Maybe you gave someone Modernist Cuisine at Home, or perhaps you have it yourself. Now you want to know what to give with it, or what else to put on your own wish list. These are our top five suggestions.
Digital Scale: We are very keen on precision. A digital scale allows chefs to accurately measure out Modernist ingredients, some of which can drastically alter your recipe if measured imprecisely. We recommend a scale that weighs out to a tenth of a gram because many recipes with Modernist ingredients may call for amounts as little as 0.3 g. We like the Digital Bench Scale. While our recipes in Modernist Cuisine at Home don’t call for accuracy in hundredths of a gram, you may still want to consider a scale that measures to the hundredths. If you are cutting a recipe in half, however, and it originally calls for 0.3 g, you’ll want to be able to measure out 0.15 g. For such precision, we like the Digital Pocket Scale. For something cheaper and ultraportable, try the American Weigh Signature Series.
- Digital Thermometer: As Nathan often says, “Why waste time being a human thermostat?” For cooking meat sous vide to precise temperatures, you’ll need a good thermometer. We like Taylors Professional Thermocouple and ThermoWorks’s Splash-Proof Thermapen, but if you are looking for something a bit cheaper, you may want to go with a digital oven probe.
- Sous Vide Setup: Sous vide cooking is becoming more and more popular, hence finding sous vide machines in stores is now easier. In making Modernist Cuisine at Home, we used the SousVide Supreme alongside various models from Polyscience. The SousVide Supreme is a little more affordable, but right now both companies have some great offers. PolyScience is offering the Sous Vide Professional (CREATIVE Series) with a copy of Modernist Cuisine at Home for just $599. SousVide Supreme is offering their model, a copy of the book, and a vacuum sealer for $599.
- Pressure Cooker: When shopping for a pressure cooker, you’ll want to look for one with a spring valve. This is the best choice for stocks and sauces because the valve seals the cooker before it is vented. This traps most of the aromatic volatiles before they can escape. We love our Kuhn Rikon pressure cooker, but if you are looking for something a little cheaper, try Fagor.
- Whipping Siphon: Whipping siphons are one of our favorite kitchen gadgets. We use them for everything from making foams to carbonating fruit to marinating meat. We use them interchangeably with carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide cartridges, depending on what we want to do (note that you can do this with a whipping siphon but not with a soda siphon). We prefer iSi’s Gourmet Whipping Siphon, but there are many options available. Try to find one that holds a full liter, but smaller versions work too.
If you are looking for more ideas, we have you covered. Check out our Gear Guide where we discuss ovens, microwaves, silicone mats, blenders, and grills, just to name a few.