10 Best Kitchen Tools We Need to Invent Right Now
I cannot believe I've made it this long in life without an egg-scrambler.
Photo courtesy Kickstarter
In news of the dumb, a Chicago inventor recently achieved Kickstarter success and Internet fame with a device that he purports will scramble an egg without breaking or penetrating the shell. It's called the Golden Goose--you know, because the result is a golden egg--and in just a few days, the unusual instrument has raised $109,001 on Kickstarter, nearly $75,000 more than its initial goal. The device works by using centrifugal force to mix the white and the yolk without introducing any outside air. The egg can then be hard or soft boiled and enjoyed.
Which leads us to...why? Is it too hard to just scramble an egg? Do "Golden Eggs" somehow taste better than regular ol' eggs? Does rotating an egg really fast in a plastic contraption make you look cool? Hell if I know.
But this got us thinking. There are definitely some voids in our kitchen tool collection--voids that exist not because we haven't purchased certain items, but because these items for which we pine do not yet exist. If there are any intrepid inventors out there, please, start the design and development process now.
And when you become the next big as-seen-on-TV sensation, we want a cut.
10. Quick peeler Peeling fruits and vegetables takes far longer than it should. There needs to be a way to peel items in one swift movement, like one cores an apple with that fancy corer/slicer tool. Yes, there's always this method, but the whole drill/super sharp peeler combo seems like a recipe for disaster for an inexperienced cook.
9. Chicken de-boner With this tool, you would merely stick an entire raw chicken into some sort of machine, and out it would pop on the other side, all jiggly and boneless. How would this be possible? I haven't the foggiest. But I daresay it would be a miracle.
8. Non-scraping zester/grater Yes, dear microplane, I realize that my skin has much the same texture as that of a lemon peel. And yes, I'm aware that if I keep my fingers and knuckles out of the way, I will avoid a nasty microplane scrape. Somehow, though, this never seems to work out for me. Whether I'm grating Parmesan or zesting a lime, I nearly always manage to cut myself. So now you know why that key lime pie has a slight iron taste.
7. Berry de-seeder Few things are more annoying to me than drinking a smoothie with raspberries in it and getting those tiny, bitter seeds stuck all up in my teeth. Yes, I suppose I could strain smoothies after blending them, but a sieve thin enough to catch raspberry seeds would pretty much require that the smoothie be melted in order to slide through the spaces. Blackberry seeds are similarly frustrating. Would that there were something to remove the seeds while leaving the smoothie intact...
6. Instant dough-riser Waiting for bread dough to rise is a pain in the ass. Let sit for two hours, knead, let sit for another two hours, knead again...the process can take all day. Ain't nobody got time for that. Instead, why not invent something about microwave-sized that would make dough rise in no time? Simply place the dough inside, press some buttons, wait a minute or two, and voila!
This story continues on the next page.
5. Meat pounder Though pounding out meat can be a great way to relieve pent-up aggression, it can also be a chore. Enter the Meat Pounder 3000, a sort of robotic arm with various settings that can pound your meat to the desired thickness without all the wax paper and tenderizer. It could clamp on to the edge of a counter and be left alone for however long it takes to get the meat just right. Alternatively, it could be used to crush graham crackers for cheesecake crust.
4. Pistachio shell splitter Generally, breaking open pistachio shells isn't that difficult. But every now and then, one escapes the packaging plant still mostly sealed together, a tiny sliver of green nut barely peeking through as if mocking a hungry snacker. I'm most likely to stick the darn thing between my teeth and bite down, but that's both messy and bad for the chompers. Sure, a regular old nutcracker would do, but why settle for that when you could have a tool specifically for pistachios?
3. Silent blender My father has supersonic hearing. No joke. He wears ear muffs when he vacuums or blends or even goes to the movies. I'm not that sensitive, but it is rather frustrating to have to halt a conversation while you blend a frappuccino or grind coffee. These days, manufacturers are able to make cars that are nearly silent, and their engines are far larger than those in a tiny blender. Make it happen, GE.
If I can't see my vodka and bagels, we have a problem.
Photo by Lenore Edman
2. Instant defroster Recently, I was talking to a chef about an event for which he'd be cooking a large amount of meat, and he was bemoaning the fact that it would take about four hours for the carcass to defrost in his commercial refrigerator. Only he didn't have four days. He had two. If you don't defrost meat the proper way, it can grow bacteria and become dangerously inedible. Unfortunately, that takes time and careful monitoring. Wouldn't it be easier to put whatever meat you need defrosted into some sort of holding container, tweak a few settings and give it an hour or so to reach the desired temperature without overheating any one part? Yes. Yes, it would.
1. Freezer light Why the hell doesn't the freezer have a light in it? Why? Why? Yes, some freezers have lights in them, but the vast majority do not. And I don't get it. I've heard various arguments about the frost that would form on a potential light and how the heat from the light would warm the freezer too much and a whole host of other arguments that I just don't buy. We can send people to the moon. We can transplant beating hearts from one person to another. We can fly across the Atlantic Ocean in three hours. Surely the technology exists to put a functioning light in a freezer. I don't understand why this isn't already common practice. There's just no way I'm the only person who doesn't want to turn on an overhead light and alert my significant other to the fact that I'm getting ice cream at 2 a.m. There's just no way.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.