As Christmas nears and present ideas dominate our minds, we take a look at some cool kitchen gadgets to make your food and drink experience a bit more iFood and iDrink.
Forget home entertainment and computers, the real innovation in the home rests in the kitchen. Creating food today is different to yesterday, with a plethora of devices – some great, some not-so-great – released on a daily basis.
Plumping for jewellery, perfume, aftershave or vouchers is all well and good, but what if you can make someone’s kitchen their own little Starship Enterprise?
So if tea, coffee, juice or cakes are your thing, try these out for size.
I’m not a major fan of Bluetooth-backed devices, but for Drop, I’ll make an exception. A scale and app, Drop lets you hook up your smart device and enjoy the more precise side of following recipes.
It’s pricey (€100 from the Apple Store), but it’s a beautifully designed piece of kit and the free app’s interface looks just as good to match.
What’s clever, too, is how adaptable it makes your food reserves. You know when you want to make whatever that cake was that Jamie Oliver made, but you only have a small bit of flour? Well, Drop lets you weigh what you’ve got and it adapts its own recipes for you.
The Drop Scale isn’t just for baking, either. There are recipes for burgers, huevos rancheros, dressed warm salad and more waiting to be found in the app. And, this being the golden age of food porn, you can share your creations and recipes on your various social networks via the app.
Okay, this is an idea that, well, everybody wishes they thought of, but nobody should be proud of that desire. The iKettle is a kettle you control from your smartphone – obviously, you fill the water up yourself.
It essentially fulfils the goals of everybody currently comfortable on a couch. Fancy a brew? Why, just exit that Facebook app for a moment, hook up to the iKettle app and get the show on the road.
This is so popular it is even in its second generation (the first is on the left) – this is usually a good rule of thumb to show it’s popular. Costing around £100, you may need to rely on Parcel Motel.
3. SpreadTHAT| Heated Butter Knife
If the iKettle hasn’t saved you those valuable seconds you were after, then try out this ‘advanced butter knife’, which heats up the butter as it spreads it on the bread.
Granted, this is quite a niche issue, but I must admit I’m one of those that complains when the butter is too hard to spread.
Costing less than €25 from TheFowndry, the knife uses your own body heat to do it’s thing. It’s dishwasher safe, made with titanium-coated aluminium that’s fine with food and, generally, looks the part.
Juices and smoothies have grown in popularity in the last couple of years and, alongside that, the surge in demand for Nutribullets. Costing around €110, the popularity of the Nutribullet rests on how easy it is to use and clean.
The latter is important to anyone out there who, like me, bought a blender a while back and got fed up having to wash it out.
Well marketed for people on a health buzz, it often comes with cups and lids to let you blitz up a juice and drink it on the way into work. Oh, it can also handle nuts and grains.
5. Fruit Plant Multi-Cutter
Not electronic, but still a clever use of an engineering mind, this ‘Fruit Plant’ is actually 10 separate, but stackable, cutters, slicers and juicers – more importantly, it could be a nice stocking filler.
There is a masher, picks, mesh cutter, lemon squeezer, bowl, avocado scoop, citrus cutter, apple cutter, grater, and grate squeezer all in one product that costs around £10 on Amazon at the moment. Again, perhaps Parcel Motel can help you get it across the border with ease.
Notable mentions, too, to some products not quite ready for Christmas. Notably, Somabar – a wonderful home bartender of sorts, Pantelligent – a smart frying pan, and June – a smart oven.
Want stories like this and more direct to your inbox? Sign up for Tech Trends, Silicon Republic’s weekly digest of need-to-know tech news.
2. iKettle 2.0