Kitchen and Bar Gear

Melitta Pour Over 1 Cup Brew Cone Review

I love my Keurig.  It’s my morning companion almost every day.  A cup or two of coffee and I head out the door to work.  Once I get to work, I also get another cup or two of coffee while I read through my e-mail.  Well, recently I had to move offices from one building to another. In my new work place, the cost of the coffee club was more than the old place and it didn’t include sweetener and creamer.  So, I decided I needed to go on my own with the coffee and spotted one of these Melitta Pour Over…


Banana Slicer Is Good for Slicing Bananas and a Laugh

Normally I wouldn’t even look at the Hutzler 571 Banana Slicer on Amazon as I have seen these gadgets hanging on grocery shelves for about 20 years at LEAST.  However, thanks to several friends who shared this on Facebook, I had a good laugh the other day.  Why?  The comments!  It keeps getting funnier as time goes on.  Check out some of these comments about this gadget that slices a banana all at once. click to enlarge This one is another favorite. click to enlarge Funny right?  Have you seen any other things on Amazon with funny reviews?  Share below!


Café Cup Review

I love my Keurig coffee maker.  It’s my morning companion and has been for many years.  Sometimes, though, I have coffee I want to try that is not available as a Keurig K-cup.  While Keurig offers up an adapter that lets you use any ground coffee in a Keurig machine, my experience with it is not all too positive. Every time I’ve used it the reusable K-Cup leaks water all over the place. It is better than the wasteful K-Cups that are used once and then thrown in the trash or, more accurately, they would be if they worked. Sadly… they don’t….


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 sprinkle of that and never measure anything. My girlfriend is a Mario. Well, maybe she’s more of a Maria… These two archetypes can work well together in a kitchen, as…


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 ever dropped a glass in my family’s kitchen that everyone would be banned from that room for a month by my mom and her fear of slivers in our slippers….


Help Us Make the No-Spill Kangaroo Cup a Kickstarter Reality

This isn’t our typical Kickstarter post. That’s why we are departing from our usual Kickstarter format. No, this is a special Kickstarter post and in it we want to tell you a story and then offer a challenge. It’s a great story, and it’s a worthwhile challenge. The Story: A young girl sees her grandfather dealing with Parkinson’s. Among the challenges he faces are spills resulting from his constant shaking. She doesn’t want to see her grandfather embarrassed by spills. She doesn’t want her grandmother to constantly be dealing with the spills either. So “after a bit of experimentation, she…


KeyShark Takes a Bite Out of That Bottle

The other day I received a KeyShark from the folks at Cranky Monkee for a review here at Gear Diary. The timing was perfect, as it arrived just before for my annual U of I football tailgate. So, what is a KeyShark you ask? And what does it have to do with football tailgating? Well, I’m glad you asked. A KeyShark is a lightweight, but strong, bottle opener that is designed to fit on your keychain. I have to say, though, that when it first arrived I was a little skeptical. It’s pretty darn small and pretty darn lightweight. It was…


Drink Like a Winner with a Gold Medal Bottle Opener

I am extremely excited for the upcoming Summer Olympics. Winter Olympics are ok, but summer is the best. Track and field, beach volleyball, swimming, beach volleyball, gymnastics, and did I mention beach volleyball? Now, I am not so excited as to celebrate with a themed party (full disclosure: we did that in college for the winter Olympics, and let’s just say it was sort of like “The Hangover” but with mystery IHOP receipts instead of casino ones). But if you do, you need to fully commit to it, and Gadgets and Gear has you covered with a medal-style bottle opener:…


Sip a New Take on Water with Tyent’s UCE 9000 Turbo Water Ionizer

  Our house in New Jersey is served by well water; in fact, the only “public” service we get is electricity. While we do get our water tested every few years we had concerns that, between tests, anything could happen. As a result we installed a Reverse Osmosis Filtration system. This gives us clean, safe, filtered drinking water. The RO system is nothing exciting, and it lives beneath the sink. The only hint of it is the special spout that sits next to the main faucet. Tyent’s new UCE water ionizer is another way to filter water. It, however, is…


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 carelessly using these razor-like slicing and julienning machines, I made sure to get a really expensive one with all the safety options. And then I actually bought a kevlar glove…


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 Temperature Magnet.” If someone calls me a meathead, I take it as a compliment, so I was happy to see this product. There are so many things to like about…


Keep Your Beer Cool and Your Tunes Loud with the Marshall Fridge

This Marshall Fridge is pretty amazing. It looks like an Marshall amp, but it hides something tastier than great tunes. Yeah, it holds a few six packs or anything else that you might need to keep cold — although beer is much more fun than milk. As the description on Werd notes, You’re never going to play guitar like Stevie Ray Vaughn or Slash but if you shred 6-packs like they shred six strings, the Marshall Fridge will be the perfect addition to your pad. It looks like the iconic Marshall stack amp but it’s really a 4.4 cubic foot…


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 in my grandparents’ old house, probably is a bit colder than room temperature. So the easy rule of thumb is to take white wine out of the refrigerator twenty minutes…


Keurig Introduces the New Keurig Vue Brewing System

Most of the Gear Diary team and many of my friends know that I love my Keurig machine.  Brewing many different hot drinks from coffee to cocoa, my Keurig is my morning friend, and I’ve even been known to fire it up in the evening? However, there’s one thing that my Keurig can’t do — milky drinks like latte’s and cappuccinos. Well, Keurig has done it again and brought out a new brewing system called the Keurig Vue.


Get a Grip on Alder & Co’s Maple Salad Hands

I think that we can all agree that sometimes it’s the little things which make a meal special, and these solid Vermont maple ‘Salad Hands’ by Alder and Co. look like they could instigate a few appreciative comments from around the dinner table. For $34, they can handle your greens. Alder & Co. — Maple Salad Hands.


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 B. because you probably have fire and sharp BBQ tools within arm’s reach. Maybe you’re one of those people who can judge a steak’s doneness by comparing the surface of the…


If You’re Gonna Get Bombed Anyway, Try the ‘Bombs Away’ Shot Glasses from ConvenientGadgets.com

So does anybody actually still do shots anymore? In my younger day, I might have tipped a few back, and I do see the young folks dropping a Jägerbomb every now and then at my local watering hole. But for the most part, I like to sip my drinks rather than snapping my head back and pouring one down my gullet. However, if you are in the holiday spirit for some holiday spirits and want to maximize the efficiency of your consumption, then perhaps a set of Bombs Away Shot Glasses from ConvenientGadgets.com is just the ticket. Made from sturdy…


Look Cool While You Cool Your Cocktail with Whiskey Disks

. Whiskey Disks. It’s probably wise not to try to say that three times fast, especially if you’ve been drinking whiskey. Actually Whiskey Disks are a new product designed to give spirits fans the best possible enjoyment of their sipping. When I first heard about Whiskey Disks, I immediately reached out the manufacturers to see if I could try some out for myself. They quickly obliged, which is fortunate since I usually enjoy at least one glass of bourbon every night after dinner to take the edge off a hard day of writing about food and booze. I normally enjoy…


Smoke Like a Pro with the Peg Leg Porker BBQ Kit

I’ve loved pork for a long time – waaay before the hipsters made bacon worship popular. One of my favorite ways to spend a Saturday afternoon is to put a pork butt on the smoker first thing in the morning and watch college football all day while the meat soaks up the hickory goodness. Since you have to add new wood every hour or so, it pretty much guarantees that you have to stay on your couch all day and restoke the fire at halftime of each game. Sorry about those chores, sweetie. Can’t you see I’m working here? While…


Yum Log: The Key to an Awesome Margarita

Early in December we’ll be heading down to our timeshare for a week of sun. Each day there has a fairly typical routine that includes being back in one of the timeshare apartments playing Scrabble, cards, reading and, of course, having afternoon drinks. It for that reason that one of the items I may be packing this year is a citrus squeeze. Yes, I may actually bring my own citrus squeezer along on our vacation. Why? Because nothing is better than a delicious fresh margarita made with fresh squeezed lime juice!! Over the years we’ve tried a number of different juicers….


The Belkin iPad Kitchen Cabinet Mount Review

Long-time Gear Diary fans may remember me from my stint a few years back as our resident “Stunt Reviewer.” Well, like a bad penny, I’ve turned up again and Judie and the gang have been nice enough to welcome me back to contribute the occasional review or announcement, specifically for the “Yum Log” section where we take a look at kitchen, food and cooking products and gadgets. In the couple years since I stopped writing here, I’ve been a full-time food blogger for the Nashville Scene in my home town and an occasional contributor to regional and national food magazines…