Secret Weapon: 4 Kitchen Tools That Will Make Your Family Think You Got Take-Out

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Secret WeaponSmall appliances and tools made for the residential kitchen have become so sophisticated that it might be hard for a homemaker’s guests or family to believe that the meals she’s serving them haven’t been made by professionals. Here are four kitchen tools that might make your family think that they’re eating take out:

 

A Pizza Stone

 

What’s a pizza stone good for? A pizza stone makes a pizza especially, irresistibly crispy as if it’s just came out of a restaurant’s wood-burning, 800 degree brick oven. This is because the pizza stone, which is made out of some kind of porous ceramic or stone, heats all of the pizza pie evenly and sucks up any moisture that can make it less than crunchy, no matter how much cheese or other toppings are put on it.

 

Mandoline

 

This is a slicing tool that makes sure that every slice of potato, apple, zucchini or anything else comes out exactly the same thickness, something that would take a very long time if it was done by hand. Having every slice the same thickness makes everything cook evenly and looks wonderfully professional besides. The vegetable or fruit is fixed on a hand held carrier that also protects the fingers against the mandoline’s super sharp blades. The best mandolines have a knob that can precisely adjust the thickness of the slices. They can also julienne and crinkle cut.

 

Pastry Bags and Tips

 

These make cakes and cookies look like they came straight out of the most upscale bakery. Cookies can be piped into precise shapes on cookie sheets. Cookies, cakes and petit fours can be decorated with beautifully life-like flowers as well as dots, swirls and swags made out of pastry cream dyed with vegetable dye. This is because every metal tip is made in a way that will produce a petal, a leaf, a dot or ribbons of different sizes, thicknesses and textures. Despite the elaborateness of cake decoration, it’s easy to learn how to use a pastry bag.

 

A Blender

 

Blenders stir, whip, mix, crumb, pulverize, aerate and puree ingredients with such uniform smoothness that diners might be fooled into thinking the soup, pudding or cocktail they’re enjoying must have come from a restaurant. BlendTec makes an excellent commercial grade blender and series of personal blenders. Don’t forget the hand held immersion or stick blender, which also does a good job as long as the stuff in the pot isn’t too chunky or stringy.

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