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3 appliances that make allergy-free cooking easier

Posted on April 30th, 2008 by Alison Read 7 Comments - Add Your Own »

I love my appliances. I’m not one of those people that has wacky appliances like a Salad Shooter or a snow-cone maker (although summer is coming…). The ones I do have are essentials in the kitchen and make cooking allergy-free foods so much easier. Here are my 3 favorites:

kitchenaidmixer.jpg1. KitchenAid stand mixer

I really don’t know how anyone can bake without a KitchenAid stand mixer. I’m not trying to be a snob — I know they are not cheap, but I have used other stand mixers and hand-held mixers, and it’s not fun. It’s frustrating. And if you have to bake a lot because you and your family have food allergies, then it is really worth the investment. I have the Artisan Series which I prefer over the Professional Series because it has a tilt-head. If you’re not in a hurry to buy one, keep checking for special sales at Amazon or other stores!

2. Rice Cooker

Last year I got a rice cooker in a family gift exchange. My old one that I carted around with me from apartment to apartment was permanently crusted and stained and every time I made rice I had to scrape it off the bottom of the pan and then let the pan soak for a day to get all the rice out of it. When I received the Cuisinart rice cooker, I embarked on a whole new way to use a rice cooker. It is smaller in size than my old one (this is a good thing) and has a non-stick surface. I make rice in it of course, but also other gluten-free grains such as quinoa, buckwheat, millet, and oatmeal! I love that I don’t have to worry about watching something on the stove — the rice cooker automatically shifts from Cook to Warm when done so I can make it ahead of time.

3. Toaster Oven

I don’t even have a regular toaster. Have you ever tried to put gluten-free bread in a toaster? Chances are you had to fish it out with a fork because gluten-free bread slices are usually smaller than “regular” bread. With a toaster oven, you don’t have to worry about that. Also, if you share appliances with non-allergy-free people, at least with a toaster oven you can lay down aluminum foil or use a separate oven tray.

I not only like the toaster oven for its ability to toast things of all shapes and sizes, but also for its bake setting. Need to bake just a couple Trader Joe’s gluten-free peanut butter cookies, a few Brazilian cheese breads, or some Ian’s allergy-free chicken nuggets? No need to turn on your big oven and wait a long time for it to get hot enough — a toaster oven heats up much faster and is perfect for baking small-sized things (I once made the mistake of trying to bake a loaf of gluten-free bread in the toaster oven and misjudged how high the bread would rise — oops! The loaf of bread was pretty much stuck in there and I had to decapitate it to get it out!)

What are your favorite appliances?

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  1. We have the three above, but the best one isn’t included on your list. It is Zojirushi automatic bread machine. In order to easily bake gluten-free bread at home, this machine is an absolute necessity. It makes delicious, fresh bread every time. Pre-measured, easy to bake packages are available from Gluten free Pantry.

  2. I knew someone would mention the bread machine… I am so used to making bread in the oven, I don’t even think about getting a machine. There was a debate about whether the loaves turn out as good as the ones in the oven. But if it really works great, than I should probably get one!

  3. Have you tried chicken nuggets? I think they are MUCH better than Ians or any I have tasted. 🙂

  4. The KitchenAid is a MUST HAVE! I got it for mothers day and probably saved myself a good 4 hours in the kitchen since Saturday!

  5. Not many people mention this, but a slow cooker or crock pot is a big help. I found that gluten (and dairy) do not go well in the slow cooker, so many recipes are gluten and dairy free. They use common and less expensive ingredients, save on labor, and can be quite nutritious for diabetics like me. I can read many slow cooker recipe books and not have to cross out too many pages. Out of those, a small change is not hard.

  6. A good, powerful food processor is a must, along with the stand mixer others have mentioned. My food processor is a KitchenAid, with two different sized bowls that nest inside each other when it’s not in use. I don’t know how I ever got along without it! I did have another food processor before, but it wasn’t as powerful or as high capacity. Having a better quality one has made a big difference.

  7. A brand new bread machine designed specifically for people with gluten intolerance and Celiac disease will start shipping in March. Invented in Sweden, “Bready” is a baking system that marries a robotic oven with a mix bag for moist, tasty, fool-proof breads and cakes without contamination risk and no clean-up… The only bread machine with Celiac Sprue Association Seal of Recognition!