Articles by Chris Chamberlain



Lumi Wine Wall Looks to Upcycle Used Wine Casks with Kickstarter Campaign

I’ve got a fairly decent size wine collection, but I wouldn’t call what I do with my bottles “cellaring.” That implies that I’m intentionally saving it for a future date when the wine has matured or perhaps become more valuable. The hundred or so bottles of good juice that are in various racks and shelves around my house are merely bottles I haven’t drunk yet. I’ll get to you soon…


Vejibags Keep Your Greens Greener

Now that April showers are giving way to May flowers, there are also plenty of wonderful greens coming up in farms and gardens. My family has been members of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share for years. If you’ve never participated in a CSA, basically the deal is that you pay a farmer in advance of the growing season in return for a bushel or half bushel of vegetables every…


Travaso Fine Wine Decanters Make Something Good Even Better

Let’s talk about decanting. I think that most people who enjoy wine are familiar with the process of decanting, introducing air to a liquid by pouring it from one container into another. This serves two major purposes. First, if you’ve stored your wine correctly with the neck slightly below parallel to keep the cork wet so that it doesn’t dry out and crack (you do that, right?), then any sediment…


Kutsko Cutting Boards Offer Novel Kitchen Solutions

Nate Kutsko is a born problem solver. His day gig is a partner with his father in a handyman service that has earned a reputation for coming into houses and being able to fix just about anything that needs repairing, from plumbing to electrical to woodworking. In his home workshop, Kutsko likes to tinker around with projects, especially with wood. He noticed that when he and his friends were picnicing…


Beer Hunter and Drinkmaster Will Keep You Warm and Your Beer Cold

It’s time for slightly embarrassing admissions here at Gear Diary: I can personally vouch that when I was in college (hmmpty-hmmph) years ago, I learned that it is possible to smuggle an entire eight-pack of 8 oz. Little Kings Cream Ales into a movie theater stashed within the various pockets of a denim jacket. I mean, have you seen the price of concessions at the movies lately?! Unfortunately, I can…


Baker’s Math Kitchen Scale – KD8000 – Unleash Your Inner Alton Brown Again

I’ve often said (including here on Gear Diary, I think), that in the kitchen you’re either an Alton or a Mario. “Altons” refer to Alton Brown, the Mr. Wizard of the Food Network who combines science and math with recipes to teach you how to cook and why precision is important. I’m an Alton. “Marios” are more like Mario Batali, cooks who throw in a dash of this and a…


New Grilling Developments from Saffire and Grate Chef

The unseasonably warm weather in my hometown of Nashville assured that my holiday turkey would just have to be cooked outdoors. I’ve outgrown the fad of deep-frying turkeys, both because it’s really pretty unhealthy and the fact that I really don’t want to burn my house down just to save a little cooking time. Plus, I really like the flavor of a smoked turkey because, let’s face it turkey doesn’t…


Wine Caddys from H & K Steel Sculptures: Protect Your Bottle!

Maybe the only possible thing wrong with a bottle of good wine is that it comes in a breakable container. It is so sad to watch a grown man (me) cry when a bottle accidentally gets knocked off the counter and hits the floor with a crash. Not to mention the mess that broken glass and red wine can make on a floor. We used to joke that if you…


iBike POWERHOUSE Complete Cycling Fitness Plan

Through the years, I’ve reviewed several devices for iPhones and iPods that purport to be sturdy protective mounts for bicycle usage. Keeping in mind that there are inherent dangers in listening to music while you’re cycling, especially if you have to worry about dangling headphone wires, it’s important to make sure that safety is your first concern. The iBike POWERHOUSE ensures both the safety of your iPhone and your body…


iShower Bluetooth Water Resistant Speaker Review

I’m a guy who needs constant input. Whether it’s sport talk on the radio or music from Spotify while I’m working or a television droning in the background while I’m fixing supper, I always want something to entertain me. So the five minutes I spend in the shower every morning is problematic. I do have one of those old shower radios that had a television tuner as well so I…


Spray Your Way to Umami Today

If you’re any sort of foodie, you’re probably familiar with the concept of “umami.” Along with sweet, sour, bitter and Salty, umami is the fifth taste which humans can discern in their food. Great food has an interplay between several of these tastes. Think peanut butter pretzels or salted caramel ice cream. Just typing those words kicks off my Pavlovian response. Umami translates roughly from Japanese into English as “pleasant…


Desktop USB Fundue Set from ThinkGeek.com – You Can Fondue It

I occasionally wonder why they even bother to manufacture new fondue sets. Considering the number of folks who bought one of these contraptions in the late 1970’s to melt cheese or chocolate so that they could dip bread or cheesecake chunks in them, I imagine that there are thousands of these things tucked away in garages and attics all over the country. (Including mine. Don’t judge. It seemed like a…



OXO GoodGrips Handheld Mandoline is a Finger Saver

I love working in the kitchen, but I have to admit that I’m a total chicken when it comes to using a mandoline. Knives don’t frighten me, since I keep them really sharp with my whetstone and have pretty decent knife skills. But when I finally broke down and bought an expensive mandoline, I had heard so many horror stories of chefs cutting the ends of their fingers off while…


AmazingRibs Meat Temperature Guide Might Just Save Your Bacon Review

There are lots of ways to determine the doneness of meat that you are grilling or roasting in your oven. (Notice I didn’t say “BBQing.” Where I come from BBQ is a noun, not a verb.) In addition to meat thermometers and a nifty little iPhone app that I’ve reviewed lately, sometimes it’s best to go old school. The cooking geniuses at GrillGrate.com have developed what they call the “Meathead’s…


Just Chill Out with Bottle on Ice Wine Cooler

Contrary to popular belief, you’re not supposed to drink red wine at room temperature or white wine straight out of the refrigerator. Most whites taste best after being allowed to warm up about twenty minutes after being removed from the fridge, and your better Chardonnays and White Burgundies really shine at cellar temperature, which is about 55°. Red wines generally drink best at close to 65°, which unless you live…


iGrill + Omaha Steaks’ Steak Time App = Meat Magic

Now far be it from me to tell a man (or a woman for that matter) how to use their BBQ grill. Like politics and religion, grilling is a topic where advice is rarely appreciated or even more rarely followed. I’m sure you’re great at cooking a steak over charcoal or gas, and I wouldn’t tell you to your face if I thought otherwise. A. because you’re feeding me and…


Velocomp Introduces iBike Powerhouse for iPhone/iPod Touch

Since I am one of Gear Diary’s cooking and kitchen gadget reviewers and also write about food for a few other publications, it’s all I can do to keep myself anywhere near fighting weight. One of my favorite exercise regimens as part of the battle of the bulge is cycling, both on the road and in the gym. So that’s why I was excited to see the latest announcement from…


Blacktop 360 Portable Griddle/Grill/Fryer Review

When you first see the Blacktop 360 Portable Griddle/Grill/Fryer, it’s hard not to think it’s a gimmicky product. I mean it just screams “As Seen on TV” thanks to its claim to be the Swiss Army Knife of your tailgating needs with a propane grill top, a griddle for frying or warming and even a 20 oz. fryer basket. But upon further inspection, darned if it doesn’t live up to…