- FOOD DEHYDRATOR
- SOUS VIDE
- THERMOMETER / FOAM TAPE
- FINE DIGITAL SCALE
- ICE CREAM MACHINE
- PASTRY CUTTERS
- VACUUM MACHINE
1. EXCALIBUR FOOD DEHYDRATOR
I’ve searched the internet for food dehydrators and came across the one from Excalibur. They suppose to have an ingenious system where the air is blown from the back of the machine over the different layers inside the machine. I have the STARTER model.
2. SOUS VIDE (Auberins Sous Vide Cooking Controller & Commercial Rice Cooker)
Immersion circulators or water baths are extremely expensive. While browsing through the eG Forums I came across a home solution to sous vide. Someone on the forum linked to an article on the website of Wired of Nathan Myhrvold adventures with sous vide. From this article I was directed to the website of Auberins. They have a Cooking Controller (other models can also be used for smokers, coffee machines and more) which, in combination with a rice cooker, replicates a water bath. You plug the power cable of a rice cooker into the controller and add the thermometer (from the controller) in the water of the rice cooker. The Cooking Controller will monitor and regulate the temperature of the water in the rice cooker by supplying it with pockets of electricity. Any sudden changes in the temperature of the water will automatically be corrected by the controller to match the value you entered in the machine. I’ve used it for some time now and must say the temperature control is outstanding. I have a large commercial rice cooker, the recommendation of Auberins. Check their recommended setup here (make sure you don’t by a rice cooker that is electronically controlled, it has to have a mechanical switch).
3. VORWERK THERMOMIX TM21
A thermomix is a high quality, professional blender with the ability to regulate the temperature in the range of 40°C-100°C. This gives the possibility to create custards, soups, sabayons, gels, butters without any effort. Besides the blender aspect, the Vorwerk Thermomix comes with different components (called Varoma, not in the pictures) to steam food and a lot of other applications. In the second picture you can see the mixing knife and the butterfly attachment used for stirring or whipping ingredients. I’ve bought the older model, the TM21 (from 2001), second hand from an online auction website, because the new model, the TM31, is quite expensive and does not differ significantly from the new model.
4. THERMOWORKS THERMOMETER THS-181 / FOAM TAPE
This is a high quality thermometer with a thin needle end. This is especially handy when piercing meat, because the damage when poking into it is minimal and for checking the temperature of food in sous vide bags, in combination with foam tape, without losing the vacuum. The back of the thermometer is magnetic and it has a 1m cable, so it can be positioned for example on the oven while giving you control to insert the needle into your desired content (that sounds so wrong).
Foam tape is an isolation agent used in housing. You can attach it to sous vide bags and pierce the plastic with a thermometer without loosing the vacuum. There are different varieties. I went with the ones pictured below, because it looked similar to the one I saw used in a video on sous vide cooking.
5. SALTER 1250 ULTRA FINE DIGITAL SCALE
A must have piece of equipment when cooking the recipes from the book. This Salter scale has a range of 0,1g-250g and is accurate to 0,1g. Everything in the book is given in weight, even the smallest amount of salt. It is especially useful for specialty ingredients, like sodium citrate, gellan, citric acid, and more, because the slightest weight variation can give an entirely different end product. The scale is not that expensive, so I recommend purchasing one.
6. BENRINER MANDOLIN
A lovely Japanese mandolin by Benriner for all the utlra fine slicing. Only worry about not cutting your finger tips off like the guy on Hell’s Kitchen.
7. NEMOX GELATISSIMO ICE CREAM MACHINE
This is a domestic ice cream machine from Nemox with a freezing element, so there is no need to put a part of the machine in the freezer for 24 hours before making ice cream. The problem is that the machine slowly turns the content and not breaks it up enough with large ice crystals as a consequence. This is not helped by the fact that when the ice cream cools is clings on the mixture element and is not mixed, it just spins in circles. Not recommended, but it’s all I have.
8. PASTRY CUTTERS.
They are used to cut out perfect circles from 2 to 12 cm. I did not had them for the cauliflower risotto, but couldn’t resist purchasing them for the grapefruit lollies. They double quite nicely for regular ring molds used for the presentation of food.
9. HENKELMAN JUMBO PLUS
This is one of the best kitchen appliances there is. It is used throughout the book for sous vide, breaking down cell walls (compress food) and dry ingredients. You can also cook vegetables under vacuum to excellent results. They keep all their color, flavor and don’t loose their bite. Besides cooking, a vacuum machine is handy for storing food, especially if you are gonna freeze it. I have a professional Henkelman compact machine, type Jumbo Plus.