Tag Archives: kitchen tools az

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 powerful, I put 20lbs of deer and pork though it in about 15 minutes and it worked flawlessly.  This weekend I had a beef roast that I wasn’t thrilled with as a roast, so I picked up some pork an ground both with the wagon wheel for chili meat.  It took longer to take it out than it did to put 6 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 will be adding a LEM 5 pound stuffer to our pantry soon.  The grinder worked fine but likely it took 2-4 times as long as using a dedicated stuffer.

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 see the TSP Amazon Item of the day by just going to TspAz.com and by shopping at TspAz.com anytime you shop online you help support TSP and the work we do here.

 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.

Fiskars 7in Take-Apart Shears – 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 one of my favorite kitchen tools, kitchen shears.  Here is the issue, my past recommendation was RedYetiWare Shears but they were discontinued, so I now have gone back to my old favorite, Fiskars 7in Take-Apart Shears.  These are great quality shears, excellent steel, very sharp and they hold and edge well.

Once you have a good quality pair of shears the next thing you want to look for is can you take them apart and do they stay together during regular use.  These do that and I am not sure why but so many others that come apart by design also come apart during use.  I mean it really isn’t that hard to make a pair that stays together during use but I guess Chinese chop shops can’t figure it out.

Fiskars makes great quality stuff and always has, while they manufacture some things in China, as many do, they maintain stiff quality controls and offer a lifetime guarantee on these shears.  And at under 10 bucks a pair a set belongs in your kitchen if you don’t already have great shears.

Let’t talk about the take apart feature though and why it is a must have for me.  I use my shears to do things like cut up veggies but I also use them to break down a chicken, these things will take a back bone out of a chicken as though it had a zipper.  So do you want chicken skank on your veggies?  I sure as heck don’t!  And to me the only way to be sure they are fully clean is to be able to take them apart.

These thing have a great grade on Fakespot so you know the reviews are real and they get 4.5 starts with well over 200 reviews.  The only complaints that are somewhat legitimate is that the hinge can develop rust.  This is because the screw that holds the hinge is made with carbon steel to reduce ware, so when you wash them put a drop or two of oil on the hinge screw and they will last damn near forever.

So if you don’t have a set of quality shears in your kitchen pick up a set of Fiskars 7in Take-Apart Shears at 10 bucks with free shipping they are a hell of a deal.  They are also second only to my RedYetiWare Shears that are no longer made.  I have both in my kitchen, why, 2 is 1 and 1 is none, that’s why.  Well that and at least one pair is always available while the other is in the dishwasher, yea they are dishwasher safe too.

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

 

 

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 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.

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Lodge Carbon Steel Seasoned Skillet – 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 Lodge Carbon Steel Seasoned Skillet.  These are my go to for searing and if you ever go to a professional restaurant where a lot of searing happens you will likely see dozens of these in use, and there is a reason, they work really damn good.

There are quite a few options from 8 inches up to a huge 15 inch one with double handles.  I currently own an 8 and 12 inch and they serve my needs very well.

I am a huge fan of old cast iron but it is heavy and it is not efficient when it comes to getting it hot, what it is good at is staying hot once you get it there.   Thinner carbon steel is efficient at getting hot quickly.  These come pre seasoned and if you use proper care they will stay stick free and last forever.

When I first got these pans I really used them the most for searing off meat in two ways.

One –  I will sear steaks and such BEFORE finishing on the grill or in the oven.  They provide the best sear I have ever gotten and if you are finishing in the oven they can go strait in.

Two – For searing after a sous vide cook.  Again they are just the best thing I have found.

But over this year that has changed.  First I found the factory seasoning on them to be very good, way better than I expected.  They are very low stick, note I didn’t say non stick.  I have pretty much given up on other cookware at this point and use Lodge along with old vintage Griswold Cast Iron (scavenged from antique malls) exclusively.

The primary advantage of the carbon skillets over the cast iron is they heat up a lot faster and are easier to get searing hot.  They also weigh less so they are easier to toss food around with when you don’t want to use a spatula and damage food by doing so.

After trying both expensive and low cost cookware over the years today I do almost 90% of my cooking with the following

My current plans are over time to add a Lodge Mini Cast Iron Wok, a Lodge 10 inch skillet and perhaps a second 8 inch skillet as they offer so much utility.  The mini wok seems like a great idea for stir frying sides of veggies for Dorothy and I when the big wok is a bit of over kill.  About the only other thing I am still in the market for is a great paella pan.  What is paella you say?  That will have to wait for another day.

Lastly as a prepper, when it comes to carbon steel pans, I love the efficiency here. If you are ever in a situation where fuel needs to be rationed you want a pan that heats up fast, cooks fast and finishes fast.  So check out Lodge’s Carbon Steel Skillets today.

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 online you help support TSP and the work we do here no matter what you buy.

French Press Coffee & Tea Maker Complete Bundle – Item of the Day

pressEvery 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 my favorite French Press on Amazon.  It is marketed as the French Press Coffee & Tea Maker Complete Bundle, but I will be honest I am far more interested in the press itself rather than the spoons that come with it.

The thing I love most about this press is it comes with FOUR screens.  I run mine with all 4 installed.  A few times a week I unscrew the filter holder and wash them all out, that is all the maintenance I do and that takes about 1 minute flat.

I will also admit we have come to like the little metal spoon with the s-turn in the handle.  We keep it on our kitchen island hung on the inside of a small glass, we use it to stir drinks and any drips go in the glass.

Previously I featured our favorite tea infuser, and it is what I reach for when I want to make a single cup, but almost every morning we fire up our French Press.  It makes 34 ounces in one go, or two of our really big cups.  If you use the recipe from that article, this is the way to use it with a full sized French Press.

Put in 3 tablespoons of tea.  Make your first batch, for each additional batch just add one additional tablespoon and do another run.  I do up to 6 runs a day like this, (we drink a lot of tea) and always sweeten with liquid stevia.  Since I always try to do a value add with these posts I will give away another of my tea blends today, do not let the simplicity of this one fool you.

Jack’s Three Mints Tea (yep lemon balm and bee balm are actually mints)

This is a great sipping and contemplation tea.  It also is my favorite tea to make for iced tea.  Done that way with a bit of lemon and stevia or honey it is quite amazing, just pre sweeten with honey if you are going that route while it is still hot.

This brings up an interesting issue.  While I grow a lot of herbs, I drink a ton of tea and like to buy high quality bulk herbs for ease and convenience.  Guess what, far as I can tell it is all but impossible to find bulk (think by the pound) Bee Balm, (AKA monarda or “wild bergamot”) anywhere. If you ever do let me know the source of it please.

And I have tried, big time.  Anyway if you are in the market for a French Press again this is the absolute best value for the money I have found.

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

P.S. – I first reviewed this item in June of 2016 well over a year ago.  Since then I have formulated many teas, here is a new one I am really enjoying that I just came up with today.

Folks that have made other teas of mine in the past will recognize it as a modified version of Jack’s Morning Blend, doing away with the Lemon Balm and doubling the Lemon Grass.  This small change pays a big dividend in flavor.  In short you get a lot more lemon hit from Lemon Grass than Lemon Balm.

I also cut back the Chamomile and let the Lemon Grass and Mint become the stars of this blend.  I like it even better than the original, and that is what is so rewarding about blending your own teas, discovering things like this over time.

Jacks Morning Blend – Nine Mile Farms Tea

Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder – Spice Grinder – Item of the Day

coffeeEvery 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 Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder.  And yes it does a bang up job grinding coffee and occasionally I grind up some Mai Thai Coffee and drop it in my french press, but that is not my primary use for this tool.

To me this 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 18.56 with free shipping.

I use this 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.  I just 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.

The Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder is also equipped with what they call a “Chamber Maid Cleaning System”.  This little device you spin with your finger and it helps get out all the stuff hiding on the edges.  For actual cleaning though, the bowl is water tight!  Fill it just below the max fill line with water (don’t get the base wet), put the lid on, pulse for a few moments, dump it out, set it upside down to dry, DONE!

Lastly I bought my first one of these before I even started TSP, it lasted until this year, when I stupidly tried to grind oyster shell with it!  So I got a new one, and I have found its limits, no rocks or shells, LOL.  Trust me no kitchen specifically no prepper kitchen should be without this tool.

This item has 1900 plus reviews and 76% 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, or people to dim to get the cord out of the storage space on the bottom.  Friends you can’t fix stupid but you can fix up some amazing rubs and powders with this fool proof tool

Remember you can always see 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.

 

Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator – 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 the Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator.   There are a lot of options from Excalibur but I am going to confine my recommendations to just two models.  Those are the…

So what is the difference between the two.  Mainly that the heater, the thermostat and the fan are all a bit more beefed up in the 3900 and the 3900 comes with a 10 year warranty vs. the 2900s 5 year warranty.  Given the two are only about 60 bucks apart in price, you might think I would just say “buy the better one” but it isn’t so simple with this decision.

Personally I do own a 3900 but something changed in it since I bought mine.  The temp range of the 2900 is 95-155 degrees and the 3900 is now 105-165 degrees.  My older model 3900 ran 95-165, I am not sure why they made this change.  But here is my rule on dehydration, dehydrate as LOW as you can to get the job done.

So I now tend toward recommending the 2900 and saving the money but let me tell you the difference so you can make up your own mind.  Basically in addition to the warranty being 5 years longer, the main differences are as follows…

The 3900 has a “better”…

  • Heating element
  • Fan
  • Thermostat

Better in that they are higher rated and have a longer MTBF specification.  What is MTBF you ask?  Well, that is “mean time between failures”, meaning if you run them non stop the ones with higher MTBFs will last longer on average over time.  Here is the deal though, how often does the average person use a dehydrator?

Some people use them every week or multiple times a week, if this is you, I would recommend the 3900.  Most people, such as myself use them say 10-15 times a year, if that is you, I recommend pocketing the 60 bucks, getting the lower cost model and having the ability to dehydrate at 95 degrees.

What about the fact that the 3900 can go up to 165 degrees you say?  This point is irrelevant in my opinion, as there is NEVER any reason EVER to dehydrate anything at 165 degrees, EVER and yes that includes jerky.  Dehydration is dehydration, not cooking!  I recommend making jerky at about 130-140 degrees.

Again dehydration is dehydration, not cooking.

So here is my logic on this with the lower cost item.  First for the next 5 years, if anything does break Excalibur will replace it anyway.  All these parts are easy to swap out, if you can work a screw driver you can do it.  And if say in year six, your thermostat takes a dump, you can buy one for 30 bucks and replace it and still be 30 dollars ahead, IF it even fails.  Again if you use your dehydrator 10-20 times a year, it likely won’t.

In the end though if you are someone who is going to say, run a small business making beef jerky from your home, well, I would go with the unit with the 10 year warranty.  Personally though I do prefer to dehydrate vegetables at as low a temperature as possible.  So if I didn’t own one already and was buying for the first time today, I would buy the lower cost item.

Regardless though of which you buy, let me say this, in dehydrators at the consumer level, there is Excalibur and there is everyone else!  In my honest opinion frankly no one else even comes close!

I tend to be far away from being a “brand snob” I mean everyone knows I love Dewalt tools for instance but I will still recommend brands like Rigid and Porter Cable in some instances.  However when it comes to Excalibur they are so much better than any competitor there is simply no good reason to buy anything else.

Lastly, I know some will ask about some of the higher priced Excaliburs, my answer is buy what you want but I would not go above the 3900B for any reason.  Yea it is cute that for instance you can get a clear door, but I am not paying for that, it doesn’t do anything useful at all, if you want to see inside take the damn door off.  Watching a tomato dry isn’t actually exciting enough to gaze at for more than 30 seconds.

As for the model with a timer, no way in hell I am shelling out more than 90 dollars over the 2900ECB for a timer when I can get a Century 12 Hour Mechanical Countdown Timer for fricken 12 bucks!  A timer which can be used for other things by the way, then just my dehydrator.

A final word on dehydration for the homesteader.  Dehydration is a great way to go over say canning for a lot of gardeners.  Lets look at say tomatoes for instance.  How do you dehydrate a tomato?  Slice it, put it on a tray, stick it in the dehydrator for 6-12 hours and you are done.  Now many home gardeners end up with say a dozen or so extra tomatoes a week or every 2-3 weeks, are you going to can 12 tomatoes?  Does that make any sense?

As to longevity, I have not canned a jalapeno in over 6 years, why you ask.  Well because 6 years ago we had pepper harvest like this one, several of them.  Dorothy and I spent the better part of a week slicing and drying jalapenos, and we still have several jars of them left!  They seem just as good as the day I put them in the jar.

So if you are in the market for a dehydrator, I recommend choosing between these two based on your needs and either way you will not be let down…

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. – Many vegetables like peppers and tomatoes can simply be sliced and put into your dehydrator, others require blanching which is a short duration steaming them or boiling them.  If you are new to dehydrating I recommend Tammy Gangloff’s YouTube channel called Dehydrate2Store.  She stopped posting videos about 3 years ago but it is still the best how to dehydrate resource on the internet in my view, akin to a free ecourse in it.  Tammy also appeared on TSP all the way back in 2010 on Episode 367, so you may want to give that a listen.

P.S.S. – Want a great use for your dehydrated veggies, take some like say tomato, sweet pepper, a bit of hot pepper and spinach, toss them in your trusty Coffee/Spice grinder, make up some Yogurt Cheese with this powder mixed in, it is amazing and a tip I picked up from my buddy David last year.  And hey for a final note you can actually use your dehydrator to make yogurt!

Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer – Item of the Day

perfcook

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 the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer.  This isn’t a hard item to figure out but there is a big misconception about the most valuable thing it does for you.

Many people feel that a meat thermometer is so you don’t under cook meat.  I refer to these people as “the people who ruin meat and are not worthy of a cows sacrifice to create a steak”.

Now don’t get me wrong there are minimum temps different meats should be cooked to, but very few people would actually eat and under cooked piece of chicken.  The problem tehre is you take the poor bird out before it is done, cut into it and ruin that wonderful roasting you had going as now it must go back in cut open.

So yes, a meat thermometer can help you make sure meat is done, but that is its second greatest use.  Its higher use is to ensure meat is not over cooked.  And that is why you need one of these.  I have gotten pretty good at doing steaks by eye, no matter how, frying pan, broiler, gas grill, charcoal, you name it I can nail it by eye and touch.

Well that is until I am trying to make 4 steaks and they have been requested to be 1 rare, 2 medium rare and 1 medium well (which I call almost ruined).  With a thermometer you remove each steak at just the right time, every time.   What you want your steak “well done”, okay you will have to do it yourself, I don’t ruin meat.  Perhaps I can interest you in say a pot roast

Seriously though, every good cook should have a good instant read meat thermometer.   And the Perfect Cook – Digital Instant Read Thermometer is the best one I have found under 25 bucks, hell it is the best one I have found under 50 bucks but it is only 22 dollars.  There are two things you need in a tool like this, first speed and the second is accuracy.

This one gives you a reading within one degree of accuracy in about 5 seconds or less.  It will change the way you look at your grill because now you will know you can nail the internal temp you are looking for every time.  It will also please your guest and in spite of my humor above, even the ones that insist on a “well done steak” even if you and I never understand their thinking.

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

Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler – 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 Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler.  Jason from PA was kind enough to ask for a recommendation for a fish scaler.  This is the one I recommend hands down.

It really comes down to something simple by the way, if you want to know about preparing fish, turn to Japan.  Just how much fish do the Japaneses consume, well by some estimates about one in every ten fish consumed in the world, is consumed in Japan.  Yea you read that right, Japan is about 1.6% of total global population but they consume 10% of the worlds fish.

So the Japanese know just a bit about consuming and hence preparing fish.  This scaler is a perfect blend of simplicity, functionality and value.  It comes in at just under 10 bucks with free shipping and 4.8 out of 5 stars with well over 100 reviews.

Gaming the Amazon review system has become something of a hobby for companies selling there, so of course I checked fakespot on this item, The Product itself gets an A Grade on Fakespot, while the company itself, Yamasho also gets an A Grade.   Additionally the third party seller who is actually shipping the item, Japan Tokyo Shop has 100% positive feedback on Amazon for the last 12 months.

In addition to the fact that it just freaking works, the other thing I love about this scaler is the look and feel.  It is flatly a quality tool that feels right in the hand.  To really make it great rub a bit of stain into the unfinished handle and seal it with some wax or oil.  You then have a tool that looks like it has been around for a century and frankly the form of the tool itself is likely older than that.

To make scaling most effective (read that not messy) fill a sink or a tub with water and scale under water, this will keep scales from flying all around and making a mess.  Which it will do otherwise.  If you are scaling on the side of a lake, no big deal but if you are doing it in your kitchen, trust me and use the water trick.

In America we seem to have become obsessed with skinless and boneless EVERYTHING, we really need to get away from that, but especially with fish.  Japanese and many other Asian cultures seem to mostly prefer to cook fish on the bone, with the skin, because they simply know it gives better flavor, and man if you crisp the skin, you won’t even miss that deep fried breading we also seem obsessed coating everything with.

Here is a VERY simple recipie for seared fish, it works well with any fish but it is outstanding with smaller pan fish like bluegill and perch.  To prepare the fish, scale it, then gut it, you can leave the head on, or cut it off the choice is yours.  Then take a very sharp knife and score into the skin on both sides three to for small cuts, try to only cut as much into the flesh as necessary.

Now make a rub, here is what you need for it.  Scale up or down based on how much you need.

  • 2 Tbs Korean Fermented Chili Paste (Gochujang) –  Link
  • 1 Tbs Ginger Paste (or minced fresh ginger) – Link
  • 1 Tbs Lemon Grass Paste – Link – (Check the produce section of your grocery on this one and save money)
  • 1 Tbs Garlic Paste – Link
  • 1 Tbs Your Choice of Oil – (I like peanut oil for this)
  • 1 Tbs Fish Sauce – (This is my favorite brand, I won’t buy anything else) – Link
  • Black Pepper (a few grinds – I prefer pure Tellicherry) – Link

Mix the wet ingredients, don’t sweat the quantity too much, to tell the truth I do it by eye.  Rub the fish inside and out with this oil paste until fully coated and let it sit for a few hours in the fridge, for best results rub your fish in the morning before you go to work and cook it that night for dinner.

Cook the fish in hot oil, a cast iron skillet or a carbon steel pan is best.  Cook until the fish flakes easy and the skin is crisp.  The scoring marks will expand and let the oil inside.  I like enough oil that about 30% of the thickness of the fish is in the oil.  But go by eye.  Serve this with stir fry vegetables and a bit of rice.  You can thin the left over paste with some saki and soy sauce and add it to the veggies right at the end, this is called reinforcing the flavors.  Garnish with thinly sliced chili peppers, cilantro, Thai basil and green onions.  Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds for a nice effect.

The best part?  The fins!  The tail fins and dorsal (part without bones) are like little crispy fish potato chips!  The dorsal fin will pull right out and the meat will come off the bones so easy you will wonder why you ever bother filleting fish at all.  You won’t have much waste either, the bones will look like an old cartoon of Tom the cat getting fish bones out of the trash when you are done.

This makes eating smaller fish like perch and pan fish a lot more practical than filleting them as well.  So check out the Yamasho Brass Fish Scaler today and hit that little pond down the road and make a meal you can’t even buy in a restaurant out of some of your local panfish.

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

 

 

 

RedYetiWare Kitchen Shears – Item of the Day

sheers

SPECIAL NOTE – These are in fact to this day the BEST and I mean BEST shears I have ever found.  Sadly they are no longer made.  I now recommend Fiskars 7-Inch Take-Apart Shears for kitchen use.  They are also very good shears, I leave this page up in hope that one day RedYetiWare will bring these back.

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 one of my favorite kitchen tools, RedYetiWare Kitchen Shears.  I kid you not that I went though almost a half dozen different shears to find the ultimate pair.  What I believe I have found is once again the best value to price ratio.

In this case though it is balanced to the value side, as these are better quality than items costing 2-4 times more.  Frankly I don’t even understand how an item this good sells for only 12.75.  They only have 8 reviews on Amazon but 100% are 5 stars.

There are a few things I require of shears if they are to be used in my kitchen.  They are power, quality steel, micro serrated and you must be able to take them apart.  Oh and as they must be able to come apart, they should also stay the hell together when being used.

Here is a break down of each area of concern…

  • Power – I want something that will remove the back bone of a large chicken or duck without working hard, these do that brilliantly.
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  • Quality Steel – These are made of 2CR14 stainless steel.  This is not something a custom knife maker is going to use but for the application it is great steel.  I judge them on performance and so far they get an A+.  I have been using them a long time, they hold sharpness well, and 2CR14 seem to be a good quality steel for this level of tool.
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  • Micro Serration – One blade of these is a strait edge the other has micro serrations.  This is why they are good at cutting though bones, joints, cartridge.
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  • Take Apart – This is critical, if I am going to take apart raw chicken one day and cut salad vegetables the next, you must be able to 100% clean every part of it.  Take down shears are also easier to sharpen.  And critically these don’t accidentally come apart while using them, which I have seen very expensive shears do.

One great thing about the take apart feature, is that the part that retains the blades can be adjusted.  It simply has a small “acorn nut” on it, that can be loosened and reset then re-tightened.  I have never had to do this, but it is clear that you can.

They are also great for butchering quail.  Though I have gone to a new method I call “the dove hunter method” that requires no tools at all.  That said for those of you that butcher quail with shears, you will love the job these do.

Kitchen shears are a great tool, they are great for cutting herbs in the garden as well.  Here is the biggest endorsement I can give them, since I featured them in my “Pepper Kitchen Tools” episode, several hundred of you guys have purchased them, and none of you, not a single one has sent me a single complaint.

Once you get a good set of shears in your kitchen you will find they make a lot of tasks faster and quicker.  If you are in the market for some, check out, RedYetiWare Kitchen Shears and I promise you will not be disappointed.

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

P.S. – Yes these have a bottle opener and a fish scaler on them and it says they can crack nuts.  Don’t buy them for that, such things are best done with tools specifically designed for the task.  I really don’t like “all in one” tools because they never excel at all their tasks.  However, these excel at being shears, so that is what I recommend them for.