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When my husband and I were preparing to move from the United States to Germany almost six years ago, our kitchen was definitely the most difficult room to sort through. Aside from the logistical challenges of relocating to another continent (shipping is not cheap!), we were trading a 1,650-square-foot house for an 850-square-foot apartment. Add to this the difference in electrical voltage (220 volts in Germany versus 110 in the U.S.), and it was clear that we’d have to make some decisions about which kitchen tools would come with us and which would be sold or donated.
This is very much not a comprehensive list, but here’s a rundown of the six most important tools I bought after I moved to Germany — and one I just had to bring along us.
Note: The electric appliances listed here are all compatible for use in the U.S.
Bought: An electric kettle
Mine is a no-frills model from Philips that is no longer available, but it’s quite similar to this kettle from Black+Decker. Super convenient for making tea or literally anything that requires a bit of hot water, I can’t go without an electric kettle — and using one is infinitely superior to heating water in the microwave.
Bought: A great chef’s knife
The quality of German-made knives is no secret, so it only made sense to pick up a Wüsthof Culinar 6-inch chef’s knife shortly after our arrival. I love how well-balanced this knife is; it feels great in my hand and is the perfect go-to for chopping, slicing, and dicing.
Okay, so this one was actually a belated wedding gift, but a Le Creuset Dutch oven would have been on my eventual to-buy list either way. This is a versatile (and gorgeous!) piece of cookware that needs no introduction, but you can click here to read our comprehensive review of lots of different Dutch ovens and learn why the Le Creuset came out on top.
Bought: An awesome coffee machine
We drink a lot of coffee, so our Moccamaster coffee maker is a reliable friend each morning (and sometimes again in the early afternoon). Aside from looking cool, Moccamasters are known for their ability to brew a quality cup — and keep it hot without scorching the precious liquid. No surprise that Kitchn’s own Tools Editor also chose a Moccamaster as her top pick for best coffee maker.
Bought: A multi-functional immersion blender
For blending purposes in my smaller living space, I picked up a Braun 3-in-1 immersion blender. Stick blenders are worth the purchase for their soup-smoothing capabilities alone, but the whisk and two-cup chopper attachments really add to the usefulness of what I consider a must-have gadget. Although it’s no replacement for a “real” food processor, I guess it must be sufficient because I’m still using it regularly. Words to live by: Work in batches, and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Brought: My KitchenAid stand mixer.
While a 5-quart KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer is not an ideal object to relocate over vast distances, I just couldn’t bear to sell this off. We’d only received it as a housewarming gift (thanks, Mom!) about a year prior to our then-unbeknownst move, and KitchenAid mixers are expensive over here (yes, even more expensive than they are in the U.S.). Selling my U.S. model would not have funded an immediate European repurchase, and I knew there would be higher financial priorities as we settled into our new life. We packed up the mixer and put it on our pallet to arrive several weeks behind us via sea freight.
Full disclosure: Doing this is not ideal! These machines are not dual-voltage, which I knew going into the move. Which means that, in order to use my U.S. mixer in Germany, I had to buy a big voltage converter to avoid blowing out the motor. The nuance between mixing speeds is not the same, and it’s kind of annoying to have to lug out the heavy converter each time I want to use my mixer. Is it worth it? Yes, but I also don’t use the mixer as often as I probably would otherwise. If you’re considering a cross-border move with your own stand mixer, know that using your machine in this way voids the original warranty, according to KitchenAid.
Your turn: Have you made a major move? Tell us about the kitchen tools you either bought or brought in the comments below!
Source by www.thekitchn.com