Pro Tip: Some of the Best Tools are Home Made
Brown swears by a $1,700 countertop appliance, which isn’t exactly in a casual chef’s budget. But not everything has to be state of the art. Two of Brown’s most-used kitchen tools are DIY rigs he made on the cheap.
For instance, his “Steel Lotus,” a couple metal steamer baskets strung together, only cost him about $10. “This is a piece of gear that I fabricated myself and I use it once a week at a minimum,” he says. “It’s the best way to steam large amounts of chicken or vegetables. Just go to the hardware store, spend about $10 to get three collapsible steamer baskets connected together with a piece of threaded stock, [and] take out the center post.”
More ambitious but still easy on the wallet, Brown built a dehydrator that makes killer jerky, but he made the apparatus out of things you’d probably find in the attic. “I always want to have jerky around so I built this out of a box fan with a couple of furnace filters attached with bungee cords,” he says. “I showed this piece off in one of the Good Eats episodes. It’s still the most effective way to make jerky I know of, unless you want to buy a fancy $5,000 food dehydrator.”
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