Author Topic: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?  (Read 48233 times)

Scooby Doo

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #50 on: January 13, 2013, 09:01:12 AM »
DIY Pot lid storage

I'm going to try this - storing pots rips my knitting.

Paul der Krake

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #51 on: January 13, 2013, 12:02:32 PM »
Victorinox are pretty common in pro kitchens as the community knives. They are good enough, but I'd pack in my shuns and wusthofs for a full day o' slicing. Whatever your blade, keep it sharp. Pay someone $3 to sharpen it every 6 months, or get a wetstone. Do not buy one of those god-awful roller sharpeners.
What's wrong with doing the sharpening yourself, either with the 'sharpening stick' or another knife?

And while we're discussing kitchen stuff, does anyone know of an alternative to Le Creuset cast irons, preferably cheaper but of decent quality?

Russ

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #52 on: January 13, 2013, 03:32:11 PM »
Victorinox are pretty common in pro kitchens as the community knives. They are good enough, but I'd pack in my shuns and wusthofs for a full day o' slicing. Whatever your blade, keep it sharp. Pay someone $3 to sharpen it every 6 months, or get a wetstone. Do not buy one of those god-awful roller sharpeners.
What's wrong with doing the sharpening yourself, either with the 'sharpening stick' or another knife?
Because that's honing, not sharpening. Of course you can sharpen your knives yourself, and I don't think Erica was implying otherwise, but you do need to own an abrasive such as the aforementioned stone. Don't try to hone against another knife either; the materials are of too similar a hardness and you're more likely to nick or dull your blade than you are to do anything useful.

Jack

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #53 on: January 13, 2013, 07:22:14 PM »
And while we're discussing kitchen stuff, does anyone know of an alternative to Le Creuset cast irons, preferably cheaper but of decent quality?

I've almost bought a Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven a few times, but each time I change my mind because I'm worried about quality (I've read user reviews that say it's great, and others that say it chips... every brand cheaper than Le Creuset or Staub seems to be like that).

I guess the best alternative to Le Creuset is used Le Creuset... but even then they're still hard to find cheap.

happy

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #54 on: January 13, 2013, 11:18:19 PM »
All my regular use plates, bowls etc are white and plain in style. When I need to I add more in plain white. If it doesn't match exactly its not very noticeable. I now have several sets in action simultaneously.

This saves having odd numbers of different patterns, (apart from non matching gift mugs that arrive from time to time).

maryofdoom

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #55 on: January 14, 2013, 09:44:52 AM »
And while we're discussing kitchen stuff, does anyone know of an alternative to Le Creuset cast irons, preferably cheaper but of decent quality?

I've almost bought a Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven a few times, but each time I change my mind because I'm worried about quality (I've read user reviews that say it's great, and others that say it chips... every brand cheaper than Le Creuset or Staub seems to be like that).

I guess the best alternative to Le Creuset is used Le Creuset... but even then they're still hard to find cheap.

I found an enameled Martha Stewart cast-iron Dutch oven at the Goodwill for $6. There is a small chip in the enameling on one of the handles, and the inside of the pot has lines on it, like someone cooked something in it and stirred the stuff with a spoon. But it still works great!

Paul der Krake

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #56 on: January 15, 2013, 11:11:02 AM »
@Russ oh wow, I had no idea there was a difference. Great link.

I have kept an eye for Le Creuset cast irons for about 6 months, but they never went on sale for much. They might have a strategy similar to Apple who never discounts anything and discourages retailers to do so. Once they had 25% off, but for a very specific (ugly) color.

I will keep an eye out for a used one.

Jack

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #57 on: January 15, 2013, 01:25:37 PM »
All my regular use plates, bowls etc are white and plain in style. When I need to I add more in plain white. If it doesn't match exactly its not very noticeable. I now have several sets in action simultaneously.

This saves having odd numbers of different patterns, (apart from non matching gift mugs that arrive from time to time).

Oh yeah, that reminds me: I advise getting Corelle dishes. They are both exceptionally inexpensive and exceptionally durable.

velocistar237

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #58 on: January 15, 2013, 01:35:14 PM »
Oh yeah, that reminds me: I advise getting Corelle dishes. They are both exceptionally inexpensive and exceptionally durable.

I can second this. Unfortunately, when I got married, I didn't like any of the Corelle patterns except the pure white, which my wife didn't like. We registered for something else, and eventually, enough of our dishes broke that we needed new ones. I found a Corelle dish with a pattern I liked in a thrift store, and after a few more thrift store finds and ebay purchases, we have a set we like. You can find galleries of discontinued Corelle patterns online. I really like how they nest so compactly.

zinnie

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #59 on: January 15, 2013, 05:24:22 PM »
And while we're discussing kitchen stuff, does anyone know of an alternative to Le Creuset cast irons, preferably cheaper but of decent quality?

I've almost bought a Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven a few times, but each time I change my mind because I'm worried about quality (I've read user reviews that say it's great, and others that say it chips... every brand cheaper than Le Creuset or Staub seems to be like that).

I guess the best alternative to Le Creuset is used Le Creuset... but even then they're still hard to find cheap.

I got a 5.5 qt. Staub off of Amazon for $150--the less popular colors seemed to be on sale every so often.

I always see Le Creuset at places like Marshalls and TJ Maxx--if you wait until after holidays or on extra sale says, they'll have some in the clearance section. I've seen decent sizes for under a hundred.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #60 on: February 25, 2013, 12:43:04 AM »
Because that's honing, not sharpening. Of course you can sharpen your knives yourself, and I don't think Erica was implying otherwise, but you do need to own an abrasive such as the aforementioned stone. Don't try to hone against another knife either; the materials are of too similar a hardness and you're more likely to nick or dull your blade than you are to do anything useful.
Thanks Russ. I missed the follow up on this thread. Good explanation. Yeah, honing vs/ sharpening. When cutting fatty meat, you might hone every few minutes to align and clear the blade. Otherwise every day to every few days for normal use. But I stand by my original point to not ever buy those roller-sharpener gadgets. They tear up a blade and it's near impossible to keep the angle right. Far better to pay a pro or learn to use a whetstone. Fun fact: apparently boning knives "evolved" from chef's knives that had been sharpened/worn down up past the bolster.

Crash87

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #61 on: February 25, 2013, 04:45:52 PM »
Beyond the basics I enjoy having an old TV with a Roku in my kitchen. Makes cooking far more entertaining.

sol

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #62 on: February 25, 2013, 11:08:51 PM »
Has anyone started a thread specifically about pots and pans yet?  My crappy nonstick cookware from college is falling apart and I'm in the market for replacements.

Cursory internet research suggest nonstick pans are oversold and only really useful for maybe a couple of your frying pans, which could be cast iron instead.  Steel heats unevenly and aluminum warps and may be unhealthy.  Copper seems to be the most well liked, but is super expensive right now.  Cast iron and enameled are BIFL, but expensive and hand-wash only, not to mention they weigh a ton.

I'm leaning towards three cast iron frying pans, one or two copper sauce pans, and a large steel pot for big batches of soup or boiling water for pasta.

Am I missing something?  What's your ideal cookware setup like for a family that cooks every day?

englyn

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #63 on: February 26, 2013, 12:57:24 AM »
Steamer insert for saucepan. Wok - cheap pressed steel from asian supermarket are by far the best. I really like my cast-iron grill pan too. I only use two frying pans - large cast iron one and small horrible nonstick one needing replacement with cast iron.

smalllife

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #64 on: February 26, 2013, 05:46:38 AM »
@sol: I'm in the same boat.  Super thick aluminum with a copper core is also a good material that is a little more budget friendly.  I've actually heard mixed reviews about enameled cast iron outside of the Le Creuset halo (once it chips there are health concerns, also about Le Creuset switching manufactures).   

Ideally I would have: two cast iron skillets (small, large), a saucepan of thick aluminum, and one 5 qt stock/pasta pot.  That could cover just about anything. 

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #65 on: February 26, 2013, 03:11:43 PM »
I'm leaning towards three cast iron frying pans, one or two copper sauce pans, and a large steel pot for big batches of soup or boiling water for pasta. Am I missing something?  What's your ideal cookware setup like for a family that cooks every day?
That's about what I use on a regular basis, and we use our kitchen pretty hard. My cast iron stays on the stove basically all the time. A cast iron or enameled cast iron dutch oven is a nice addition, too.

JamesL

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #66 on: February 26, 2013, 04:53:25 PM »
My recommended kitchen setup:

Crockpot &/or Rice cooker (can cook beans and others in both)
Used Lodge cast iron skillets (small, med, and large). The 10+ year old ones are the best made, and will be much less expensive than new. We have one my dad bought like 30 years ago and it's solid as a rock (literally and figuratively).
Vitamix or other solid blender (worth the money IMO)
Good knife
Good pots (small, med, large)
2 cooking sheets, these don't stick and clean instantly: http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Bakers-Half-Sheet/dp/B000G0KJG4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1361922735&sr=8-2&keywords=baking+pan
Corelle dishes


meadow lark

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #67 on: February 26, 2013, 05:28:02 PM »
Mine is similar.  2 cast iron frying pans, 1 non-stick.  1 cast iron Dutch oven.  1 medium and 1 large aluminum pot for spaghetti or making soup (heavy, vintage magnalite), 1 big aluminum baking sheet, 1 non-stick baking sheet.  1 glass lasagna pan.
A rice cooker, a crockpot, a vitamin, a food processor.  We have a few other things, but this is what we use all the time.
  Oh, and I use a"universal" pot cover for everything but the Dutch oven.

capital

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2013, 09:34:15 AM »
Mark Bittman's article on fully outfitting a kitchen on a $200 budget from the restaurant supply store is a classic:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/dining/09mini.html?pagewanted=all

I asked for a food processor for Christmas, and it's been a very useful gift. I like hummus, which is usually around $5/lb. in stores; you can make a ton of delicious hummus in a few minutes with a food processor, and the dominant ingredient is a $1.50 2lb. can of chickpeas.

melissak

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2013, 12:47:17 PM »
And while we're discussing kitchen stuff, does anyone know of an alternative to Le Creuset cast irons, preferably cheaper but of decent quality?

I've almost bought a Lodge enameled cast iron dutch oven a few times, but each time I change my mind because I'm worried about quality (I've read user reviews that say it's great, and others that say it chips... every brand cheaper than Le Creuset or Staub seems to be like that).

I guess the best alternative to Le Creuset is used Le Creuset... but even then they're still hard to find cheap.

I ADORE my Lodge enameled cast iron dutch ovens - 1 3qt and 1 6.5 qt. I use them for just about everything. Only recently got the 3qt, which was not strictly necessary, but will get tons of use and, also, with the 6.5qt, I tended to make 6.5 qts of EVERYTHING, and with only 2 light eaters in the house, that was way too much. Anyway, they're cheap and have great longevity, and a few inevitable chips here or there don't really matter.

Along the lines of cookware, it depends partly on what you like to cook. I use my dutch ovens for most things I cook (along with a skillet or two), but I've heard of others who got by for a few budget years with just a wok and a steamer basket. And of course, there's heaps of bachelors out there getting by with one electric skillet, or a camp stove and one pot and one pan.

One of the coolest things I've seen was an episode of Anthony Bourdain's "A Cook's Tour" (called "Food tastes better with sand between your toes") where he went to a rasta cafe where they cooked up all sort of tasty-looking healthy food with a hubcap that had been jerry-rigged into a makeshift stove, and they had like one knife, one pot, one pan, and a wooden spoon. They are my heroes!

I second Mark Bittman's article on the $200 kitchen! Quite a few chefs have articles along these lines. The main consensus is no single-use gadgets, though of course, moustachians will derive great pleasure from finding unusual uses for what they already have - like, the house I moved into came with cannoli forms (they were extremely anti-moustachian), which I discovered worked great as apple corers. Etc. Along these lines, I was looking up DIY mortar-and-pestle, and you can use a flat-bottomed glass bowl for the "mortar" and a coffee cup weighted with pennies for the "pestle."

I also completely agree with music in the kitchen, and preferably a drink for the cook as well! Then it's a total pleasure to cook, and not the drudgery a lot of people make it out to be.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #70 on: March 04, 2013, 11:02:37 AM »
I just got two amazing Le Creuset pots as an earlier birthday gift from my Mom (though I tipped her off to a place where she could get them for half price).

SCORE. Time to braise.

frugallygreen

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #71 on: March 17, 2013, 10:13:13 AM »
im slightly confused on what many people find to be "essential". IMO the kitchen serves one purpose: to cook good tasting food, at a fraction of the price. if the door makes to much "noise", or if your trash can location is not "ideal", than we must not be reading the same blog...

my personal definition of "essential": things needed/used every day.

list of my essentials found in my kitchen: crock pot, one large pan, one large frying pan, one rubber spatula, one can opener, microwave, blendteck blender,one large knife, 2 large bowl/ plates, 2 spoons, 2 forks, 2 small knives, 2 drinking glass. that's it. as a minimalist i think anything more is just "stuff" you collect and shove in a dark hard to reach corner of your kitchen. why have more than that? if pot is dirty and you get hungry, clean it, cook and repeat, no need for sets of pots and pans. having "less of things allows you to buy top quality items that will last for years.

Rural

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #72 on: March 17, 2013, 02:58:12 PM »
Essential? I could get by with a cast-iron skillet, a crock pot, a metal spatula, and a big cooking spoon.

Life is better with more options, though. I have all of the above, plus a second crock pot (both are used weekly), a cast iron Dutch oven, a stockpot, several sauce pans, a cookie sheet, a canner, etc, etc. I can cook big meals, which you can't do with one or two pots, at least not if you want it all hot at the same time. For that matter, I can cook in bulk and freeze ahead.

frugallygreen

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #73 on: March 17, 2013, 05:55:16 PM »
Essential? I could get by with a cast-iron skillet, a crock pot, a metal spatula, and a big cooking spoon.

Life is better with more options, though. I have all of the above, plus a second crock pot (both are used weekly), a cast iron Dutch oven, a stockpot, several sauce pans, a cookie sheet, a canner, etc, etc. I can cook big meals, which you can't do with one or two pots, at least not if you want it all hot at the same time. For that matter, I can cook in bulk and freeze ahead.
[/quot

i agree, variety is great, its a great idea for bigger families to cook large meals and freeze them, but in my case, i would be eating the same thing all week, thus smaller quick meals are my preference. i personally love soup and make it often, im also a at home vegetarian so all my meals require little equipment and time.

ams

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #74 on: March 17, 2013, 06:47:04 PM »
Kitchens are very personal, and what you need depends on what you'll be cooking.  I started with the following, and I love to cook from scratch and bake:

-3 pots with lids. One saucepan, one soup pot, one medium sized. Good quality sandwich design, NOT nonstick
-One large cast-iron skillet
-2 cutting boards
-Chef's knife, paring knife
-2 mixing bowls. One large, one very large
-wooden spoons, large sieved spoon, ladle, pasta spoon thing
-metal spatula, rubber spatula
-large whisk, pastry cutter
-cake pans (2), bread pans (unless you have a bread maker), roasting pan (doubles as lasagne pan), pie plates (2- double as more lasagne/casserole type pans), cookie sheet, muffin tin.
-rolling pin
-food storage containers. These can be old yogurt containers or fancy glass ones. Usually I just put my pots with leftovers in the fridge.
-lemon juicing device (can be a wooden reamer or a drop-through dealy)
-measuring spoons, dry measuring cups, wet measuring cup (1c)
-salad spinner
-cheese grater, microplane
-toaster, kettle
-corkscrew, can opener

Over the years I've added:
-food processor
-immersion blender, hand mixer
-pressure cooker (really worth it if you cook with dried beans. Also doubles as an extra pot)
-fish spatula (the best! I would take this over a regular metal spatula now, actually)
-filleting knife
-garlic press, veggie peeler, mandolin
-4c measuring cup
-basic kitchen scale
-silicone cookie sheet liner, bundt pan
-a smaller frying pan
-microwave

I can do pretty much anything with the above. Also, NOTHING should be nonstick. That shite is toxic and needs to be frequently replaced. I've found good deals at restaurant-supply stores, although they are not always the cheaper option.

Rural

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #75 on: March 17, 2013, 07:29:58 PM »
Essential? I could get by with a cast-iron skillet, a crock pot, a metal spatula, and a big cooking spoon.

Life is better with more options, though. I have all of the above, plus a second crock pot (both are used weekly), a cast iron Dutch oven, a stockpot, several sauce pans, a cookie sheet, a canner, etc, etc. I can cook big meals, which you can't do with one or two pots, at least not if you want it all hot at the same time. For that matter, I can cook in bulk and freeze ahead.
[/quote

i agree, variety is great, its a great idea for bigger families to cook large meals and freeze them, but in my case, i would be eating the same thing all week, thus smaller quick meals are my preference. i personally love soup and make it often, im also a at home vegetarian so all my meals require little equipment and time.

There are only two of us, but freezing ahead several times gives us variety over the next few weeks. Not to say you shouldn't do exactly as you like, but I just wanted to point out that large batch cooking doesn't mean repetition.

Spork

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #76 on: March 18, 2013, 10:38:41 AM »
I can't believe anyone hasn't mentioned this:

A spouse that really likes to cook.

Khao

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #77 on: March 19, 2013, 08:43:04 AM »
I can't believe anyone hasn't mentioned this:

A spouse that really likes to cook.

Because that's already taken care of (and I like cooking too!)

tuyop

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #78 on: March 28, 2013, 08:00:36 AM »
Mark Bittman's article on fully outfitting a kitchen on a $200 budget from the restaurant supply store is a classic:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/dining/09mini.html?pagewanted=all

I asked for a food processor for Christmas, and it's been a very useful gift. I like hummus, which is usually around $5/lb. in stores; you can make a ton of delicious hummus in a few minutes with a food processor, and the dominant ingredient is a $1.50 2lb. can of chickpeas.

Soak your own chickpeas to maximize the savings and reduce salt!

-3 5 pots with lids. One tiny pot for reheating, one saucepan, one soup pot, one medium sized, one large for stews.
-One large cast-iron skillet
-One large non-stick skillet
-One small non-stick skillet
-One large "cooker" (large, deep non-stick skillet with lid)
-2 4 cutting boards
-Chef's knife, paring knife
-2 mixing bowls. One large, one very large
-wooden spoons, large sieved spoon, ladle, pasta spoon thing
-metal plastic spatula, rubber spatula
-large whisk,
-cookie sheet,
-rolling pin
-food storage containers. These can be old yogurt containers or fancy glass ones. Usually I just put my pots with leftovers in the fridge.
-measuring spoons, dry measuring cups, wet measuring cup (1c)
-cheese grater, microplane
-kettle
-corkscrew, can opener
-rice cooker
-dehydrator
-2 plastic tongs
-peeler

That's what we've been rolling with, plus a hand-powered food processor and a vegetable steamer that we never use.

On the plate for us is to switch out all the plastics and non-sticks with better alternatives.

We also really really want a nice food processor and blender because we have no way to mill flour or make soups and smoothies now, and a real masticating juicer would be sweet. Also a slowcooker.

However, we find that we don't need:

-toaster (don't eat bread)
-microwave
-bread pan
-wok (cooker works perfectly)
-tv in kitchen (seriously, wtf?)

shedinator

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #79 on: March 28, 2013, 08:47:37 AM »
My kitchen essential is my wife. Not because I am a sexist pig, but because I had the good fortune of marrying a pastry chef. It's always a happy day in the kitchen when your partner is trained in the fine art of making delicious things.

Spork

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #80 on: March 28, 2013, 08:54:27 AM »
My kitchen essential is my wife. Not because I am a sexist pig, but because I had the good fortune of marrying a pastry chef. It's always a happy day in the kitchen when your partner is trained in the fine art of making delicious things.

I agree with you 100%.  I'm willing to trade all sorts of 'clean up duty' for 'good cook'.

Fletch

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #81 on: March 28, 2013, 10:49:55 AM »
I will second (third?) the Staub recommendation, I asked for them as Christmas gifts while in college and now will have them for the rest of my life. I have a dutch oven, a skillet, and a pot I'm not sure what to call, maybe a braising pot? it is wide like a skillet, the sides are taller than a skillet but shorter than a dutch oven, it has a lid and no long handle, so it is the best of both worlds in that I could fry an egg in it, or use it for curries and stews, and I don't have to reshuffle every rack in my oven to fit the height of the dutch oven.

High-quality kitchen items are my favorite gifts to ask for, because you can certainly get by with cheaper knives and pots, and slowly upgrade as you can afford it/as the cheap stuff breaks. Plus the generous members of my family love "recurring" gifts where they can add to a collection at a range of price points instead of thinking up new and exciting presents every christmas and birthday, and I love that I can get all the fancy new gear I wouldn't buy for myself or pretending to like something I don't need.

The list of essentials depends on how you cook. If you eat a stir-fry and rice every single night, all you need is a knife, cutting board, pot for rice, pan for stir fry and spoon. If you grill all summer, you need a longer handled tong and spatula. If you don't have time to cook at night, you need a slow cooker to start meals in the morning. You should only spend your money on things you will actually use multiple times a week, and the rest of the nonessentially could probably be borrowed or improvised.

mobilisinmobili

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #82 on: April 18, 2013, 03:44:59 PM »
To me the ideal kitchen:

La Pavoni Europiccola espresso maker
Magnetic wall mounted knife rack
Rack with hooks for hanging pots / pans
Le Creuset Enamelled Cast Iron Oval French Oven
Le Creuset Enamelled Cast Iron Saucier Pot
Silicon Whisk
Silicon Spatula
Oxo Silicon Turner / Flipper
Le Creuset Forged Hard Anodized Shallow Fry Pan
Le Creuset Giant Reversible Grill/Griddle
Kamado Joe Classic Grill
Global Chef's Knife / Pairing Knife
Imported Japanese Clever    
Ice Coffee Maker "Fretta V60"
Blendtec Blender
Aeropress Coffee Maker (for travel, outside the house)
Chemex Coffee Maker (drip coffee for groups)
Chemex Water Kettle
Unicorn Pepper & Salt Mills
Drink Mixing Set
Beer/Wine/Cocktail glasses
Ice Ball Mold
Heavy wood cutting board
Silpat Ice Cube Trays
Vintage Corning Ware Mixing Bowls
Oxo Good Grips Liquid Measuring Cup
a set of steel measuring cups
a set of steel measuring spoons
corkscrew
wine aerator
1 nice full silverware set
Rice cooker (only use it when making Indian food now)
Multiple sets of glass tupperware - spillproof
Bodum spillproof steel travel coffee mug
Microplane cheese grater
Comfortable can opener

I don't often bake, so I don't have much of that stuff.

Can't think of anything else I would use.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2013, 03:49:04 PM by mobilisinmobili »

thrifted

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #83 on: May 11, 2013, 09:51:08 AM »
here's my top list:

counter space
water filter
skillet
rice cooker
medium sized pot
olive oil
bowl
dish rags
glass tupperware
utensils
plates
glasses
mugs
kettle
knives
wooden spoon
rubber spatula
tongs
serving spoon
ziplock bags
paper towels
collander

these are all things that i use regularly.  i am now living in one the largest apartments i've ever had.  its a 2 bedroom with a nice sized kitchen.  i've never had a place where two could comfortably cook at the same time. i love my kitchen but realized that there are many things that i haven't been using much, especially since my oven is broken. 'm moving to a smaller apartment that is across the country and am selling a ton of things at the swap meet next weekend. 

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #84 on: May 11, 2013, 01:00:15 PM »
Mark Bittman's article on fully outfitting a kitchen on a $200 budget from the restaurant supply store is a classic:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/dining/09mini.html?pagewanted=all

I asked for a food processor for Christmas, and it's been a very useful gift. I like hummus, which is usually around $5/lb. in stores; you can make a ton of delicious hummus in a few minutes with a food processor, and the dominant ingredient is a $1.50 2lb. can of chickpeas.

Soak your own chickpeas to maximize the savings and reduce salt!

The other benefit of soaking your own beans is that you can experiment with a variety of beans.  I'm a huge fan of black bean hummus, myself.

I also have to agree with the seniment of a spouse that loves to cook is a very nice kitchen essential.  Without the Mr.  I'd probablly eat the same thing every day (which is basically what I did in college), on one hand I'd need a lot fewer kitchen implements, but it seems likely that I might suffer some sort of nutrient deficiency long term, so it's definietly worth it.

One thing we bought recently is a set of silicone funnels, I love them, and use those suckers 3-4 times a week, they're especially helpful when refilling the spice bottles (the local HEB has bulk spices, so awesome: less wasteful and less expensive).

tuyop

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #85 on: May 12, 2013, 12:43:00 PM »
One thing we bought recently is a set of silicone funnels, I love them, and use those suckers 3-4 times a week, they're especially helpful when refilling the spice bottles (the local HEB has bulk spices, so awesome: less wasteful and less expensive).

We just fold a piece of card stock or an envelope in half, pour the bulk spice onto it, vibrate and tilt it into a spice jar. :)

BPA

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #86 on: May 12, 2013, 01:02:42 PM »
What are your things that you *need* to have in a kitchen in order to make it nicer to work with?

Facepunch coming...making your kitchen "nicer to work with" by adding stupid things like drawer dampers and trash can drawers is totally antithetical to being mustachian.

What do you need? Probably what you already have. As far as organizing pots & pans, lid racks for the door of your cabinet help a lot. My mom has these for her baking pans and I'm thinking about getting them too; they're also nice for cutting boards. I'd think long and hard though about which of these things might actually make you cook more and more efficiently and which are just fluffy upgrades to waste money on.

I agree and would like to share this blog entry from MMM's kindred spirit: 
http://earlyretirementextreme.com/the-minimalist-kitchen.html

pbkmaine

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #87 on: May 12, 2013, 08:06:43 PM »
I like Mark Bittman's list. No one "needs" Le Creuset. My mother's Revere Ware dutch oven, steel with a copper bottom, works fine after more than 60 years.

Dr.Vibrissae

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #88 on: May 13, 2013, 10:11:28 AM »
One thing we bought recently is a set of silicone funnels, I love them, and use those suckers 3-4 times a week, they're especially helpful when refilling the spice bottles (the local HEB has bulk spices, so awesome: less wasteful and less expensive).

We just fold a piece of card stock or an envelope in half, pour the bulk spice onto it, vibrate and tilt it into a spice jar. :)

Yeah I used to do that, but I always made a mess because you have to hold the cardstock in place.  Also what do you do for liquids? 

tuyop

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #89 on: May 13, 2013, 10:38:30 AM »
Yeah I used to do that, but I always made a mess because you have to hold the cardstock in place.  Also what do you do for liquids?

Hm, I haven't had to put a liquid in a very small-mouthed vessel yet, that would be a legit use for a funnel. We often make salad dressing and put it in an old glass salad dressing bottle with like a 1" mouth. I mix the dressing in a measuring cup with a spout and pour from that.

Able was I ERE

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #90 on: May 19, 2013, 05:28:15 AM »
The other benefit of soaking your own beans is that you can experiment with a variety of beans.  I'm a huge fan of black bean hummus, myself.

Our household favorite is "BIP dip", short for black-eyed pea hummus (black 'i'ed pea == BIP), which makes an extremely smooth dip.

newideas2013

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #91 on: June 10, 2013, 06:10:05 PM »
Personally (living in an apartment) I'd love a proper vent. A BBQ on the balconey is nice, but you can achieve much of the same effect on an electric range with a cast iron skillet and good use of the oven. What kills me in the apartment is the smoke.

I'm not one for fancy stainless steel and expensive counter tops, but a range hood would be my #1 addition to a kitchen.

Dee18

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #92 on: June 10, 2013, 06:37:25 PM »
Those looking for cookware may want to check yard sales, the source for my revere ware pans, le creuset Dutch oven, and pasta maker (none over $8). not that I need a pasta maker personally, but it has been really fun to make with my spaghetti loving child.

Purple

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #93 on: June 10, 2013, 07:13:44 PM »
I know everyone raves about Le Creuset - and I was excited when we were given a Le Creuset dutch oven. Except that it is so heavy I find using it to be a bit dangerous (in the case of trying to drain something) and washing up to be more difficult than it needs to be. I think people get too excited about them.

 I way prefer my solid, not-too-heavy-not-too-light, nameless saucepan.

Rural

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #94 on: June 10, 2013, 07:21:55 PM »
As we've moved into the house but haven't yet fully finished the house, I'm discovering a number of nonessential "essentials."

A stove is not required, not even for scratch cooking. A big oven isn't either, though a countertop convection makes its absence easier to put up with. (There is still some electrical work to be finished.)

Either a refrigerator or a freezer is nearly essential, but having both is mere luxury. (Broken door on the fridge, fixed hours before the deep freeze died, taking almost all the frozen food with it.)

A dishwasher is definitely not required (not hooked up yet, but I have one, a welcome housewarming gift from my mother).

Hot water in the kitchen is not required (a leak that's on The List but hasn't been gotten to yet).

All meals can be cooked in two casserole dishes or one crock pot and eaten from cheap paper plates (there's still moving to be done). Baking can be done this way as well, even in bulk to use up wild blueberries and blackberries if that's all you can save from the dead freezer (they were packed inside other frozen food in a crate in the freezer and still had ice crystals throughout).

A pantry can be stored in milk crates on the floor until better arrangements can be constructed.

Overall, we've done just fine, and haven't once resorted to eating out because of the kitchen. The stove is the biggest deal, and we're managing. It's now half done, with the receptacle but not the breaker wired in, so this weekend I may boil water. If not, life goes on.

Will

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #95 on: June 10, 2013, 08:49:14 PM »
I will second (third?) the Staub recommendation, I asked for them as Christmas gifts while in college and now will have them for the rest of my life. I have a dutch oven...

The Kirkland Signature French Oven at Costco is made in France (rumored to be made by either Staub or Le Creuset) and is currently selling for $49.97. 

MrsPete

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #96 on: June 12, 2013, 04:03:11 PM »
I hear two separate questions on this thread:

1.  What cooking items (pots, pans, knives) do I need to reasonably prepare food? 
and 2.  To what level of comfort and style should a kitchen be built and decorated? 

This requires to separate answers:

To answer the first question, you must ask yourself just how much you cook.  If you're a burgers-and-beans type of cook who rarely strays from the most simple cooking tasks, you don't need much.  A few pots and pans will do.  However, if you enjoy cooking, you can find plenty of gadgets and gizmos to fill your cabinets.  Which ones are reasonable?  Simple answer:  The ones you actually use.   Even an over-priced bread machine is worthwhile . . . IF you use it and enjoy it frequently.  I think all of us will agree that a good set of pots and pans are necessary, as are good knives, a crock pot, and a few other basics.  Beyond that, we'll vary.  I have oodles of baking items and canning equipment.  Someone else might not use them at all.  I own no coffee pot, whereas many people would think that's impossible.  Also, few people will go out and buy ALL these things at once.  Instead, they're added a few pieces at a time -- a birthday present here, a Christmas present there, an item you've wanted and found on sale . . . and it doesn't take many years to find that you have a nicely stocked kitchen. 

Someone asked about GOOD pots and pans.  I do love cast iron, and -- with care -- it lasts forever, but it's not good for everything, and it's heavy.  My 25- year old copper-bottom Revereware is just about gone, and I've been investigating its replacement.  I'm pretty settled on the Cuisinart Multi-clad Pro Series.  I like it because it has glass lids (and I like to see what I'm cooking), and it contains multi-metals all the way up the sides for even cooking.  It's moderate in price, and since I cook all the time it's a reasonable purchase for me.  I'm not going to buy sets.  I don't need the big stock pot; I absolutely love my old-old-old Visions glass stockpot (again, I like to see what I'm cooking).  In fact, I just bought a duplicate stock pot at a second hand store.  Do I NEED it?  Not really -- obviously I was surviving without it before I happened upon the duplicate, but it'll be handy during canning season to be able to cook two pots of applesauce, etc. at once. 

And the second question, which is quite different: 

To what level should a person build and decorate a kitchen?  I'd say that you should not go all-out on fancy items (like silent door closers and hidden trash cans) UNLESS you're debt-free including your house AND you're on your way to financial independence.  Once you've achieved those goals, IF a Better Homes and Garden cover-kitchen is something you really want, have at it.  To do it before that point is probably contrary to your goals. 

Not long after my husband and I were married, I heard a good piece of advice:  Write down the top five things you want.  When you have to make a decision concerning spending, consult your list.  If the purchase is in line with those goals, spend.  If not, figure out something else. 

Personally, living in a gorgeous house hasn't made my top five yet.  However, if I were to make a top ten list, a nice house would be on it.  Once our kids are raised and educated, we do plan to build a small-but-nice retirement house, and I do intend to have a lovely light-filled kitchen with granite countertops and a walk-in pantry at that point.  But no silent door closers and hidden trash.  I don't see the point. 






FlorenceMcGillicutty

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #97 on: June 12, 2013, 04:13:29 PM »
I like Smitten Kitchen's list because she includes the essentials and items that do double duty. Obviously, not all are essential but you can pick and choose what you want:

http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/12/build-your-own-smitten-kitchen/

PGH

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #98 on: June 12, 2013, 05:48:01 PM »
Things we love:

Our rice cooker. Not because we can't cook rice on the stove, but because there's usually no burner available.
Our dutch oven for on-the-stove meat-searing and then braising in the oven
Our wok.
Our GIANT stock pot for canning, making sauces, making soups, steaming lobster & corn on the cob
Our immersion blender
Our gas grill and charcoal grill
My husband's homemade sous vide rig. Seriously, sous vide is the bomb for cooking most meats to a precise temperature (and then you sear them, if needed).
Cook's Illustrated

I'll admit that we will be completely non-mustachian when we build our new kitchen. But, my husband's a cabinetmaker and all-around handy guy, and cooking is a serious hobby for us. If I was more of a utilitarian cook without the ability to DIY the vast majority of a remodel, I would probably make a different decision. But I'm willing to drive my car 300,000 miles to get a kitchen I love. YMMV

Spork

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Re: What things are essential in a mustachian kitchen?
« Reply #99 on: June 12, 2013, 06:24:07 PM »
Okay, so I am accidentally a stove geek.  I've almost piped in a few times and said it and now I will:

* A really cool super-insulated oven that cooks on retained heat and can be had (often) for about $100.
  http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/forum/share-your-badassity/how-your-kitchen-can-be-hip-cool-retro-and-still-have-lip-hair/msg53368/