What is the T-Fal Red Spot?

Tefal red spot cookwareT-Fal is produced by French Manufacturers DuPont, a major producer of cookware. They have different product lines available to suit any budget from the professional chef to the everyday cook. One of the signature pieces that T-Fal produces is the T-Fal Thermo Spot. It’s a big red dot on the bottom of the pan.

What is the T-Fal Red Spot?

  • Simply put it’s a temperature indicator

The T-fal red spot is a unique feature that tells you when your pans are preheated to perfection. The spot changes color when the pan heats up. When the pan reaches the ideal temperature, the thermo Spot pattern turns to  a solid red. It’s a great visual cue for any chef. The red spot is available on sauté pans, frying pans and the like.

The way the red spot works is that when the pan is placed on a hot stove the Thermo Spot will heat up changing to a bright solid red. You don’t have to worry about the red spot scraping off either. It’s a part of the non-stick coating applied during production.

You have to hand it to T-Fal when it comes to innovation. The red spot is a great tool for a beginning chef. It takes the guesswork out of preheating your pans. It sounds a bit simple but think about it for a second. If your pan isn’t pre heated properly for those delicate egg dishes they can stick and ruin the whole recipe. The red spot is just a little piece of insurance that can help a burgeoning cook gain a little bit of confidence.

Thermo Spot cookware is widely available. You can find it in most department stores, through T-Fal’s website or just look around online for the best bargain. We have found that Amazon generally has the best prices.

You can find the right skillet or sauté pan in whatever price range suits you. So why not start shopping and then start cooking with one less thing to worry about.

KitchenAid Grain Mill Attachment Review

Kitchenaid Grain Mill Attachment
Now this attachment is pretty cool if you want to grind your own grains for making bread or whatever else you are making that requires ground wheat’s and grains.

Unfortunately the KitchenAid Grain Mill Attachment has received quite mixed reviews, however we think we have figured out the reason for this.

Most people love this KitchenAid mixer attachment, but those who don’t have had problems because the food grinder caused the plastic cover on the mixer’s gearbox to crack. Grinding wheat is a tough job and the plastic cover just wasn’t strong enough to cope with it. KitchenAid now manufactures their mixers with a metal gear cover so this makes the mixer strong enough to cope with this issue.

Even so, remember that your KitchenAid mixer is meant for home use and if you are going to be grinding a lot of wheat or grains then you should really think about investing in a stand alone grain mill. The amount of work involved with grinding wheat’s and grains can really stress your mixer.

Our First Test

We tried this with wheat. We had about a half a pound bag and add added half of that first up and it ground it perfectly into flour. It didn’t seem to be straining the stand mixer at all, although just to be safe, we did leave it for a minute before adding the last lot of the wheat.

I have to say that I really do like this attachment. And we now use it on a regular basis to grind flour with which we make bread in our breadmaker. It is so satisfying to know exactly what is going into our bread and it tastes delicious.

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KitchenAid Fruit and Vegetable Strainer Review

Kitchenaid mixer Attachment pack
We purchased the Kitchenaid Mixer Attachment pack which came with the Kitchenaid Fruit and Vegetable strainer, the KitchenAid Sausage Stuffer Kit Attachment and the KitchenAid Food Tray Attachment. We found this to be the most convenient way to purchase these products seeing we didn’t already own them. But the item can be purchased separately as well.

This attachment purees fruits and vegetables. Perfect if you want to make baby food. You need the food grinder attachment for this to work so you will need to buy that separately. You can get the food grinder attachments at Amazon.

Most people absolutely love how well this attachment works for making apple sauce and tomato sauce. Unfortunately it’s not as handy if you want to strain blackberries or raspberries and there is a possibility that they could damage the strainer.

The reviews for this product are excellent with only minor gripes by most consumers – the ones with the gripes were those who had strained those seeded type fruits like raspberries or blackberries.  In fact many people mentioned that this is their most commonly used KitchenAid attachment.

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KitchenAid JE Citrus Juicer Stand Mixer Attachment Review

KitchenAid-Citrus-Juicer-AttachmentYou can make your own juice with the KitchenAid Citrus Juicer Attachment. It actually strains all the seeds and pulp although it is not totally pulp free so you will need to strain it through a fine strainer if you  want  really  clear juice.

The juicer attaches quite easily to the mixer and sits straight up and down which is a little different to what we are used to.

This is another of the KitchenAid mixer attachments that has received mixed reviews. The majority of complaints centered around the fact that it takes a bit of effort to get all the juice out of the fruit. It has been said that you have to press quite firmly against the juicer and if you are juicing a large amount of fruit it can get tiring. We didn’t find this to be a problem, but them we weren’t juicing huge amounts of fruit.

Our First Test

We actually found that we really liked the KitchenAid Citrus Juicer Attachment. It attached easily to the stand mixer and we found it relatively easy to squeeze the fruit.

I understand some of the reviewers complaints about it being tiring if you are juicing large quantities of juice but then if juicing a lot of fruit is your thing then you are better off going for a real juicer like the Breville juicer.

But we found that for juicing a couple glasses of fruit juice it wasn’t tiring at all and we didn’t need to press firmly to get the juice out. It doesn’t require pushing onto the fruit to juice it, you simply turn the fruit around and squeeze the outside of the fruit at the same time. It really didn’t require that much effort at all so we aren’t really sure what the fuss is all about. Neither of us are weight lifters, we don’t really exercise that much and we sit at the computer for most of the day so it’s not like we have particularly strong arm muscles.

So although some of the reviewers weren’t too happy with this attachment in our personal opinion we would be happy to recommend it.

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KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment Review

KitchenaidIceCreamAttachmentI have to say that the ice cream maker was one KitchenAid mixer attachment that I was pretty excited about getting. I have always wanted to make my own ice cream but in the past I have only ever purchased those cheap versions that just never seem to work properly. For some inexplicable reason,  I could never get the mixture to actually turn into ice cream. So when the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment arrived I wanted to try it out right away.

Unfortunately however it wasn’t quite that simple, as you have to freeze the bowl for at least 15 hours prior to use. So we immediately popped it into the freezer and waited until the next day to try it out.

This wasn’t such a bad thing really as it gave us time to check out the recipes in the instruction manual that comes with the attachment. And once we decided which recipe we wanted to try we headed out  to buy the ingredients we needed.

Now,  let’s get one thing clear straight up, if you are looking for healthy ice cream recipes then forget the recipes in this book. They are full of sugar and cream and other yummy ingredients and are absolutely divine and great tasting but more on that later.

What’s in the Box

This attachment will convert your KitchenAid stand mixer into an ice cream maker. How cool is that!?…(no pun intended). It comes with a freeze bowl which is pretty much the same size as your regular mixer bowl, a dasher which is the mixer blade and a drive assembly which allows you to attach the dasher to the mixer.

Will it Work With My Mixer?

This works with any KitchenAid stand mixer built after 1990. We use it on a KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer. You can create up to 1.9 litres of ice cream in this attachment. But not only that you can also make yogurt, gelato, sorbet and other frozen desserts. It’s important to note that if you have an  Australian model KitchenAid mixer then the US version of this attachment will not work for you. I’m not sure about other countries but I know that the Australian model requires a different drive assembly so ensure you purchase the Australian version of the ice cream attachment. You can buy it online from Peters of Kensington.

We have the Australian version because we have an Australian KitchenAid Stand mixer and we are not happy with the drive assembly which is completely different to the US version. Twice when we have been making ice cream the drive assembly has come loose while the mixing process is in progress. We are yet to see anyone complain about the US version of the drive assembly so we can only assume that it works without any problems so it appears to only be a problem with the Australian version as far as we can tell.

Our First Test

Triple Choc Ice Cream

Triple Choc Ice Cream

As we’ve already mentioned, to use the KitchenAid Ice Cream Maker Attachment you need to first place the freeze bowl in the freezer. It’s actually easier just to store it in the freezer so you never have to wait. We left it for at least 24 hours and I have read a few reviews where they have mentioned that they needed to leave it longer than the 15 hours KitchenAid recommends as the ice cream didn’t turn out as well. So to be safe it might be worth freezing for at least 24 hours particularly if your freezer is on a low setting or you live in a hot climate.

The next step was making the ice cream mixture. We decided on the Triple Chocolate Ice Cream and I’m so glad we did. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this turned out to be the best chocolate ice cream I have ever tasted. My mouth is watering now as I even think about it but I digress.

Now I suggest that when making ice cream for this KitchenAid mixer attachment that you give yourself plenty of time because not only do you have to freeze the bowl for at least 15 hours but you also have to chill the ice cream mixture for 8 hours. We should have read the recipe in full before even starting but it wasn’t until we made it and got to the end that we saw that we had to chill the mixture for 8 hours before churning. So really, what we should have done when we first received the ice cream attachment was to pop it in the freezer and then immediately make the ice cream mixture so that both could have been ready to go by the next day. Well you live and learn!

Once frozen you assemble the freeze bowl to the stand mixer and add the ice cream mix. Then set the mixer to ‘Stir’ and let it mix for 20 to 30 minutes or until your desired consistency. You can also add other ingredients like nuts, candy, chocolate chips etc. We tried adding chocolate chips during the churning time but that wasn’t the best move. The dasher hit a chocolate chip and proceeded to come loose from the drive assembly. Again this might have something to do with the Australian drive assembly as it just doesn’t sit in place properly so the slightest problem like hitting a chocolate chip causes it to disengage. In future we will simply hand stir in the chocolate chips before freezing.

This ice cream attachment makes soft consistency ice cream. However, if you prefer a firmer consistency you simply transfer the mixed ice cream to an air tight container and store in the freezer for up to 4 hours. Whatever you do, don’t store ice cream in the actual freeze bowl attachment in the freezer. What will happen is the ice cream will firm up and when you try to remove it with metal ice cream scoops or spoons you could easily damage the surface of the freezer bowl.

Our Final Word

We really like this KitchenAid attachment and even with it’s dodgy drive assembly fitting it is one we would recommend because it does actually make really good ice cream. The trick is to not leave it to mix on its own. If you watch as it churns you will be able to see if the drive assembly is about to come lose and turn off the machine to readjust it.

Where Can You Buy the KitchenAid Ice Cream Mixer Attachment?

We’ve bought most of our KitchenAid attachments from Amazon but unfortunately you cannot buy a US version of this attachment for an Australian mixer because they differ. We bought the Australian version from Peters of Kensington.

US readers can purchase the Ice cream maker attachment from Amazon

Photos of how we made the Triple Chocolate Ice Cream recipe that comes with the manual:

Melting the Chocolate

Melt the Chocolate

Heat the milk and cream

Heating the milk and cream

Combine the sugar and cocoa powder

Combine the sugar and cocoa powder

Separate the eggs

Separate the eggs

Reheat the cocoa mixture and half and half

Reheat the cocoa mixture and half and half

Triple Choc Ice Cream

Triple Choc ice cream – Yum oh