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I want to ask a question about kitchen equipment, which is listed as on-topic in the main FAQ. However, I noticed a few equipment questions being closed as off-topic.

How do I know if I my (equipment-related) question is on topic or not?

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Most questions about kitchen equipment are on topic. Individual questions are always subject to community standards but we recommend the following guidelines (examples included):

On Topic

  • Operation

    • How important is it to preheat my oven?
    • How can I safely use a blender with hot liquids?
    • How do I correctly use a meat thermometer?

  • Evaluation and Selection

    • What should I look for when purchasing a blender?
    • What are the practical differences between a gas vs. induction range?
    • Is there a tool/appliance available that can help me grate onions faster?

  • Care and Maintenance

    • How do I clean a wooden cutting board?
    • How do I season a cast-iron pan?
    • Why shouldn't I put knives in the dishwasher?

Off Topic

  • Installation and Repair

    • Where can I find a replacement gasket for my blender?
    • How do I fix my broken ice maker?
    • Can I install a 40 amp oven/range in a 50 amp receptacle?

  • General Recommendations/Reviews

    • Any experiences with the Acme X-Slice 4000?
    • Which microwave should I buy?
      Note that exceptions may occasionally be made for product searches fitting a very narrow criteria. Ask these only if you have already attempted to locate a specific type of product via normal channels (Google, Amazon, etc.)

Additional Guidelines

  • Questions about equipment should not be considered off-topic based solely on the specific type of equipment being discussed. If it is typically found in the kitchen and used to prepare food, it is eligible.

  • Questions about specific models may be too localized, if very few people own that model or it's sold only in a very small geographic area. But questions about specific manufacturers or models which are widely sold and known are fine. For example, asking about a detail of KitchenAid mixers, which are extremely common in the US, is not much more localized than asking about stand mixers. But asking about your custom-commissioned RoboJetWhizzer 9X47J food processor/spray applicator is too localized.

See here for a more detailed explanation of these points.

  • I cited this as a reference for the Coffee Pod question; is there any chance that it might need shoring up (jw, it sounds pretty precise today as it did then) considering there might be a healthy number of coffee equipment related questions? – mfg May 4 '11 at 20:38
  • @mfg: This information is actually now in the Equipment tag wiki so no need to reference meta. As for shoring up, I'm not sure what direction you're headed - are you suggesting that coffee equipment questions should be off-topic, or not? – Aaronut May 5 '11 at 1:02
  • I think that coffee is probably more equipment driven than most other areas of cooking. That seems to be the case not only in terms of equipment type but even down to brand specific niches and I'm wondering how to streamline its breadth and depth to fit with the (to my limited expertise ) current standards for equipment questions. Currently we don't have enough coffee questions, maybe we won't ever, to have any real questions needing any accommodations. – mfg May 5 '11 at 1:59
  • @mfg: I'm admittedly not an expert on coffee equipment myself, but I would think that the "evaluation and selection" examples apply just as well to coffee equipment as any other equipment (they apply almost universally to shopping questions). I'm open to suggestions though, if you have any. – Aaronut May 5 '11 at 14:25
  • I don't think this is about coffee equipment necessarily, but coffee people will have more equip questions is all I meant. I think the morsel I have issue with on the pod question is that it (in particular) might be too localized, if anything. I see questions down the line falling into a gray area of being similarly too localized or product searches fitting a very narrow criteria; I guess sussing that distinction out is all that might be at heart. It seems that if I come along and ask for a 20 oz Iced Coffee Pod Brewer, or an 8-cup but not a 6-cup drip, right now, it would stand. – mfg May 5 '11 at 18:00

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