Fancy yourself a gourmet of sorts, do you? Nigella got you all hot and bothered (for multiple reasons)? Well, even if you don’t think you can handle the heat, kitchens are becoming seriously cool. Long associated with loud, obnoxious spaces – steaming, sweating, amphibious – kitchens are quickly becoming Geekdom Paradise. It’s nothing new that almost every room in the modern home has become increasingly online. Everything we own, from lighting to TV’s to doorbells, is customisable, adaptable and efficient. And now it seems like the kitchen is truly becoming the heart of the technological home.
Gone are the days when kitchens were too hot to handle – technology has turned the average BLT into a gastronomic adventure. From self-stirring saucepans to salt-detecting spoons, there’s a gadget for every gourmet geek out there. Some are brilliant (why haven’t these been made before?). Some are super weird (why were these ever made?). And while it’s not ideal to be Googling Masterchef techniques while you’re whisking, the geniuses out there have devised some brilliant little kitchen helpers so you can be as simultaneously chef-y and techy as you like. So grab your spatulas, people. We’re about to foray into the once-enemy territory of the kitchen.
For those lazy chefs among us, here you find a few of the strangest, most inane gastro-gadgetry ever invented:
Behold – the Twirling Spaghetti Fork. Because twirling a fork full of spaghetti all by yourself requires far too grand a skill (and an iota of energy). Never fear – this motorised twirling fork takes all the wrist work out of Italian dining. Just remember to switch it off before putting it in your mouth…
Because sometimes tilting is hard… The Pour Thing (gettit?). For when you’re too weary to wield a bottle upside down, the Pour Thing will turn it for you, pouring you the perfect tipple.
Who wants to bother with those pesky toothpicks? Also, full size forks are cumbersome. Rather use a combination of both – the Finger Pickin’, a colourful, finger condom-esque foodpick. If at your next party your hors d’oeuvres taste bad, as least your guests can focus instead on your bad taste. Classy.
Why assemble your own hangover sandwich? Never again fuss with layers of egg, meat and cheese with one of these babies at your disposal. Enter the Breakfast Sandwich Maker. On several nesting pans, crack your eggs, flip in a roll to toast, add some cheese and meat and it all cooks together neatly to save you from your imminent alcohol poisoning.
Speaking of breakfast, oval eggs are so last millennia. Get your Picasso on with this handy helper – the Egg Cuber. Never suffer through a normal shaped egg again.
And now for some pretty impressive tools of the trade:
The iGrill – for when your iPhone needs to notify you that your grilled chicken has reached its critical temperature (73,889°C to be precise). It uses a Bluetooth-enabled thermometer to link to the iGrill app on your phone, sending you meticulous information regarding the progress of your steak or spatchcock. You can even integrate the tool with Facebook, so everyone you know will see what’s cooking.
Ever desired a R1000 fork? Consider yourself a bit of a piggy? Then the HAPIfork is just for you. This nifty gadget will monitor your eating patterns for you – how many times the fork touches your mouth per minute, how long it takes you to complete one meal, as well as the length of the pauses between scoops. It will also light up to warn you when you’re eating too fast. Slow down your guzzling and ease your digestion with this handy little guy.
If you’re like me, you’ll have an innate fear of sour milk. Refusing to smell the bottle to check its freshness and forcing others to do the disgusting work for you only serves to lose you friends. But not anymore – meet The Milkmaid, a glass and stainless steel, app-enabled milk jug that keeps your milk fresh and alerts you to when your glass of the good stuff is becoming spoiled. Developed via Quirky’s crowdsourcing site, this pH-testing, temperature- and stats-indicating jug is now in development and will soon be available to prevent any gag-inducing smells on your behalf.
How many times have you forgotten to buy eggs? The Egg Minder is a brilliant little solution to this modern-day drawback. A smart egg tray that monitors your eggy inventory, this clever little contraption wirelessly sends information to your smartphone. While you’re out shopping, you can check how many eggs you have left at home, preventing unintentional over-purchasing. It has 14 slots with sensors that not only detect how many eggs you have left, but also alerts you via bright blue LED lights to which egg is oldest so you can use the least fresh ones first. Genius.
Still in the concept phase is Orange Chef’s Prep Pad, an iPad-integrated food scale that doesn’t simply tell you what your food weighs. Not the first food-detecting app out there, it tells you what’s inside the food you’re preparing or buying by breaking it down into its components – carbs, fats, proteins, sodium, vitamins, etc., and then comparing the percentage results to typical nutrient RDA’s (Recommended Daily Allowances). The Prep Pad offers what they’re calling ‘Nutritional Transparency’, so you never have to fear any unwanted allergens or nasty E-numbers in your dinner.
And finally, the seriously cool Hyundai Kitchen Nano Garden. Also still in the concept phase, this brilliant example of integrated lifestyle technology allows you to grow and cultivate a herb and vegetable garden in your own home. Climate controlled, and using its own lighting and filtration system, the Nano Garden is completely customisable in terms of seedling growth speed. It also functions as an all-natural air purifier, eliminating nasty kitchen smells. I have a feeling people may use this hydroponic shelving system for other kinds of herbs, but for those not so inclined, this future garden is a brilliant solution for homes without gardens and those wanting to be eco-sustainable.
Modern life is not just about being efficient; it’s about being more efficient than you were two seconds ago. Automating the culinary experience may only serve to enhance the fun and romance in the heart of the home, making it accessible, innovative and inviting, and whether you’re a gourmet or a gourmand, there is a tech-savvy kitchen appliance just for you.
Minmit, Brit + Co, Co.Design, Quirky, Popular Mechanics, Amazon, Cool Stuff Express, Geek Alerts, Serious Eats, PCmag, The Orange Chef, Tech for LTC, Geek Alerts.