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Many of us have spent nights salivating in front of the TV watching cooking reality shows and thinking, ‘I can never make anything that fancy.’ Actually, you can. It just takes some great ingredients, a little patience, and a secret weapon in the form of a gastronomy kit.
Molecular gastronomy is the scientific study of what happens to chemicals in our food when they’re cooked. This food science specialty looks at the social, artistic and technical aspects of cooking. How are the flavors and textures of foods changed when cooked at different temperatures? Why does the way food is presented on a plate affect our enjoyment of the meal? And how can you use carbon dioxide, liquid nitrogen, food dehydrators, syringes and more to create meals that are both delicious and visually stunning? With a gastronomy starter kit, you can learn all this and more.
If you want to turn your kitchen from a two-star Yelp review to a three-star Michelin restaurant, it’s time to start experimenting with a gastronomy kit. Check out four of our favorite picks below.
1. Molecule-R Gastronomy Starter Kit
Get all the tools, including online resources, ingredients, and kitchen accessory essentials it takes to master beautiful dishes with the Molecule-R Gastronomy Starter Kit. The kit includes one slotted spoon, one measuring spoon, one plastic syringe with two tubes, three piping tubes, and five 2-gram packs of ingredients like agar-agar, calcium lactate, sodium alginate, and soy lecithin. Turn liquids into gels to create ‘pearls,’ perform reverse frozen spherification, make syrup into a bubble, learn emulsification techniques that turn liquid into foam and more with this comprehensive starter kit. The kit is designed for beginners but includes the tools and ingredients required to make stunning works of food art for chefs of all levels to enjoy.
Pros: Each kit comes with an introductory book to the world of molecular mixology, including explanations of seven standard techniques and recipes for 40 dishes like cloud of lemon and balsamic vinegar pearls.
Cons: Many of the recipes in the book will require additional ingredients not found in the kit. The ingredients included are small proportions and can’t be used multiple times.
2. ULTIMATE Molecular Gastronomy
If there’s a meal, dish, entrée, or amuse-bouche you’ve been dreaming of making, now’s your chance thanks to the ULTIMATE Molecular Gastronomy Kit. The Ultimate kit comes with just about everything a burgeoning chef could need to make an item that is part of the molecular gastronomy scene. The kit includes 24 ingredients in large 50-gram packages, enough to make the same recipe multiple times. Gelatin sheets, miracle berry tablets, a spherification spoon and mold, spaghetti tubing, weighing dishes, and a digital ingredient scale are just some of the items included in the kit. Except for the gelatin sheets, all ingredients are Non-GMO, gluten-free and Kosher. Customers will receive free support from Modern Pantry’s customer service team with the purchase of a kit.
Pros: The kit includes a 250-page instruction book filled with tips, tricks, the science behind molecular gastronomy, as well as multiple recipes.
Cons: The Ultimate kit comes with a big price tag.
3. Modernist Cuisine Spherification Kit
Turn just about any edible liquid into beautiful spherical balls using the Modernist Cuisine Spherification Kit. One of the trademarks of modern cooking is making delicious spheres that explode with flavor when eaten. Learn the scaling percentages, the science behind spherification and more with the step-by-step booklet included in the kit, which includes photos for easy visualization. The kit includes one reusable syringe and two-ounce bags of sodium alginate, calcium chloride, xantham gum and sodium citrate, enough ingredients to make multiple cups of spheres.
Pros: Unlike the smaller Spherification Kit below, the Modernist Cuisine Kit includes a slotted spoon that makes it easy to transfer the spheres between dishes.
Cons: Users will need to purchase a digital scale to use in conjunction with the kit.
4. Spherification Kit
Whether you’re new to gastronomy or you’re only looking to create caviar, the Spherification Kit is a great addition to any kitchen. The kit includes two-ounce packages of sodium citrate, calcium chloride, and sodium alginate, enough to produce up to 17 cups of spheres. The kit also includes a 60 mL syringe necessary for making caviar spheres. Users can follow the instructions on making caviar included in the link to Modernist Pantry, which is included in each kit.
Pros: The ingredients in the Spherification Kit are non-GMO, Vegan and Kosher-certified.
Cons: The makers suggest that users purchase a digital scale to ensure precise measurements, which is not included in the kit. A slotted spoon or strainer is also required to move the spheres and is not in the kit. Users who prefer a hard copies of instructions should look at other kits.