Pixel oven mitts
Everyone needs to eat, so make your Christmas gifts more fun than a DVD box set of MasterChef with our gift ideas for foodies.
No self-respecting, food-loving gadget aficionado can be without this kitchen shrine to 8-bit design. Pixel oven mitts not only keep your hands protected; they'll also earn you way more cred than waving around one of those giant "down down" hands from Coles*. It's all yours for AU$19.95 from Beserk.
iTouchless Towel-Matic paper-towel dispenser
They say that if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But if you can't stand the germs, get one of these automatic paper-towel dispensers. Wave your hand over its sensor, and you get one perfectly formed paper square rolled out for you. It's indispensable for germaphobes, and will set you back by around US$50 without shipping from Amazon — or do a search for the product name to find some eBay listings.
iRepel Nanotech chef's clothing
Do you remember the glory days of being a kid? It involved yelling loudly, being absolved of all responsibility for breaking things and getting food all over oneself. For some of us, this is still how we behave to this day.
If you still struggle with getting food from your plate into your mouth (that old chestnut!), consider specialised clothing. No, not an apron, but a shirt made from stain-resistant nanotechnology! It's like wearing a plastic picnic rug on your chest, but slightly less stylish. It starts at US$49.99 on the iRepel website.
Alfillé Butter Wizard
All those times you've stumbled to the fridge and bemoaned the rock-hard status of your butter are finally over! This temperature-controlled dish makes your block of butter as smooth as ... butter. Hit up Alfillé and part ways with US$49.99. Use a mail forwarder for this one, as it looks like the store only ships within the UK and the US.
Egg cooker and muffin toaster
This one literally had the CNET Australia office clamouring to buy it. It cooks an egg, warms bacon or sausages and toasts bread, croissants or English muffins. Pure alchemy! It's available from Tefal for AU$79.95. Breakfast will never be the same again.
Handpresso ground espresso maker
A list such as this one wouldn't be complete without a gift for coffee lovers. This portable espresso unit can go anywhere you go, and it works with ground or pre-packaged coffee pods. It's available locally from Premier Products Australia.
Pac-Man Ghost table
Once you've prepared your automatic Egg McMuffin, Bugatti toast and hand-squeezed coffee, you'll need somewhere to consume them. What better serving surface could there be than a Pac-Man Ghost table? Handmade by an artist based in Austin, Texas, you can grab yourself one of these beauties for US$650 from Etsy.
Click & Grow
Is your green thumb looking a little brown? This nifty invention takes all of the hard work out of plant maintenance, taking care of watering and fertilising your little tomato plant. It only works with specific cartridges at the moment, including a basil mix and a chilli pepper plant, on the edible side of things. It's available for US$59.99 from the Click & Grow website.
La Sardina camera
This isn't really for use in the kitchen, but it's a camera made by Lomography housed inside of a sardine tin. How could we resist including it on this list? It's probably cheaper than a real tin of Beluga, too. The above model goes for US$179.00.
A luxurious gift for those lazy persons with koutaliaphobia, this mug stirs itself — though you can't lazily transfer it from dishwasher to microwave to mouth, unfortunately, as it's a little too high tech for that. It's available for US$29.95.
A rather excellent invention that got crowd sourced into reality via Kickstarter, the Dipr dunks cookies into your beverage of choice without fingers getting in the way. You can get one for US$2.99 from the site's online store.
Australians don't regularly see bottles of antifreeze lying around come Christmas time, so the Anti-Griddle might take a bit of explaining. It's like a grill, but in reverse: instead of heating food, it freezes it. Place a puree, sauce or foam onto the surface, and it chills it to a frozen or semi-frozen state. You can even buy a 240V model, which will work with Australian voltage, but it will cost you US$1235. Perhaps leave this one to the hobbyists and Heston Blumenthals, then.
Where would any self-respecting tech lover be without a touch of ThinkGeek in their lives come Christmas time?
Probably in the dog house, that's where. ForkChops (ha!) take the indecision out of meal time. Chinese? Italian? Chitalian? Take all the utensils with you to your next soiree, and start an intellectual discussion about why Louis Pasteur was such a genius. Sets are available for US$5.99.
Will it blend? Why, yes, dear, it will
Where would a list like this one be without the internet's favourite blender: Blendtec? Made famous by a series of "Will it Blend?" videos, no food lover should be without one of these this festive season. Blenders start at US$384.95.