Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cookbook Stands

One more point I have been asked to discuss is how to successfully and easily read along with a recipe in a cookbook or magazine while working in the kitchen. Along with sharing my tricks I thought this would be an excellent time for some shameless advertising paired with my curt opinion. Win, win!

In a professional kitchen we normally use photocopies of a cookbook, magazine or newspaper recipe if the original literature is desired to be kept in tact if even returned at the end of a shift (don't count on it). This is quite possibly the best route to go although it can be viewed as wasteful.

With a photocopy you can lie the paper flat on a counter for easy reference or hang it on the wall in front of your work area with a piece of blue painters tape. Taping your recipe on the wall in front of your work area is the best way to ensure that your recipe won't become saturated with food stuffs rendering it unreadable or losing it in the shuffle and throwing it out as trash.

My second preferred method for keeping a cookbook or magazine open at the recipe I am using is to fasten to page(s) open with a binder clip (or large paper clip). This is simple and the clips are reusable but it does not render your literature free from messy harm.

In a pinch if I have not planned ahead (as I so diligently fussed about earlier) I simply place the cookbook or magazine upright against the wall in front of my work area and hold it in place using anything of weight. The drawback here is that it is bulky, can get in the way or bumped while I work causing the literature to fall over onto my cutting board or food. Not perfect.
Using handy, heavy items which are found on my counter top; the corner of a wooden
knife block and a couple of jars of Stuck-Up Jam.

Finally you have many, many options out there at a premium price. I have never owned a piece of equipment such as the items I discuss below but I have used a couple. People swear by them and use them religiously.

Our first item (above) up for critique is a cookbook stand by Joseph Joseph. It is easily cleaned, lightweight and handy as it folds up like a book for storage. I have actually used this model and my only concern with owning one would be my ability to break it. It is made of plastic and has too many moving parts which in my opinion can compromise the structural integrity. The clips which hold the book open to the desired page are small and plastic which I can see being the first casualty. Once these are gone the object itself is kind of pointless. But hey, I am hard on equipment. 

Our next product up for review is the OXO Good Grips Pop-Up Cookbook Holder (shown above). As most avid cooks are aware, OXO produces a variety of cooking tools which are of good quality and relatively inexpensive. This cookbook holder is made of fewer moving parts which can break or malfunction.  A large clear piece of plastic holds your recipe at an angle against the back of the stand. This allows you to read your cookbook or view your ipad without having to worry about causing any damage. I have used this model as well and prefer it's ability to protect the recipe, book or tablet I might be using. My only caution is that it is plastic, which while making it lightweight can be easily scratched and damaged if handled carelessly or scrubbed with a rough sponge or gritty cleanser.

For a few more dollars you can get a stand made with more substantial materials.  This item  from Kamenstein (below) is made of brushed stainless steel and tempered glass which will withstand minor scratching from work and cleaning although it does not fold up for convenient storage. Giving up some counter space you can protect your cookbook, ipad or tablet while working in the kitchen which is very handy. The tempered glass also features a display of U.S. and metric equivalent measures for referencing while cooking.

Materials ranging from bamboo to cast iron with as many diverse styles as functions; folding, wall mounting and easily portable. There is no shortage of selection when it comes to the choices of cookbook stands out on the market today. The only real questions you have to ask yourself are how often will you actually use one, what features would you like and how much are you willing to spend.

I have done a lot of online ordering for my own tools but I have rarely made the commitment before knowing exactly what I would be receiving. The best advice I can offer you is to become as familiar as you can with any kitchen tool (or any tool for that matter) before purchasing. Visit stores and handle the item or borrow one from a friend to use for a couple days. Equally important is to gather opinions and advice on products you are interested in from your own reliable sources. Talk with friends, local chefs you trust and other folks of knowledge whom you identify with their taste, style and attitude. All this will help you make a better decision when shopping online or in a store.

A large paper clip is effective and  inexpensive however does not prop up a cookbook
 for easy reference nor protects the pages from splattering food.

1 comment:

  1. Leuke tekst hier! Ik ben op zoek naar een aanrechtblad van keramiek, graniet of composiet en vroeg me af of jullie betere prijzen weten te vinden online dan Ik ga namelijk een nieuw aanrechtblad kopen