Like David and Goliath, smartphones and computers have challenged every kitchen appliance imaginable.
Recently, a historian wrote that the domestic cook’s role had shrunk from thousands of years ago to 2 centuries. But while trying to provide an accurate historical record, he treated the history of cooking and the forms of cooking contained in recipes and cookbooks as a clash of old and new.
That ignores the revolution that was happening with mobile phones and other gizmos. Kitchen gadgets have become far less conspicuous, much more sophisticated, and are much more versatile. In fact, consider these four:
- Coffee maker
Now there’s a gadget you never knew you needed. The BeanieCuv, available in Amazon, has a dial to measure the amount of coffee each cup holds. What’s surprising about this coffee maker is the latte-style frother in which you can make hot drinks.
There’s even an attachment that will make iced coffee. An e-commerce tip: check out Costco, where the BeanieCuv is $40.
A feature that many manual camcorders used to be missing is a little LCD screen that let you review your footage. It used to be that a camcorder had to be great enough to hold for years on end, but that changed with the Sony Flip, which still boasts HD quality.
If that’s not your cup of tea, there’s also an option to download HD video onto a USB hard drive. This isn’t cheap — a second-generation Flip will set you back more than $300 — but it makes a real difference if you need to quickly access your videos or do an image-editing job.
- Baking trays
Cooking trays used to be a minor piece of kitchenware, but we know that baking can be more involved than just boiling water. Making a yeast base for baked goods like pizzas, or incorporating cake batter into the crust, can involve a lot of stirring or kneading.
It used to be a case of scouring mugs for bread dough. But if you don’t have time for that now, there are baking trays with independently stowed sides to divert any excess dough into, so you don’t have to rinse it off afterward. It takes up less time than wiping your hands, and you don’t have to clean up after it.
Fermentation is a key tool in making a variety of foods from beans, grains, and vegetables. In the past, beer would ferment to form a distinctive beer smell and flavor. But today there are other organic products, like fermented yogurt, that can be made from the milk of fresh milk.
You’d think those fermentation products would come in a lab, but for people who like to cook, it can be useful to make them at home too. Thankfully, there are all kinds of home-use fermentation kits available on Amazon. If your house is full of empty jars, you could just place two on a shelf.
Lifehacker has also tested out a beer “root beer” and a cheeseboard filled with six organic foods.