Category Archives for Gear Talk

Best Vacuum Sealer For Fish (The Ultimate Guide)

Few foods go off faster than fish.

And down the centuries, we’ve come up with a whole host of innovative ways to keep it fresh.

Before refrigeration and freezing, we had fermentation, canning, drying, salting, and smoking.

Some of these older preservation methods even gave us a few classic dishes that are still with us today. 

Think smoked salmon, salt cod, gravlax, and kippers. 

Vacuum sealing is very much the new kid on the block. But unfortunately, on its own isn’t a great way to preserve fish for any length of time.

best vacuum sealer for fish

Though it can help keep it fresh.

Which might seem like a bit of a contradiction.

So, let me explain.....

When you seal your favourite fish in a vacuum, all you’ve done is remove the air. 

This slows down the growth of most of the bacteria that cause food spoilage. The ones that make your food smell, go slimy and turn it a funny color.

There are other bacteria though, dangerous ones, who love this low oxygen environment. 

Bacteria like salmonella, clostridium, listeria and E.coli survive just fine in anaerobic conditions. 

And when they’re without competition from their food spoiling brothers, they grow to dangerous levels rapidly.

They don’t cause any noticeable change in food either. Fish will still look and smell fine once removed from a vacuum. Yet still, have the potential to be dangerous if eaten.

So you should treat vac-packed fish like any other food. Making sure to refrigerate/freeze it properly before cooking it through.

Now that we’ve got that critical piece of information out of the way. You’re probably wondering if the best vacuum sealer for fish doesn’t help preserve it......... 

Then what’s the advantage of getting one?

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Best Fish Scaler Review (Which Ones Make Less Mess)

You can use a spoon...

Or if you’re badly stuck, a knife will get the job done.

But neither of these pieces of cutlery are what you’d call the best fish scaler and using either of them is not without its problems.

To start with you could rip the skin and punch a hole in your pricy or hard caught piece of fish.

They can also be difficult to manoeuvre around some parts of the fish close to the belly, gills, and head.

But worst of all a spoon or a knife will force you to use too much pressure. 

You’ll find yourself resorting to strong sweeping strokes, against the grain of the scales from tail to head, ripping them from their pores and making them fly everywhere like confetti.

best fish scaler

They stick to everything like little suction cups too.

And although you could scale a fish in about 30 seconds with one you'll spend 30 minutes cleaning up afterwards.

And a week later you’ll still be finding the odd scale you missed glued to the kitchen walls, tiles, or ceiling.

Some fish cooks avoid the messy clean up by scaling their fish underwater either in a basin or the kitchen sink.

This isn’t a bad alternative but it can be a bit awkward, you'll find it takes more time, and it can be tough to make sure you've peeled all those scales away.

Plus you'll still have to clean your sink or basin afterwards.

The last option is to retreat to the back yard, which is something I used to do in all weathers (sub-zero temperatures included) just to scale a fish for dinner.

All this seems like a lot of bother when all you want to do is clean a few fish.

Luckily, there's an easier way....

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The Best Fish Fryer You Probably Already Own

It’s the ultimate fish supper that’s hard to resist.

Golden, Light, and crisp on the outside. Yet still tender, moist, and succulent in the center.

And if you own a wok, cook on a gas flame, and can get your hands on a digital thermometer you’ve already got the best fish fryer in the business and everything you need to cook up this much-loved iconic dish.

best fish fryer

Mostly made from carbon steel, tradition Chinese style woks are lightweight, conduct heat quickly, and retain it well.

Their high sloped sides and shallow depth lets you use less oil but still have plenty of surface area to cook in, making it easier to flip fish over and move it about.

Those flared sides also prevent oil from boiling over and can catch a lot of the splatter that happens when your deep-frying fish.

So you'll have a little less cleaning to do, and your stovetop won’t end up looking like a Jackson Pollock painting by the time you’re finished cooking dinner.

Getting your wok on a gas flame is vital though. It gives you much more control than cooking on an electric or an induction hob.

You can get your oil up to the searing hot temperature required to set batter quickly creating a barrier between the oil and the fish. 

And once you slide the fish in, you can turn gas up full blast, which helps reduce recovery time (more on this in a sec)

You will need some sort of thermometer to measure all this. And digital is definitely the way to go because it will give you a reading almost instantaneously. 

Nevermind throwing in a bread crumb to see if it sizzles. This is just guesswork, using a thermometer is the only way to ensure that your oil is at the right temperature.

This set up isn’t for everybody though.

A wok full of hot oil sitting on a stovetop is more than a little hazardous especially if you've got kids around.

And frying up fish like this should only really be undertaken by the most experienced home cooks. 

The golden rule is to never leave it unattended and don’t fill your wok more than about halfway.

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Best Stand Mixer For Bread (What You Knead To Know)

My guess is that one of the first things you'll bake when you get a new stand mixer is bread.

In fact, it's probably one of the main reasons to get one in the first place.

As a cook, nothing gives more pleasure than baking your own bread from scratch. 

You can't beat the feeling of satisfaction you get when you take a perfectly risen, golden loaf from the oven.

And who can resist the smell of baking bread? whether it’s a warm crusty french stick, a light and airy ciabatta, or a slice of soft buttery brioche.

best stand mixer for bread

It's a real labour of love though, especially if yeast as a raising agent of choice. All that mixing, kneading, and proving takes time and effort.

And having the best stand mixer for bread sitting on your countertop can easily shave 20 minutes off your prep time.

It also frees you up to get on with all those other little jobs around the kitchen. Like greasing tins, prepping other ingredients, or just making the dinner.

Coming up, we’ve got a rundown of some of the strongest and most rugged mixers around. 

The ones that are capable of handling large batches of the toughest bread doughs made with some of the coarser flours like wholemeal, spelt, or rye.

We’ll also check out every feature you should look for if you think you’ll be using your stand mixer to knock up a lot of bread.

And I know you're probably thinking power, durability, and bowl capacity are the most important factors to consider (they are, and we’ll get to them in a sec)

First off though, we need to talk about a possible nightmare scenario that could become a reality when you make your first batch of bread in your gleaming new stand mixer.

That once mixed, the dough climbs the hook and sits there going round in circles doing nothing at all.

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Best Electric Fillet Knife (7 Badass Blades Reviewed)

If you’re an angler who’s lucky skilled enough to catch a lot of fish than having the best electric fillet knife in your tackle box is going to save you a ton of time.

When you’ve only a couple of fish to fillet a man-powered knife is hunky-dory, but if you're faced with anything more than say 8 or 10 it's a job that gets old fast.

But where good electric knives really come into their own is when you’ve got a large amount of big, tough boned, round fish to fillet.

Think salmon, trout, pike, walleyes, redfish, perch...etc

best stand mixer for bread

The best electric fillet knives will make short work of these types of fish and that's why they're the fisherman's best friend. 

Using machine power to fillet a couple of hundred fish is faster and requires a hell of a lot less effort than using a traditional blade.

So, you’ll spend less time filleting and more time fishing.

Coming up, we’ve got a rundown of the 7 best electric fillet knives on the market today. As well as a detailed buying guide.

We’ll also point out some key features to look for so you can best match a knife to your particular needs.

But before we get to the nitty-gritty, if you're in a bit of a hurry below are some of our favorites.

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Best Indoor Smokeless Grill (10 Brilliant BBQ’s To Fire You Up)

Ah, summertime.....

The sun is shining, you’ve got a glass of your favourite iced beverage in your hand, and the unmistakable aroma of grilling meat is wafting through the air making your mouth water.

Fast forward a few months and as the winter rolls in, all this can seem like a distant memory.

For most of us, this means a long wait before we’ll get the chance to fire up our charcoal grills again.

best indoor smokeless grill

There's a buddy of mine though, a hardcore grillmaster, who’d never dream of using even the best indoor smokeless grill.

Rear round, rain or shine, he’s been known to brave the elements and some quite chilly temperatures to cook up a few steaks on the BBQ.

Because he knows it’s the only way to get that unique, smoky, flame grilled flavour. 

And even though the best indoor smokeless grill won't give you that exact same charcoal flavoured effect, there is a way to cheat (more on this in a minute)

But Indoor grills do offer a good alternative for food lovers to indulge in a bit of grilling right from the comfort of their own kitchens. 

Without having to deal with the weather or any smoke. 

You might think these grills are a bit of a gimmick and you're probably wondering....

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