Combos with a "steam function" have become so popular these days.

Kris described her brand-new oven here.

Another sensible thing to do will be to forget all about ovens and stick with a toaster oven, like I do. :wink: I love toaster ovens. :biggrin:

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As always, thanks for the replies.

What I'll be on the lookout for is one with a decent capacity. I'm looking to roast chicken fairly frequently, leg of lamb if it can fit, but never mind turkey, a meat I'm happy to live without. Some of the ovens I've seen, like a convection-only model that I looked at today, wouldn't be much use for roasting anything bigger than a quail. Oven that can't roast a chicken - well what's the point of that?

I noticed ovens with steam function for the first time, but I'm not really sure what those are. Toaster ovens would be a non-starter - I've got one already, and it makes very nice, well, toast, but I don't cook with it. Temperature control is too important.

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Where are you getting your chicken and lamb? Costco? Or elsewhere?

For chicken, I find that Costco chickens are huge, and definitely require a larger oven. But I used to get chicken at Ameyokocho in Tokyo, and they were quite small. My oven at the time (the one that wouldn't fit anything more than an 8" square pan or 9" round) did a good job of roasting them. I find that most whole chickens in Japan are pretty small, when you can even find them.

I would suggest looking at the whole chickens in your area--you may not need a larger oven if the chickens are pretty small. That goes for leg of lamb, as well. The stuff from Costco is big, but elsewhere they tend to be a lot smaller.

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Where are you getting your chicken and lamb?  Costco?  Or elsewhere?

For chicken, I find that Costco chickens are huge, and definitely require a larger oven.  But I used to get chicken at Ameyokocho in Tokyo, and they were quite small.  My oven at the time (the one that wouldn't fit anything more than an 8" square pan or 9" round) did a good job of roasting them.  I find that most whole chickens in Japan are pretty small, when you can even find them. 

I would suggest looking at the whole chickens in your area--you may not need a larger oven if the chickens are pretty small.  That goes for leg of lamb, as well.  The stuff from Costco is big, but elsewhere they tend to be a lot smaller.

So far, I haven't located my source (without an oven, I'd just be torturing myself). In the past I've always gone for quality over price, which was quite easy to do in Hong Kong, as there was both imported free range chicken and local market versions, both good. If the chicken's too cheap, I tend to pass along. I'd rather eat better quality chicken less often.

I think I just prefer the largest oven I can afford. I don't want to feel like I'm compromising on size. I'm pretty sure my roasting trays were considerably bigger than 8 inches. I wouldn't want smaller than I had before. If the combination microwaves/convection units don't involve a compromise on oven quality, I'll be more than happy to get one.

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I received a Sharp model oven/microwave combo as a wedding present five years ago. I would love to tell you the model number but it is packed in a box as I am mid-move.

I regularly roasted chickens, lamb and even turkey at Christmas. I found the trick was to measure the space from the baking tray to the top of the oven. Take a tape measure to the butcher and measure the height of your meat! It works. Also, I order turkey and duck from this meaty guy andhe is more than happy to measure the birds to ensure they fit the dimension of my oven.

I have had great successes with my oven except when it comes to baking....but that probably has more to do with my skills as a baker than the oven itself :rolleyes:

If you have your heart set on a real oven - they do exist! I almost bought one last year but I couldnt figure out where I would put it! Join and keep your eyes peeled hereas ex-pats on their way out use this site quite a bit to unload their appliances before they head home.

The supermarket called Kohyo usually has roasting birds that fit nicely in ovens smaller than mine. Mind you, they cost about 2000 yen. :hmmm:


"Thy food shall be thy medicine" -Hippocrates

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Thanks, there's some good information there. I'll probably go with a microwave/oven type. The sizes look okay, for the bigger ones, anyway. I'm somewhat constricted on price, and it seems they are the best value, compared to oven-only types. I'm still trying to work out how a tiny convection oven, not good for much, gets to be 30,000 yen. Perhaps there's just no demand for them here?

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The price is good, certainly. I think the dimensions might be okay. Until my budget straightens out, this could be the one. Thanks for the link.


Edited by Ohba (log)

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For that price, you might also like the delonghi compact and compact convection ovens - type in "delonghi" at the amazon.co.jp site. My sister has used a delonghi countertop oven for years, and uses it even when she has a conventional oven in the kitchen.

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I want to buy a water filter to install on my kitchen tap. Our tap water has quite a strong chemical taste that makes it useless for drinking. What should I look for in a water filter of the types commonly sold in Japan? I see that basic prices are around 6-15000 yen although my wife tells me that on the forum where she posted questions, people were talking about 100,000 yen filters. I reckon that's strictly for the freaks - all I want is for the water to taste good enough to drink after filtering. Any advice/recommendations?

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Sorry, I've never had a problem with my tap water, so I just provide some general information:

This week's ranking:

http://event.rakuten.co.jp/ranking/electronics/212464.html

Kakaku.com page on joushuiki (浄水器):

http://kakaku.com/sku/pricemenu/jousui.htm

I wonder if you live in an apartment or "mansion".

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Sorry, I've never had a problem with my tap water, so I just provide some general information:

This week's ranking:

http://event.rakuten.co.jp/ranking/electronics/212464.html

Kakaku.com page on joushuiki (???):

http://kakaku.com/sku/pricemenu/jousui.htm

I wonder if you live in an apartment or "mansion".

Thanks for the links.

I live in a UR kodan apartment.

Thank you for providing your personal information! Hope you find a good one.

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We've been using the Seagull IV listed in Hiroyuki's top 10 for years and years. We bought that one assuming that the model wouldn't go out of production too easily, and sure enough, we've been able to buy filters easily, even on Amazon. However, they are not too cheap.

At the time we bought our Seagull IV, the local water filters were not living up to the claims, but I believe that they are much better nowadays.

浄水器 try sticking that in the search function of amazon.co.jp and you'll find the ever-popular Brita filter jugs, cheap but do the basics; and a Toray filter that screws on to your tap (if you have the right kind of tap) for under 3,000 yen, as well as more expensive options. Toray have very advanced fiber technology, so they have been leaders in this market in Japan from the beginning.

The main thing is to find something that you can afford to replace filters at the recommended intervals - if you skimp, the water quality deteriorates noticeably (unsurprisingly! :wacko: ).

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Thanks, Helen. I think I'll be getting one of those from the Rakuten list, then.

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Helen: Ah, I remember that murky river called Sakagawa(?) in Matsudo. When I lived there, I learned that my tap water came from that river. If I had continued to lived there, I would be a water filter expert by now, like you. :biggrin:

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Feeling very envious of Shaya's pizza crusts, I have resolved to pick up a baking stone when I'm back in Canada for Christmas. I found some 8" round stones which will fit in my oven (I can't fit anything more than 12"), but I'm wondering how it will work in my oven. My oven (which is this model)has one of those round rotating things at the bottom, which I can't stop from rotating. Also, since the bottom of my oven isn't any hotter than the rest of the oven, will the stone really get hot enough to make a good crust?

Has anyone in Japan used pizza stones in their Japanese-style ovens? If yes, what kind of results are you getting? Do you use your stone for breads, too?

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Does a japanese style oven have shelfs and a broiler (grill)?

This would depend on the oven, some of the larger ones have 2 to 3 rack positions but 1 at the bottom is still the most common. Some have a grill function (close to broil) but on an electric oven it just isn't the same. It doesn't get nearly hot enough.

Rona,

I had wanted a baking stone for some time as well, my old oven also had a rotating turntable that I couldn't stop so I assumed it was impossible. My new oven has a completely flat bottom (no turntable at all) so maybe I will give it a try.


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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I do have shelves in my oven--upper and lower, but the lower shelf is akin to the middle shelf of Western ovens, so it wouldn't better hotter than, say, the upper shelf.

My oven is a gas oven, but I don't think I have a grill/broil function. There aren't any coils or anything at the top of my oven to provide heat. It goes up to 300C, though, so that should be hot enough to use a pizza stone even if the stone isn't at the bottom of the rack, shouldn't it?

I was thinking I could put the little pizza stone right on the turntable (without the turntable pan). It would definitely fit on it, but it wouldn't necessarily make the stone hotter.

Just what is the purpose of putting a pizza stone on the bottom of an oven, anyway? Is it supposed to get hotter more quickly down there?

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If your kitchen has a fish grill, why not forget all about the idea of using an oven to make pizza and try to use the fish grill instead.

I've wanted to make pizza in a fish grill ever since I learned about it from the NHK's program Tameshite Gatten, but never had the chance to do it so far.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/gatten/qa/archive/pizza.html

(Japanese only)

(Actually, this webpage contains three recipes for making Neapolitan, American, and Roman pizzas, using a fish grill, oven, and frypan, respectively.)

Won't you try that recipe before I do?

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