Posts tagged ‘Shopping’

June 12, 2012

Super-Fast Thermapen

I think I’ve found the answer to my biggest cooking challenge, knowing when meat is properly cooked. I know there are a number of methods out there, and some of you can tell when your steak or chicken is ready just by pressing on the center, but this has been my greatest culinary struggle. I like to cook meat to temperature, 130 degrees for medium-rare when cooking steak, and if I remove it at 125 degrees it will be perfectly cooked after it rests. Roasting a whole chicken can also be a challenge. Farm raised, organic chickens don’t come with that pop-up timer, so you definitely need an accurate reading using a thermometer. You will find a number of instant read thermometers on the market. I have been through a couple small dial display instant reads, but I swear they become less accurate over time. I thought buying one professional quality thermometer  might be the solution.

Before I start praising my fabulous new Thermapen I must warn you, it’s $89. I know that’s a lot of money and there are certainly meat thermometers out there for substantially less, but I have to say this is the best thermometer I have ever used. This Thermapen is fast. Rather than waiting for the dial to go up on my old instant read, while the oven is open and heating up my kitchen or my arm hair is catching on fire over the BBQ… the Thermapen is truly instant.

I discovered this thermometer reading an article on Serious Eats. They have a great guide to grilling steaks and Tip#10 is Use a Thermometer! To quote: “Yes, you may look a bit less macho when you whip out a nifty Thermapen Splash-Proof Instant Read Thermometer from your back pocket, swing out the slender probe and insert it gently into the very center of your steak to register a reading, but believe me: perfectly cooked meat will earn you more praise and appreciation than macho posturing any day of the week.” And there began my search for a Thermapen. I was only able to find it on Amazon. It comes in a few colors. I chose pink, thinking I would always be able to find it in my cluttered gadget draw.

I was going to list some additional tips on grilling, like remembering that the meat’s temperature will continue to rise even after you take it off the grill or that you should always let it rest before cutting into it, but the article above from Serious Eats is fantastic. Have a look if you’re interested in some guidance to cooking the perfect steak. I recognize that you might think I’m nuts for investing in my Thermapen, but I would urge you to find a meat thermometer you are comfortable with. I think it’s certainly the best method to cooking meat perfectly, and we have a whole season of delicious grilling ahead of us.

Happy Summer!

Advertisements
January 27, 2012

OXO Hand-Held Mandoline Slicer

I’ve always wanted one of those fancy stainless steel professional mandolines. Possibly owning one of those would make me a better chef? I guess not. But it would make tedious slicing jobs easier, as I stand miserably hunched over the kitchen counter trying my best to make perfectly even apple slices for a tart. Well, no more! I just bought this hand-held slicer from OXO and I think it’s solved my thinly sliced cucumber problem, and for only 15 bucks. With 3 thickness settings, this kitchen tool is not only affordable, but gets the job done fast and perfectly. I can now tackle Laura Calder’s Shaved Vegetable Salad fearlessly. I’ve seen mandolines for as much as $300. I think my $15 purchase was quite a find. Look how nicely it sliced this cucumber…

Truth be told, I’m a bit of a klutz. The first to trip on a crack in the sidewalk, walk into a wall, bang my knee on the coffee table, and cut myself with this damn mandoline! It’s very sharp. You’ve been warned. You can find this at your local housewares store. I purchased mine at Bed Bath & Beyond.

%d bloggers like this: