Published on July 5th, 2010 | by Greg0
Kitchen Gadgets: Cut, Fry, and… Thermometize?
Not everything useful in a kitchen is as big as a coffee maker or a toaster. There are plenty of items that are tinier- from the wide range of knives that we’ve tried to pots of pans that are essentials for any budding chef. Today we look at three items that can help you in ways large and small.
We’ll start with the smallest- the CDN Digital Tea Thermometer and Timer. It looks a bit like a meat or candy thermometer, but offers pre-programmed settings for various types of tea (18 in total). And you can use the timer for various strengths as well, to let you know when you can stop steeping and start sipping. We had trouble figuring out what all of the abbreviations meant, but once we did, they seemed pretty useful (accurate timings for various tea types). This model has a fairly limited temperature range, aimed at beverages 14 to 212Â°F- but the screen is fairly easy to understand and the auto-off protects battery life. At $20 or so, it might not be as handy as the Touchless model we’ve seen before but is a fraction of the price and can make life a little easier on the tea lover.
We’ve seen some neat stuff from Kuhn Rikon before, including a spice grinder and colorful cutlery. Fitting into the latter category is the Kuhn Rikon Kulu, available in both 4.5 inch and 6 inch sizes, along with red or green colors. It is definitely a hard knife to find a place to store- your normal knife block won’t work- but it’s an easy knife to use. Swiss-quality meets Eskimo-style, it’s comfortable in the hand and quite sharp thanks to the high carbon Japanese steel. The nonstick coating is decent enough, and this tool can make short work of any mincing of chopping tasks, especially stalk veggies and herbs like chives or lemongrass. We would’ve liked a bit more texture on the grip, but it’s a knife anyone can enjoy, and it’s definitely inexpensive and unique enough to make a great gift. And the name is fun to boot! $12-$20 online.
Last up is GreenPan- a manufacturer that we weren’t familiar with, but that offers a few lines of non-stick cookware using Thermolon’s coating that promises to be PTFE-free, non-toxic even if you overheat your pan, and even prevent quite a bit of CO2 emissions during manufacturing. We were a bit skeptical, as their website seemed a bit out of date, and they didn’t show any availability in the USA, but we’ve been using the GreenPan Rotterdam 12-inch Fry Pan, part of their ‘professional’ collection. We have to admit, we liked the long handles, silicone-ensleeved so they didn’t burn our hands when cooking (and didn’t slip from our grasp either). We weren’t as convinced by the coating- compared to some other pans we’ve tried, we needed to use more oil or butter to avoid sticking and the Rotterdam was harder to clean up as well. Made from anodized aluminum, we found them a bit easy to scuff nonetheless, though that may have simply been cosmetic (and our occasional use of metal utensils, something they warn against). These pans do look pretty nice though, adding a touch of green to the often drab set of pans. After a few uses, we weren’t sold, as they didn’t seem to cook quite as evenly nor hold up as well, but we should emphasize the inexpensive nature and the variety of pans and bakeware available. Few seem to be for sale on our shores at the moment though, but they appear to be around $70 or so for this pan and varying widely on others.