17 Ways Cooking is Going to Get Easier
The latest in kitchen products and appliances are designed to make preparing meals at home simple, quick, and painless
If you're like most people these days, you're preparing more meals at home and entertaining more often too. But that doesn't mean you want to spend more time standing over a hot stove—or searching for the right tool. With these new products, you won't have to.
Leave a heated dish or filled coffee mug in Miele's new Chef microwave for more than 2 minutes and the oven automatically keeps it warm for another 15. Bonus: it also comes in a new fingerprint-resistant stainless steel.
About $1,100; for dealers, miele.com
Speed through food prep—and keep your chicken fingers to yourself—with the help of a faucet that turns on when you lightly brush its spout. (A timer shuts it off automatically should the cat rub up against it and activate it by accident.) Delta's Touch2-O technology appears on its new Pilar and Addison kitchen faucets for attractive no-hands convenience at a real-world price.
From $300; amazon.com
Keep doors grunge-free with a new under-counter trash system that springs out of the cabinet at the nudge of a knee. Called the Kesseboehmer and made by Hafele, it opens the door and draws out a rack bearing two bins; nudge the door again and it all disappears with a deft, soft close.
About $609; hafele.com
The compact, pull-string Swiss Chop Chop from Kuhn Rikon will mince an onion much faster than you can, and with fewer tears—and claims only a morsel of counterspace.
About $30; factorydirect2you.com
Spatula, scoopula, rubbula—just when you thought the flexible scraper couldn't be further permutated, Le Creuset has six new heat-resistant silicone versions coming out in June, with novel shapes designed to clean out a bowl or pan faster and more thoroughly than ever. Their wooden handles detach for cleaning and have ribs for a sound grip, plus a hole for hanging.
From $12; surlatable.com
Broan's Evolution 3 stainless-steel range hood is not only surprisingly quiet but also equipped with four halogen lights, so you can keep a close eye on what's cooking without going deaf or inhaling a cloud of cooking fumes.
About $399; broan.com
Hafele's drop-down system can lower a flat screen to eye level and draw it back up again when you're through watching that knife-skills DVD. The motorized system, which can be installed behind upper cabinets, is also useful for lowering and raising spice and utensil racks, and can be hooked up to either a remote control or a switch.
About $605; hafele.com
Get your keys, cellphone, and iPod out from under the cutting board. Stash them in this Drop Zone cabinet with tidy parking spaces for keys, handbags, backpacks, and more—plus a built-in charging station. Made by Diamond Cabinets, the 21st-century cupboard comes in 9-inch and 24-inch-deep versions, 84 to 96 inches high.
From $500; for dealers, diamondcabinets.com
The Salter Nutritional Scale has a digital readout and a built-in database that lets you know how many calories and nutrients you're adding while you whip up dinner.
About $70; amazon.com
GE's new freestanding, 30-inch Profile induction range packs a lot of high-end features for the price. Its induction burners (which require pots and pans with enough iron to hold a magnet) boil water as quickly as gas while using less energy and can hold a delicate sauce below a simmer; the extra-large (5.3 cubic feet) oven has an upgraded convection fan for faster, more even baking and roasting. And there's even a warming drawer.
About $2,800; geappliances.com
With Fagor's three-in-one plug-in Multicooker, you've got a pressure cooker, a slow cooker—and a rice cooker that prepares the white variety in just six minutes. Look for a new model with additional settings to hit stores in July.
About $120; amazon.com
Samsung's new family-size fridge—which hits stores in June—has French doors to hold a party platter, a high-capacity bottom-mount freezer, and an innovative in-between drawer that can be set at four different temperatures. The drawer is right at counter level so a kid can dive in there to find his own juice box, leaving you free to concentrate on the main course. Or change the drawer's temperature when company's coming and use it to hold a case of white wine or a platter of cheese. The 28-cubic-foot model is three feet deep, has a chilled-water dispenser on the door, and LED lights so you can find the catsup hiding behind the milk. Separate cooling systems keep the humidity high in the produce drawers, extending the shelf life of your lettuce so you can cut down on grocery-store runs.
As shown $2,999; samsung.com
For a lower-tech approach to prolonging your edibles' shelf life in the fridge or the freezer, Oliso's redesigned Frisper Freshkeeper PRO-1000 vacuum sealer now has settings for moist and dry foods as well as one to prevent delicate fare like a brioche or chevre from being sucked flat. Sold as a kit with five reusable zip-open bags and other accessories.
About $180; oliso.com
Special Discount for This Old House Readers
Get ready for summer's harvest! Between now and May 31, 2010, recieve $30 off when you order the new Frisper PRO-1000 Starter Kit at oliso.com/thisoldhouse. Enter code TOH30 at checkout.
Jenn-Air's latest wall oven boasts advanced convection heating for faster, more even roasting and baking, but more important, it is so user-friendly you'll never mistake well-done for rare again. Tap on the large LCD screen and be guided through the cooking process with the help of a built-in temperature probe and programmed guidelines for more than 50 different dishes. When this oven says the roast is how you like it, it's how you like it.
From $2,900; jennair.com
The new Modern pot-filler by Moen extends 24 inches and dumps water at the rate of 5.5 gallons a minute—besting the average pot-filler's 4 gpm— before folding up against the backsplash and out of the way. A button at the tip of the faucet means no more leaning over a hot burner to turn the gusher off.
About $630; showhouse.moen.com
Set up a spot where a sidekick can wash produce or rinse plates. Blanco's new flush-mount, stainless steel Ronis sink is 21 inches across and perfectly round, and comes with a half-moon cutting board made of black glass and a tray with stainless-steel bowls—both items sit neatly on the sink's rim. Upshot: no more excuses for your guests not to help.
About $325; for authorized showrooms, blancoamerica.com