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I got a Lodge biscuit pan last month and finally used it to make sweet potato biscuits for Christmas. They turned out beautifully. I foresee making many more biscuits in my future.....

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On ‎12‎/‎27‎/‎2018 at 6:21 AM, biakbiak said:

I got an air fryer for Christmas and can’t decide if I want to keep it, or rather buy it again because my dad decided he wanted one and so is taking mine and then  will buy me one on Amazon so we don’t have to ship this one back to California, does anyone have one? Thoughts? Good, bad, indifferent?

What are you planning on using the air fryer for? My Breville countertop oven has an air fryer function with a special rack to air fry on. I just don't what to do with it.

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12 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

What are you planning on using the air fryer for? My Breville countertop oven has an air fryer function with a special rack to air fry on. I just don't what to do with it.

Not sure. I didn’t ask for one, it was one of those things where it was on my brother in laws list, we both like to cook so the person who got it for him also got me one. After looking into it more I think I will just use the money for something else. I don’t eat enough fried things to justify having a separate appliance taking up space.

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My Breville countertop oven has 14 different function settings. I mostly use it to make baked potatoes, toast, reheat, keep warm, and frozen pizza. I'm just at a loss on what on what could be air fried. I make baked potato wedges sometimes by spraying them with canola oil and sprinkling them with Emeril's Essence.

Edited by chessiegal

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18 hours ago, chessiegal said:

My Breville countertop oven has 14 different function settings. I mostly use it to make baked potatoes, toast, reheat, keep warm, and frozen pizza. I'm just at a loss on what on what could be air fried. I make baked potato wedges sometimes by spraying them with canola oil and sprinkling them with Emeril's Essence.

In the research I did to see if I wanted to keep it l, it appears that an air fryer is just a cheaper, smaller, less versatile convection oven so someone at Breville, most likely in marketing, had them create an “air fryer” setting to cash in on the trend and that you don’t actually need that setting to do anything you want.

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1 hour ago, biakbiak said:

In the research I did to see if I wanted to keep it l, it appears that an air fryer is just a cheaper, smaller, less versatile convection oven so someone at Breville, most likely in marketing, had them create an “air fryer” setting to cash in on the trend and that you don’t actually need that setting to do anything you want.

It's not just a setting, it came with a special tray you're supposed to use when you're air frying food. I suppose I should go to the Breville website and see what they have to say.

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Breville's website didn't offer any air frying suggestions, but after doing some googling around, it seems most of the air frying suggestions are things you could just bake. The only thing I saw that looked good were Fried Onion Rings.

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On 12/30/2018 at 11:28 AM, biakbiak said:

In the research I did to see if I wanted to keep it l, it appears that an air fryer is just a cheaper, smaller, less versatile convection oven so someone at Breville, most likely in marketing, had them create an “air fryer” setting to cash in on the trend and that you don’t actually need that setting to do anything you want.

Breville and Copper Chef make air fryer baskets that you can use in the Breville countertop oven or a regular oven with a convection feature.

https://www.breville.com/us/en/parts-accessories/accessories/bov900amb0nuc1.html

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Copper-Chef-2-Piece-Copper-Crisper/185743294

or you could just use a roasting or baking rack and a sheet tray. 

I'd go with any of these options over a dedicated air fryer. You likely already have the equipment for the third suggestion.

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Thanks! I don’t have a convection oven, will probably get one if my toaster oven ever dies. I don’t really do a lot of fried foods so when I do it on the stove with oil. 

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I have a Chasseur enamel cast-iron dutch oven that my Mom gave me a few years ago.  I used it earlier to brown some meat, saute some onions et al and now things have to simmer for a couple of hours.

I moved the pot to a smaller burner since even on the lowest setting the pot is at more than a simmer on the largest burner (it is a big pot), but even on the smaller burner and the lowest setting the heat retention is still so good that it is almost to high of a simmer.

I have a couple of knock off enamel pots and they do a good job, but not as good as the Chasseur. 

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 I have one  goes on my Chef BUT if you just want a food processor (so something to chop veggies etc) you can buy these much much cheaper so I think you need to think about what you want to do with your new toy? 

The obvious point to make is that a Chef is nice but it doesn't do your cooking for you (shame that isn't it?!) and IMO it isn't the most obvious starting point to your journey to cooking from scratch it is though a great tool if you are planning to do lots of baking. I did make do for years just with a hand whisk though until I was sure that I was going to get my money's worth from a Chef. 

I also  got a KM010 https://www.evababygear.com/best-baby-food-maker/ about a year ago and it's earnt its place on my worktop, definitely. However, I'd spent about 5 years cooking from scratch before I bought it and I'm not sure I would have used it as much if I'd bought it a few years ago, when I wasn't doing so much. 

It's absolutely brilliant in my eyes but you need to have it out on the counter ready to use really, and it's big. The other thing is, the KM020 is bigger than the KM010 so you could save money by going for the KM010 unless you feel you need the extra capacity (mine is plenty big enough and I've been making MASSIVE cakes!). I would say if your cooking involves a lot of baking, as you say, it would be a very good thing for you.

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I bought an Instant Pot last year, based on advice I asked for here, and I've been loving it.  Every time I'm skeptical that a particular dish won't work in it, I try it anyway, and I'm always pleasantly surprised.  Like lasagna, which I convinced myself was going to be a flop and was excellent.  And it's a perfect way to proof no-knead bread, which I haven't had great success with in the past.  I've made two different loaves in the last two weeks, and both came out fabulous.  So thanks for the good advice, and next week I'm making yogurt and maybe risotto--without all the stirring.

P.S.  I've bought a few little accessories for it.  My favorite so far is a silicone steam diverter, which lets me vent the pot without blasting the bottom of my cabinets or the bulb in my pendant light fixture.  Or my face.  Very useful little gizmo.

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4 minutes ago, Mondrianyone said:

And it's a perfect way to proof no-knead bread, which I haven't had great success with in the past.

I love doing it in there. So much more flavor than other no-knead breads and so “fast”.

Just made a soft polenta in it and turned out fabulous with basically no stirring!

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14 hours ago, biakbiak said:

So much more flavor than other no-knead breads and so “fast”.

Absolutely, on both counts.  Cuts proofing to a third of the usual time, so you can start at lunch and have bread for dinner.  Love that.

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On 1/24/2019 at 2:26 PM, Mondrianyone said:

Absolutely, on both counts.  Cuts proofing to a third of the usual time, so you can start at lunch and have bread for dinner.  Love that.

Not following this.  How do you use the instant pot for the no knead bread?

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You mix up the dough in a bowl that will fit into the IP, standing it on the trivet.  Cover with plastic wrap, put the lid on, set for Yogurt, and let it go for about three and a half hours.  No pressure involved, obviously, and it seems to be the perfect proofing environment.  Then you bake in a dutch oven.

Here's a basic recipe.

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1 hour ago, Mondrianyone said:

You mix up the dough in a bowl that will fit into the IP, standing it on the trivet.  Cover with plastic wrap, put the lid on, set for Yogurt, and let it go for about three and a half hours.  No pressure involved, obviously, and it seems to be the perfect proofing environment.  Then you bake in a dutch oven.

Here's a basic recipe.

I don’t even put it in a bowl in the IP, just plop the dough on apiece of parchment.

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I put parchment in the dutch oven.  Today I used a proofing basket to raise the dough after it came out of the IP.  Looks very pretty!

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Interesting.  I make the no knead bread all the time, but had never seen the twist of proofing in the Instant Pot.  Thanks I will have to try that.

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I recently purchased a 200 sheet pack of parchment paper that fits perfectly on my half sheet pans. 

I think it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll ever go back to the standard roll available in the supermarket. SO much easier!

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I love the parchment sheets--as much as I hated the roll!  I also have parchment rounds that I bought in the size cake pans I use most often.  But if you know the trick for cutting rounds (not pencil tracing, although that works, too), you can quickly cut any size rounds from the sheets.

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How important are reviews when it comes to buying gadgets?   Is there a number or star level that you would consider so low that you wouldn't purchase the product?

I have been looking at Vitamix a lot lately.   I have been wanting to purchase one for years, but I wasn't sure if I could justify the expense.  It would be mostly used for smoothies using frozen fruit and ice.  But it seems as though now there more negative reviews than ever before.

I usually look at the lowest reviews first.  Print out the complaints and then go to a local story and look at the item in person to see for myself, just to look it all over.   I buy locally, and hopefully help businesses to retain employees.  Sure, it may cost a few more dollars, but I think it is worth it.

I went to a local specialty cookware store recently and they no longer sell Vitamix.   They sell Breville as well as other brands.

I did see a really cool all metal vegetable spiral cutter.  It was extremely expensive.  I wish I could remember the brand, but my memory is pretty horrible. 

I had thought about buying an instant pot.  I wasn't sure how long they lasted before having to get a new one.

I have also been eyeballing a food processor. 

A couple of decades ago there was this dude who had a tv show and he would make pizza dough using a food processor.   He never used a mixer.  I thought it was pretty cool.  I have been eyeballing food processors for years, but every time I get my mind made up on one, I would see a review that would cause me to not buy the item.

The one gadget I have and use most often is a "V" slicer. 

Edited by icemiser69

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I usually check America's Test Kitchen for equipment reviews. Problem is, they change their top picks before an appliance wears out (blender, food processor). I've seen many people make dough in a food processor. I belong to ATK's websites, so I have access to everything on their sites. ATK is showing Breville's BBL620 as their top rated mid-priced blender.

As for ratings, I probably wouldn't buy anything less than 4 stars. Sometimes people have a bad experience with a product that may just have been a defective product. I bought the largest Breville countertop Smartoven, over 12 functions, cooks with convection. Someone panned it in a review but mine has been humming away for over a year with me using almost everyday, sometimes several times a day. I'm cooking for 2, so it's so much better than heating up my huge Jenn-Air oven.

Everyone I know who has an Instant Pot loves them. BB&B is now carrying them so you can use your 20% off coupon. I've not heard of anyone having to replace one.
 

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I look at the comments on people's reviews on Amazon. Some people rate things low for what I think are stupid reasons. Or they don't know how to read instructions or product descriptions (apparently).

I also like to check Consumer Reports for big purchases.

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I might've been the person panning the Breville Smart Oven in that Amazon review, although I was by no means alone.  I have the same one, and I adored it at first.  Then the LED display went dark, just after the warranty ran out, and we couldn't use the oven because we couldn't see what function we were on, or the time, or the temp.  They agreed to send us a replacement--not a new oven, a refurb--which they didn't have to do, and I was very pleased.  After a short time, the display on the replacement went all wonky, too, in a different way.  They charge a flat fee of $119 to repair the unit, and there are no local places authorized to do so.  For another hundred-plus bucks, I could get a whole new toaster oven.  We continue to use the one we have, fiddling with the controls until we get the right reading.

There are lots of reviews saying that the unit has problems just out of warranty, so there's apparently a honeymoon period and then things tend to fail.  It's a great appliance, but it might not hold up long enough to justify the higher price.  Read the low-star reviews from people who come back after having it a while.

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7 minutes ago, Mondrianyone said:

Read the low-star reviews from people who come back after having it a while.

How long is a while? It's well over a year since I bought it, and as I said, daily use.

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Most people say either shortly after the warranty expires or after two to three years.  Which, if it happens to enough units, makes it more of a disposable item than a long-term purchase.  The price when I bought mine was close to $400.  I want something I spend that much on to last more than a couple of years.  We use ours at least three or four times a day, because, as you say, it's a great alternative to firing up the big oven, especially for just two people.

It doesn't do my heart good to criticize this appliance.  I loved it, and I wish I could go on loving it.  I still love how it works, but the quality control at Breville has been a big disappointment.

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I got my Breville oven at BB&B, so it was 20% off, closer to $300. If I get 3 years out of it I'll call it a wash.

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8 minutes ago, chessiegal said:

I got my Breville oven at BB&B, so it was 20% off, closer to $300. If I get 3 years out of it I'll call it a wash. 

The thought of adding more disposable crap to the waste stream wouldn't let me just toss things out that casually.  I try to buy things that will hold up and fix them if they break.

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I've been looking for a spice grinder that won't burn out after 6 months, something I can run more than a few seconds at a time and use for large volumes of spices and herbs. I grind a lot of dried roots, seeds, and leaves. The leaves are the easiest, but if you want to do a quart each of 10 different things, even relatively easy leafy herbs are not viable with an appliance that says not to run it more than 9 seconds at a time and then rest it.

ANYWAY: I looked at what was supposed to be a "professional" spice grinder for restaurants, and it was still not really heavy duty enough.

I finally called a wholesaler of herbs and spices and asked them what they use, and they told me they use a mill (which apparently is not the same thing as a grinder), but they won't tell me the brand. They said not to get one that's meant for making flour, because grains are not as tough as roots and hard-shelled spice seeds. But it was at least a hint.

She said some of their customers who don't want to buy a mill will use a Ninja or a Nutribullet, but I'm just not believing they're suited for this task.

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On 12/27/2018 at 3:38 PM, MargeGunderson said:

I got a Lodge biscuit pan last month and finally used it to make sweet potato biscuits for Christmas. They turned out beautifully. I foresee making many more biscuits in my future.....

Mmmmm... Sweet potato biscuits!!! Sweet potato anything!!!

If they don't sell it near you go to Walmart.com & buy some white Lily flour. It helps to make the best biscuits.

They carry both AP and self rising. 

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On 4/13/2019 at 9:20 AM, icemiser69 said:

How important are reviews when it comes to buying gadgets?   Is there a number or star level that you would consider so low that you wouldn't purchase the product?

I have been looking at Vitamix a lot lately.   I have been wanting to purchase one for years, but I wasn't sure if I could justify the expense.  It would be mostly used for smoothies using frozen fruit and ice.  But it seems as though now there more negative reviews than ever before.

I usually look at the lowest reviews first.  Print out the complaints and then go to a local story and look at the item in person to see for myself, just to look it all over.   I buy locally, and hopefully help businesses to retain employees.  Sure, it may cost a few more dollars, but I think it is worth it.

I went to a local specialty cookware store recently and they no longer sell Vitamix.   They sell Breville as well as other brands.

I did see a really cool all metal vegetable spiral cutter.  It was extremely expensive.  I wish I could remember the brand, but my memory is pretty horrible. 

I had thought about buying an instant pot.  I wasn't sure how long they lasted before having to get a new one.

I have also been eyeballing a food processor. 

A couple of decades ago there was this dude who had a tv show and he would make pizza dough using a food processor.   He never used a mixer.  I thought it was pretty cool.  I have been eyeballing food processors for years, but every time I get my mind made up on one, I would see a review that would cause me to not buy the item.

The one gadget I have and use most often is a "V" slicer. 

It depends. When it comes to kitchen equipment I tend to look at what people don't like about a product. Sometimes what they complain about is why I like it or it alerts me to an issue. I've had the opportunity to work with good equipment and those experiences guide my choices when it comes those particular items.

I've used Vitamix's 5200 model for years and later bought the 2 smaller wet pitchers. It is a beast in the kitchen then and now. I chose that model again because I didn't want all the presets and buttons. I bought my new stainless steel base one  directly from Vitamix. The old one still works very well & gets lugged around. What I also like about it is that you can change the pitcher and base parts out of they ever become worn. A good spatula for it is the  Ici brand slim spatula. 

I have no interest in an instapot because I have those appliances already and believe each one does a better job individually than the one multipurpose instapot. OMMV.

I have a food processor and use it but don't really use it for doughs.

The one thing I always will recommend is a metal shaft immersion blender.  Drinks, dip, salsas, marinades & a lot more. Plus you can use it on the stove. I love mine and will at times use it rather than the bigger appliances. 

What brand of v slicer do you have and what do you like and not like about it? I use a Benriner and have been happy with that. It suits my needs but I'm always looking. 

Who can recommend a good Spiralizer? I'd like it to be able to handle sweet potatoes. Right now I use the Benriner for veggi "noodles" but it uses a lot of hand strength for tougher items. Does anybody use or recommend the kitchen aid mixer attachments version?

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On 4/13/2019 at 4:29 PM, Mondrianyone said:

There are lots of reviews saying that the unit has problems just out of warranty, so there's apparently a honeymoon period and then things tend to fail.  It's a great appliance, but it might not hold up long enough to justify the higher price.

On 4/13/2019 at 5:42 PM, chessiegal said:

got my Breville oven at BB&B, so it was 20% off, closer to $300. If I get 3 years out of it I'll call it a wash

I've had this same oven for almost 4 years and I use it 5 times a week, and have never had a problem with mine. I also got mine at BB&B with the coupon so if it takes a crap *knock wood* I think I've gotten my moneys worth.

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:20 AM, icemiser69 said:

How important are reviews when it comes to buying gadgets?   Is there a number or star level that you would consider so low that you wouldn't purchase the product?

I have been looking at Vitamix a lot lately.   I have been wanting to purchase one for years, but I wasn't sure if I could justify the expense.  It would be mostly used for smoothies using frozen fruit and ice.  But it seems as though now there more negative reviews than ever before.

I usually look at the lowest reviews first.  Print out the complaints and then go to a local story and look at the item in person to see for myself, just to look it all over.   I buy locally, and hopefully help businesses to retain employees.  Sure, it may cost a few more dollars, but I think it is worth it.

I went to a local specialty cookware store recently and they no longer sell Vitamix.   They sell Breville as well as other brands.

I did see a really cool all metal vegetable spiral cutter.  It was extremely expensive.  I wish I could remember the brand, but my memory is pretty horrible. 

I had thought about buying an instant pot.  I wasn't sure how long they lasted before having to get a new one.

I have also been eyeballing a food processor. 

A couple of decades ago there was this dude who had a tv show and he would make pizza dough using a food processor.   He never used a mixer.  I thought it was pretty cool.  I have been eyeballing food processors for years, but every time I get my mind made up on one, I would see a review that would cause me to not buy the item.

The one gadget I have and use most often is a "V" slicer. 

If you are going to buy a food processor with the intent of breadbaking, make sure to get a big enough bowl.  I bought a 9 cup and can only make recipes with up to three to three and a half cups of flour, which is to say, not very many.  I wish I had gone for a 12 cup.

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