Coolest New Kitchen Gear of the Year
They may range from low-tech to high design, but these innovative new kitchen tools and appliances from the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago all have one thing in common: They promise to open up new possibilities in the kitchen.
At first glance, the Rösle Barbecue grill ($500 for the 20-inch model, $600 for the 24-inch) may look like any plain black kettle grill, but the innovation is in the details. The stay-cool handle is placed at a 45-degree angle to the lid hinge, a smart safety touch that saves you from having to place your arm over the heat when you're opening the lid to check on what's cooking. Another fabulous feature: The grate is designed to fold in thirds so you can lift it at the side and stoke briquettes without disturbing what's cooking. Plus, this makes fitting the grate in the dishwasher a snap. There's a vent in the lid of course, but an additional air vent below lets you adjust the heat level, with small, medium, and large flame logos to help you pick the perfect temperature. And a pot-like ash catcher makes it easy to dump the buildup in the trash when you’re finished grilling. A sturdy base and big rubber wheels make this model easy to reposition and, should you choose to invest in Rösle's new line of grilling tools, all can be hung from the convenient bar that runs around the circumference of the grill.
You don't often associate the term "shower-head dispenser" with coffeemakers, but after you try the Bodum Bistro Pour Over Coffee Machine ($250), you likely won't forget it. The dispenser's unique design is intended to simulate a manual pour-over exactly, hopefully meaning more even brewing. This stylish machine is all chrome, glass, and color, with a removable water tank, glass tubing, chrome boiler (for quickly bringing water to the optimal super-hot brewing temperature), and a stainless steel filter that, Bodum claims, keeps all the coffee oils in the brew for a more flavorful and rich java. The coffee drips into a double-wall vacuum-seal carafe that should keep it plenty hot. The model comes in black, white, red, and green.
Built is known for its stylish and sleek neoprene bags, and its newest carriers, the Origami Wine Tote ($29.99) and Origami Champagne Tote ($29.99), are no exception. In all black, the bags look almost sculptural at full height; even more impressive, they easily folds up to the size of a large wallet when compressed. We'll be happy to stash one in our purses for our next trip to the wine store.
If you love the convenience of an electric teakettle, check out the latest model from Chantal ($79.99). At first glance, you wouldn't know this unit plugs in; it looks like a stylish metallic teapot to put on the stove. In fact, it's so deceptive, the manufacturer had to print a warning on the side not to heat it. There's a gauge on the back to tell how much liquid you've put in and the unit features auto shut-off once the water reaches the boiling point. It comes in indigo blue, chili red, onyx, and stainless steel, and you can expect to see models in stores this coming May.
If you find yourself struggling to get cakes out, even if the pans are nonstick, you'll be excited to see the new set of Pop-Out bakeware ($39.99-$44.99) from celebrity chef Curtis Stone's newly launched line. The pans consist of silicone panels bonded to nonstick that are designed to make it easier to get your cake on the plate; you should be able to just press the bottom to loosen the cake, flip it over, and "pop" it out by pressing in the center. The pans come in muffin-tin, cake-round, and mini-loaf sizes.
Set-and-Forget Slow Cooker
Hamilton Beach is hoping to prevent overcooking with its new programmable Intelligent Slow Cooker ($79). This model is designed to cook on its own based on your scheduling needs. Just set the time you want to have dinner on the built-in digital clock and Hamilton Beach promises the unit will adjust the cooking levels based on your input so the food will be ready but not overcooked when you get home.
Fans of the original line and those with an eye for retro style should check out Dansk's re-released Kobenstyle oven-to-tableware ($50-$260). Designed from the original 1956 set's specifications, these classic enamel-over-carbon-steel pieces come in red, white, and navy blue.
Keeping It Personal
It's not uncommon to see a coffeemaker that brews directly into a to-go mug, but KitchenAid says not only is its Personal Coffeemaker ($79) convenient, it makes igh-quality coffee. We loved the look of this sleek machine and its matching mug; you can even purchase it in a coffee-inspired color! The device also features a handy, removable water tank for easy filling before you've had your caffeine for the day.
For those that prefer glass for their food storage, Pyrex is promising the first containers made almost entirely of glass. The No-Leak Glass line ($9.99-$19.99) features round containers in 2-cup, 4-cup, and 7-cup capacities with glass bodies and glass and silicone lids. Thanks to their plastic-free construction, these containers can go nearly anywhere, from the fridge to the microwave to the oven to the freezer. Plus, the glass provides the best barrier to air, helping food stay fresher longer. Look for sets at a store near you starting in July.
Super-Charged Temperature Gauge
Your average cooking thermometer is probably accurate at the middle of its range, but won’t be so reliable when you’re making candy and need super-high temperatures. Then you need a highly responsive one like the new Taylor Turbo Read Thermometer ($70). With this gauge, the manufacturer promises that you'll be able to measure up to 575 degrees with only a single degree margin of error. No more burnt caramel! It features a back-lit digital readout that automatically turns on and off when you twist the probe out and in respectively. Plus, the tip itself is only 1.5 millimeters thick, meaning no pesky visible holes in your roast once you're done cooking.