Your Experience With Kitchen Apparatus

I would love to get a small convection oven but don't want to give up more counter space. Air Fryer? Are they really more than a toaster oven with a basket? I have a coffee maker, toaster oven and microwave on our counter. My expensive Kitchen Aide, food processor, electric fryer, waffle maker, Panini Press, Ninja, toaster, mixer are no longer used. Time to chuck them. No one wants them. My blender during the holidays. I do use my crockpot and Instant pot pressure cooker enough to justify keeping them.

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I guess I am just a pack rat as appliances I use a few times a year are bagged on special shelves in the garage for quick and easy access for a specific purpose. So I have a big old 1950s(?) rotisserie oven that turns a splendid chicken for me 3 or 4 times a year, 2 waffle irons (one is heart shaped and gets pulled out every Valentine's Day to make pink waffles), a dehydrator because every year or so I buy a big box of field ripened tomatoes and some get dried while others get turned into sauce in order to keep ahead of spoilage, a seal-a-meal to package boilable pads of sauce for future use, a monster juicer that is SO's 'thing' from time to time as he loves V8 but hates the amount of salt in it, an expresso pot with steamer that gets introduced to the kitchen about once a year for about a month until the 'craving' has worn off, a breadmaker (which is currently in the kitchen due to COVID), a deep fat fryer, a 6 qt crock pot for larger items as well as bigger portions to be packaged and frozen down.

Currently on my kitchen counter are a regular drip Mr Coffee type pot (daily use), burr mill coffee grinder (daily use), a stand mixer (weekly use), a toaster (2-3 times per week at least), food processor (once or twice a week), blender (probably should move to garage as it is getting to be more like once a month), 4 qt crock pot (once a week), air fryer (once a week), breadmaker (currently a couple of times a week), Ninja type processer (time to send to the garage as SO has stopped making daily smoothies).

In a cabinet near the spice racks is a bladed coffee grinder I use for spices, a 'chop chop' mini food processor I use frequently for small quantities of garlic or onion or such to pulverize them, an electric knife, an electric hand mixer, an immersion blender, my remote thermometer for roasting meats and my instant read to check if smaller stuff is done.

Many of my 'tools' are gifts from back when we used to exchange Christmas gifts, but I have found them useful enough to not dispose of. If I were moving across country I probably would donate many of them and most I would repurchase from a thrift shop as needed in my new location. (That is my gauge for 'useful but not essential'.) Things I have disposed of include a peanut butter grinder, panini maker as well as some 'gifts' still in the original box.

A few decades ago I was commuting for a year to a location 350 miles from my home. I came home on weekends but had a kitchenette in an apartment I rented there. I purchased a used convection oven as the apartment had two hot plates but no oven. The oven was a couple feet long and about a foot deep with the actual oven able to handle a 12" diameter pizza. I was not impressed that it did anything better, only that it did it faster(ish). My air fryer won't handle a 12" pizza, but it definitely does a better and faster job on small items than my ovens. (I ditched the convection oven when I gave up the apartment.)

My real obsession, though, is good quality knives. I have collected them for over 50 years and have a great collection of 'old friends' who handle different kitchen chores with aplomb. There is a knife block of ones my SO uses that are okay but not 'old friends' and then there are a couple of knife blocks of mine. Every couple of years I have the knife sharpener guy come out and edge my good ones such that I can keep them extremely sharp with my steel. Sharp knives get the job done with less danger to the cook than trying to slice, trim or chop with a dull one.
Wowza. First, I had to look up 'Ninja' for the kitchen. Second, that is an astonishing amount of stuff!

If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music. - Gustav Mahler
Air fryers are great, but yes, they take up a lot of space (mine is an extra large one, too). I have plenty of space though. On my kitchen counter next to it is the toaster oven, then an eletric can opener, all the canisters with sugar, coffee, flour, etc. and also an iCoffee one-cup brewer. I do have another four feet of counter space that I keep empty because there is bar seating on the other side in the dining room. My island has a chopping block and knife block on it, along with a row of oils, spices, finishing salts, and vinegars. I keep 3 of my crockpots in the cabinet under the island and the rest are in the pantry (I own 6 crockpots, LOL). Our microwave is built-in over my gas range. I keep additional and seldom used appliances in the pantry, which is the size of a 1/2 bathroom (well maybe a little bigger). You can buy a convection oven that is a combination toaster oven.

I want your food processor and other stuff you don't need.

Edited to add that I LOVE my air fryer. Going to make fried shrimp in it tonight. I love my toaster oven too, for different things (garlic bread, pastries, toast).

@Madetoshop wrote:

I would love to get a small convection oven but don't want to give up more counter space. Air Fryer? Are they really more than a toaster oven with a basket? I have a coffee maker, toaster oven and microwave on our counter. My expensive Kitchen Aide, food processor, electric fryer, waffle maker, Panini Press, Ninja, toaster, mixer are no longer used. Time to chuck them. No one wants them. My blender during the holidays. I do use my crockpot and Instant pot pressure cooker enough to justify keeping them.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/2020 08:54PM by JASFLALMT.
Certainly getting a microwave that is up over the stove has been wonderful. It has the venting for the stove/oven beneath as well as a good light for the stove top while being off the counter. Truly a worthwhile invention! My microwave gets used many times a day, reheating coffee a cup at a time throughout the day rather than cooking it to death on the coffee maker hot plate, thawing, reheating, melting etc. The only thing I COOK in the microwave is corn on the cob still in the husk. But if something needs reheating and is better crisp, it goes in the air fryer because the microwave will just make it soggy.
I reheat soup in the microwave and heat water in it for my tea. And sometimes I will use it to cook vegetables, though most often I just do it on the stovetop.
I find the microwave most invaluable for defrosting. I do a lot of making big batches of things and then freezing whatever doesn't get consumed in a couple of days. With my glass freezer storage set and the microwave anything in the freezer is only 10 minutes from being completely defrosted.
I am weighing getting an instant pot or air fryer. Which should I get?

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
For you, probably the Insta Pot. You can cook beans from dry quickly with no soaking and a variety of soups really fast. I don't think you fry much, right? I do love my air fryer for all kinds of things and I am content to slow cook my soups and beans, but seriously I would put that Insta Pot on my future list for when I don't have so much freakin' time on my hands! I don't cook beans nearly as much as you do and I only do soups and stews in cooler weather, really.

I just inherited 2 large bags of Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina and I am going to try to make my own corn tortillas in the near future (when I run out of the premade ones in my frig). I am pretty excited!
Oh wow. I have never made corn tortillas although I make tamales pretty regularly. Look for some you tube tutorials. They should help a lot but I'm sure you are up to it. I do like to make a lot of soups and stews and beans. I barely fry anything. I'm not sure if I just got out of the habit because it's not healthy but I think you're right. Sometimes I want beans and they are still at least 6 hours away LOL.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
I have a crockpot that I keep in the pan cupboard. I use it once every couple of weeks. And a blender in the cupboard, only gets used at the holidays. On the counter I have a microwave, toaster and a convection oven / combination toaster oven they get used daily. I got rid of all the other electric kitchen gadgets after my husband passed away in 2003, as I had no use for them anymore. Being by myself I don't cook a lot of big meals.
As much time as I spent in Mexico I hope I have a good idea of how to do it! Many of those resorts have outdoor restaurant areas with someone at a tortilla station rolling out masa and making corn tortillas fresh. I think the challenge will be getting the dough consistency right. And of course watching someone who has been doing it for years and makes it look so easy is different from actually trying it. If I have trouble I will go across the street and ask my neighbor (who is from Mexico) for help...oh. Maybe not since she might be wary of catching something from me sad smiley The you tube videos are a good idea. And my cousin's wife is Mexican, I guess I can call her as well.
Fingertips are important. Anyway, I have four appliances. Everything else is basic equipment that barely fits into add-on storage space. I cannot imagine having as many units as you all do! Sounds fun, though smiling smiley

If a composer could say what he had to say in words he would not bother trying to say it in music. - Gustav Mahler
One thing I am definitely getting soon is a countertop ice maker. I cannot keep on top of the ice and I need freezer space for food. I only have a small freezer.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
Several years ago I bought a tortilla press at a Mexican grocery store. I pull it out when I get a hankering for fresh tortillas, and it makes the process SO MUCH easier!
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I just inherited 2 large bags of Bob's Red Mill Masa Harina and I am going to try to make my own corn tortillas in the near future (when I run out of the premade ones in my frig). I am pretty excited!

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
@CoffeeQueen wrote:

One thing I am definitely getting soon is a countertop ice maker. I cannot keep on top of the ice and I need freezer space for food. I only have a small freezer.

Me too. I saw them at walmart yesterday for under a hundred. My only concern is how to get clear ice but i am buying 1 tomorrow.
@Madetoshop wrote:

I would love to get a small convection oven but don't want to give up more counter space. Air Fryer? Are they really more than a toaster oven with a basket? I have a coffee maker, toaster oven and microwave on our counter. My expensive Kitchen Aide, food processor, electric fryer, waffle maker, Panini Press, Ninja, toaster, mixer are no longer used. Time to chuck them. No one wants them. My blender during the holidays. I do use my crockpot and Instant pot pressure cooker enough to justify keeping them.

I have a convection oven that holds 2 pizzas. The main reason i have it, teamed with portable induction, i cook outside in the summer and early fall. I have them on a small cart that i wheel into the kitchen or out to the deck so they don't take up counter space. When its really hot and you still want roasted chicken without heating up the house, its great. I cant imagine not using the KitchenAid and Cuisinart at least a couple of times a week. I use the panini press at least weekly. Aldi has chocolate chip brioche loaf that comes in thick slices. Just put a little cream cheese between 2 slices then into the panini grill and there's a simple breakfast. The waffle maker isn't just for breakfast waffles. You can use it with cake or brownie mix and have cake or brownie waffles in 5 minutes. Even if you put the appliances in a plastic garbage bag to keep them clean and dust free, hold on to them. You might surprise yourself and want to start really cooking and you will just have to replace them.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2020 03:22AM by tstewart3.
Clear ice is about the water you use. If you use tap water it probably won't be clear unless you filter it. One of those filtering pitchers should do the trick.

@tstewart3 wrote:

@CoffeeQueen wrote:

One thing I am definitely getting soon is a countertop ice maker. I cannot keep on top of the ice and I need freezer space for food. I only have a small freezer.

Me too. I saw them at walmart yesterday for under a hundred. My only concern is how to get clear ice but i am buying 1 tomorrow.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
I have a big bad BBQ grill that has a rotisserie attachment. I"ve never used it. Also try using cornbread mix in your waffle iron. It makes yummy waffles that I serve for dinner with hormel chili and cheese on top for a quick dinner.

@tstewart3 wrote:

@Madetoshop wrote:


I have a convection oven that holds 2 pizzas. The main reason i have it, teamed with portable induction, i cook outside in the summer and early fall. I have them on a small cart that i wheel into the kitchen or out to the deck so they don't take up counter space. When its really hot and you still want roasted chicken without heating up the house, its great. I cant imagine not using the KitchenAid and Cuisinart at least a couple of times a week. I use the panini press at least weekly. Aldi has chocolate chip brioche loaf that comes in thick slices. Just put a little cream cheese between 2 slices then into the panini grill and there's a simple breakfast. The waffle maker isn't just for breakfast waffles. You can use it with cake or brownie mix and have cake or brownie waffles in 5 minutes. Even if you put the appliances in a plastic garbage bag to keep them clean and dust free, hold on to them. You might surprise yourself and want to start really cooking and you will just have to replace them.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
@CoffeeQueen wrote:

I have a big bad BBQ grill that has a rotisserie attachment. I"ve never used it. Also try using cornbread mix in your waffle iron. It makes yummy waffles that I serve for dinner with hormel chili and cheese on top for a quick dinner.

Yes, the cornbread mix works quite well and a little box of Jiffy doesn't make a mountain of waffles. My favorite is to put some scraps of bacon in the waffle maker to begin cooking and lubricating the grill, schmear around the grease with a brush and put in the waffle batter atop the partially cooked bacon. Those with syrup are a base for a 'breakfast for dinner' dinner.
On my counter top, I have an air fryer (never used), 2 crock pots (frequently used), a blender, and a Keurig. The Keurig was the first thing in the kitchen after I bought my house. There is an over the stove microwave with a vent. In the cabinets are a quesadilla maker and an immersion blender.

I have two knife blocks holding cheap but functional knives. My ideal knives are Cutco. When I get that set, I will do away with the cheap ones.

ETA: stovetop smoker

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/24/2020 07:36PM by HonnyBrown.
I am a big fan of Sabatier, especially the older ones (as in 20 to 30 years ago). They fit well enough in my hand to feel like a body extension, have a great heft and balance point and a blade worth sharpening professionally. I have also been pleasantly surprised by the ceramic blade knives from Harbor Freight Tools of all places. They hold their edge well even though they don't have the ideal shape, weight and balance point for my hand. They can't be sharpened so when they knick you can't just grind it out and keep going, but at $10 or less a pop, who cares? I finally got SO trained to not put sharp knives in the dishwasher as the abrasive particles that scour the dishes also scour the edges off the knife blades.
You all are kitchen Queens! Oh my, over the years my experiences has been short lived. I do not like "stuff" out on my counters and space to me is at a premium as I will have a nervous breakdown if there's too much out. We have an immersion blender, hand mixer, small mini chop, electric knives. The big, unused items are bagged up and boxed up in my garage. Panini's, smoothies, waffles, etc. were a short experience. I will pass on the air fryer but will keep the unused items for a while. My sister wants my kitchen aide. Think I'll get the Panini press out and see if my family or I will use it.

I have two crockpots; one 6 qt. and the other 4qt. that I love. My pressure cooker has a special place in my heart too. I will need to do more with the pressure cooker; only got it 2 years ago.
Don't think I'll get a counter convection oven but do not like firing up my big oven for small items.
None of my knives or pots and pans go into the dishwasher. Except muffin tins or glass and corningware, but often I just wash those by hand because they come out cleaner that way (depending on what I cook in them).
You guys inspired me. I put all my old kitchen toys on a shelf in the pantry and am going to get a stand mixer (never had one) and an instant pot.

I enjoy awkward questions and uncomfortable silences. This gas station pavement is $%^@*#& hot.
As much as you bake, the stand mixer is going to be well used, and the Instapot for your beans addiction, LOL!!!
I generally hand wash pots and pans because usually it is very quick or a mess that needs presoaking. I wash and return knives to the blocks as soon as I am finished with them so that they can't accidentally get knocked off a counter and cause bodily, floor or knife harm. When there is space in a dishwasher load I often will put in a non-Teflon pot just for that squeaky clean aspect to exterior and handle that are less my focus when hand washing.
My toaster oven is not a convection oven, but I use it to make pot pies and garlic bread or to reheat a slice of pizza. I hate firing up the oven for small items as well.

@Madetoshop wrote:

Don't think I'll get a counter convection oven but do not like firing up my big oven for small items.
I used to be a gadget fanatic. Then I realized that after a few weeks or months, the gadgets were put away and I returned to the trusty cast iron skillet, knife, griddle pan, mortar and pestle.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I love my food processor. I actually have two. Mortar and pestle doesn't cut it when you want to make hummus or pesto.
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