The New Bakers Dozen
Your favorite tools and equipment

The The Bakers Dozen: Your favorite tools and equipment
By tj on Saturday, January 29, 2000 - 03:15 pm: Edit

i was just wondering,
what is your favorite tool or piece of equipment in the kitchen , that will get you to be very upset and have a bad day with out it? (besides mixers and ovens,which without them there is no bakery kitchen....)

By Ramodeo (Ramodeo) on Saturday, January 29, 2000 - 05:14 pm: Edit

My medium offset spatula. I use it like the line chefs use their tongs - as an extension of my hand. Actually, I'd like to have offset spatulas in every size and shape ever made. I plan to die with the largest collection ever assembled! :-). They are just so useful!

By W.DeBord on Saturday, January 29, 2000 - 07:35 pm: Edit

Ditto! Plus decorating tips.

If cookbooks count they are my favorite tool.

By Matt (Matt) on Saturday, January 29, 2000 - 11:11 pm: Edit

My Bench knife. The closers like to hide them somedays and that will send be into a raging furry. I hate playing "Easter Egg Hunt" when I have to have product out on time.

I use it more with the bread shift, but I use it all through the night.


By Chef me on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 01:57 am: Edit

I would definatly have to agree with Matt :o)

By momoreg on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 08:16 am: Edit

Without a doubt, it's the blowtorch. I have a reputation for using it in the production of everything. I have a scary story about using it on live TV, and I accidentally melted the nylon tablecloth beneath my metal pan. But in a real kitchen, it's irreplaceable. I only wish there was a cold equivalent! Like liquid nitro. or something.

By W.DeBord on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 10:08 am: Edit

That's funny momoreg!!! How did you react to cover?

By momoreg on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 10:34 am: Edit

I just started laughing, and turned my back to the camera for a second, then they cut to a commercial a few seconds later. I wasn't nervous until that happened, then I couldn't wait for it to end!!

By momoreg on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 10:39 am: Edit

They did invite me back the following year, and I chose to leave the torch back at the shop!

By d. on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 12:23 pm: Edit

Offset spatula and parchment paper.

By tj on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 09:19 pm: Edit

actualy there is a cold equivalent to the blow torch.i have`nt seen it in the usa yet ,but i buy it in france from DECORELIEF , it is called is a can ofcompressed gas that when sprayed out it freezes any thing in an instant .it was made for chocolate and sugar is not like the regular pressures air cans for electronics dust cleaning, this is actualy super cold ,and you can get a freeze burn if it is sprayed on the skin.but its just great for chocolate can attach every thing in a fraction of a second.

By tj on Sunday, January 30, 2000 - 09:29 pm: Edit

my favorite machine in the whole world is my wheel grinder.out of all the equipment i have worked with in my life, nothing ever cam so usfull and versetile like my stone wheel grinder (bruyer).
there are so many uses for that simple old piece of equipment ,its amazing.i worked once with a chef that made his own chocolate from scrach with it.very was the first time i ever saw chocolate actualy beeing made from roasted cacao you can make praline pastes from any nut you want,marzipans from any nut you want.control the amount of sweetness in any of them.make nugats,nut flours,croquants,gianduja in any variation,pistachio pastes,grind whole wheet berries,etc, many wonderful things with such a simple ,almost primitive piece of machine.i love it.....

By judymontreal on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:27 am: Edit

That "instant cold" sounds like the ethyl chloride spray we used to use in dermabrasion surgeries (I have done other things in my life besides pastry). This stuff was used to temporarily freeze the skin surface so that the surgeon could use a rotating steel brush to plane the skin down to the bottom of scars in order to even out the surface. It was my job to spray the skin just ahead of the doctor's hands. Sometimes liquid nitrogen is used in dermatology. I have often wished for either of these gases in my cooking life.

By momoreg on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:32 am: Edit

That's fascinating.I've never heard of that kind of torch. Thanks for the enlightenment. I entered into a search engine and nothing came up, but at least I know someone out there has answered the need for such an item. Now, about your grinder, where in the world did you pick that up? Sounds like a geat toy!

By momoreg on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:36 am: Edit

Are ethyl chloride or liquid nitro. toxic?

By judymontreal on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:38 am: Edit

My favorite tool is my nylon spreader. It is a simple all-in-one-piece knife-like tool 7 inches long. There is a handle shape at one end and a thin, flexible blade about 2 inches wide at the other. I use it for everything. I use it to clean out small bowls, to loosen cakes from the pan without scratching the metal, to cut cakes, to scoop out a bit for tasting, to push and turn things in the sauté pan, for spreading small quantities, -you name it. Trouble is others like it too. I have to keep it in my pocket or tucked into my apron string.

By tj on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:44 am: Edit

judymontreal, can you let me know where i can buy it here in the usa? do they sell it in medical supply companies? what do they call the product? i am geting low on my decogel spray and tired of having to get it in france all the time...i looked on my decogel can but it doesnt list the ingrediant inside..
as for my bruyer, i had to bring it from france.i bought it used from a dealer, it was made back in has 2 granite wheels, a slow powerfull motor, and a screw wheele to titen the granite wheels closer and closer every time. they make a better one today that is called a "combine` ".it has a bruyer as well as an industrial grater to make nuts slivered,shaved,bits and pieces a 20 litter mixer with a gas heating around the bowl ,to cook caramel,nugats,pralines,etc automaticly.very usefull to candy makers as well as pastry chefs.

By momoreg on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:49 am: Edit

You have a mini factory right there in your shop! Wow, that's cool.

By tj on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:50 am: Edit

you can whip up your egg+sugar for torts and warm them up right in the mixer, without having to check the temp.also you can set it for making pate a bomb (yolk+sugar) automaticly,without having to monitor the temp.
as for my old bruyer, it is the kind of machine that will last a 1000 years with out any is just wonderfull...
what is a nylon spreader?do you know of a web site that will have a picture of it ?

By tj on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:53 am: Edit

i just remembered...
you can see what a bruyer looks like in the professional french pastry series(book 2 ).they use it alot there to show how to make marzipans,pralines,nugats, well as the equivalent method for food prossesors.

By judymontreal on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 11:53 am: Edit

I don't think so. Certainly liquid nitrogen is not. It is just pure nitrogen which has been compressed so much that it forms a liquid. But you could not use it in an uncontrolled environment because it is VERY dangerous. When spilled on a non-porous surface is just "boils" away into a gas. If spilled on a porous surface, such as your sleeve, it hangs around long enough to freeze the area under and around it (such as the flesh on your arm) rock-solid! Yow!
As far as ethyl chloride is concerned, I feel that it couldn't be used directly on open skin if it were toxic.

By momoreg on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 12:06 pm: Edit

hmmm. Know any inventors?

By judymontreal on Monday, January 31, 2000 - 12:44 pm: Edit

1. You could probably get ethyl chloride in 1-litre bottles from a hospital supply company. I don't know brand names. I only used it in the hospital o.r. and was too busy trying not to spray the wrong thing to read the label. Liquid nitrogen comes in metal canisters like oxygen and acetylene from industrial gasses supply companies. But it has to be chained to the wall so that no one knocks it over. If the valve gets broken off the canister flies backwards around the room like a lethal balloon.
2. I get the spreaders for 79 cents each (Canadian!!) from a local restaurant supply store. I haven't seen them elsewhere. E-mail me personally for this.

By tj on Wednesday, February 02, 2000 - 04:39 pm: Edit

the hospital spray sounds kind of dangerous to handle.i dont want accidents in my kitchen.the decogel is very simple to use and is harmless unless you deliberatly spray it on yourself.then you will get a freeze bite but not a serious one.i tryed it on myself once and it was close to harmless.just very very looks like a can of deodorant and it comes with a long thin straw like nozle to pinpoint the cold jet exactly where you want it.
so ,if any one knows who sells a similar product in the usa please let me know...

By Morgane on Wednesday, February 02, 2000 - 07:22 pm: Edit


Since you are in Montreal I thought this might be of interest to you. Paul Bocuse will be in Montreal for some kind of festival. The dinner is 150$ per person but he will give a conference on february 14 at the UQUAM this is free of charge.


By judymontreal on Wednesday, February 02, 2000 - 08:15 pm: Edit

Why thank you Morgane. I didn't know. I'll check out that conference. It will undoubtedly be in French, but that is no problem for me. The problem will be getting the time off or not being too tired to attend if I CAN get the time off. If I go I will give a full report.

The hospital spray was easy to use and it did have a fine nozzle to direct the stream. I was being careful at that time when I used it because I would have been spraying a patient's face. It is not something that you can be careless with but it is no more dangerous than your blowtorch.

By judymontreal on Wednesday, February 02, 2000 - 08:53 pm: Edit

I have just been around the net doing some research on ethyl chloride. It seems that it can be toxic if inhaled too often. So I guess your best bet is to stick with the Decogel.

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