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You’ve probably already figured out that I’m quite the researcher. And that doesn’t just go for cottage food laws… it goes for everything, including kitchen equipment. I spend hours reading reviews and comparing before buying anything (much to my wife’s dismay!).
This is not meant to be a comprehensive list: only items that really impress me are included here. Consider it a “best-of-the-best” list. I regularly use all of these in my own kitchen.
For instance, I really like our kitchen knives, but there are many great knife sets available, so those didn’t make the cut.
I am also not recommending the obvious. For example, our stand mixer is fantastic, but I assume you already either have one, or know you want one.
I hope you love these items as much as I do. Have fun cooking! — David
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I have used all kinds of measuring cups: cheap plastic hand-me-downs and expensive All-Clad. There are so many choices, but ever since getting these, I am never going back to another sub-optimal set.
I love everything about these measuring cups, and I think they will last a lifetime. The stainless steel is sturdy and rust-free, they stack/nest perfectly together, and the side markings make partial measurements easy.
I thought I might not like the short handles, but I thought wrong. The design is more versatile for scooping in smaller containers, and it takes less space in the dishwasher. There is a large hole in the handle that fits over the tines in a dishwasher (something the All-Clad version is sorely lacking).
Overall, I fully recommend this measuring cup design. Please note that there are many companies that sell this design, and from what I can tell, they are all pretty much the same.
If you don’t have one of these, it should be at the top of your wish list. Yes it is very expensive, but it is the best. The accuracy and instant read times are impeccable.
You wouldn’t believe how many uses I’ve found for this device: cooking meat, making candy, warming baby food, or even just checking the air temperature.
My dad bought a Classic Thermapen over 15 years ago, and it’s still going strong. The Mk4 Thermapen is the upgraded model, with a few added features. My favorite one is the auto-on feature, where it will go to sleep when set on a counter, and then wake up again when picked up.
I’ve used both of them hundreds of times and highly recommend either one!
This toaster is THE BEST. Since it can even fit a 9×13 baking dish, I hardly ever use our full oven these days.
The most important thing is the temperature accuracy and consistency. I have dealt with so many cheap toasters that have hot spots, but this mini oven yields consistent results every time.
Equally important is the durability. This is a newer model, but owners of the original report having theirs still working well after 15 years.
I especially love how fast this toaster is. It only takes 3 minutes to heat to 350 degrees, so I no longer have to start heating the oven before preparing a recipe.
This is the easiest toaster oven I have used, and it is extremely intuitive. It’s very easy to increase cooking time on the fly by turning the knob. Since it retains previous settings for each mode, I can always toast bagels on the same setting, no matter what else I use the toaster for.
It’s an expensive device, but it’s one of the most used devices in my kitchen!