Tech We're Using: The Joys of Cooking With Gadgetry

Tech We're Using: The Joys of Cooking With Gadgetry

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What could be better about the digital scale?

The reaction time could be a little better. One of the most satisfying aspects of using a scale is that you can see the numbers tick up as you add ingredients. Mine has the tiniest lag between the addition and the number as it registers on the scale.

You’ve edited a lot of recipes for The Times, and adapted some, too. What is one of your favorite recipes you made recently and which tool was crucial for perfecting it?

There isn’t really one single tool that helps me think about or execute a recipe, at least not as an editor — and that’s what I’m usually doing, cooking a recipe that I’m editing. Generally speaking, anything that helps you be more accurate as you work through a recipe — like an instant-read digital thermometer — is worth having.

You also regularly work with testers who thoroughly assess a recipe before it goes to print. Do they use a special kitchen or special tools for testing?

There are gadgets in Emily Weinstein’s kitchen, but most are of a low-tech nature, like a cheese grater. “These are recipes for home cooks, made using the same tools home cooks have,” she said. An exception: She uses a digital scale, not measuring cups.

Credit
Hilary Swift for The New York Times

We don’t have a test kitchen here at the Times building — instead we rely on our writers and a small but fierce team of freelance recipe testers, all working in their own kitchens. I would be thrilled to have a test kitchen, but the upside of the way we do things lies in the very fact that our writers and testers don’t have special equipment, and certainly not the kind of equipment you find in a restaurant kitchen. These are recipes for home cooks, made using the same tools home cooks have.

What tech product are you currently obsessed with using in your daily life?

My husband bought a Sonos speaker for our kitchen. I wouldn’t have thought to buy it; when it arrived I wondered aloud whether we needed it. Now I love it.

What do you and your family do with it?

I mostly listen to podcasts while I cook, which on the weekends could be for hours on end.

What could be better about it?

I wish the podcast experience were more seamless. Maybe I’m missing something, but I have yet to find a way to play podcasts from my iPhone using the Sonos that does not involve downloading the podcasts.

When you have no time or do not want to cook, do you turn to a delivery app? If so, what’s your go-to meal to order?

If you’d asked a year ago, I would’ve said Indian food (I use Seamless). But I’ve recently discovered the joys of takeout chicken parm from a local red-sauce place. They’re not on a delivery app, as far as I can tell, so you actually have to call them to get all that melted cheese.

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