There have been a few questions about knives, and these seem on topic but a question about an ice cream maker part, is this on or off topic? and for what reason?

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FWIW, the question was a little bit more broad in scope than just an ice cream maker part - he's asking about general compatibility of Kitchen Aid mixer attachments, of which there are many (the ice cream maker was the first example, but he also mentions a slicer/shredder and a food grinder). The initials confuse this more than is necessary; shame I can't edit... –  Shog9 Jul 14 '10 at 15:20

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It's not fair to expect every member (especially new members) to understand such subtle differences between on-topic equipment and off-topic equipment. If some kitchen appliances are considered on topic (stoves, ovens, mixers, food processors, slow cookers, etc.) then all kitchen appliances should be on topic.

The only difference I can really see between an ice cream maker and a crock pot is that an ice cream maker has a highly-specialized purpose. But that's not a very good or reliable distinction because the gray area is pretty big - a crêpe pan is obviously not the most versatile piece of equipment, but I think almost everyone here would agree that it's a good fit for this site.

There are a few things I dislike about the linked question. Specifically:

  • It's not just about a specific type of equipment, but a specific model. This limits the audience considerably, and a large number of similar posts might set the stage for a never-ending stream of "which appliance is better, X or Y?" type questions.

  • It's not about the use of the equipment but rather acquisition and assembly, which is starting to drift pretty far away from questions that will teach people how to be better cooks (which is, after all, the goal of the site, right?).

  • It's relative to a specific geographical area - two of them, actually - which makes it a candidate for closing as Too Localized. However, the areas are pretty broad (Europe and USA) and this doesn't seriously shrink the audience. Unless we started getting inundated with similar questions, I would hold off on the TL vote for now.

Of the above three points, probably the second is the most important. Right now, though, I just don't think it's a strong enough point to move the question into off-topic territory. It's a question that, IMO, is unlikely to get answered very quickly on a site like this, but it's still a valid question.

As far as I'm concerned, questions about kitchen equipment are on topic - as long as they meet the other criteria (i.e. not subjective/argumentative), which this one does. I've even listed this as one of the on-topic subjects for the FAQ. If you agree (or disagree), you should vote accordingly.

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+1 - I couldn't have written it better myself –  lomaxx Jul 16 '10 at 2:15
    
Hey Aaronut. I've always thought this was one of your rather uncharacteristically nebulous answers. :) Would you mind clarifying it with more specific examples of what is appropriate within the realm of "questions about kitchen equipment are on topic"? e.g. meta.cooking.stackexchange.com/q/773/60 –  hobodave Sep 17 '10 at 18:16
    
@hobodave: As both this question and the one you link to reference specific questions and ask if those specific questions are on/off-topic, I'd prefer to have a separate topic addressing the general issue (a FAQ, like the recipe scope question). –  Aaronut Sep 17 '10 at 19:23
    
Ah, I didn't pay attention to the body of this question, just the title. That makes sense. –  hobodave Sep 17 '10 at 19:34

I think all kitchen equipments are related to the purpose of this site hence should be allowed. There is also this discussion here on meta.

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I think there is a big difference between asking "What kind of knife makes easier?" and "What attachments for this particular equipment works overseas?"

I would vote the first on-topic and the second off-topic.

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I tend to agree, the question seems too localised for my liking. –  Sam Holder Jul 14 '10 at 13:02

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