Face it, cooking gadgets and gizmos are fun to use. They may even attract “helpers” to your kitchen, who are temporarily curious about how you construct a meal. Over the years, some devices become regular companions, while others just take up space.What’s cool kitchen tool?
Because of my affinity for these cooking aids, my cabinetry is suffering from serious overload. If another thing-a-ma-jig tries to squeeze onboard my countertop, it might well set off a kitchen tsunami.
Even so, when I roam the aisles of Kitchen Conservatory or the Williams-Sonoma catalog, the latest “kitchen conveniences” catch my eye. I’ve already indulged in some of the items shown below: the salad spinner, mezzaluna, julienne peeler, water fizzer, and microplane. As to the others, I’m doing my best to decide what’s cool and what’s clutter.
Put garlic in the tube, push down, and roll the tube on the counter. The skins slip right off. Even so, I’m still smashing my garlic with the side of my Shun knife. (It’s my only piece of Japanese cutlery and a prized possession that I’m glad can perform a double function.) But this Kuhn-Rikon garlic peeler does look amusing. Price: about $8 at Swiss Knife Shop.
Fruit Combo Rack
Does this clever fruit dispenser remind you of a the ball return at a bowling alley or the icons on a quarter slot machine? No matter. It’s still a great reminder to eat fruit more often. As a bonus, it comes with a stunning banana hammock (bananas not included). Price: about $20, Bed Bath and Beyond (in stores only).
Rinse Bowl and Strainer
Why didn’t someone think to call this a Fruit Helmet . . or Kitchen Jaws? Whatever you call it, this rinse bowl is perfect for washing and straining water from fruits and veggies. Price: $10.21 at Amazon.
Spray juice right out of a lemon, lime, grapefruit or orange. Great for spritizing salads, fish, seafood, and keeping your avocado halves from browning. Also, useful as an emergency underarm deodorant—not really; I just made that up. Price: $9.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Dual Magnetic Measuring Spoons
If you’re tired of losing your measuring spoons, this is the kitchen item for you. Price: $19 at Fancy.com.
This “kitchen toy” is especially useful when making a large salad or entertaining small children. Price: $25 (8″ basket); $30 (10″ basket) for this OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner from Williams-Sonoma.
This rocker blade quickly minces herbs, spices, nuts, and greens. If you want to see the mezzaluna in action, have a chopped salad at Crushed Red in Clayton. Mezzaluna price: $69.95 at Sur La Table. Unless you plan some serious chopping, you might want to check out the price of some other models.
This little peeler (about 5″-6″ long) will julienne a carrot in seconds. I make lots of pickled carrots, which I keep in the refrigerator for sandwiches and salad toppings. I got this one at Kitchen Conservatory; it was their recommendation. But I don’t see a brand name on it. Price: OXO Good Grips has a similar one for $9.99 at Amazon.
I use mine for grating parmesan, nutmeg, chocolate, and ginger. Its surgical-grade, stainless steel does a perfect job and the blade is easy to clean. Price: $14.99 at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Sparkling Water Maker
This Soda Stream Penguin Sparkling Water Maker offers a good way to break the canned soda habit. Fun and easy to use: simply fill the reusable glass bottles with water, insert into Penguin and press the carbonating “beak” for just the right amount of fizz. If you buy a lot of carbonated water or soda, this is far cheaper in the long run—and healthier. Price: On sale, $199.99 at Williams-Sonoma.
Note: All the items above are available at a number of places locally and on line. I just wanted to give you an idea of the price of each item.
Now its your turn to tell me about your kitchen gadgetry.