January is a time of renewal. It also happens to be when appliance makers show off their visions of what is to come. The event is CES 2013 and this year, according to those that make kitchen gadgets and appliances, everything is going to be very, very smart. While we have been promised automated kitchens in one form or another since the time of the Jetsons, there is one important factor in the modern world that may see the smart kitchen finally grow up: mobility.
Food generally isn't too big of a deal in the "Star Trek" universe unless you're talking about tribbles eating all the quadrotriticale or Picard ordering up a hot cup of tea to go with his space scones.
All those Enterprise crew members still have to eat and that means there's going to be some hot food coming out of the replicators. That also means you're going to need a space-worthy oven mitt. A Spock oven mitt. The $14.99 oversize Spock hand has just enough blue uniform on the cuff to designate its rank.… Read more
Cookware can be deceptively simple. Deceptive, because it usually is simple. But then something comes along and adds another piece to the puzzle. Then another. Eventually, a set of interlocking pieces comes together, promising to do anything and everything. The problem is, sometimes when things get too complicated, their original utility gets lost in the fold.
Not so with the Twiztt by Joan Lunden Cut, Cook & Serve Set ($79.99). Like a puzzle, the set of kitchenware comes together to form something greater than the sum of its parts. As the name implies, the multitasking set goes from prepping … Read more
Fondue is fun. Relaxing with family and friends over a warm pot of bubbling deliciousness is something meant to be enjoyed at its own pace (assuming the participants can agree on what to put in the pot). The shape of a fondue party, being one that can be either sweet or savory, can take on its own structure, yet the jostling for ingredients always remains the same. Unless, of course, the ingredients come to you.
The Cuisinart CF0-1000 Lazy Susan Electric Fondue ($79.99) is a fun, countertop device orbited by moveable ingredient trays. Featuring a built-in electric heating element … Read more
Football season is upon us. That means months of football food lie ahead. As fall is ushered in by the kicking of an oblong ball, millions of cheering fans will be applauding the spread. No, not that kind of spread, the food spread. But no matter if the gathering is in the parking lot of the stadium or at a football party down the street, there needs to be a way to get the goods to the game.
A winning recipe for five-alarm chili just isn't worth it if it can't be shared among friends (or unleashed upon … Read more
The Electrolux Design Lab is a yearly competition that challenges design students across the globe. This year's competition asked students to create home appliances that would "provide a fuller sensory experience." Perhaps one day, some of these entries will be used in the home kitchen. Below are a few highlights:
Ingresure (seen above) is by Jongwoo Choi. It is a gadget designed to be a taste tester. Instead of chef's tasting their own creation, they would use the device to taste it for them. The idea is that the Ingresure would give amateur chefs the assurance … Read more
If there is one thing our eventual robot overlords (will) have taught us, it's that everybody needs to eat. Whether it be bolts for the robots or burritos for their fleshy subjects, sustenance is required for all moving parts no matter the form.
While the not-so-distant future holds many questions regarding robot-human relations, at least for now they still willingly do our bidding. Our burrito-building bidding, that is.
The Burritob0t is a food printer designed by (human) Marko Manriquez. Conceived as a thesis requirement for the graduate program at NYU-ITP, the project is constructed using mostly open-source hardware and software. The complete details are documented and presented on the tech section of burritob0t.net.… Read more
Working at a restaurant requires doing many repetitious tasks, but perhaps the most tedious and lamented (aside from bathroom cleanup) is wrapping silverware in a napkin.
To solve that age-old annoyance of having to bundle countless utensils, the Capstone Design class at Georgia Tech created an autonomous silverware wrapper capable of perfectly packaging silverware at a respectable speed. … Read more
And soon -- O, Lord, yes -- we'll be able to enjoy soft-serve beer sorbet.
Provided, of course, we live in Asia and order up a glass of Kirin that's been subjected to a little "Frozen Agitation."… Read more
Serving cold food is and always has been a bit of a hassle. Thankfully, modern convenience has made the availability of ice as easy as walking into the next room. Out of ice or need more? Run to the store; a nearby cashier will gladly ring you up. But ice has its own set of problems, namely that it melts.
Freezer gel packs are a good option for keeping things cold outside the confines of the freezer, but they can be awkward to manipulate. Combining aesthetics and practicality, the Prodyne CC-12 Cold Cover Chiller Lid has a solution.
The distinctive-appearing … Read more