Top 10 Useful Kitchen Appliances That My Foodie Friends Make Fun Of

Katharine Shilcutt's trashing of useless kitchen appliances really made me hot under the collar. I have all of those appliances -- except the electric cheese grater. And I intend to go buy an electric cheese grater this weekend.

Then I will invite Katharine over for spaghetti and make her grate the parmesan by hand until her knuckles bleed. "Oh, I forgot to tell you -- I have an electric cheese grater!" I will suddenly reveal in triumph as I hand her the Band-Aids.

Meanwhile, here is a list of treasured kitchen appliances that my foodie friends make fun of:

1. 18-Quart Turkey Roaster Oven

Ten years ago, I bought a bunch of old kitchen equipment when a friend cleaned out an elderly relative's storage unit. The price was cheap, but the deal was, I had to take everything. I had no idea what I was going to do with the old, white 18-quart turkey roaster oven. But it has since become a prized possession.

While researching my Tex-Mex Cookbook, I asked a lot of people down in the Valley how they cooked cow heads for barbacoa. One lady told me that when her family in Los Ebanos got together for a big pachanga, they wrapped heads in wet cloth, stuck them inside 10-gallon lard cans, buried them, built a fire on top and let the coals cook the heads all night.

"But when I am making just enough for my immediate family, I stick the cabeza in an 18-quart turkey roaster oven with some water," she told me. I started making barbacoa in my turkey roaster oven, and it came out wonderful. It's also a great way to steam a large batch of tamales, cook two whole chickens in a bath of Riesling or -- roast a turkey.

It's really just an extra oven. But the best thing about it -- if you live in Texas -- is that you can set it up outside in the summer to cook without heating up the house.

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Robb Walsh
Contact: Robb Walsh