Monday, August 07, 2017

List Day: Best and Worst Kitchen Appliances

The Best

  • Toaster Oven (2011): I became a huge toaster oven snob after burning through a string of cheap, quickly-broken toaster ovens in the early aughts. This oven makes bagels and toasts perfectly consistently every time and I've graduated to making exotic dishes like pizzas, Cornish game hens, and bacon-wrapped scallops in it. It also reheats pizzas and fries with just enough crispiness to make leftovers almost as good as they were in the restaurant. My life would be far dimmer without this magical Breville oven.

  • Makin Bacon (2005): One of the few AS SEEN ON TV devices that actually works as advertised, this makes restaurant-quality bacon in minutes in the microwave without any mess. The pieces that actually touch the bacon are easy to clean and the grease tray consolidates the mess in a single easy-to-dump location.

  • Rice Cooker (2001): This was a going away present from my parents when I moved to Florida for grad school and it's still going strong today. One of my go-to meals in Tallahassee (besides Banquet fried chicken and Totino's Pizzas) was a cooker full of white rice doused in soy sauce. Today, I have graduated to jasmine rice, although I occasionally deign to let Rebecca make quinoa in it (even though it makes the house smell like an armpit).

The Worst

  • Fridge (2011): The main thing wrong with this fridge is probably the last thing you'd think to research -- it's super loud and often sounds like a mainframe from the 80s. There's no point in having our amazingly silent dishwasher when its big brother, LOUD FRIDGE, is having a clan rally for white noise. Also, the ice maker sometimes makes skunky ice and offers no easy way to clean the water tubes.

  • Stove (2011): Every other month or so, one of the stovetop elements flickers out just long enough to keep my pot of soft-boiled eggs teetering below the boiling point, forcing me to eat hard-boiled eggs instead (-50 DKP). Also, the electrical connection to the oven light fails above 400 degrees, which is exactly when you need it to see if the cheese on your pizza is melted properly.

  • Wok (2011): This gift from my parents was novel and great for the first year. After that, we got weighed down by the preparation tax -- every meal requires at least ten ingredients cut, diced, or julienned in precisely measured portions. Since the wok cooks things so quickly, there's no time during the cooking process to measure things out so you must have an assembly line of ingredients ready to go in advance. This made me a fan of recipes that require no more than 6-8 ingredients in a go. As we got lazier and lazier, the various crazy oils we needed to cook also went bad and we never got around to replacing them.

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