Food Preparation Gadgets
Getting food prepared is sometimes the most daunting task, but these nifty gadgets help make the chore an enjoyable experience.
POTATO RICER / MASHER: Forget the mess of mashing boiled potatoes by hand. Place the potato in the ricer opening, press the handle down and voila! Little pieces of easy to manage potato that sort of resemble noodles squeeze out of tiny holes. Add the rest of your ingredients and stir for the best mashed potatoes ever.
AVOCADO SLICER: Ever tried handling a ripe avocado? By the time you’re done trying to slice it by hand it ends up looking more like modeling clay. An avocado slicer keeps your hands free from the mess and perfectly slices your avocado into wedges in one move. The slices can then be used to display on a platter, placed on food or in a salad, or mashed for guacamole.
APPLE DIVIDER / CORER: Yes – it can core an apple! And divide it too! This convenient tool cuts and cores your apple in one downward motion for perfect, seedless slices every time.
ZESTER/MICROPLANE GRATER: These handy flat graters originated in the woodworking world where "rasps" are used to shape and file wood. In your kitchen this tool with razor sharp grating edges extracts the best flavor from your foods, whether they be lemon rinds, hard cheeses or ginger, to name a few. Plus, it keeps your fingers protected, gives you better mobility, lets you see how much you’ve grated, and is easy to clean too.
STRAWBERRY HULLER: Forget struggling to remove the tops of your strawberries with small knives dangerously close to your fingers. A huller, which resembles small tongs, plucks the tops off easily and safely, so you can use that knife to slice up your perfectly prepped strawberries for your parfait.
APPLE MASTER PEELER: Why spend hours peeling apples for that apple pie bake off when this nifty gadget does the same job in mere seconds? With a simple turn of the handle this superb gadget can pare, core and slice in one easy motion, allowing you to prepare apple after apple without ever breaking a sweat. Great for pears and potatoes too.
TOSS `N CHOP™: This unique, scissor-like tool is surprisingly convenient, safe and easy to use. It quickly chops salad, vegetables, fruits and more, and is designed to chop these foods in any type of bowl. Hey, less dishes to wash…
ANGLED MEASURING CUPS: No more bending over and squinting to read the liquid level in your measuring cup while waiting for the liquid to stop swishing back and forth. The angled, slanted scale is inside the cup where you can conveniently view measurements from above as they’re being poured.
FRENCH MANDOLIN SLICER: Slice your veggies just like the professionals! Quick and easy, you’ll have piles of finely sliced and even julienned items in a matter of seconds.
PASTA MACHINE: Why would you need to make your own pasta when you can buy a box at the local store? Well, one taste of freshly made pasta will answer that question immediately. Soft, fresh pasta has no equal, and making it yourself is easier than you think with a pasta machine. Just mix the ingredients, set it to the desired thickness and shape, and feed it through the press by turning the handle. You’ll never return to store-bought again.
FOOD SCALE: Available as mechanical or digital, a food scale lets you weigh your food and ingredients, whether for precise baking measurements in a recipe or for helping you control portions for healthier eating. One versatile feature to look for lets you weigh both dry and liquid ingredients accurately. Another is “add and weigh”, also called “tare”, which returns the scale back to zero with each additional item/ingredient put on the scale, and also lets you set the scale to zero after placing an empty bowl on the scale for the ingredients. Also look for models with an ample platform or bowl to place ingredients on/in.
PASTRY BRUSH: Use these nifty brushes for applying a delicate egg wash to pastries and slathering thick barbecue sauce to grilled chicken. Great for adding marinades to meats, basting foods while they cook and even buttering bakeware. Whether made from natural bristles or high-heat resistant silicone, they will hold lots of liquid while keeping your hands clean.
GARLIC PRESS: This convenient tool instantly presses garlic cloves into small crushed pieces with one simple motion, eliminating the need for chopping, and keeping your hands odor-free.
MORTAR AND PESTLE: This classic oldie but goodie maximizes the flavor of whole spices and fresh herbs by grinding them. This brings their purest, freshest and most intense qualities to your recipes.
FOOD MILL: This ingenious, hand operated gadget purees fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses while separating bone, seeds, skin and other undesirable food parts. For varying textures and consistencies, look for food mills that come with more than one grinding disc.
SMOOTH EDGE CAN OPENER: Sharp edges on removed can lids is a hazard everyone is familiar with, but those days are over. This ingenious can opener removes the lid from below the lip of the can, eliminating those sharp edge hazards from both the can and the lid. Small plier-like grips easily separate and lift the lid from the can, which can also be placed back on for temporary storage.
PIECRUST SHIELD: Bakers know how difficult it is to evenly bake a pie in a hot oven without burning the edges, but a piecrust shield eliminates that worry. Just place the shield, which resembles a large circle, over your fresh or frozen pie and bake as usual. When removed, you’ll see the edge has baked evenly to a golden crust without burning.
SILICONE/RUBBER BAKING MATS: Knead dough on it, bake on it, and even use arts and crafts items on it. What is it? An innovative baking mat coated with food-grade silicone that takes the place of parchment paper or greasing baking sheets. Just place it right on your regular baking sheet – no greasing required. Withstands high oven temperatures, cleans up in a snap and can be used thousands of times.
REMOTE COOKING THERMOMETER: The digital meat thermometer with the little probe just graduated to a new level. This incredible gadget allows you to monitor the internal temperature of cooking meats from up to 100 feet away! The wireless remote monitor has an LCD display, and beeps and flashes when meat is ready. So now you can multitask uninterrupted while dinner practically prepares itself.