Food & Drink

Fast/convenient cooking tools

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  • Oct 1st, 2016 2:19 pm
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[OP]
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Jul 14, 2008
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Ontario

Fast/convenient cooking tools

I love to cook, the process and the time, the aromas and the health benefits of using raw ingredients to make meals. However, it is getting increasingly difficult to maintain this with a busy schedule. What are some tools you use in the kitchen that still allow you to cook wholesome meals?

My mainstay in a stove-top pressure cooker - but I'm looking for suggestions on other tools. Was considering one of those electric multi-cooker/pressure cookers because you can make numerous different meals without sitting and watching it (however, I'm unsure how good these are - any experience with these multi-cookers?).

I know people love their slow cookers too.

Any other suggestions?

On a recent trip to Europe, one person raved about something called a Thermomix (it is quite expensive), but apparently creates more complex meals automatically - all you do is throw in the raw ingredients and hit buttons. I don't know if it's just hype and marketing, or it's actually very good (much like expensive blenders - I see the utility in them and use mine all the time, others are happy with a much cheaper option, etc)...
12 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Chamber sealer. No question.

You can make a giant batch of something, vacuum seal it, and retherm it easily.
Nowadays I cook damn near an entire corned beef brisket, portion it, vacuum it, freeze it, and retherm.
Same idea with ribs. I spent $200 on ribs, filled my entire smoker, packed it, and froze it. Now I can have smoked ribs in about 20-30 minutes from frozen.
[OP]
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Jul 14, 2008
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death_hawk wrote:
Sep 24th, 2016 2:15 pm
Chamber sealer. No question.

You can make a giant batch of something, vacuum seal it, and retherm it easily.
Nowadays I cook damn near an entire corned beef brisket, portion it, vacuum it, freeze it, and retherm.
Same idea with ribs. I spent $200 on ribs, filled my entire smoker, packed it, and froze it. Now I can have smoked ribs in about 20-30 minutes from frozen.
Is there a food tool you DON'T have?! :)
Deal Addict
Jun 21, 2016
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microwave/microwave oven, anything i cook can be cooked in there lol
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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onlineharvest wrote:
Sep 24th, 2016 3:22 pm
death_hawk wrote:
Sep 24th, 2016 2:15 pm
Chamber sealer. No question.

You can make a giant batch of something, vacuum seal it, and retherm it easily.
Nowadays I cook damn near an entire corned beef brisket, portion it, vacuum it, freeze it, and retherm.
Same idea with ribs. I spent $200 on ribs, filled my entire smoker, packed it, and froze it. Now I can have smoked ribs in about 20-30 minutes from frozen.
Is there a food tool you DON'T have?! :)
Steam kettle?
Deal Addict
Mar 11, 2004
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Mississauga
For food prep its a no contest electric pressure cooker (Instantpot).
For batch cooking has got to be my vacuum sealer. I do exactly what death_hawk does with most meats other than steak.
I also smoke a lot of meats and Bradley electric smoker is in use weekly.
[OP]
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Jul 14, 2008
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cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Sep 26th, 2016 10:26 am
For food prep its a no contest electric pressure cooker (Instantpot).
For batch cooking has got to be my vacuum sealer. I do exactly what death_hawk does with most meats other than steak.
I also smoke a lot of meats and Bradley electric smoker is in use weekly.
Yeah, been eyeing the Instant Pot, as well as the Breville Fast Slow Pro. The latter releases the pressure automatically as well, and its highly rated. Pretty much those 2 are always spoken off together and I may just get both! lol

I will definitely consider batch cooking. I was also thinking of a dedicated rice cooker, but the better ones are not inexpensive and with the options above, I'm sure they do a relatively fine job for the intermittent times I'd consume rice (I'm not from a heavy rice consuming culture).
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Mar 11, 2004
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onlineharvest wrote:
Sep 26th, 2016 10:52 am
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Sep 26th, 2016 10:26 am
For food prep its a no contest electric pressure cooker (Instantpot).
For batch cooking has got to be my vacuum sealer. I do exactly what death_hawk does with most meats other than steak.
I also smoke a lot of meats and Bradley electric smoker is in use weekly.
Yeah, been eyeing the Instant Pot, as well as the Breville Fast Slow Pro. The latter releases the pressure automatically as well, and its highly rated. Pretty much those 2 are always spoken off together and I may just get both! lol

I will definitely consider batch cooking. I was also thinking of a dedicated rice cooker, but the better ones are not inexpensive and with the options above, I'm sure they do a relatively fine job for the intermittent times I'd consume rice (I'm not from a heavy rice consuming culture).
Rice cooker? Use instant pot lol :)
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Mar 31, 2008
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Toronto
Get a cheap knife for chopping, and basic knife sharpener. Such as:

Image

For daily chopping needs, just use that and keep the knife sharp. It'll make your desire and ability to cook that much easier since prep is now easier and more efficient.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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at1212b wrote:
Sep 26th, 2016 12:49 pm
Get a cheap knife for chopping, and basic knife sharpener. Such as:
This is important too.
Most home cooks' knives are duller than a potato.
While those sharpeners aren't the best, they're still better than a dull knife.

You don't need a $1000 knife but I would also avoid the cheap knives you find at a grocery store.
I quite like the Victorinox Fibrox line because a chefs knife is like $50. It's a good clean well designed knife that works well.

Avoid sets too. If you can't afford to spend a couple hundred bucks on a bunch of knives, buy them one at a time.
But to be honest, an 8" chefs is pretty versatile. Until you need to do some specialty things, that and a paring knife should do you just fine for 95% of tasks.
cRaZyRaVr wrote:
Sep 26th, 2016 10:26 am
I do exactly what death_hawk does with most meats other than steak.
I only vac seal my steaks for preservation purposes.
Some people like sous vide steaks but I find them too wet to sear afterwards.
Deal Addict
Dec 21, 2011
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London
Agree with the good knife recommendation. It has made it so much easier for me to add in whatever Veggies off the cuff.

I actually just said to my husband tonight how grateful (again) I am for the Actifry we got a couple of years ago. I threw in a zip lock of 9 chicken thighs with a bbq sauce and let them stir for 25 mins. I came back 20 mins later after doing a tidy up and laundry load and threw potato salad (already made) and corn on the cob (3 mins in microwave, I imagine death_hawk is probably shuddering by now) on a plate and added the chixh thighs. Nice and easy and tasty.

We use the actifry so much it lives on the counter and if I could get a stove element made of an actifry I would. There really isn't much we can't do in it, clean up is a breeze and you set it and walk away, no stirring manually. We do stir fry all the time, or I'll just throw in random Veggies and meats and a flavour sauce I make up and it all turns out delicious.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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snow00774 wrote:
Sep 27th, 2016 1:04 am
3 mins in microwave, I imagine death_hawk is probably shuddering by now
As much as I rip on the microwave, it does cook veggies pretty well.
I actually vac pack my veggies, poke a few holes in the bag and toss in the nuker.
Instant steamer.
I mean... I could fire up a pot with water and a steamer basket or something but a nuker does 90% as good a job in like 1/3 the time.

Veggies and pork rinds are literally the only thing I use my microwave for.
Timer too sometimes but it even sucks for that.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Ottawa
Turbo Cooker or Flavourwave.
Introduced this product to my colleagues and they rarely use the oven, unless they're bowling water for pasta or making stirfy.

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