Kitchen Gadgets

These Knives Will Make You Feel Like a Samurai

These may look like swords designed for a really small samurai, but they are actually meant for the food ninja in your life. And while they are quirky, they are also quite practical. This stylish set contains four knives — bread, chef’s meat carver, utility, and paring; you’ll also get sheaves for each and this cool display stand. Just $62 here. via Werd


Celebrate Julia Child’s 101st Birthday with a Price Reduction in the Mastering the Art of French Cooking App!

When I was a wee preschooler, my morning TV schedule ran from Sesame Street to Mr. Rogers, and then to Julia Child’s cooking show, The French Chef, which helped plant the seed that influenced my interest in cooking. Why do I mention this bit of minutiae? Well, it so happens that today is famed chef Julia Child’s 101st birthday, and to celebrate, Random House Digital, Inc. slashed the price of their iOS app Mastering the Art of French Cooking: Selected Recipes from $4.99 to $1.99 from August 15 through August 18! Based on Child’s acclaimed book Mastering the Art of…


Tempour from Soiree Review – One Wine Tool to Rule Them All

As a food and drink writer, I get the opportunity to try out a lot of gadgets that purport to make my drinking life easier. Not that I don’t appreciate them, but the drawers of my liquor cabinet are full of things to cool my drinks, tools to aerate and decant wine, strainers, bottle stoppers, collars that fit around bottlenecks to prevent dripping and strainers to filter out the sediment in aged wines. It’s frankly getting to be a bit of a mess in there, and I usually just keep the drawer shut. So I was quite excited to hear…


Start Dipping Your Cookies in Milk the Civilized Way with the Dipr

Surely one of the best known images representing the simple pleasures of childhood must be dipping cookies in milk.  My sister and her friends were avid practitioners of the art, but I never took a shining to the practice myself. The whole dipping one’s cookie and often fingers into milk just seemed messy and uncivilized, just too reminiscent of early teething toddlers sticking formerly useful household objects into their gooey, slavering maws. The horror! Thankfully, the march of civilization continues, and with that march has emerged the Dipr, the first utensil specifically designed to allow for tidy dipping, eating and enjoying…


Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer Review – Doesn’t Your Beer Deserve This Bottle Opener?

That question was, of course, rhetorical. Of COURSE your beer (or other bottled beverage) deserves a bottle opener as simple and useful as the Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer that Kaufman Mercantile sent me to check out. Made in Germany, the Hermetus Bottle Opener and Resealer is a metal bottle opener that easily opens any bottle, but then it is also able to glide over the top and make a tight seal that helps keep beers from going flat or spilling. Why would you need such a device? Simple… This IPA is not only strong but it is huge. And…


Lifehacker’s ‘Top 10 Awesome MacGyver Tricks that Speak for Themselves’ Is Awesome

I love to find tips and tricks that make my life easier, and that’s why a recent post on Lifehacker caught my eye … the title might have had something to do with it, too, as I do love MacGuyer-esque fixes. 😉 Three of my favorites include how you can: Make Perfect Pancakes with a Squeeze Bottle Yes, this one is pretty self-explanatory! Whip up the pancake mix, use a funnel to put it in a large squeeze-bottle, and then make perfectly round pancakes. The best part is that if you don’t use all of the mix, the container can…


Ronco Coffee Time Brew System Review

  As you know, we at Gear Diary love our coffee.  My Keurig is still a great system, but I love to make coffee pretty much any way I can; that also includes on ice.  Quite some time ago, I was exposed to cold brew coffee by one of my local coffee shops.  I only had a small sample, but what I tried was amazing.  So I looked up devices like the Toddy T2N and other systems for making cold brew including tryin to make it in the brewers I already have.  The Toddy was what I was planning on…


Wacky Wine Bottle Wine Glass from Gadgets and Gear

Gadgets and Gear’s Wine Bottle Wine Glass in action If you are a sophisticated oenophile, or at least pretend you are, avert your eyes! If you don’t give a rat’s posterior about the niceties of wine drinking decorum and want a super-sized libation serving, have I got the glass for you. Gadgets and Gear now offers for the non-discriminating wine drinker the Wine Bottle Wine Glass, a wine glass fused to a standard-sized 750ml bottle.  Such a utilitarian design is doubtless causing the 18th century founders of Riedel glassware to spin in their graves. Top-tier wine glasses, and let’s face…


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…