When you're racing to get dinner on the table, the last thing you need is to get stuck at the stove stirring the gravy. And while few of us can afford our own dedicated sous chef, the $80 Stirio makes for a far more affordable kitchen assistant.

With adjustable arms that clamp on to the sides of pots, and a mixer that automatically raises and lowers, the Stirio can handle everything from thin broths to cement-like oatmeal. Two adjustable speeds help ensure the perfect consistency depending on what you're cooking, and on a fresh charge it will keep stirring for up to 45 minutes unsupervised.

The Stirio isn't designed to replace a dedicated mixer, though. It doesn't have nearly enough torque to handle dough, and can't spin fast enough to turn egg whites into meringues. But as an alternative to putting your ten-year-old on stirring duty, it's guaranteed not to fling red sauce all over your kitchen. [Unikia]