With the turkey bones picked over and Black Friday long past, holiday gift-giving is in full swing. Since we all have someone on our list who’s hard to shop for, we’ve decided to share our gifting suggestions in our 2016 Holiday Gift Guide to make everyone’s holidays merry and bright.
Kitchen Appliances and Homewares
A typical seasonal gift guide of this nature usually features smart, energy efficient appliances like the Crock-Pot Wemo Smart Slow Cooker, the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 Programmable Pressure Cooker, or even the marvelous June Intelligent Oven. Fabulous as these are, just this one time, we’re going to look at a few hand-held kitchen gadgets with top-notch design elements that don’t require “smart” web interface. Then we’ll get into hot water with a top cooking trend!
Go ahead and laugh, but this is one of those handy devices most people never purchase. If you are preparing any soup, sauce, or gravy, then you need one of these indispensable pitchers. The pouring spout is at the bottom which lets your pour out the succulent juices while straining out fat, grease, and/or “floaties” from seasonings.
No more sore mixer’s wrist! Just push down on the handle and the adjustable whisk spins. Even though the Express Whisk has a rubber foot to help steady it as you push down, using it has bit of a learning curve. You’ll have to find out which mixing bowls yours will work with best. But once you’ve figured that out, you can’t beat the efficiency and simplicity of this whisk, especially when it comes to cleaning. It retails for $14.99 at stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond.
So, you don’t have room to build a proper 5-ton brick oven in your kitchen for all your baking needs? Fear not! The Foureau Bread Oven is a pre-seasoned cast iron half-moon-shaped tube that absorbs oven heat and keeps temperatures uniform around all side of the bread baking inside. Measuring roughly 12 1/2 “ by 8”, it fits in a standard-sized oven and is priced $245.00.
Getting into Hot Water
Translated as “under vacuum,” sous vide is a cooking technique that not only prepares food slowly over hours but also feels like it’s secretly preparing you for life in deep space. The idea is to vacuum-seal the dish’s ingredients in plastic and then immerse them in a water cooking bath for hours. The food cooks entirely isolated in its own juices without any interference from surrounding air or the water of the cooking bath. But if your food is encased inside a plastic pouch, how do you know when it’s done? Well, that’s where the gadgets come into play!
A wand-like device about the size of a flashlight, it clamps to the side of any stockpot, heating the water to whatever temperature setting you require. It also circulates the heated water so there are no cool spots caused by natural convection. You can control temperature or monitor the timer via the Anova’s app on your smartphone. The Bluetooth model (800 Watts) sells for $149, while the WiFi model (900 Watts) sells for $199.
This is another wand-style clamp-to-the-pot cooker that heats water and then circulates it for the programmed temperature. Consuming 1,200 watts and featuring a blue-lit LED control display, it can also be monitored by your smart device via WiFi. It’s currently available on Amazon for just $119.99.
This device combines a countertop induction cook plate with a sous vide bath. When the food is ready, simply remove the bath and brown the food in a sauce pan on the 1,500 W induction cooking plate. And because multi-use kitchen appliances are great (especially when they retail for $499), you can also boil pasta in the bath container.
Created by FirstBuild, this countertop induction cook plate lets you do everything a regular cooking plate while providing a rechargeable Bluetooth sensor that communicates to the cooktop to assist wtih sous vide cooking. Priced at $299, the plate also connects to your smart device via bluetooth so that you can control it remotely via the FirstBuild mobile app.
What other inventive kitchen and homewares would you recommend on any seasonal gift guide? Share with us in the comments!