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How do you think about the electronic kitchen appliances?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

More and more electronic kitchen appliances appear now. Such as electronic grinder, mixer, dehydrator etc. How do you think about this. You prefer prepare dinner with manual tools or with the help of this electronic appliances?

post #2 of 29

A lot of electric appliances are a great help in the kitchen. The food processor and blender comes to mind. Having said that a lot are just rubbish too, like the electric peeler and the electric knife. One appliance I do avoid like the plague is the microwave oven (I know this is a controversial topic). As I have seen evidence that they really alter food and I have even done the plant and water experiment myself.

post #3 of 29

Whatever saves work without compromising the quality. I'll keep my electric grinder, dehydrator, food processor, the pasta machine and the vac-packing machine for sure. That's about it, though.

 

I do have a microwave, but I really only use the microwave function for quickly thawing stuff when necessary. It also has a grill and a convection oven function, so I mostly use it as second oven when the primary one is already in use.

post #4 of 29
I couldn't live without my FP or my stick blender.

The electric knife has it's uses.
Like when slicing turkey breast and I don't want to mangle or compromise the skin.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #5 of 29

@Koukouvagia - at some occasions, I did roasts for 40-50 people (catering summer job while at university). ok, that was the time to carve with an electric knife. At my usual home-style volumes, a freshly sharpened knife will do fine for me, without messing up the skin. 

post #6 of 29

Like most things, there are good and bad ones. More bad than good I think. Infomercial junk comes to mind as an example of the bad. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #7 of 29

A couple of my favorite tools:

 

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post #8 of 29

Definitely when it comes to the hand-held masher - no idea how i would substitute that one electrically. The crank-operated stirring thing, well.... everything you can operate by crank works better with a motor behind it. Not to say that I don't have one of those.... Heritage... Gotta be used when the Zombie apocalypse hits and the power lines are down :)

post #9 of 29

If i steal the coffee mill that my wife uses for some misterious seeds grinding (what she calls "micro-feeding", God knows what the hell that means) i'm divorced in a week.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 

Your wife love her coffee mill so much.

post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeneMachine View Post
 

@Koukouvagia - at some occasions, I did roasts for 40-50 people (catering summer job while at university). ok, that was the time to carve with an electric knife. At my usual home-style volumes, a freshly sharpened knife will do fine for me, without messing up the skin. 


Definitely that electronic appliances are more important in the company cantine, resturant than in family. I don't have one in my family. I am curious and want to have some in the future. I think some of them are helpful in preparing dinner.

post #12 of 29

The electronic devices that do get used on a regular basis in our house are the microwave - Karen uses it to make her oatmeal every morning. I use it to put some heat into a cup of coffee that has been sitting too long. The coffee grinder for coffee gets used every day. The coffee grinder for spices gets used once or twice a week, as does the digital kitchen scale. The blender, food processor, big mixer, little mixer and immersion blender maybe once or twice a month.

 

And that ancient egg beater makes the BEST whipped cream!

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #13 of 29

I don't know where I'd be without electric appliances, though I really don't use them all that often but when I do need them nothing else will suffice. Coffee maker and coffee grinder daily. Blender to make dressings occasionally, mini Cuisinart to grind spices, Kitchen Aid mixer to make cakes & other baked goods, ancient Cuisinart food processor still going strong from the early 80s--not often but when I need it nothing else will do, stick blender rarely but also makes my life much simpler than it was before I had one, electronic scale, meat thermometer a few times a week, digital timer, dishwasher--never had one until I bought this apartment 15 years ago and now I live in fear of its demise...

 

Microwave--I almost never use this. Would often prefer to eat things cold rather than reheated unless it's a soup or a braise, which I'd just as soon reheat on the stovetop.

 

I just recently put one of those manual egg beaters in the donation box to make room in a drawer since I hadn't used it for as long as I could remember but even with a food processor and Kitchen Aid I still knead bread dough by hand and use an old fashioned pastry cutter to make pastry crusts. And my stove is an ancient pre-electronic ignition gas job that I hope lives forever. My neighbor is on her third stove in 15 years, two lost due to failed electronic ignitions for which crucial switches were no longer made. The newer ones seem finicky to me in comparison to mine.

 

Almost forgot the ice cream maker! I had a fancy Italian one that had its own refrigeration unit but it died after one or two years of light use, never to be repaired because it was, well...Italian and no one would touch it. Now I have a simple, mechanical Cuisinart. Love. It.

post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post
 

If i steal the coffee mill that my wife uses for some misterious seeds grinding (what she calls "micro-feeding", God knows what the hell that means) i'm divorced in a week.

 

I have 2 coffee grinders.  One for coffee and one for spices.  They are cheap enough to invest in 2 of them so go ahead lol.  I too would never use the same one for both coffee and spices.  I don't blame your wife.  

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #15 of 29

Wife doesn't drink coffee and i only drink espresso out of home. That's really a dedicated grinder!

Whats interesting is how many electric appliances we have that we don't use at all. I can name 3: the juicer, the steamer and the soy milk maker.

Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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Gebe Gott uns allen, uns Trinkern, einen so leichten und so schönen Tod! Joseph Roth.
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post #16 of 29

Got one of those for my food processor - great for grinding spices or making a quick chili paste:

 

post #17 of 29

Hey @GeneMachine that is pretty cool who makes that?

Thanks,

Nicko 
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Thanks,

Nicko 
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
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post #18 of 29

@Nicko that's a Kenwood, fits on most Kenwood kitchen machines.

post #19 of 29

I dunno, when I hear the word "electronic"  something in my brain shuts down and I treat any and all electronic items with suspicion and contempt.

 

"Electric" is a different story.  It's just an electric motor or heating element.  No delicate chips or motherboards to get fried, no upgrading software, no obsolete chips or motherboards, and not much to go wrong.

 

One exception to the above is an electronic scale, have them both at home and at work.  Perfect.

 

I use electric machines only to relieve the mundane and boring "grunt" work like mixing or chopping, and I have a lot of them, Hobart 30qts, K.A. 5 qts, table top dough sheeters, yes-a dehydrator (no electronics there) electric cheapo coffee grinder for spices, and use an electric knife for delicate cream cakes, napolean slices and biscotti.

 

I prefer a simple Chef's knife for all cutting tasks, simply because I have absolute control over it, not so with a machine.  I make my coffee with a manual grinder and bomb-proof twin wall s/s French press.

 

But when you really want to get philosophical about it, anything with a power cord ends up in the landfill eventually, but not neccesarrily so with manually operated gadgets and tools.  In order to read an e-book I need a device, the software to run it on, a means to purchase an electronic book, and electricity to power it with.  With a paper book, I just need sufficient light to read by......

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post
 

But when you really want to get philosophical about it, anything with a power cord ends up in the landfill eventually, but not neccesarrily so with manually operated gadgets and tools.  In order to read an e-book I need a device, the software to run it on, a means to purchase an electronic book, and electricity to power it with.  With a paper book, I just need sufficient light to read by......

 

And on the other hand, for your paper book, a tree dies. I carry a library with 3000 volumes in my pocket and recharge on a solar charger. (Not that I don't love paper books, the last count was something like 9000 books in our place. It is full. The cooking library alone fills about 15 shelf-meters. I have no more space, I need to go e-book.)

post #21 of 29

Yeah, I hear you, e-books may be great to compress storage space, but.....

 

But the downside is that current e-book technology will be obsolete in 10 years or less.

 

My parents were one of the first to record their wedding on Super -8 film.

My brother recorded his wedding on VHS

 

Both technologies are obsolete now, all within 50 years or less.

 

In order to preserve the content of books, the old electronic technology of storing this information has to be updated with each new generation of devices, and many times this means going back to the original paper and ink for that information.

 

Another way of looking at it:

 

Trees are a renewable resource, and you can make several books with one tree. 

 

Electronic devices are made with metals, plastics, and other elements that are not renewable.  True they can be re-cycled, but at great expense.

 

I'm a crochety old fart, my entire life I've owned maybe 5 computers.  How many computers does the average 30-someting go through in a 10 year period? 

 

I have not yet purchased--or even used a cell phone or smart device.  How many devices has the average 30-somethhing already gone through?

 

Everything with a power cord eventually ends up in the landfill......

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #22 of 29

Ebooks are zipped xhtml (epubs at least though they can encapsulate some other formats too). The other formats are similarly tagged text. The text file has been fairly consistent all the years in the computer world. It is fairly trivial to upconvert the format or remain backwards compatbile with the existing format. I'm not too worried about the file obselesence. Convergence into other electronics was obvious from the start, at least to me. But then I've been reading e-books since the first Palm Pilot. Hardware obselescence, sure. 

 

Calibre can free your e-book library. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #23 of 29

For me it's a food processor,a blender, a 1970s oyster Imperial handheld eggbeater, an electric chicken plucker, And a radio in the kitchen , while I work and whirl . My coffee grinder (mill) is from 1950s Germany by far the most beautiful thing I have and use. And I french press my way to satisfaction. Another electrical appliance is an old west bend hot air popcorn Popper to roast the coffee . Electrical appliances are very helpful. But the mechanical manual ones take up much less room in the kitchen and never or rarely break. I used to have an electric can opener and now I use a small high-quality handheld one that hasn't quit yet . The electric one lasted three years ,and then it was in the garbage. Oh and also electric lighting is very useful To see what you are doing.

post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

Ebooks are zipped xhtml (epubs at least though they can encapsulate some other formats too). The other formats are similarly tagged text. The text file has been fairly consistent all the years in the computer world. It is fairly trivial to upconvert the format or remain backwards compatbile with the existing format. I'm not too worried about the file obselesence. Convergence into other electronics was obvious from the start, at least to me. But then I've been reading e-books since the first Palm Pilot. Hardware obselescence, sure. 

 

Calibre can free your e-book library. 

 

Just wanted to say that, too. Calibre is the way to go - my ebooks won't go obsolete on me - they are DRM-stripped and convertible to any format I wish to use. Also, speaking as a 30-something here, the last time I bought a computer is about 12 years ago. I update piece by piece to keep the bastard running. No sense in buying a complete machine when the occasional mainboard+CPU transplant does the trick.

post #25 of 29
I don't have any electronic equipment in my kitchen, but a fair bit of electrical stuff .
A small oven, toaster, stick blender, kitchen machine, coffee grinder and meat grinder are all used on a regular base, but I can do without. I have a pestle and mortar, gas stove and oven and a collection of sharp knives, which I sharpen on stone, so could do all tasks without power. Handy around here as we do have the odd powercut (I live next to my lodge, so can use the manual meat grinder if needs be, but the electric one is so much easier).
I couldn't do without my fridges and freezers though, and some music while cooking is a definite plus!

As for e-books, I use a kindle. Fine for most books, but I do prefer cookbooks in print. Space is an issue though, as is availability. I back up most of the cookbooks and other interesting books to pdf file. That way I can print out a specific recipe if I want and I don't think pdf files will go obsolete in the near future.

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post #26 of 29

What exactly do you guys mean by the electric/electronic distinction, anyway? Electronic as in microcontroller-driven, programmable? Because otherwise, you won't find anything non-electronic these days, every electric motor with controllable speed will come with a solid-state electronic package attached.

 

Electronics are fine. Nice tools - as usual, you get what you pay for and good quality stuff doesn't go down the drain after a year. Then again, I have all the manual tools, too - and if the grid conks out, I can heat my house by wood, even feeding the heat into the hot-water circuit. Then again, if the grid conks out, I still have 10 kW of solar on the roof :)

post #27 of 29

Yeah, suppose for me the difference is micro-processor driven for electronics and everything that just runs on electricity with just an on off switch is electrics.

 

Forgot in my post aboce: the one thing that I couldn't deal with was my el-cheapo rice cooker. My dad and brother swear by it, but I think the rice that I cook just on the stove comes out better and fluffier

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post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

I couldn't live without my FP or my stick blender.

The electric knife has it's uses.
Like when slicing turkey breast and I don't want to mangle or compromise the skin.

Good point on the electric knife but still think it is a gadget that takes up room. Love my stick blender though (bamix), and it doubles as a food processor too.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ordo View Post
 

Wife doesn't drink coffee and i only drink espresso out of home. That's really a dedicated grinder!

Whats interesting is how many electric appliances we have that we don't use at all. I can name 3: the juicer, the steamer and the soy milk maker.

I have a juicer and use it a lot. So for me it is a must have.

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