Good Food Blog
Top 10 kitchen gadgets to give this ChristmasPosted at 12:02PM, 19 November 2012 by Sarah Sysum - Assistant editor, Easy Cook magazine
A cooking enthusiast will always appreciate receiving a good piece of apparatus. Pick out a kitchen gift from our top 10, selected by bbcgoodfood.com resident shopper and kitchen gadget tester, Sarah Sysum.
1. Swan teasmade
OK, it's not at the cutting edge of gifts but having been given one recently I'm a total convert. Whilst the design has been updated there's something as reassuringly familiar about it as Saturday night telly. Yes we all have central heating and don't need these now, but it's extremely easy to use and nothing beats waking up to a fresh brew. If you are getting one as a gift, pop in Lakeland's little vacuum flask, £16.99, as it keeps just the right amount of milk cold overnight.
2. Klipy cake divider
Squabbles over slice size, be gone! If you are as exacting about portion size as the 'Bakenator' Brendan on the Great British Bake Off, this is the gift to ask for. All you have to do is pop the little divider into the centre of a cake, make the initial cut, then line up the guides according to the amount of equally-sized pieces you want - 6, 8, 10, or 12.
£6.99, Mocha UK
3. Biscuit platter board
I've hankered after this so much it went on my Pinterest wish list board in May. I'm not exactly sure why I like it. I love biscuits so that could be it, but I think it's actually a mix of the design (which makes me smile every time) and the practicality of it. It's chunky without being too heavy despite being oak and you can fit a decent amount of cheese (with biscuits!) on it too.
4. Trudeau bottle opener and cap catcher
Messy beer drinker in the family? Hopefully they'll get the message if you give them this. Coming in as my 'why has this never been done before' gift, this is worth it if you don't fancy picking up lots of discarded bottle caps. It not only opens your beer bottles, but also lets them fall into the container below.
£11.99, Drink Stuff
5. Salter Maxview electronic kitchen scales
Scales might not be the prettiest thing to give but they're definitely one of the most practical. What I love about this set of scales is that they're compact but have a large display that you can still see even if you have a huge bowl on top. I'm not entirely sure how useful the timer is (speed sifting - a new round for Bake Off maybe?) but I like the room temperature display - useful if you make homemade confectionary.
6. Vacuvin Popsome storage container
Most of us have been given a spice rack at some point, which gets consigned to the back of the cupboard pretty quickly. This is a different way to store spices or, as I prefer, cake decorations (it's too funky to keep in a darkened cupboard). To use you 'pop' the airtight lid open, then dispense the contents onto your hand or directly over food. They're stackable too.
£21.11 for set of 6 containers, The Original Cookware Company
7. Elevate large food tongs
I've only recently got into tongs and, coordination not being my strong point, I found them difficult to control. I like how easy these tongs are to grip, that they have long arms (to keep you away from the fat) and that they're non-stick and heat resistant up to 24°C (I've melted more than one pair or traditional tongs). However, the winning feature is the innovative weighted handle with an integrated tool rest, which means when you put it down, its head is always raised off of the work surface, so no mess.
8. Kuhn Rikon frosting deco pen
I'll let you into a secret - I can't ice for toffee. I know purists will scoff but this really is invaluable in my kitchen. It's an electric icing 'bag'. There's nothing to push down - it's just like a pen, so you only need one hand to ice as it delivers a constant pressure. Yes it is slow and steady (I wouldn't recommend it if you've got 100 cupcakes to ice) but if you want to create fancy rosettes and marbling effects quite literally at the touch of a button this is the pressie for you. It's a good way to get kids into icing too.
£19.95, Planet Bake
9. SmartShopper grocery list organizer
Nattily called the 'SmartShopper SS-301', this is an electronic device that allows shopping lists to be made with the touch of a button. Simply press record and say the name of the item you want to add (it uses voice recognition software). When it's time to hit the shops, press print and it produces a by aisle shopping list. There's yet to be a UK-only version so you can't go asking it for courgettes, but generally it knows what you're talking about. It can even keep two separate shopping lists simultaneously, plus you're able to flag items for which you have coupons.
$149.95/£94 SmartShopper USA
10. Magimix 5200XL Premium BlenderMix food processor
I'm not going to pretend this isn't expensive but if you have a budding cook in the family this is the present that will, with care, see them through decades of cooking. It has everything you need in the kitchen, whether you're making dough or blending a smoothie plus all the usual grating and slicing discs. It also now comes in a range of bright colours. What's not to love?
£369.95, John Lewis