We expect a lot out of our electrical appliances, so much to the point that we take them for granted. In the kitchen, a press of a button can and does result in automatic meal preparation. With this type of convenience literally at our fingertips, it is no wonder that more archaic pieces of cookware often get buried in the back of the cupboard. Lost in that transition away from old-fashioned forms of cooking are the benefits that they can provide. That is, until somebody adds a plug.
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it also happens to be the most rushed. Since the name of the game is to fuel up and get out of the house, it doesn't take much to see why not a lot of time is invested meditating on kitchen appliances in the morning. That ambivalence can extend to the design of our breakfast-makers--otherwise they would more often go beyond basic black. Yet sometimes the confluence of convenience, versatility, and design results in something that gives us what we need and looks good doing it.
Appliances that … Read more
The Nostalgia Electrics RMO-400 Microwave Oven is part of a Retro Series collection and looks like it could easily belong in a kitchen of yesteryear--except that it is a microwave. The ubiquitous appliance came to prominence in the '70s and '80s, but to be fair, commercial models were available as far back as the '40s. It is doubtful, however, that any of them resembled this unit. But really, none of that matters--the microwave does look pretty cool.
In use, the 800-watt microwave supplies all modern features that consumers have come to expect, including a turntable and 12 preprogrammed settings. The … Read more
Some kitchen appliances come with a host of features that never get used. The allure of versatility in the kitchen being what it is, the inclusion of suspect features will never go out of style. But when that added versatility does shine, so often it is when attachments are involved. Even those that store away in a plain canvas bag.
The KitchenAid 9-Speed Architect Series KHM920 Hand Mixer features the usability that has long made hand mixers staples of the kitchen. Turning up the versatility, this model provides attachments that extend the usefulness of the one gadget. Along with two … Read more
Many soft pretzel recipes call for a dunk in boiling water before baking. This helps to give them their distinctive chewiness and appealing texture. But like all things in the kitchen, cutting corners is a time-honored tradition that will always have a place on the countertop. Often in a clamshell shape.
The Nostalgia Electrics SPF200 Soft Pretzel Factory is a specialty countertop appliance that simplifies the pretzel-making process. Featuring interchangeable plates that can cook batches of either two large pretzels or six smaller ones, the gadget can deliver a round of pretzels in 3 to 5 minutes. No complicated twisting … Read more
The haze of morning has inspired a great many improvements in kitchen gadgetry. Now, when we wake, we no longer have to wait for our coffee to be brewed; programmable timers have seen to that. The coffeemaker was, of course, the most obvious kitchen appliance to set on automatic. (Otherwise how would anything else ever get done?) But after we are fueled with coffee, next our attention turns to food. Yet breakfast still can't make itself.
The Wolfgang Puck 1,200-Watt Self-Rotating Waffle Baker won't make your breakfast for you, but it's a start. Featuring the ability … Read more
Firing up the oven in order to cook a meal isn't a particularly good way to beat the heat. However, along with resorting to cold meals on hot days, other methods of meal preparation have necessarily evolved. Sure, the microwave is a fast, go-to option for heating up a meal, but its limitations for developing flavor are well known. Since trying to brown food in the microwave isn't anywhere near effective, a more direct approach is needed. As in the direct heat supplied by a toaster oven.
When discovering the benefits of having a food processor, one of the first realizations is the simple fact that it should have been purchased a long time ago. That is because food processors are incredible time-savers. As the RPMs ratchet up, the blades spin and whatever needs slicing or chopping is reduced to the desired consistency in seconds. It all happens so fast there almost isn't enough time to consider how much time cumulatively would have been saved if the purchase had been made a long time ago. Almost.
One of the first things that new food processor owners … Read more
Some kitchen appliances just can't stand up to the rigors of...the kitchen. To be fair, it's is not always plastic parts or shoddy manufacturing that causes these breakdowns; sometimes it is just a matter of pushing an appliance past its limits. Anybody who has ever tried to use a blender as a food processor understands this. The right tool for the job can make all the difference in the world--especially when in need of big batches.
Microwaves are anything but uncommon; the ubiquitous appliances have managed to work their way into practically every corner of our lives. As for actually being in the corner, the boxy shape has always been a hindrance, but sometimes the corner happens to be the best place in the kitchen to place it. So, it gets angled in, and we learn to live with the resulting wasted space. Or, one could pick up a microwave that happens to have a rounded back.