Kitchens are often places of great creativity. Lots of us love having the time to find inspiration, getting down to work, and then being able to enjoy the fruits of that creative effort.
Arising from this hunger to get creative and then enjoy the results, lots of clever people have spent plenty of their time devising small, and often unsung, pieces of equipment to help that process. But some are better-known and more successful than others, and here we bring you a selection of kitchen aids which might have passed you by. But, once you’ve read about them, you might just wonder how on earth you ever managed without one!
1. Toast messaging grill: Are you and your other half always too busy at breakfast to actually talk to each other? If you need to leave them an urgent message or reminder, why not use this compact grill, with its own built-in heat-sensing pad, which transfers messages written on the top of the grill onto the piece of toast you’re cooking. Just remember not to then cover the message with butter and marmalade…
2. Interactive hob: Now we’re getting much more serious. First shown at the geek-fest that is the annual CES consumer electronics show in 2014, this took a standard ceramic-topped hob and added the nifty extra of a tablet computer. So you can talk to your cooker, or operate the built-in computer with a swipe of a finger, and find a recipe to combine whatever ingredients you have in your fridge or larder.
3. Hands-free waste bin: Those surfaces around the edges and sides of your kitchen waste bin are a minefield of germs and unmentionable sticky messes. So a team of clever scientists has come up with an ‘intelligent’ bin which senses movement above its lid and automatically opens when it detects it, letting the user drop their refuse straight into the receptacle, removing the need for potentially juggling the waste and the bin lid. Clever, eh?
4. In-fridge herb keeper: You know the score: you snip off a small sprig of your favourite fresh herbs to add to your cooking pot, then the rest of the bunch gets put back in the fridge where it stays for weeks, and weeks, while it withers and dies. So to prevent such herbal wastage, this glass herb keeper is just the job. The makers claim your parsley, thyme, etc will stay fresh for up to two weeks longer than by any other storage method.
5. AwoX StrimLight: A light bulb is a light bulb, pure and simple, right? Not when it also includes a tiny Bluetooth speaker. So now you can plug this bulb into any compatible light socket in your kitchen, and also have it play your favourite tunes for those times when you’re getting creative. After all, every kitchen whizz needs a good soundtrack to help them achieve their best work.
6. YolkFish: You’ll never again look on separating your egg whites from their yolks as a chore if you use this fishy-looking little device. After all, there are plenty of instances when you need either one part of the egg or the other - but not both - so it seems only right that someone should have applied their creative minds to finding a novel solution. Or you could carry on just using the eggshell as a ladle…
7. ‘Light Delight’ touch tap: So that you always know whether you’re about to plunge your hand into hot or cold water, an Italian company has devised this temperature-sensitive tap, which glows red or blue, depending on the temperature of what it’s dispensing.
8. High-tech Rice Cooker: If you’re embarking on a healthy eating kick and want to be sure that your brown rice meal accompaniments are always perfectly turned out - and if you have the approximately £200 this device costs - you should add this induction rice cooker and warmer to your kitchen artillery. At least that’s one saucepan fewer you’ll need.
9. Stainless Steel Escargot Plate: When you know that nothing but the best fresh snails will do as an appetiser, you just have to make sure they’re served in a way every mollusc would find appropriate - on their own little silver-look salver with six dinky little indentations for them to recline in. Or you could just use any old plate you have handy.
10. Powered Cordless Wine Bottle Opener: Who hasn’t been in the situation where they need to open up to 80 bottles of wine in rapid order? So when you’re feeding the 5,000, or you just can’t summon up the energy to operate a good old-fashioned corkscrew, this battery-operated wonder is sure to keep the party spirit flowing.
We love gadgets, and we equally love anything which makes our lives easier in the kitchen. So do you have a favourite piece of obscure kit which you wouldn’t be without in your kitchen? Let us know about it via our Facebook page.