Ever wonder what tools the pros use when cooking? Well, I asked four celebrity culinary experts to tell me about their favorite kitchen tech product, how they use it, and why they love it. These were their responses:
Jamie Geller, a seven-time bestselling author and founder of Kosher Network International:
Hands down, my favorite kitchen tech product is my (SMART!) June Oven.
I use it for Shabbos & holidays when my oven is overloaded and overworked. It’s an absolute lifesaver for when I want to cook certain recipes that require more precision and specific cooking temperature or settings – such as fish, desserts, breads – or when I want to keep sides and desserts parve or need to make a fish dish and my oven real estate is already occupied with brisket or a whole turkey or some other slow cooked/slow roasted/slow braised meat.
Even if there is oven space, and even if the cooking temp will work, it’s a dream to be able to keep specific dishes parve. You can also use it as an air fryer, a dehydrator, warming drawer, broiler, toaster, dough proofer, (weekday) slow cooker, and for convection cooking and baking.
It’s also a great countertop appliance to get kids started helping in the kitchen. I use it in addition to my oven, but it’s absolutely perfect for singles, newlyweds, and empty nesters as their 8 appliances, all-in-one, do-it-all oven.
I love it because it’s the smartest, most precise, relaxing way to cook and bake today!
You can purchase the June Oven at www.juneoven.com. It starts at $499.
* * * * *
Kim Kushner, bestselling author of The Modern Menu, I ♥ Kosher: Beautiful Recipes from my Kitchen, and The New Kosher:
I’m so not technical, especially when it comes to the kitchen. I keep things very old-school, like a peeled potato in my fridge to absorb bad odors or using a vegetable peeler to shred my cabbage. I’m too scared of technology and instruction manuals!
But one item that I have and I love is a Persian rice cooker. This is different than a typical rice cooker because it does not steam cook the rice, but rather, it creates a crispy, golden layer of rice in order to achieve a perfect “tahdig” (the rice needs to be parboiled or cooked beforehand).
What I love about this Persian rice cooker is that it is no-fail, works perfectly each time, and has a great function to keep the rice warm once it’s done cooking! I love transforming my leftover steamed rice into crunchy, delicious rice using this machine! I also use it to make crispy spaghetti and chicken using the same technique!
(Tahdig is the pan fried layer of crust at the bottom of the rice pot and, in fact, it literally translates as “the bottom of the pot” in Persian.)
You can purchase the Pars Automatic Persian Rice Cooker on Amazon for $42.95.
* * * * *
Susie Fishbein, author of the bestselling Kosher by Design series:
I am a pretty low-tech girl in my kitchen. A great sharp knife and cutting board gets most jobs done, but there are a few toys that I really enjoy using. One example is my sous vide.
This gentle format of cooking vacuum-sealed food gently under water is a hands-off method that guarantees perfect results. Just set the temp of the machine/water to the desired degree of doneness and walk away. In the case of meat, for example, a few hours later you have the softest most perfect medium rare. A quick sear and you will experience the secret to a great steakhouse dinner.
I love sous vided eggs for divine runny eggs. I even use the machine to pasteurize eggs in order to make cookie dough or chocolate mousse safe to eat cookie dough. Salmon in the sous vide comes out like butter. Once I started to experiment, I was hooked.
You can purchase a sous vide precision cooker on Amazon. Prices start at $79.99.
* * * * *
Miriam (Pascal) Cohen, bestselling cookbook author @overtimecook:
I love my air fryers! I have one for meat and a second one for parve. They work by circulating hot air (instead of hot oil) around food, giving it a crispy exterior that is as close as you can get to fried without all that oil.
My favorite thing to make in the air fryer is chicken wings. I coat them in corn starch, spices, and a spray of Pam. They get so crispy, I’m not sure I could tell the difference between those and deep-fried wings!
I also love making wontons in the air fryer – the texture is significantly better than baked wontons. Schnitzel is another item that is super crispy when made in the air fryer.
There are two main reasons I love my air fryer. Firstly, as stated above, it allows you to make food that’s super crispy and almost fried, but without actually frying it. Second is convenience: I like to keep my oven parve as much as possible because I do a lot of baking, so I use my air fryer to make dinner, freeing up my oven for my yummy baked goods!
You can purchase air fryers on Amazon. Prices start at $57.24.