Tag Archives: kitchen tools az

Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven – Item of the Day

roaster

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven.  I own three of these, you likely only need one but these get a major work out for our workshops.  Here are a few ways I use these things.

So this time around I smoked 6 yes 6 boneless pork shoulders.  My Bradley Smoker did a great job on the smoking but then I had 6 shoulders needing the “Texas Cheat”.  That is where you wrap meat in foil and finish it in the oven.  Problem?  My oven will not hold 6 fricken pork shoulders will yours?

So these Roasters are HUGE, so all I did was wrap the shoulders in foil and stack them vertically in the roasters, two roasters, six shoulders.  Set temp to 225, go to bed and wake up to super tender roasts.

Thing is these things will cook at much higher temps, like up to 450 degrees and unlike a crock pot they heat up quickly.  So another thing we like to serve at workshops is roasted carrots and potatoes with parsley.   Do you know how many carrots and potatoes you need for 60+ people?  The answer is a lot!

With these roasters you can do it no problem.  We used them last year and just added some chicken stock to the mix and added parsley both in the beginning and at the end and people just killed them!

The big thing though is it will GIVE YOU BACK your oven when cooking big meals.  I mean we all know what comes next month right?  Turkey day, Thanks Giving, the turkey super bowl.  Now you want to cook rolls, casseroles, etc but that giant honking turkey has dibs on the oven for 3-5 hours.   Well nope, you can put a whole turkey in one of these and reclaim your oven.

A big ham for Christmas, same thing, any time you have a large oven hogging item these can save the day and make life easier.  We recently did 25 pounds of shredded chicken for chicken tacos in these, again they came though like a champ.

And while we don’t use it for such things it does anything an oven does, rolls, bread, muffins, you name it.  One caution this is not a crock pot, it isn’t low draw like a crock pot, it is an oven and high power draw like an oven.  So if you want to run two at a time you need to run them on separate circuits.    You won’t be running this on a Steven Harris batter bank, not even one in a truck box with the truck on idle.

This is a grid powered device for use on grid, but in that aspect it is a wonderful tool.  If I only used these for holiday meals at Christmas and Thanksgiving and such I would still own one.  Every time you look at your oven and wish you could fit more in it at one time, this is the solution.  And a bigger oven would not be enough anyway, because your bread may supposed to be at say 400 and your turkey at say 325, again this is a simple, effective low cost solution.

Basically the Oster 22-Quart Roaster Oven is a hell of a deal, 60 bucks, free shipping and 4.5 stars total with well over 600 reviews.  As always here at TSP with TSPAZ we bring you simply the best value to price ratio we can find, with items that simply work and always work.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. –  You may want to consider roaster liners for use with your roaster.  These are high temp plastic liners that make clean up a snap!  Pull, toss, cleaning is done.  That said I am only linking to them on Amazon so you can see what they look like, they seem very expensive on Amazon to me in small quantities.  You an likely find them from another source and many times you can get them cheaper at grocery stores and the like.

Epica Electric Coffee & Spice Grinder – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Epica Electric Coffee & Spice Grinder  I am recommending this today because Amazon has done something I hate.  They have stopped carrying a product I love, recommend often and am very satisfied with.  Of course that is the Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder.  This time though it isn’t bad, it may even be an upgrade.

As much as I love the old Mr. Coffee Grinder, the Epica is a hell of a solid little machine.  The grinding cup itself is all stainless steel and it is easily removed for pouring and cleaning.  When it comes to power the Epica definitely has more power and can grind more material per run.

And yes it does a bang up job grinding coffee and you bet I grind up some Holler Roast Coffee and drop it in my french press, but that is not my primary use for this tool.

To me this type of grinder is the greatest ever dried vegetables and spice/herb grinder you can get your hands on for under 20 bucks. In fact for Prime members this awesome tool is just 19.95 with free shipping.

I use this type of grinder to make hot pepper powders. Garlic and onion powder from a store? Never I buy dried onions and dried minced garlic in large quantities, I then make up powders as I need them in small quantities. Just smell fresh made garlic or onion powder and you will see why.

I whip up my own spice mixes like this one which is a great go to rub for almost any meat but especially chicken on the grill.

  • About a table spoon of each
    • Thyme
    • Dried garlic
    • Dried onion
    • Mustard Seed
    • Fennel Seed
    • Chili Powder
    • Dehydrated Celery (yea that is a secret)
    • Cumin
    • Tellicherry Black Pepper Corns (another secret)
    • Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Then about 3 table spoons of paprika
  • About 2 table spoons of parsley

This is all done by estimate by the way, not with spoons but you can do that if you want to. This is a go to rub for poultry and fast grilled pork.  Here is some whipped up some for my buddy David to go on quail. You can see that here. The best thing with small pieces like quail, cut up chicken etc, is to put it in a large bowl and toss till well coated then grill.

Anyway it is unlimited what you can do, did you see the celery above, we always have it on hand, grinding it gives you the same type of punch as celery seed but it sure costs less and it is more versatile. You guys that grow 15 different hot peppers can go mad scientist with pepper blends.

This item has 1900 plus reviews and 85% are 4 or 5 star. If you read the negative reviews they seem to be either coffee snobs that want a 18 dollar grinder to grind with the precision of a 500 dollar tool.  The one complaint that is sort of valid is you can burn up this type of grinder if you don’t follow the instructions.

Consider what you have in a grinder like this, you have a very high speed motor, cased in a small tool body, doing a huge amount of work.  What does that give you?  In a single word, heat.  This grinder comes with clear instructions, do not over fill it.  Run it continuously for no more than 20 seconds a pulse and after 60 seconds let the motor cool.

So if you want to grind pounds of coffee at a time this tool is not for you.  Actually a Nutri Ninja works great for that.  But if you follow the instructions you will love this grinder.   And a minute of grinding is plenty to whip up a batch of coffee or a jar of spice rub.  So if you don’t have a coffee/spice grinder check out the Epica Electric Coffee & Spice Grinder.  As long as you use it as directed you will not be disappointed.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – I really think if you get this item you will be happy but if I had my way I would still be leading with the Mr. Coffee Grinder.  While part of me feels like the Epica might be better I have used the Mr. Coffee one for years, like over a decade.  I have sold thousands of them on this website and not yet gotten one complaint. It is very hard to replace that kind of confidence.

Mr. Coffee seems to have moved to a new model, you can find it here.  I have not yet used that version and since I do have hands on experience with the Epica for now that is my lead recommendation.

Still at only 13 bucks if you want to save a bit of money and bet on gold old Mr. Coffee it may be worth checking out.  Frankly I may buy one just to put it though its paces.  Remember with Amazon you can always return any items you are not happy with.

 

Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes – Item of the Day

brushes

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes.  Simple little item but these are the best thing out there in value and quality I can find.  I really enjoy cooking that is no secret and one of the great tricks to add flavor to food it is dry season and grill it, then baste it right at the end.

Now let me tell you silicone is the way to go here.  Unlike nylon or natural fibers it won’t burn on the grill when you hit it by accident.  The problem is every single silicon brush I have ever found is a multi piece arrangement.  The silicone head and bristles are in one way or another attached to the handle in a way in which they can be removed.

So you know what happens over time, the head gets loose and starts falling off.  So when I found these I knew I had found the solution to this issue.  These are formed from a single piece of silicone, so the head can’t fall off.

While we are on this subject let me give you one of my go to bastes for lighter fair like say chicken wings or quail or something like that.

  • 3TBS of Soy Sauce
  • 1TSP of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 TBS of Hot Sauce (I like Cholula)
  • 5 TBS of Jalapeno Infused Olive Oil
  • 5 TBS of White Wine
  • 1 TBS of Mustard (plain yellow is fine for this)

Put all this into a jar, put the lid on the jar and shake the heck out of it.  The mustard in this is an emulsifier.   In that capacity it will allow you to blend all the ingredients and they won’t separate including the oil. If you do have any problem with separation, squirt in a bit more mustard and shake again until you don’t.  Since I am not looking for a lot of mustard flavor in this I use as little as is needed to get the job done.

Brush this on to your meat in the last few minutes of your cooking.  To guild the lily a bit then sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on the sticking coating after you take it off the grill.

So for making this and other great bastes and not ending up with your brush head in the coals, check out the Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes today.  With four for about 9 bucks they are only 2.25 a piece, I bought my set two years ago and all of them are still like brand new.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker – Item of the Day

cannerSpecial Notice – I am bringing this product around today for two reasons.  First it has gone out of stock many times and has currently come back into stock at good levels, where me running it won’t sell out all inventory in an hour, annoying people who can’t order one. 

Another reason is we are starting to hit the time of the year where garden surplus becomes over whelming and it is time to break out the canner.  And it is the time of the year for stew, tune in today for my stew recipe!

Every day I will bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker

In the past I have recommended the PowerPressure Cooker XL, as it was the only electric canner guaranteed to be safe for pressure canning by the manufacture.

The Chard is better in so many ways, while also being guaranteed safe by the manufacturer for pressure canning, it has several additional features that make me want to exchange my PowerPressure Cooker, they are…

  1. The Chard allows you to can quart vs. pint jars.  In fact with it you have the ability to can, four quart jars, six pint jars, eight jelly jars or ten half-pint jars in one batch
  2. It also does a separate water bath or steam function for water bath canning
  3. It uses true petcocks and hence can be used at higher altitudes then the PowerPressure Cooker
  4. It has twenty built in safety features to ensure your safety.

Additionally while I brought this product to you first almost two years ago it was constantly sold out and would go up in price as quantity dropped.  Cary now seems to have supply side worked out and they are readily available for under 120 dollars with free shipping.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – The PowerPressure Cooker XL is available in sizes like 6 and 10 quart but that is all about capacity, none of them are tall enough for the lid to go on with quart sized jars inside of them.  I really don’t recommend it.

P.P.S. – I  have changed the item name here to the “Chard/Cary 9.5 quart Smart Pressure Canner and Cooker – Item of the Day” because the same product has been marketed under both names.  This is because Chard was founded Richard Carey, or as the brand came from riCHARD Carey, you can read about that here on the chard website.  Just know if the product says Carey or Chard it is the exact same product, I have verified this with the manufacturer.

Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler Item of the Day

kunEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler.  I covered this item in my episode Episode-1820- 15 Items for the Prepper Kitchen and How to Use Them.  But it is an great item especially for those of you on the low carb lifestyle.  But I can tell you anyone will love the dish I am going to tell you how to make today with this peeler.

First I think any kitchen should have a good Julienne Peeler in it.  From Asian dishes, to making salads look and taste awesome and more they are just a great tool.  They do so much and cost so little.

But when it comes to making zoodles, they really shine.  What is a zoodle, a made up word meaning zucchini noodle.  They are simple to make but there is a right and a wrong way to do it.  There are also cool machines like The Sprializer that making them a bit thicker and in long sprials.  Those machines are not expensive but they are one more big item in your kitchen and a Julienne Peeler fits in a knife drawer.

In the PS I now  have a video showing you how to make these.  It is really easy though, his is all you do, take a few zucchinis and just julienne them, turning them as you go.  As you get to the seedy part you are going to stop.  Toss that to the chickens, ducks or compost bin and go to the next one.  You can cut bit into the seeds it won’t hurt anything but you will notice a point that you have worn it out.

NOW COMES THE IMPORTANT PART, you Do NOT COOK THEM THIS WAY.  Put them into a strainer and sprinkle kosher salt on them.  How much?  Not a lot just enough to coat the top, toss them around, give them a bit more and leave them to drain into the sink or a bowl.  In about 10 minutes they should be very wet, if not add a tiny bit more salt.  After a few times you will know how much to add.  Over the next 30 minutes turn them by hand 2-3 times.  Make sure they drain at least 30 minutes.

Now put down a couple layers of paper towel and spread them out (don’t be all fussy about one layer, but just spread them out).  Let them sit that way, perhaps flip a few times.  This is less work to do than to read and write about.

I generally do this all when I start cooking, once they are on the paper towels they can sit there an hour if you need them too.  When everything else is about ready, heat up some olive oil (I like garlic infused for this) in a skillet, toss in your zoodles with any other seasonings (no salt though of course) toss them at medium heat for a minute or two.  Finish with some real butter melted in and serve.  This is a go to side dish for grilled steaks at my house.

The salt is the key, zucchini squash have a huge amount of water in them.  The salt draws it out and they taste like and have the texture of an actual noodle.  I won’t say they taste just like spaghetti, what I am saying is if you ate them blind folded you would swear they are a type of thin noodle.  Omit the salt treatment and they are fine but they taste like well zucchini rather than a noodle.

Pasta is one thing I really have missed going back to low carb living, until I found these.  Once I did it isn’t even an issue any more.  And here is a big bonus!  If you have a garden you likely grow zucchini and get a lot of them.  Miss a day of picking and you end up with big zucs, they start to get tough, way too seedy, etc.  Well when you julienne them, that issue is not a problem and you discard the big seeds anyway.  In fact we have found zucchini about twice the size you find in stores make the best zoodles.

So give zoodles and the Kuhn Rikon Julienne Peeler a shot.  If you already have a julienne peeler you are happy with by all means just try the zoodles.  But that being said if you need one or a new one, get the Kuhn.  It is the highest quality tool of its kind I can find.  Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss Based company, think Swiss Army Knives, they make some of the best cooking tools on the planet.  Besides with this tool being under 11 dollars, why wouldn’t you buy the best?

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

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Nutri Ninja Pro – Item of the Day

nutriEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Nutri Ninja Pro.  Like many of you guys I also own Vitamix but my kitchen is small so it mostly stays off the counter and put a away.  Hence for small batch stuff, it is a pain in the ass to take out, use, clean and put away.

So when Dorothy said she wanted a small compact tool like this I went to work on research.  After a lot of reading and youtube reviews it came down to the Nutri Ninja or the NutriBullet.  In the end the Ninja had better reviews, more power and simply better designed blades.  And it is small enough that it lives on our counter top and doesn’t take up much space at all.

Dorothy uses this for smoothies but that really isn’t my thing.  Here is a great paleo drink though that I use mine for, get this Strawberry Limeade.  Oh don’t worry, forget that crap from Sonic with all the syrup and goop in it.  Try this.

Per gallon

  • Juice of 8 limes, about 8 ounces
  • 2.5 cups of slice strawberry (fills the Nutri Ninja to max fill on the big cup)
  • Water to fill
  • Stevia to sweeten to taste

How I make it.

I take a 1 gallon jug and squeeze 8 limes into it.  I then fill the Nutri Ninja big cup to the max fill line with sliced strawberries.  Frozen or fresh but if you use frozen make sure no sugar is added and let them thaw first or you will make a slurpie!   Fill the cup to the max fill line with water to help with extraction.  Process until all berries are destroyed.

Now the important part, take a metal strainer and put it over your jug.  Stain the berries though to get out all seeds and pulp, this takes about 2 minutes and you need to stir it a bit but it is totally worth it.  Fill the one gallon jug to the top with cool water and mix.

Serve over ice and sweeten by the glass to the taste of the drinker with liquid stevia drops.  For those counting carbs, here is the break down.

  • 8 ounces of lime juice have about 20 carbs
  • 2.5 cups of sliced strawberries have about 25 carbs
  • Total carb count is 45 carbs to the GALLON
  • That makes you ten, 12 ounce servings
  • Each 12 ounce serving has a total of 4.5 carbs
  • This drink is loaded with vitamins by the way
  • A 12 ounce can of coke has 42 carbs to the 12 ounce can
  • Translation you can drink a gallon of this or a single disgusting cola

Yes you can make this with lemons or other berries.  Just as you change berries check your carb count if you care.  Strawberry is about the biggest bang for the low carb buck.  But some others are just as good or close!

1 cup of Blackberry or Raspberry juice has about 45 carbs and that is plenty to the gallon of lemon or limeade.  Not as low carb as strawberry but still pretty low, you get 65 carbs to the gallon with that and that is 6.5 carbs per 12 ounces.

To go uber low carb, just leave out the Nutri Ninja and go with just lemon or lime aide, that gives you 20 grams to the gallon and only 2 grams to the glass!

Anyway guys I hope you have noticed that in my Amazon Item of the Day posts, I am trying to give you more than just an item, but some ideas that you can use if you already own it or use other things to acomplish the same thing with it as well.  That said if you are in the market for a high speed, bad ass, blending machine, give the Nutri Ninja a shot and you won’t regret it.  The price on these is now down to 60 bucks unless you want to make a fashion statement with a red one or something like that, it is a hell of a deal at 60 bucks.

PS – Yes this makes a damn fine margarita with a bit of good tequila in it.  You don’t even need to blend it frozen, just an ounce of tequila to about 10 ounces over ice, go EASY on it though!  Seriously.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 

STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder.  I spent a lot of time in 2017 deciding on what meat grinder I wanted to buy.  I was pretty much in love with the Cabela’s Carnivore but had a real hard time paying 400-500 dollars for a grinder.  Specifically since I use on heavily 2-3 times a year during hunting season, then only about 1-2 times a month for small amounts throughout the year.

So I looked at a lot of options but came down on the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder because I firmly believe it is the best value under 300 dollars on the market.  First it is a size 12, in other words big, it has great capacity.  It also has two speeds and a reverse setting, which at times can be important.

It comes with three blades, most only come with one and while such blades are a standard product in all grinders they usually cost 12-20 bucks a piece to replace.  It is also powerful.  The first weekend I had it,I put 20lbs of deer and pork though it in about 15 minutes and it worked flawlessly.  One day I had a beef roast that I wasn’t thrilled with as a roast, so I picked up some pork and ground up both with the wagon wheel for chili meat.  It took longer to take it out than it did to put 10 lbs of meat though it.

After months of research, using several different grinders and finally buying and using this one I have found THE GRINDER I recommend.  I can promise you that you will not be disappointed with this one.

On another note we made about 20 lbs of sausage with this grinder using the sausage stuffer attachment.  Dorothy and I ended up getting pretty good at it, but it will be the last time I use a grinder, any grinder to stuff sausage.  I have now added the LEM 5 pound stuffer to our pantry.  The grinder worked fine but likely it took 2-4 times as long as using a dedicated stuffer.

It also makes keeping meat more chunky if that is what you are looking for in a sausage impossible.  Even if you grind your meat chunky, that second time around the screw breaks it down a lot more even without the cutting blades involved.   A stuffer simply pushes the meat into the casing with no screw or friction, so it is a better tool for the job.  Yes it is a unitasker, but for some tasks a unitasker is the right fit.

But for grinding you just can’t beat the STX-3000 Turboforce Meat Grinder unless you spend hundreds of dollars more, and then, you don’t beat it by that much.  So if you need a grinder in your kitchen, I can’t recommend this highly neough.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

 P.S.  – Here are a few videos I posted to facebook using this grinder.

Even though these videos are on facebook, you should be able to see them even if you don’t have a facebook account as they are publicly posted.

Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker.  I have talked about Sous Vide Cooking a lot on the show and this is my third cooker to purchase before settling on which to recommend.  One worked great until it crapped out in six months and a value model proved to be of little value for consistency.

There are three versions of the Anova to consider, they are,

The difference is you can control the Bluetooth and Nano versions with your smart phone when in bluetooth range.  But the WiFi one becomes a device on your network attached to an account (that is free) with Anova.  This means you can control your cooker from anywhere you have signal to your phone.  Like the parking lot at your office when you leave work.  More on why you may want this in the PS below.

Here is my thoughts on this though, when I buy anything I think about its disposal value.  If I need to sell or barter it, will the cost of the additional option make it more valuable at hat point, in this case for 10 extra bucks, I say yes it will.  So with no further thought I got the WiFi model.

The Anova on the other hand is what I always look for, it JUST WORKS, always works and also always works.  Sous Vide is a method of cooking that I describe as a dry poaching.  Poaching of course is holding a food item in a liquid until it is cooked to your liking.  This keeps foods moist and prevents over cooking.  It is also simmering in water when you get right to it, for some stuff that is fine.

There are a few primary differences with Sous Vide.  First it uses a precision cooker, meaning if you want 137 degrees you get exactly that, if you want 165, and you might, say for chicken, you get EXACTLY THAT.  Not 162, not 166, not 163, you get precisely the temperature you want.  Most poaching is a best effort process.  It also in general uses higher temps say 180 for instance for eggs.

Next Sous Vide is dry, well not exactly dry but the food doesn’t contact the heated liquid, it is instead held inside a food safe bag.  This can be done with a quality zip top bag but I prefer to use a vacuum sealed bag.  The meat or other item is seasoned as you choose, then cooked to the exact temp you want.  After that it is finished with a quick sear, about one minute per side or less.

For steak the results are a perfect cook to your preferred temp, we are talking end to end pink or red or what ever you want.  Not perfect in the center and darkening to the outside. We just did up some steaks with this tool in Episode 5 of Biltong For Breakfast.

There are other uses too though.  Like today I am thinking a new riff on jerk chicken.  Part out chicken and marinate in Walkerswood  Jerk Seasoning.  Vac seal and sous vide to 165.  At this point the chicken is perfectly cooked, no cool spots, not over cooked spots.  Now just crisp the skin on the grill and done, perfect.  How about fried chicken, imagine just being able to fry to a perfect golden brown and never worry about the chicken being “done”.

There are tons of things you can do with Sous Vide cooking, tune in today to learn some more and check out Episode Five – Dead Cow Flesh of Biltong for Breakfast to see this cooker in action.   Above all if you have been considering a Sous Vide cooker, I truly recommend the Anova for consistency, value and longevity.

Remember you can always find the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop on Amazon you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

P.S. – So why would you want to be able to control your cooker from miles away.  Imagine you want to come home and have steak for dinner.  Well in the morning you take your vac sealed steak and put it in a pot of cold water and fill it with ice. Your trusty Anova goes in to the pot too.

A one inch steak takes about an hour to cook but still mostly frozen it will take 90-120 minutes.  So as you get in your car, you push start.  When you get home say 45 minutes later, the steak has about 45 minutes to go.  You start your side dish and salad, open the bag when ready, sear and eat.  Oh and while you can run Sous Vide too long for a cut of meat, it will NEVER over cook because it can’t, 135 is 135 period.  More on this in today’s show.

P.S.S. – Okay despite what I have said about the WiFi, if you have always wanted to get in to Sous Vide, with the old units selling for under 65 bucks it is just stupid cheap.  I may pick one up just to have a second one on hand.  I mean really this same unit was selling for 119.99 not long ago, tons of the audience bought them and no one has yet complained.

 

The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber – Item of the Day

Every day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day is The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber.  As a long time user of cast iron I was pretty interested when I first heard about this little gadget.  I picked one up figuring I would try it out and likely it would be like many gadgets, sure it sort of works but big honking deal and it would end up in the junk drawer.

Um, WRONG!  This thing is awesome, and it is one I am frankly late to the party on.  I have had a lot of folks over the house and if I used cast iron to cook for them, I always show them the ringer, most are like, yep got one of those.  Why?  Because it fricken works and it makes your cast iron better over time.

Here is what I do, I generally heat up my pan with what ever crud is in it to medium hot, I then dump in a cup of water or two, it deglazes the crud.  I take the hot pan over to the sink and dump out the water, add a bit more and give it a scrubbing with the ringer.  This with a well seasoned pan is all you really need, just heat dry and oil and you are good.

What I do a lot of times though, especially if there is a small amount of crud left is put in a big pinch of kosher salt, it acts like scouring powder and give it a bit more scrubbing with the ringer.  This not only cleans it perfectly but it is doing micro sanding of the iron and patina at the same time.

I have a lot of old school milled cast iron, but one thing I have never found is a dutch over like that, well one I didn’t need to sell a kidney to buy anyway.  So I have a modern Lodge Dutch Oven, and with this technique even it is almost as good as old school cast iron.

So if you cook with cast, either old or new, consider getting The Ringer Cast Iron Scrubber into your kitchen today.  At only 15 bucks it is a great deal, I have had mine about 2 years now and it is still as good as new.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com

Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle – Item of the Day

kettleEvery day I bring you an item on Amazon that I personally use or has been purchased by many members of the audience and I have researched enough to recommend.

Today’s TSP Amazon Item of the day the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle.  This item gets used daily.  Now I paid a bit more for mine to get a red one.  Why?  Dorothy likes and wanted a red one.  Well, when a woman puts up with all the crap that a full time podcaster and part time farmers wife puts up with and asks for red, by God she is gonna get it from me anyway.  By the way since the first time I posted this item, the cost of the red one has dropped to only about 10 bucks difference in price.  And I got to admit while red is not really my color it does look good.

In the end though red or silver they function identically and the silver one is only $24.57 with free shipping on prime.  What do you do with it?  Well clearly you boil water with it but here are my big uses for mine…

  1.  Making mead as seen in this video
  2. I make 4 boiled eggs with no effort in it at a time (more on that below)
  3. I make my tea or coffee with my French Press with it every day
  4. I pre heat water with it for boiling when I am doing a lot of cooking

Okay about those eggs, want perfect eggs hard boiled to this, with any electric kettle by the way.  Put 1-4 eggs in the kettle, fill about half way with water, turn the kettle on, most will automatically stop when they boil, this one does.  When it shuts off, set a timer for 12 minutes, let it just sit for that long.  Pour off the water, rinse with cold water to cool things off and remove your eggs.

Why does this work so well.  Okay when you do the same thing with a pot the eggs sit on the bottom and get hotter on the bottom and get hotter than the 212 it takes to boil the water.  And electric kettle is efficient, heat comes from all sides evenly heating the water, which is why it boils faster.

Due to this your eggs are heated to the exact 212 range of the water and boil to hard perfectly.  Add a tsp of vinegar and they will even peal more easily.  Oh, also use eggs about 2 weeks old for boiling if you have fresh from your own yard eggs, they will peal easily compared to super fresh ones as well.

In any event a good Electric Kettle is something I just could not live without in my kitchen, and the Hamilton Beach Electric Kettle is the best value to price one I have yet found.  Consider that it has 4.5 stars over all with over 1200 reviews and it makes a lot of sense that it is a quality product.  In fact over two years I have sold several hundred of these and have never heard a word of complaint from the audience.  That says a lot.

My personal kettle is over 3 years old now.  I run an average of 3 batches of something a day in it.  3 x 365 x 3 = 3,285 mission this thing has run with my crappy hard water and it is still going strong.

Remember you can always find all of our reviews at TspAz.com.

P.S. – While I have not yet reviewed it, I will soon review this awesome coffee carafe.  Teamed with this and the French Press I recommend this kettle makes the best coffee I have ever had.  I make up about three batches in the morning and with an initial pour of two cups it all fits in the carafe.

I do this with tea as well.  They are still piping hot hours later with no degrading of quality.  It has saved a lot of waste because one press makes about 3 big mugs of coffee or tea.  That third one was mostly being tossed out because it became tannic and nasty by the time we got to it.  So the way I look at it, the carafe pays for itself pretty quickly.