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Thread: Cooking equipment reviews

  1. #1
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    Cooking equipment reviews

    Decided this might be a handy thread to review the good and the bad kitchen/BBQ/Food preservation gadgets we buy. I will try to get this stickied.

    Try to have a model number and a link to the item if possible! Never know if someone will want to pick one up. See my post below for an example.
    Last edited by MaryB; 11-02-2020 at 03:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    To start it off...

    I have gone through 4 remote BBQ thermometers(probe in meat, read it in the house while doing other things). They either lack the needed range or they died in 6 months... granted I use the smoker 1-2 times a week during summer so my equipment gets a workout...

    I needed a new instant read thermometer so I was on the Thermoworks website ordering another Thermapen(old one is 12 years old! Still works but I melted the case a bit so no longer water proof...) when I notice the Smoke X4 BBQ thermometer. 4 remote probes(3 meat, one pit temp) with an advertised range of 1 mile!!! Review from one guy said he got 6 blocks out f it with a lot of houses in the way so I figured it will work to get trough my foil faced insulated walls. Well built, it weighs 3 times what the other remote thermos weigh. 1 degree accuracy so no worries about over cooking things. Tested and it works all over the house and even inside my pole barn style garage with 2 layers of steel(signal thru the window probably).

    Nice addition to my cooking tools, one that will last and has a 2 year warranty versus 90 days. Magnetic backed to stick to the smoker, remote receiver has the same and could be placed on the fridge. Push button back light too for late night cooks. $199 so not cheap but good cooking gear never is! Even has an optional($79) Bellows fan attachment that will push air into a charcoal or wood fired pit to boost temps!

    https://www.thermoworks.com/smokex

    No I am not paid by them, just a fan of their cooking gear. Thermapens are $79 and read in 2 seconds so great for doing steaks, testing bread to see if it is done etc etc etc.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    dale2242's Avatar
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    I`m probably too fussy about having clean grill grates so I have went through several brushes.
    I found one on Amazon that is the best yet.
    If you are not a fan of Amazon I am sure it can be purchased elsewhere.

    https://www.amazon.com/Kona-360-Clea...f0w&hsa_cr_id=

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    Grill grate cleaner looks great so ordered one. My grates should cleanup easily with this. Thanks

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    I just got me another "LODGE" cast iron
    Its the Cast Iron WOK its HUGE its HEAVY

    and ive been using it for a week now
    from breakfast (bacon/eggs/fried taters)
    to dinners,
    now cooking chinese, and american
    and this thing is GREAT

    doesnt move around on my glass-top electric stove, dont need to hold onto it while moving food around
    uses alot less oil/butter/bacon grease,
    cooks fast or slow depending on heat,
    keeps the food warm
    and it will do roasts/baked chickens, in the oven--havnt tried that yet

    getting the WOK grill for my webber and ill be using it outside this spring/summer for sure

    JMHO
    cheers
    John

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy VariableRecall's Avatar
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    I would, like many people, would like to sing some praise to the ever-present Instant Pot. Got an 8q pot as a Christmas gift a while back and it sure keeps on giving! It's fantastic for beans, rice, and making tender meat! I can cook about 3-4lbs of meat at a time and freeze them in 1lb servings in the freezer.

    On interesting trick you can do if you have an instant pot is to use a trivet, a pyrex dish, and a long strip of tin foil as a way to lift the pyrex dish out of the pot. You can make REALLY good quiches in there.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    Pellet smoker/grill! Bought one last year & don’t know how I managed so long without one! I bought the Camp Chef
    Last edited by clum553946; 11-01-2020 at 04:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Update: It took awhile to get this pot working well. The first three cornbreads stuck, but the sticking diminished each time. I think it was because the pot is so small that it heats up fast, making the seasoning more critical. Anyway, last night it made a perfect loaf of cornbread. It fell from the pot, and was cooked perfectly. I wanted to take a picture, but I was hungry and it looked so good!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I cook for myself because my wife and I can't eat the same diet. Cornbread is a favorite of mine, but my Lodge eight-inch cast iron skillet makes enough for four people. This morning I ordered a Lodge 12-ounce cast iron mini serving bowl. It should make a fine single serving of corn bread.

    https://www.lodgecastiron.com/produc...-bowl?sku=HMSB
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Tatume; 11-09-2020 at 09:15 AM. Reason: Add URL

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Coleman classic 425 white gas camp stove. Lodge 10" Cast Iron skillet.
    I've had the Coleman stove for 40 years. Until the past few years it had only been used a few times. I use it and the cast iron skillet regularly it the garage when I don't want to smell what I've cooked in the house for days. Cooked pork chops today in the garage.
    Why did I wait so long to rediscover the joy of a Coleman stove?
    Last edited by jimlj; 11-02-2020 at 06:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    Lets try to post actual model numbers and a link if possible! Stuff currently on the market!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    The KitchenAid 5 quart tilt head stand mixer KSM---- depending on color. We have used ours for mixing, grinding, shredding, and peeling for over 10 years with no issues. Works great!

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    If you are the least bit interested in buying a pellet grill you should consider this one.
    I have always enjoyed grilling but these pellet grills bring it to a whole new level.
    One thing I like about Pit Boss is the quality of the grates.
    They are ceramic coated cast iron.

    https://pitboss-grills.com/Shop-Pit-...&utm_campaign=

  13. #13
    Boolit Man
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    Love my pit boss wish I would have bought the bigger one. Still might.

  14. #14
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    Looking at a pit boss at Walmart... my Traeger is showing serious rust issues after 15 years of heavy use, it also needs a new RTD probe($~25), new auger motor(old one is squealing)... it is just wearing out. Looking at the Austin XL so I have a little more space than the Traeger 070... the ability to flame sear a steak on it is a huge draw for me!


    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pit-Boss-...robe/793230399

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master
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    As I cook only for myself, I don't usually feel like using my six and eight quart pressure cookers. So I bought this 1.5 liter pressure cooker.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It works beautifully, and makes just the right amount for one person with a hearty appetite. So far I've made beef stew, sausage stew, and fish chowder. I'm looking forward to Lima beans and ham.

    There is one thing, which I don't really consider to be a negative because I don't care. When new it was black, bright and shiny. After the first use it is now dark grey and dull. But like I said, it still cooks well so I don't care.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I just pulled out of a deep dark bottom cupboard where girlfriend stashed what she says is goldi lox and 3 bears family of pots. now I get the story about em.
    they are three brand new cast iron dutch ovens, a small, medium and large. I never seen em before. but she said they are too heavy for here to move around and neigbor she yard sales with helped her put them away when they came home with them a couple years ago, after all she is all of 5'1 and 98lbs dripping wet.
    we came to agreement. I'll move them for her any time they need moving. now she's looking into making dutch oven no knead bread

  17. #17
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    After killing 4 Food Savers in 3 years(vacuum pump died on all of them) I decided it was time or a serious vacuum sealer machine. I went to an Avid Armor USV32 chamber vacuum sealer https://avidarmor.com/avid-armor-ult...sealer-system/ got it in 2 days ago and have been playing with it. I will give it a heavy duty test in the next few days after I make a batch of fresh sausage. So far I am liking it!

    It draws 29 inches of vacuum versus 17 at best for the Food Saver so it removes a LOT more of the air from the bag and that extends food life. Food Saver seal bars over heat after 4-5 bags then it is a fight to seal the rest when I do a bulk meat buy or am sealing up garden produce. This is supposed to not over heat, that test will be done in the next few days after making 20 pounds of fresh sausage!

    Cons are time, it is slower than the food saver, 1 minute per cycle but if I am fighting the seal bar over heating the Food Saver can start to take 2-3 minutes per bag... weight is a con, if you don't have counter space for something the size of a small microwave you will be lifting 31 pounds in and out of a cabinet. Size is a con, it is big! Price is also big at $600 but if it lasts 4+ years it will be equal to what I have been paying for Food Savers. Parts are readily available for it too

    Pros are much better vacuum, bags are 3 cents each versus 20+ cents for the Food Saver, better built(it weighs 31 pounds!), and longevity. Parts are readily available for it too unlike the Food Saver who has ZERO customer service at this point. They refused to sell me a replacement vacuum pump, not user replaceable was the excuse...

    I will update this after doing the bulk sausage run, I will be sealing around 20 bags so it will be a workout!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Wow, not one mention of other implements like

    1) Cutlery. My favorite knife in prep is an Inuit Alaskan Ulu. Dicing, slicing, chopping with a rolling motion.
    2) Untinsels. Long handled forks, tongs, ladles, spatulas, and spoons. Great for barbecue but also for regular kitchen duty. Stainless is durable and easy to keep pristine clean. A second set of tongs can be used just for stirring and arranging coals in the fire.
    3) Potholders, welder's gloves, oven mittens. More durable materials are available against extreme heat, save the ones for show, use the ones designed for hard use but easy clean up.
    4) Stainless mixing bowls, save the risk of breaking the glass ones by not using them on the patio.
    5) Extra baking sheets. Save the real ones for the cookies, aluminum ones for the meat prep/seasoning/toting to the grill.
    6) Cooling grills. Great for placing on the baking trays for grilling or for placing directly on the grill to close the larger gaps between regular barbecue grills.
    7) Silicon mat. Place it on the grill, they are durable and inexpensive.
    8) Metal flat tray or square skillet, use that for flat cooking with more space than a round skillet. Personally, I just got some 1/4" flat steel and welded a rim on a half circle cut to fit my brother's Weber kettle, he likes charcoal cooking. Many have rectangle grills and those trays or skillets can be bought to fit off the shelf. I have a rectangle flat tray I bake on, it has a non stick surface that slopes with a grease trap section. That thing is great for baking the bacon as oppose to frying. No splatter if you put a cold grill with bacon on the tray, moisture cooks out of the meat before the fat starts to render. No moisture, not splatter. Mine is aluminum, I am looking to replace it with cast iron.
    9) Non glass drinking glasses and drink pitcher.
    10) Multi burner outdoor stove. Great for adding additional burners when every one in the kitchen is in use. Mine is a sturdy unit that holds 2 (see below)
    11) Ginormous Pressure Cooker, great for large batches of chili and canning. I don't use glass jars anymore, and
    12) Can sealer. A good can sealer when broken down takes up little space, as are the cans. The cans come by the 100, nesting in a carboard container. The sealer is simple to use and easy mount on a board on the counter, boat rail or tail gate. I have canned tuna on the way back to the dock, ready to go in the pressure cooker as soon as we are back at the house. If you are too beat, put them in the fridge or has been done in the past, plastic bins with ice from the ice house right at the docks.

    We've canned deer and elk right in base camp. We've also canned fun things like P38 can openers as stocking stuffers, useful things like emergency survival kits with first aid supplies kept in the trunk, oh and at least 1 can should have a P38 taped to the lid. Store bought chill, stew, soup is okay, I make and can my own for those times I just want a quick meal of my cooking. Canned food in an emergency box in the trunk has it's value.

    That box also has more serious first aid supplies and other prepper stuff like an emergency stove, plenty of that for another thread, but water, food, stove, and a cheap pot is kitchen related and useful. You haven't lived until your Scoutmaster breaks down in the hills, other rigs can't get to you until first light, and you have to use a hubcap to boil water for coffee, cocoa, oatmeal, noodles, etc. Kitchen was a wide spot on a narrow road.

    Just a few thoughts. Much of the above is for the house but has gone camping as well
    Common sense Gun Safety . . .

    Is taught at the Range!

  19. #19
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    What type can sealer? We were just discussing getting into canning as I have half a steer coming this month and decided it is time. Any suggestions?

  20. #20
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    I have an old Food Saver low end vacuum sealer I have had for ever.
    Like the old Timex ads it takes a licking and keeps on ticking. I use it a LOT.
    I guess I just got lucky.
    My biggest complaint about vacuum sealers is the price of bags.
    I helped alleviate that problem by buying these rolls of sealer bag material.
    I like the fact that the rolls come in a box with a built in cutter.
    You will save money over the Food Saver brand.

    https://outofair.com/dispenser-box-rolls

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