Kitchen Tools

Our Tools of Culinary Destruction!

These are the goodies that we just can’t live without in the kitchen! Please note that we point to the products on Amazon.com. Frequently they have the best prices for new items. Some of the more expensive things can also be found used on places like Craigslist.

Dehydrating:

While the gold standard for food dehydrators is the Excalibur
series, the Nesco brand of dehydrator runs a close second, and for a much lower price. The FD-61 model supports up to 12 trays (it comes with 4 trays). It also comes with one molded insert for drying liquids (e.g. Tomato Sauce). The insert also works really well as a drip tray for making Jerky. We currently have two of these in near constant use here!
I think we lasted at most for a month before going back to order additional trays for our Nesco. We simply liked it too much and kept wanting to dehydrate more and more! In fact now that we have two of these dehydrators I’m about due for another batch of trays to maximize our dehydrating capabilities.
We just ordered some of these today, so I haven’t actually used them yet. When we dehydrate small items they tend to fall through the trays and/or get wedged into the slots. These keep the smaller items from sticking and
falling through the holes
The kids love the fresh fruit roll ups. They make great lunch snacks! I’ve also found these screens eminently useful for dehydrating tomato sauce/paste and other liquids.

 

Canning:

The basic water bath canner. This is where all canning education starts./td>
If you’ve never canned before you may want to buy this kit. It has everything you need to get started. It includes a 21-quart canner, canner lid, 7-jar rack, 9-inch colander, lid wrench, funnel, tongs, jar lifter, and magnetic lid lifter
Regular mouth jar funnels are easy to find anywhere. Wide mouth jar funnels are harder to find. If you’ve ever tried filling a wide mouth jar with a regular mouth funnel you know why you must own one of these.
All I can say about this scoop is that it’s AWESOME. Buy one, try it. I dare you o disagree with me.
You’ll eventually get to a point where you want to can items that just can’t be canned in a water bath canner. Yes, you can get yourself a perfectly good Presto pressure canner for less, but this All American Pressure Canner will last your entire life, then be used by your kids, and then by your grandchildren, etc. etc. It’s rare to see such high quality American made products these days.

 

Food Preparation:

If you’re making tomato sauce, apple sauce, jam, or many other items this food mill is an indispensable tool to have in your kitchen. Ours gets used weekly.
The more you use your food mill, the more uses you’ll find for it. This add-on set greatly expands what you can process through your Vittorio.
This little gem makes peeling apples and potatoes fun! My kids love using it and thanks to that we get a lot of apples and potatoes peeled quickly around our house.With this tool I was able to process and can over 50 pounds of apples in one day this last year!
We love dehydrated pineapple, but hated cutting them up. Then my wife found this on Amazon. It revolutionized pineapples for us and turned an onerous task into a simple one!
Believe it or not, but this scale is easily the most frequently used tool in our kitchen. Accurate to three decimal places and capable of weighing up to 55lbs it’s fantastic when you are weighing out large quantities of food. The tare feature means you can measure just the food contents without having to account for the bowl. It’s also great for weighing packages for shipping.

 

Food Preparation:

The gold standard of vacuum sealers. The FoodSaver v3880 handles dry or moist packages with two different settings, has a built in speed marinater, and built in roll storage. Additionally, this model is expandable with attachments. Note, the pre-made bags tend to have seals that fail. You are much better off using rolls and making a bag each time you need one.
When it comes time to refill your FoodSaver this is the best deal on bags.
This nifty little attachment allows you to vacuum seal your Mason/Ball/Kerr regular mouth jars. Keep those dry contents lasting much longer with this vacuum attachment!
Just like the regular mouth sized one, this wide mouth attachment allows you to vacuum seal wide mouth canning jars.
Add these to your food saver bags or vacuum sealed canning jars to get the last of the oxygen out. These can extend shelf life of packaged goods for many years!.

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