In case you haven't noticed, we love gadgets around here. In fact, our list of our favorite kitchen gear quickly became far too long for a single article, so we're splitting it in half. We present to you our favorite Kitchen Gadgets, and stay tuned in the near future for our favorite Cooking Gear. As always, we can't wait for you to post links to your own favorites in the comments section.
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My roller derby friends tell me I really need a Vitamix, but at $550 I just can't see it. Don't run out and replace the blender you have if it's working for you, but in our opinion your next blender should be this Breville. It's got stellar reviews across the board and looks like the lovechild of a Pyrex measuring cup and a MacBook Pro.
We'll drop some quick links to our coffee gear of choice, but we really recommend checking out our whole post dedicated to Our Favorite Coffee Gear.
Aerobie AeroPress | $26
Before I saw The Sweethome's recommendation for these Tovolo Ice Cube Trays, I had basically stopped using ice altogether. My ice maker's tray takes up way too much room in my NYC freezer, and #firstworldproblem or not, my refrigerator doesn't have an ice maker on the door. But this Tovolo Tray takes up almost no space, comes in a ton of fun colors, is durable, and most importantly, makes a really big ice cube that melts really slowly.
I've owned a lot of different "soft serve" ice cream makers in my life, and this is the only one that actually makes real soft serve and not just regular ice cream that's slightly melted. It's eye-catching, it does mix-ins, it even makes yogurt. Also, it's really really good.
In 2012 I went from weighing over 190 pounds to weighing under 160 pounds simply by changing my diet. Part of that change involved adding fresh, homemade juice made from vegetables like kale to my life. I personally own the Breville Compact Juice Extractor. I love it, and am unlikely to replace it until it breaks, but all the research and reading I've done since that purchase points to the Omega being the superior machine.
Our Favorite Fitness Products is another article we have in our pipeline.
No surprise here, right?
Breville should ape an Apple line and say they're at "the intersection of design and indulgence". There are a lot of cheesy single-use dessert making gadgets out there, but this thing is solid and beautiful, and did we mention it makes pies?
Believe it or not, popcorn doesn't have to be slathered in butter to taste good. This Cuisinart uses hot air instead of hot oil to pop the kernels, and the whole process takes under 3 minutes. It's a lot of fun to watch and even more fun to eat.
This one's pretty straightforward. OXO makes great products and this scale is no exception. The stainless steel is a must, and the pull-out display comes in handy more often than you might think.
Combo: Besides cooking and dieting, this baby will also be extremely helpful in perfecting your perfect cup of tea and/or coffee.
A standard snow cone machine makes your ice snow cone-ready by crushing it, but Hawaiian Shaved Ice is created by running a blade over the ice, which makes for a dessert that's more like snow and less like rocks- and far more delicious and enjoyable to eat. Like with SodaStream Soda, there are basically endless flavor possibilities here, whether you decide to use the company's own syrup, or third party options, or even make your own.
SodaStream Source | $100
"OMG Want" was my reaction when I first discovered the SodaStream line. Homemade soda that's better for your wallet, better for the environment, and better for you body. You can adjust how strong the soda is with how much syrup you use, or adjust how carbonated your soda is with a the press of a button. Don't like any of SodaStream's 60+ syrup flavors? No problem, just use a third-party syrup, or make your own. The SodaStream Source is our model of choice because it provides all the features that matter for essentially the same price as the line's cheapest model, and it looks fantastic.
Cheaper CO2 In The Long Run: SodaMod CO2 Adapter | $60
As you can probably guess, the SodaStream uses CO2 canisters to carbonate your beverage, and at some point they need to be refilled. Taking the canister to a participating retailer and trading it in for a fresh one costs half as much as buying a new one outright, but another option to consider is the SodaMod. The SodaMod is a SodaStream adapter that lets you plug in refillable paintball CO2 canisters, which are far cheaper to refill than SodaStream's proprietary tanks.
Stainless Steel Straws (Bent) | $6 for 4
Stainless Steel Straws (Straight) | $6 for 4
You're not going to save the environment with your new SodaStream just to destroy it with disposable plastic straws right? These stainless steel straws come in straight and bent varieties, are a joy to drink out of, and you only have to buy them once.
Manual: FORLIFE Brew-In-Mug Extra Fine Tea Infuser With Lid | $15
Automatic: Breville One-Touch Tea Maker | $240
We've got an article dedicated to Our Favorite Tea Gear in the pipeline, but we already know our two main recommendations, and now you do too. The FORLIFE Infuser is a dead simple, non-plastic, surefire way to make some great tea, while the Breville is the stunning, intelligent, best way for true tea enthusiasts to get their fix.
Berkey Water Filtration System | Price varies depending on capacity.
Berkey Black Filters | $100
Suspend your cynicism for a moment, because this one's a little weird. The first thing you need to know is that your Brita sucks, competing water pitchers aren't much better, and on-faucet or under sink filtration options are all ineffective for the same reasons the Brita is. The price for the replacement filters for all those options just rubs salt in the wound, to say nothing of the fact that it's highly unlike you ever replace the filters on time anyway.
Enter Berkey, a product line with a terrible name and high upfront cost that not only happens to be the best water filter out there, but will save you a massive amount of cash in the long run. The Berkey removes sediment, chemicals, bacteria, and even viruses, but doesn't strip your water of beneficial minerals, a feature which has the added bonus of making the water taste really good. The Berkey is stainless steel and designed far more thoughtfully than it appears to be at first blush, and the filters are good for thousands of gallons of water. Too good to be true? Apparently not.
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