Tag Archives: kitchen tools az

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.

 

 

 

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 all of our reviews at TspAz.com

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

Special Notice – These have always cost 22 dollars, and I found them a great deal at that price.  They have been dropped down for now anyway, to 12.99, they are a steal at that price.  I also don’t know how long they will stay at this price.

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 all of our reviews at TspAz.com

P.S. – This item ships free on any order over 25 bucks, they likely did that since they knocked it down in price by 50%.  So if you don’t have a set of the Zicome Set of 4 Basting Brushes I recommend for 8.99, you may as well add them to your order.  They are simply the best BBQ brushes I have found, they can’t fail since they are molded from a single piece of Zicome.

At about 2.24 a piece they are cheap for something you will use often and that will last for years.  I have yet to wear one out.  But you know what, even with that you are still under 25 bucks, so add in a couple packs of my favorite Thai Dried Chilies which are stupid cheap considering they come strait from Thailand.

With that for under 28 bucks, you get the thermometer, the chilies, the basting brushes, all for not much more than the thermometer used to sell for alone.

Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels – 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 Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels.  I am going to tell you that really any quality flour sack towel I have used has been fine, these are just the best price per towel I can find and they are on prime.  The key word there though is quality.  Can you find them for less than about $2.20 a towel?  Yes, but when you do read the reviews.  The common theme will be “very thin” and “gets holes after a few uses”.  These don’t do that, they last a very long time and due to that, they pay for themselves.

Conversely Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels have over 2900 reviews with a perfect A grade on Fakespot.com.  In other words they are top quality.  Remember a key tenet of my philosophy is “always be frugal, never be cheap”.  To be blunt, something is only a “good deal” if it both works and lasts.

Lot’s of people like these because they are lint free and dry dishes nicely, etc.  Some people use them for embroidery.   Also some see them as the perfect cloth diaper.   That is all great but what I use them for is as an alternative to cheesecloth.  In that use they make a much better alternative when making yogurt cheese or separating say buttermilk from fresh made butter.

Cheese cloth wears out fast and doesn’t really offer any advantages for this use, where as flour sack towels last a very long time, you just wash and dry them and use them over and over again.  I am a huge fan of getting good bacteria like lactobacillus into your diet in many different ways and none are more awesome than yogurt cheese.  In fact it may be the easiest and most delicious way to up  your probiotic game.

All you need to do to make basic yogurt cheese is take one of these towels and dump plain yogurt with “live and active cultures” into it, stir in a bit of salt, put it in a metal strainer over a bowl and wait 12 to 24 hours.  You will than have something akin to tangy cream cheese.  But I have never made it so bland.

While your yogurt is still very soft is the time to stir in herbs and seasonings.  Here are a few of my favorite things to add to it.

  • Fresh Basil and Fresh Garlic – this is the universal one everyone likes
  • Chopped Jalapenos and Garlic
  • Cracked Black Pepper, Rosemary and Thyme
  • Cracked Black Pepper and Almond Slivers
  • Lemon Zest and Chopped Walnuts

Honestly if you think it might taste good with cheese it will likely work.  How much, well as in most things I do it by eye, just remember you can always add more but can never take it out.  Here is a save if you ever over do anything, make a plane batch and blend it.

Also if you want your yogurt cheese a bit firmer, try this, take a large heavy can of something, put it on top of the towel and it will help expel a bit more of the whey.  Oh the whey that stuff is probiotic gold.  You can drink it and you will also find that your animals will like it too.

So if getting more probiotics into your diet is in your plans, and it should be, give Utopia Kitchen Flour Sack Towels a shot.

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